Where can I get a Stephen Hawking sounding..

Text to speech converter? I wish to make a unique answering machine message, and need to have a program that makes that robotic-sounding voice based on text I enter into it.

By the way, I have already tried the one from bell labs and found it inadequate. That’s the one that features “Coffee Drinker” as one of the choices for voice, so please don’t suggest that one.
Thanks all!

An old Macintosh (128K,Plus SE,SE-30 and such) equipped with Macintalk software will do the trick.

Macintalk was an apple freebie, so you should be able to find copies at such places as lowendmac.com

Thanks for the reply. I actually seek a Windows version though, I’m afraid…

I discovered this in a high school computer lab, circa 1995. We found that by setting it to the “singing” voice, and putting in the right number of "la"s with proper spacing, it would sing the Smurf Song perfectly :smiley:



They have a product called TextAloud you may want to try.

Also, it looks like there’s a free demo at:


One more:


offers online free voice synthesis.

I don’t know about robotic voices though, that’s all I can search for for now (back to work!)

This program worked a pretty good for what I want, although I find it still is a bit too clear. I need something a little less coherent. I appreciate the links though.

This is really annoying me now. I’ve been looking for one of these as well. The worst thing is - I had one on my old computer. It had loads of Steven Hawking type voices, all slightly different. The program was - I think - part of the software supplied with my SoundBlaster 16 soundcard, although I could be mistaken. Erm, some readers may notice that this model is just a bit out of date, so finding this around might prove a tad difficult. There is one hope though. I still have the hard drive from those old days. I’m planning to get it read and copied onto a CD (for it will all fit - and with 150 meg to spare!..). Then I will be able to come back on here and tell you what it is. In the meantime, try contacting Creative, who made my soundcard. If it was their software there’s a good chance they’ll have a copy lying about their offices somewhere.

If you have any luck, give us a shout. I’ll do the same. May the force be with you…

By the way, if it’s for using as a sample in music (mine is) you might want to check out I’m A Disco Dancer by Christopher Just (Slut Tracks 1997). Excellent use of Stephen Hawking-esque voice samples and a fine dance track to boot.

Just plug your nose and talk in a monotone.

This has got me wondering… why does Stephen Hawking use that old robotic style voice? The old Macintalk voices were a lot easier to understand. Do you think maybe his voice unit was constructed before this type of software was widely available, and now he considers is “his” voice?

That’s how he explains it in Black Holes and Baby Universes when he’s asked why he doesn’t switch to one with an English accent instead of an American one: he now considers this one to be his voice.

The software that was distributed with the older Creative soundcards, including the SB16 and SB32 families, included a program called TextOLE (O-Lay!) that was capable of speech synthesis if I recall correctly. It was either that or SoundOLE, but I think that was a WAV editor. Anyway, in that program, you could set the head size of the “person” talking, as well as some other factors. You could also force it to speak certain syllables at a certain pitch by typing in some numbers before the syllable. You could literally get this thing to sing.

Now, at least, you know what program it was. Hope that might help.

Hey! I had one of those old SB cards, and still have the software. Among other programs, there’s one for text-to-speech and a talking Eliza clone called Dr. Sbaitso.

Thanks, matt_mcl!

Ok, after a bit of fiddling around, I discovered that there were a number of robotic-sounding voices that were disabled in the above program, and one of them , I think it was Robotic voice # 3 sounds almost dead-on to Hawking. So that program was great afterall, and my answering machine message is set and running. :wink: