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Text-To-Speech (TTS)

Aculab Cloud supports Cepstral and Polly Text To Speech (TTS).

Choosing the voice to use

In the REST and UAS APIs, the Play action and Say functions respectively, support the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) allowing you to change the way your text is spoken, for example, by choosing which voice you'd like to say it. SSML also allows you to choose which TTS engine you'd like, through use of the optional acu-engine tag which, if provided, must be outermost in the string. If you don't provide this tag your account default will be used, based on the default voice.

 The preset default for your account will usually be a Polly voice

Polly

Polly's website has a demo which allows you to select a voice and immediately hear how different text will sound - see Polly demos.

Polly TTS supports a subset of SSML, which can optionally be embedded within the text you supply to the say function. For a summary of the SSML tags which may be used, see Common SSML tags below. For more detailed information, to go W3C SSML 1.1 recommendation.

We support the following voices:

Filter by

NameDescriptionSelectorListen
KimberlyUS English female, default English US Female Polly Kimberly
NajaDanish female Danish Denmark Female Polly Naja
MadsDanish male Danish Denmark Male Polly Mads
LotteDutch female Dutch Netherlands Female Polly Lotte
RubenDutch male Dutch Netherlands Male Polly Ruben
EmmaUK English female English UK Female Polly Emma
AmyUK English female English UK Female Polly Amy
BrianUK English male English UK Male Polly Brian
GeraintWelsh English male English Wales Male Polly Geraint
GwynethWelsh female Welsh Wales Female Polly Gwyneth
NicoleAustralian English female English Australia Female Polly Nicole
RussellAustralian English male English Australia Male Polly Russell
RaveenaIndian English female English India Female Polly Raveena
SalliUS English female English US Female Polly Salli
IvyUS English female English US Female Polly Ivy
KendraUS English female English US Female Polly Kendra
JoannaUS English female English US Female Polly Joanna
JoeyUS English male English US Male Polly Joey
JustinUS English male English US Male Polly Justin
CelineFrench female French France Female Polly Celine
MathieuFrench male French France Male Polly Mathieu
ChantalCanadian French female French Canada Female Polly Chantal
MarleneGerman female German Germany Female Polly Marlene
HansGerman male German Germany Male Polly Hans
VickiGerman female German Germany Female Polly Vicki
DoraIcelandic female Icelandic Iceland Female Polly Dora
KarlIcelandic male Icelandic Iceland Male Polly Karl
GiorgioItalian male Italian Italy Male Polly Giorgio
CarlaItalian female Italian Italy Female Polly Carla
LivNorwegian female Norwegian Norway Female Polly Liv
MajaPolish female Polish Poland Female Polly Maja
EwaPolish female Polish Poland Female Polly Ewa
JacekPolish male Polish Poland Male Polly Jacek
JanPolish male Polish Poland Male Polly Jan
RicardoBrazilian Portuguese male Portuguese Brazil Male Polly Ricardo
VitoriaBrazilian Portuguese female Portuguese Brazil Female Polly Vitoria
InesPortuguese female Portuguese Portugal Female Polly Ines
CristianoPortuguese male Portuguese Portugal Male Polly Cristiano
CarmenRomanian female Romanian Romania Female Polly Carmen
TatyanaRussian female Russian Russia Female Polly Tatyana
MaximRussian male Russian Russia Male Polly Maxim
ConchitaSpanish female Spanish Castile Female Polly Conchita
EnriqueSpanish male Spanish Castile Male Polly Enrique
PenelopeUS Spanish female Spanish US Female Polly Penelope
MiguelUS Spanish male Spanish US Male Polly Miguel
AstridSwedish female Swedish Sweden Female Polly Astrid
FilizTurkish female Turkish Turkey Female Polly Filiz

Cepstral

Cepstral's website has a demo which allows you to select a voice and immediately hear how different text will sound - see Cepstral demos.

Cepstral TTS supports a subset of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML), which can optionally be embedded within the text you supply to the say function. For a summary of the SSML tags which may be used, see Common SSML tags below. For more detailed information, go to Cepstral SSML FAQ and scroll down to the 'Common Usage Examples'. With reference to that page, please bear in mind the following:

We support the following voices:

NameDescription
Callie-8kHzUS English female, default
Marta-8kHzAmerican Spanish female
VittoriaItalian female

We don't support:

  • Inserting recorded audio files (our APIs' play functions already allow file replay)
  • Applying Cepstral special effects
  • Inserting bookmarks

Reserved characters

Some characters are reserved for use in SSML so, if the text you need to say contains any of these, replace them as shown:

Reserved CharacterReplace With
<&lt;
>&gt;
&&amp;

For example, "Bill & Ben played in the garden" would be become "Bill &amp; Ben played in the garden".

Common SSML tags

Cepstral and Polly both support a subset of SSML. Details of common tags can be found below. It is highly recommended that you test your application before deploying with a different TTS engine.

TagDescription
break

Inserts a break or pause in the speech.

Optional arguments are time and strength.

time sets an absolute value for the pause. For example <break time="3s"> and <break time="3ms"> set the break time to be three seconds and three milliseconds respectively. The length of a break may be up to 10 seconds in duration

strength sets the relative value of the pause. These are none, x-weak, weak, medium, strong and x-strong.

Examples:

This is a <break /> sentence break.
This is a <break time="2s"/> two second break.
This is a dramatic <break strength="x-strong"/> break.
voice

Allows the user to change the voice used. Parameter name is required, specifying the voice to use. The supported voices for each TTS are listed above.

Examples:

<acu-engine name='Polly'><voice name='Amy'>I'm using Amy instead of the default voice.</voice></acu-engine>
                
prosody

Allows the user to change the pitch, speed and volume of a segment of speech.

Common optional parameters are: pitch, rate and volume.

pitch can be used to set the pitch of speech. Options are: x-low, low, medium, high, x-high,a relative change (measured in Hz) e.g. +50Hz, or a percentage change e.g +50%.

rate sets the rate of speech. Options are: x-slow, slow, medium, fast and x-fast,a relative change (measured in Hz) e.g. +50Hz, or a percentage change e.g +50%.

volume sets the volume for speech. Options are: silent, x-soft, soft, medium, loud and x-loud, a relative change (measured in Hz) e.g. +50Hz, or a percentage change e.g +50%.

Examples:

<prosody rate="x-fast">I'm using a very fast rate.</prosody>
This is normal volume. <prosody volume="soft">This is a soft volume.</prosody>
I can talk very <prosody rate="slow" pitch="low">deeply and slowly.</prosody>
Today's date is the <prosody rate="-50%">15th April, 2012.</prosody>
emphasis

Can be used to read with empasis.

Required parameter: level. Options are: reduced, moderate and strong.

Examples:

This is a <emphasis level="strong">level of emphasis</emphasis>, which can be used to highlight important information.