File Exchange Pick of the Week

Our best user submissions

Making MATLAB Talk

Brett's Pick this week focuses on functionality rather than on a single file. For a project I'm currently playing around with, I recently decided that I wanted to make my computer talk, and to use MATLAB to control it. A brief search of documentation didn't return any hits that looked promising--MATLAB doesn't really provide any mechanism for generating speech. Looking at the File Exchange (keyword "speech"), though, proved fruitful. In fact, selecting which of the several submissions to use was the most difficult part of the problem. Chronologically, the first "speak" mfile I found was from Fahad Al Mahmood, submitted back in 2004. (Indeed, Fahad's file was selected as a Pick of the Week, back in '04.) But that file uses a call to Excel, and doesn't provide for a lot of control over the generated speech. Fahad's submission was closely followed by Iari-Gabriel Marino's no-frills ActiveX version of TTS (text-to-speech). Wolfgang Garn's 2006 submission includes a function called text2speech that allows a user to control pitch, to insert pauses, and to add emphasis to words. And Siyi Deng followed up in 2007 with another version of TTS that optionally allows the user to write WAV files, to control the speed of the voice, and to list available voices. You gotta love the File Exchange--thanks for these great submissions, Fahad, Iari-Gabriel, Wolfgang, and Siyi! Anyone have any good stories to share about using MATLAB to speak, or doing speech recognition in MATLAB? We'd love to hear from you.

Published with MATLAB® 7.6

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