While everyone else worries about emulating the same synthesizers for the umpteenth time, Plogue have been lovingly recreating the greatest chip sounds of all time. They’ve done Chipsounds, the instrument, and Chipcrusher, the effect.

And now, finally, your computer will sing to you – not just with any voice, but with the speech chip that launched them all. From computing to arcades to classic tracks, this legendary voice has echoed through the decades with an unmistakable sound.

This is the first-ever commercially-available chip to include speech synthesis.

In 1974/1975 Dr. Forrest S. Mozer licensed his unique voice compression technology to Telesensory Systems, Inc. (TSI).

Encoding words was a very complex and time consuming process. Something only he and a few of his colleagues could do. Most of the TSI/Digitalker-using consumer devices of the late 70’s and early 80’s used Dr Mozer’s own voice, compressed by a factor of 100.

This is the voice you are hearing in the video.

Last year we’ve obtained his authorization to use his voice for our ‘chipspeech’ project.
Thank you infinitely Dr. Mozer!

All other materials used property of their respective owners.

Berzerk Arcade filmed on location at http://www.classicarcademuseum.org KEEP THE ARCADE ALIVE, please visit them!

Character art: https://twitter.com/pixoshiru

End “ATTACK humanoid 2015” Track produced by https://www.youtube.com/user/Wasreich

I actually vividly remember the first time I heard this very chip. I was in Kindergarten, and the effect was simply magical. Maybe more than any other moment, it launched my love affair with computers. Here was a box that was able to speak. The fact that it didn’t sound human made it somehow more futuristic, like listening to an alien machine from the future.

The news of the TSI chip coming to the desktop has already gotten some celebrity mentions. Chip musician goto80 mentioned it on Twitter; none other than Future Sound of London declared HUMANOID is back on their Facebook page.

But the best part of this is, it’s coming in a playable instrument you can use on your modern computer. Plogue’s work on Chipspeech has flown mostly under the radar until now, but they’ve teased a bit:

And here’s why it’s fun to play this with a MIDI keyboard:

There’s more to say about this – just not yet. But I can tell you this chip is just the first part of the story. Stay tuned to CDM; we’ll have the scoop.

And speaking of Future Sound of London, more is coming from them, too. Here’s a track from their forthcoming album (yes, you read that right – just in case you thought of them more as the Past Sound of London):

Really looking forward to that, in fact.

  • Peter

    I may never sing again. Which many will tell you is probably a good reason for humanity to buy this.

  • Peter

    I may never sing again. Which many will tell you is probably a good reason for humanity to buy this.

  • angstrom

    How about a Linnstrument playing Chipspeech?
    http://youtu.be/q5s4ILGHup4

    • mmv

      Pure awesome!

    • Sweet!

    • Thomas Glendinning

      Best! 😀

  • angstrom

    How about a Linnstrument playing Chipspeech?
    http://youtu.be/q5s4ILGHup4

    • mmv

      Pure awesome!

    • Sweet!

    • Thomas Glendinning

      Best! 😀

  • I think the real question here is, will I gain a third arm when using this like the guy in the second to last video?

    • David Viens

      The fourth arm held the camera.

    • Popo Bawa

      Presidential broadcast from Beeblebrox manor

  • I think the real question here is, will I gain a third arm when using this like the guy in the second to last video?

    • David Viens

      The fourth arm held the camera.

    • Popo Bawa

      Presidential broadcast from Beeblebrox manor

  • jsd

    Future Sound Of London have released tons of music since their Virgin days. Check out fsoldigital.com. The Environments albums are a good place to start.

  • jsd

    Future Sound Of London have released tons of music since their Virgin days. Check out fsoldigital.com. The Environments albums are a good place to start.

  • Guest

    If this is the same phoeAnd if you like Klatt speech, there are a few of those kicking around too. DECTalk is a little harder to get. I think I was using this phoneme chip at the end of 1983 for this little piece:
    https://soundcloud.com/jhhl/phoneme-and-telephone-sequence-counting-december-17-1983

  • Guest

    If this is the same phoeAnd if you like Klatt speech, there are a few of those kicking around too. DECTalk is a little harder to get. I think I was using this phoneme chip at the end of 1983 for this little piece:
    https://soundcloud.com/jhhl/phoneme-and-telephone-sequence-counting-december-17-1983

  • Looking forward to it! Here’s a piece i did at the end of 1983 with I think the Radio Shack version of this phoneme chip:

    https://soundcloud.com/jhhl/phoneme-and-telephone-sequence-counting-december-17-1983

    • David Viens

      The infamous Archer-sold GI SP0256-017 using a 4MHz oscillator I presume?(Its somewhat high pitched)… don’t think you had the companion SPR016-117 rom chip that went with it? Sorry nerd talk 🙂

      • Well, I didn’t have the right crystal – that’s partly why it’s high pitched and it glitches out! It could speak numerals and phonemes. I made my own discrete computer on a breadboard using a 1K static ram chip, a counter, a clock, and good ol’ PDP-8 style “advance clock” and “deposit” switches to program it. I used something close to that to drive a CMOS 4066 multiplexer chip to make a little sequencer for my circuit bent Casio.
        AND YOU TRY TO TELL THE YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY THAT – AND THEY WON’T BELIEVE YOU!

        • David Viens

          I do!

  • Looking forward to it! Here’s a piece i did at the end of 1983 with I think the Radio Shack version of this phoneme chip:

    https://soundcloud.com/jhhl/phoneme-and-telephone-sequence-counting-december-17-1983

    • David Viens

      The infamous Archer-sold GI SP0256-017 using a 4MHz oscillator I presume?(Its somewhat high pitched)… don’t think you had the companion SPR016-117 rom chip that went with it? Sorry nerd talk 🙂

      • Well, I didn’t have the right crystal – that’s partly why it’s high pitched and it glitches out! It could speak numerals and phonemes. I made my own discrete computer on a breadboard using a 1K static ram chip, a counter, a clock, and good ol’ PDP-8 style “advance clock” and “deposit” switches to program it. I used something close to that to drive a CMOS 4066 multiplexer chip to make a little sequencer for my circuit bent Casio.
        AND YOU TRY TO TELL THE YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY THAT – AND THEY WON’T BELIEVE YOU!

        • David Viens

          I do!

  • Mr. Ecklie

    There’s also a hardware emulator (not of the exact same chip, but close)
    http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=17503
    I have it and it’s pretty awesome… my secret weapon.. d’oh!

  • Mr. Ecklie

    There’s also a hardware emulator (not of the exact same chip, but close)
    http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=17503
    I have it and it’s pretty awesome… my secret weapon.. d’oh!

  • aaron

    Yes. The Electric Brain is back! That’s the FSOL that’s been AWOL since Dead Cities/ISDN. Really looking forward to that record. Great news that hadn’t crossed my path yet. Thanks for brightening my day!

  • aaron

    Yes. The Electric Brain is back! That’s the FSOL that’s been AWOL since Dead Cities/ISDN. Really looking forward to that record. Great news that hadn’t crossed my path yet. Thanks for brightening my day!

  • aaron

    also.. for some reason I think this should be mentioned.. http://soniccharge.com/bitspeek

    • Peter

      I can assure you playing chipspeech THRU bitspeek is AMAZING

  • aaron

    also.. for some reason I think this should be mentioned.. http://soniccharge.com/bitspeek

    • Peter

      I can assure you playing chipspeech THRU bitspeek is AMAZING