Wednesday, March 27, 2013

speech synthesis in east Germany

Ok, now it gets nerdy, about speech synthesis. In the 30s Homer Dudley invented the Voder, a speech synthesizer to create artificial speech, without voice recordings or input, see video at bottom. Now compare it with the kinky DDR scifi from the 70s, Im Staub Der Sterne. The excerpt is fun and fetish anyway but take a close listen to the 'computer' voice at 4.22 and 5.28. It has the same analog quality as the voder with the elastic transition between the formants, unlike digital speech synthesis or fake robotic voice done with Vocoders (also invented by Dudley).

So in east Germany they at a functioning Voder in the 70s???? Maybe even here in Berlin? We know they have their version of Trautonium, the Subharchord, but a Voder, how cool is that?

Here the recording from the 1939 Voder to compare: