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Why sound play doesn't use festival's default voice ?

asked 2011-06-10 00:58:42 -0600

Guido gravatar image

updated 2011-06-10 00:58:57 -0600

Hi all,

I'm trying to make our pr2 speak. However the (sound_play node + script) gives a deep and slow voice hardly understandable. I changed voices in festival, but sound_play doesn't take it into account. How to make sound_play use the voice set as default in festival ?


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answered 2011-06-10 13:58:25 -0600

Pi Robot gravatar image

updated 2011-06-10 14:00:55 -0600

Hi Guido,

I submitted a ticket for the "deep slow voice" issue about 6 weeks ago. In the meantime, the only way I figured out how to change the voice is as follows. (This applies to Ubuntu 10.04 with Diamondback debian packages and Festival debian packages.)

$ cd /usr/share/festival
$ sudo pico voices.scm

(Or use whatever editor you like instead of pico.)

Once in the editor, search for "kal_diphone" (without the quotes). Change this to "don_diphone" (again without the quotes).

Save changes and exit the editor.

You should now hear a better voice when using sound_play node +


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i'll fix that soon!
mmwise gravatar image mmwise  ( 2011-06-14 19:46:01 -0600 )edit
Thanks for the answer. Sadly, it doesn't changed the voice. I changed "kal_diphone" to "voice_cmu_us_bdl_arctic_clunits" but it didn't worked. I tryed with don_diphone without success. I still get a ugly voice.
Guido gravatar image Guido  ( 2011-06-21 03:08:12 -0600 )edit
Hi Guido, when you solve this can you please post the solution? Thanks
Dimitar Simeonov gravatar image Dimitar Simeonov  ( 2011-07-22 08:34:42 -0600 )edit

answered 2012-12-15 16:14:35 -0600

isura gravatar image

updated 2013-01-13 14:40:36 -0600

I solved this by editing /opt/ros/fuerte/stacks/audio_common/sound_play/scripts/

Do the following:

roscd sound_play
sudo pico scripts/

In this file you need to change the following line:

voice = 'voice_kal_diphone'

I changed it to (assuming you have other voices installed in festival):

voice = 'voice_nitech_us_rms_arctic_hts'
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answered 2011-07-22 07:02:43 -0600

David Lu gravatar image

Changing the frequency used by text2wav helps, but your best bet is to check out joq's answer to another question.

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answered 2015-02-19 22:17:31 -0600

Use rosrun sound_play "Text to say" voice_you_want

In C++

sound_play::SoundClient sc; sc.say("Phrase to say.","voice_you_want");

If you write "" in voice_you_want, you play the festival default voice

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answered 2013-01-02 10:19:04 -0600

dogida gravatar image

updated 2013-01-02 10:23:21 -0600

I took the example from isura:

roscd sound_play
sudo pico scripts/

sound_play use the voice set as default in festival when you leave voice blank:

voice = ''

it works for me with a german Mbrola voice with the special ims-festival (german language) from the university of stuttgart

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Asked: 2011-06-10 00:58:42 -0600

Seen: 1,785 times

Last updated: Jan 13 '13