Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers


Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)
 

I've tried them both over the years. As you stated, resources have not been a problem since the late '90's. I fined the sound through even average desktop or monitor speakers to be better than that from most external devices. If you have an old DecTalk speaker around with an AF gain and a headset output, it might be a close contest though.

Ted

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Buhrow
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:13 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

Hello. In my work, I use software speech for the most part. Howevr, I
work an environhment with 2 sound cards so that my synthesizer is using one
and other audio uses the other. I find this works much better for me than
trying to mix audio streams through the same sound card.

While the case for hardware speech has become much less compelling in
recent years, here are a few reasons that hardware speech is still
advantageous:

O If you don't have a separate sound card and you really don't want to
mix regular audio and your speech synthesizer, hardware speech is the only
way to go.

O While software speech doesn't take much in the way of system resources
on today's systems, it does require some resource, and, in particular, it's
particularly sensitive to time lags on the part of a busy computer system.
So, if you're doing something that's very CPU or i/o intensive on your
system, off-loading the job of creating speech to a peripheral can be very
helpful.

O Higher compatibility with different operating systems. Software speech
requires that a software module be running on the computer generating the
speech that's devoted to that purpose. If you're running a system where
that software module isn't available, you can't have software speech.
Hardware synthesizers, on the other hand, usually attach via a serial or
USB port, meaning they can interface with a large number of systems with a
variety of operating systems. And, to drive them, often you just send
strings of text down a serial port or through a USB connection. That,
generally is much easier than generating the sound data a software
synthesizer produces.

I'm sure there are other scenarios where hardware speech is very
valuable and I'm eager to see what folks have to say on this topic.
-Brian


Tony
 

When you can add a second sound card, either internal or USB, for $10 there
isn't much difference any more. I used to be able to load an external
synthesizer before windows if I needed to correct some problem then continue
with loading windows. Hasn't been possible for quite a while.

Tony

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mario
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:40 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

as others have already said, for another advantage, the speech can be
separate from the main sound card. for example, you can have a screen reader
speak thru the hardware synth while playing music thru the main sound card,
and while using the computer, eliminate the saying "what did (whatever
screen reader) say?"

having/using a hardware synth also eliminates the memory and resource
consumption by the screen reader being used.

-------- Original Message --------
From: Page, Aaron [mailto:aaron.page@...]
Sent: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 1:42 PM EST
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

Moderators - feel free to shut the thread down if this isn't JAWS relevant
enough. Another thread discussing issues with a TripleTalk USB speech
synthesizer got me thinking about this...



I am curious what benefits JAWS or other screen reading software users get
from the use of internal or external hardware speech synthesizers compared
to software-based speech synthesizers. Doing some reading on Google the best
I found was this brief statement on the AFB site:



"Instead of using the system's sound card, these devices create and emit
speech through their own speaker system. This not only frees up system
resources on the PC, but it also allows the sound card to be used
exclusively for other audio. "



Is this the main benefit of using hardware-based synthesizers? Resources
doesn't seem like an issue anymore - average PCs have more power than most
users need - and the ability to direct speech output to a different sound
card seems like a really specific and rare use case to me.



I am sure there are some users who stick with a particular hardware
synthesizer just because they are used to the way it sounds, but I am
curious what other benefits there might be. Thanks for any info you are
willing to share!



Aaron M. Page


Mario
 

as others have already said, for another advantage, the speech can be
separate from the main sound card. for example, you can have a screen
reader speak thru the hardware synth while playing music thru the main
sound card, and while using the computer, eliminate the saying "what did
(whatever screen reader) say?"

having/using a hardware synth also eliminates the memory and resource
consumption by the screen reader being used.

-------- Original Message --------
From: Page, Aaron [mailto:aaron.page@...]
Sent: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 1:42 PM EST
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

Moderators – feel free to shut the thread down if this isn’t JAWS
relevant enough. Another thread discussing issues with a TripleTalk USB
speech synthesizer got me thinking about this...



I am curious what benefits JAWS or other screen reading software users
get from the use of internal or external hardware speech synthesizers
compared to software-based speech synthesizers. Doing some reading on
Google the best I found was this brief statement on the AFB site:



“Instead of using the system's sound card, these devices create and emit
speech through their own speaker system. This not only frees up system
resources on the PC, but it also allows the sound card to be used
exclusively for other audio. “



Is this the main benefit of using hardware-based synthesizers? Resources
doesn’t seem like an issue anymore – average PCs have more power than
most users need – and the ability to direct speech output to a different
sound card seems like a really specific and rare use case to me.



I am sure there are some users who stick with a particular hardware
synthesizer just because they are used to the way it sounds, but I am
curious what other benefits there might be. Thanks for any info you are
willing to share!



Aaron M. Page


Brian Buhrow
 

Hello. In my work, I use software speech for the most part. Howevr, I
work an environhment with 2 sound cards so that my synthesizer is using one
and other audio uses the other. I find this works much better for me than
trying to mix audio streams through the same sound card.

While the case for hardware speech has become much less compelling in
recent years, here are a few reasons that hardware speech is still
advantageous:

O If you don't have a separate sound card and you really don't want to
mix regular audio and your speech synthesizer, hardware speech is the only
way to go.

O While software speech doesn't take much in the way of system resources
on today's systems, it does require some resource, and, in particular, it's
particularly sensitive to time lags on the part of a busy computer system.
So, if you're doing something that's very CPU or i/o intensive on your
system, off-loading the job of creating speech to a peripheral can be very
helpful.

O Higher compatibility with different operating systems. Software speech
requires that a software module be running on the computer generating the
speech that's devoted to that purpose. If you're running a system where
that software module isn't available, you can't have software speech.
Hardware synthesizers, on the other hand, usually attach via a serial or
USB port, meaning they can interface with a large number of systems with a
variety of operating systems. And, to drive them, often you just send
strings of text down a serial port or through a USB connection. That,
generally is much easier than generating the sound data a software
synthesizer produces.

I'm sure there are other scenarios where hardware speech is very
valuable and I'm eager to see what folks have to say on this topic.
-Brian


Pablo Morales
 

You also can install a second sound card in your computer, and setup jaws to work on one sound card, and the other sounds from the second sound card.

In cases that you work with audio, jaws will work only in one sound card, and the audio in the other. Like this you can separate both sounds, and work with the audio in a  more convenient way.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Page, Aaron
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:43 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

 

Moderators – feel free to shut the thread down if this isn’t JAWS relevant enough. Another thread discussing issues with a TripleTalk USB speech synthesizer got me thinking about this...

 

I am curious what benefits JAWS or other screen reading software users get from the use of internal or external hardware speech synthesizers compared to software-based speech synthesizers. Doing some reading on Google the best I found was this brief statement on the AFB site:

 

“Instead of using the system's sound card, these devices create and emit speech through their own speaker system. This not only frees up system resources on the PC, but it also allows the sound card to be used exclusively for other audio. “     

 

Is this the main benefit of using hardware-based synthesizers? Resources doesn’t seem like an issue anymore – average PCs have more power than most users need – and the ability to direct speech output to a different sound card seems like a really specific and rare use case to me.

 

I am sure there are some users who stick with a particular hardware synthesizer just because they are used to the way it sounds, but I am curious what other benefits there might be. Thanks for any info you are willing to share!

     

Aaron M. Page

 

 


Dave...
 

On one of my computers, I use the hardware synth because it is more responsive (faster response). But the other point of having a separate sound card for internal audio aside from JAWS is another benefit.
 
Dave
Oregonian, woodworker, Engineer, Musician, and Pioneer
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:42
Subject: Hardware vs. Software Speech Synthesizers

Moderators – feel free to shut the thread down if this isn’t JAWS relevant enough. Another thread discussing issues with a TripleTalk USB speech synthesizer got me thinking about this...

 

I am curious what benefits JAWS or other screen reading software users get from the use of internal or external hardware speech synthesizers compared to software-based speech synthesizers. Doing some reading on Google the best I found was this brief statement on the AFB site:

 

“Instead of using the system's sound card, these devices create and emit speech through their own speaker system. This not only frees up system resources on the PC, but it also allows the sound card to be used exclusively for other audio. “     

 

Is this the main benefit of using hardware-based synthesizers? Resources doesn’t seem like an issue anymore – average PCs have more power than most users need – and the ability to direct speech output to a different sound card seems like a really specific and rare use case to me.

 

I am sure there are some users who stick with a particular hardware synthesizer just because they are used to the way it sounds, but I am curious what other benefits there might be. Thanks for any info you are willing to share!

     

Aaron M. Page

 

 


Page, Aaron
 

Moderators – feel free to shut the thread down if this isn’t JAWS relevant enough. Another thread discussing issues with a TripleTalk USB speech synthesizer got me thinking about this...

 

I am curious what benefits JAWS or other screen reading software users get from the use of internal or external hardware speech synthesizers compared to software-based speech synthesizers. Doing some reading on Google the best I found was this brief statement on the AFB site:

 

“Instead of using the system's sound card, these devices create and emit speech through their own speaker system. This not only frees up system resources on the PC, but it also allows the sound card to be used exclusively for other audio. “     

 

Is this the main benefit of using hardware-based synthesizers? Resources doesn’t seem like an issue anymore – average PCs have more power than most users need – and the ability to direct speech output to a different sound card seems like a really specific and rare use case to me.

 

I am sure there are some users who stick with a particular hardware synthesizer just because they are used to the way it sounds, but I am curious what other benefits there might be. Thanks for any info you are willing to share!

     

Aaron M. Page