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Festival 1.4.1 speech synthesis system

Dec 12, 1999, 02:29 (0 Talkback[s])
The Festival Speech Synthesis System version 1.4.1
and Edinburgh Speech Tools Library version 1.2.1
30th November 1999

Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, from Java, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English (British and American), and Spanish) though English is the most advanced. Other groups release new languages for the system.

The system is written in C++ and uses the Edinburgh Speech Tools Library for low level architecture and has a Scheme (SIOD) based command interpreter for control. Documentation is given in the FSF texinfo format which can generate, a printed manual, info files and HTML.

Festival is free sorftware and is distributed under an X11-type licence allowing unrestricted commercial and non-commercial use alike.

This release offers minor bug fixes and new compiler support over version 1.4.0 which was release in June 1999.

This distribution includes:

  • Full English (British and American English) text to speech
  • Full C++ source for modules, SIOD interpreter, and Scheme library
  • Lexicon based on CMULEX and OALD (OALD is restricted to non-commercial use only)
  • Edinburgh Speech Tools, low level C++ library
  • British English Male (for residual LPC resynthesis 8k and 16k versions)
  • 2 American English Male (for residual LPC resynthesis 8k and 16k versions)
  • 4 other voices using MBROLA based diphone synthesis (1 British Male, 2 American Males and 1 American Female).
  • Castilian Spanish Male (for residual LPC resynthesis 11k version)
  • British English Male (for spike excited LPC resynthesis 10k version)
  • Full documentation (html, postscript and GNU info format)

Festival version 1.4.1 sources, voices, and Linux binaries are available from


and also from the US mirror at CMU


The Festival home page, offering descriptions of the system, examples and online demos, can be found at



To run Festival you need:

  • A Unix machine, Festival has compiled and run on Suns (SunOS and Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, SGIs and DEC Alphas but should be portable to any standard Unix machine.
  • A C++ compiler: we have used GCC version 2.7.2, 2.8.1, 2.95.1 SunCC 4.1 and 4.2, and egcs. Other C++ compilers are probably possible with perhaps some minor chanages
  • GNU Make any recent version
  • Audio hardware, /dev/audio (8 bit and 16 bit on Suns, Linux and FreeBSD) and NCD's NAS network transparent audio system are supported directly but Festival supports the execution of any Unix command that can play audio files.

There is also support for building the system under Windows NT and 95/98. We have successfully ran the system complied with Cygnus' GNU win32 package and Microsoft's Visual C++, instructions are included

We intend to distribute binary distributions for major architectures particularly Linux and Solaris. We will *not* distribute binary versions for Windows NT/95 as we do not have enough expertise to support them.

New in 1.4.1 version

  • many small bug fixes
  • SSFF track support (for emulabel)
  • updated support for gcc-2.95.(12], gcc-2.7.2.[23], and AIX
  • Support for new JDKs

Alan, Rob, Richard and Paul
30th November 1999