Acorn speech system – audio sample

Iv’e finally managed to have a play with the Acorn Speech system on my BBC Model B. Ive had these chips installed for some time, but ive never actually used them!

Sprow of http://www.sprow.co.uk/ says this about the speech system…

Texas Instruments created the TMS5220 voice synthesis processor as a means to add realistic speech output to home computers such as the BBC Micro, pinball machines, and children’s toys. It acts as a model of the human vocal tract which allows the speech data to be parameterised and hence compressed considerably compared with just storing raw audio samples.

The speech processor can accept data either from a host microprocessor, or from a mask programmed serial ROM – the TMS6100 voice synthesis memory. However, the high cost and minimum order quantities associated with the setup of a mask means that comparatively few TMS6100s were created, and being mask programmed are fixed in operation.

Texas Instruments created the TMS5220 voice synthesis processor as a means to add realistic speech output to home computers such as the BBC Micro, pinball machines, and children’s toys. It acts as a model of the human vocal tract which allows the speech data to be parameterised and hence compressed considerably compared with just storing raw audio samples.The speech processor can accept data either from a host microprocessor, or from a mask programmed serial ROM – the TMS6100 voice synthesis memory. However, the high cost and minimum order quantities associated with the setup of a mask means that comparatively few TMS6100s were created, and being mask programmed are fixed in operation.

This is a short audioboo shows you what speech can be produced. 


This file was recored from my BBC, this is not emulaton. This beeb has been modified to output audio to a phono lead than to its internal speaker. I then recored the audio on my MacBook Pro using Audacity.

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