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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
Chatterbox Vowel/Voice PCB
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Chatterbox Vowel/Voice PCB
Subject description: A PCB offering based on the Chatterbox by Ian Witten and Peter Madam
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Note that the first several messages here are moved here from the Standalone Vowel Generator thread, here: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-21642.html&postorder=asc I brought them here for context, as the PCB portion was hijacking the other thread.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:14 am Post subject:
yusson wrote:
On my site, yusynth.net, in the archive section you'll find the PDF of this paper: The Chatterbox. Enjoy it

Hi Yves,

I really like this project. I will Definitely be creating a PCB for this chatterbox project. Thank you for sharing the original article! I plan to add VC to the parameters, and probably allow trigs/gates for the touch switch items too. I REALLY like this one!

With a bit of added VC, having the third formant shouldn't create a control problem, so I'll probably plan to do that as well. Very cool article. I've got a LOT in front of this, but this one Really interests me. Hmmm, I need to do some research on the 6 parameter PAT device this chatterbox is based upon...

Kind regards, Randal

Last edited by Randaleem on Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:15 am; edited 4 times in total
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

From original thread, moved here:

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:04 am Post subject:
Hi Phil,

Thank you for the Analog Haven link! And your Good points.

I figured on using two joysticks to cover 3 formants and the fourth for control over whichever of the params proves most needed in testing! Reading the Chatterbox article, I thought of how Marvin Jones's PAIA joystick circuit has a touchswitch on the metal shaft, unaffected while you hold the insulated handle. So I figured to have two of those to go with the dual joysticks.

I hadn't thought of limiting/scaling the joysticks the way you mentioned but definitely figured that'd be part of any added CV control. Same with filter control.

I "saw" a handheld device, like a mini Wiard JAG in my minds eye, attached by a cable to the main module with its CV IO jacks. Thumbs for the Joysticks, two fingers of each hand to touch switches underneath, with one's little fingers and pointers holding the unit.

I kind of see CV handling the bulk of voicing when "accurate" results are desired. With the handheld unit adding expression, and for noodling around in the manner of the original chatterbox "toy" ideal.

Kind regards, Randal

Last edited by Randaleem on Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Randaleem



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Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

From original thread, for context, Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007:
Quote:

Cool pic and description that came up in my research:

http://www.srde.co.uk/SRDE/parametric_talking_machine.htm

EDIT: And a useful link:

http://home.pacbell.net/asobel/projects/oracle100/oracle100.html

Kind regards, Randal


Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:08 am

EDIT2: I think this latter one (Oracle100) is closer to where I'd like to end up with a fully developed pro pcb/module offering. Without all the digital control, but still more capable than a chatterbox. So I'm going to do a PCB that is a derivation of this circuit, in combination with some others I've found in my research. That'll be in Jan/Feb. EDIT: Pending permission, which has been requested of Art Sobel already. EDIT2:Art responded today 11/26 with permission, so this one's a go. More when I open another thread on the topic

But I REALLY like the chatterbox simplicity ideal too, so I'm thinking that perhaps if there is enough interest, a fast-tracked inexpensive pro-PCB might be a nice holiday gift. What do you guys think? If the boards were here next week, would that be enough time to get them built as gifts?

Is there any interest in a 10-12 dollar PCB for the chatterbox? (I'd lose all the digital noise and replace it with a standard synth noise circuit to significantly reduce the IC count. And trade the individual 741's for a couple quad packages. Is the LM380 really necessary on the PCB?

No parts kits, minimal build docs,IOW, fast tracked. 10-12USD. Any interest?

FWIW there is ample precedent in the two formant approach. But I'd try to include the pads for a third. It will depend upon how it affects the size of the PCB. To keep this PCB at 10-12USD, I may have to leave it off. If so, I'll leave the attachment points in place at least so a perfed or add-on 3rd formant could be used. But I'll try to make it fit.

Assuming anyone besides me thinks this is a good idea, that is! (EDIT: I have contacted Mr Witten, and am hopeful of a quick reply with permission to proceed.) EDIT3:Ian replied today also, and I am starting to lay out the PCB. It seems he'd like his designer's royalties to go to a charity for Deaf or Autistic children, so we'll be supporting a good cause as well! (I've asked him to suggest the charity, and will post more in a separate thread.)

Last edited by Randaleem on Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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Randaleem



Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 456
Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Replies, From original thread.
6079smith wrote:

Hey, I'd be interested in that, it sounds like a fun little project.

dar303 wrote:

...can we have them in SMD?

Ok, maybe not but I'm in for two anyway!


bbob wrote:
randaleem wrote:

Is there any interest in a 10-12 dollar PCB for the chatterbox?[/b] (I'd lose all the digital noise and replace it with a standard synth noise circuit to significantly reduce the IC count. And trade the individual 741's for a couple quad packages. Is the LM380 really necessary on the PCB?

i' d be interested. maybe even leave off noize circuitry entirely, leave that as an external in. most of us have some noize generators already (and who know's what'd come out if you pumped something besides noise in there?)
b

loss1234 wrote:

i am interested in one. BUT what kind of joysticks does this need? (if any)
are they hard to source or build?

thanks=-

Last edited by Randaleem on Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:16 am; edited 3 times in total
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Randaleem



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Location: Northern CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject:
Subject description: Moved here from original thread
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loss1234 wrote:
i am interested in one. BUT what kind of joysticks does this need? (if any) are they hard to source or build? thanks=-

Hi Loss!

A couple very good questions. But First let me say that I'm going to move my Chatterbox/Oracle PCB portions of this thread to a new one tonight. No need to hijack this one. FWIW, I'm still trying to learn how to know WHEN to make such a change. After all, this IS still about a standalone vowel generator, but not in the same manner as was originally expressed?

Anyways, as regards joysticks. You can certainly make the Chatterbox without using them, substituting dual pots (per axis) instead. This will make some sounds perhaps harder to achieve, but may equally open up others. I'll be building at least two to experience the differences.(one with JS, one without)

Decent inexpensive Joysticks DO seem to be a bit hard to source, especially the dual pot types required for this circuit. I've a couple of old ones, and spent some time yesterday looking for non-expensive reasonable qty, repeatable sources without a great deal of luck. IOW, not an ebay item.

So I've gone ahead and created a DIY joystick which is simple and inexpensive to make. It does require that you sacrifice ONE splined shaft pot as a "broach" into a piece of Home Depot aluminum. There is a non-single-pot destructive alternative, but that one is more involved to make. EDIT2: I've just come up with a much simplified DIY Joystick solution. No pot sacrifice needed, splined or plain shaft capable. More in a new thread soon.

I'm going to write this DIY Joystick up as yet another separate thread because I think it will be useful to many outside of this project.

So the short answer is that a lack of joystick availability is NOT a reason to skip this Chatterbox PCB!

Kind regards, Randal
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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbob wrote:
i' d be interested. maybe even leave off noize circuitry entirely, leave that as an external in. most of us have some noize generators already (and who know's what'd come out if you pumped something besides noise in there?) b

Bbob, Excellent idea!

I'll keep the noise circuit in place so it can still be a standalone unit, but will definitely provide pads for an alternate external input at that point. (FWIW, I've already put a 6 pad PCB pattern at several points in the circuit. Where the suggested adjustments in mix level may be needed during final tuneup. The six pads allow a trimpot/preset, .1MTA(for an offboard pot), or a flat mounted single resistor to be chosen in each of these positions.) I'll know more tomorrow as I didn't have all the parts onhand to fuly breadboard and am doing the layout to the published circuit at this point.

Kind regards, Randal
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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Some have asked, questioned and wondered about my seeking permissions for the things I Offer here at e-m.

Here is the exchange between myself and the authors of the Chatterbox project, with email addresses removed for privacy. It is still amazing to me how this new technology allows such quick and complete communication. In years past such permissions could take weeks or months to secure!

Kind regards, Randal

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 07:32:54 -0800 (PST)
From: "Randaleem"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?
To: (email removed for privacy)

Hello Ian,

I have recently become aware of your work on the Chatterbox speech Synthesizer toy, as reproduced in Wireless World magazine.

That was (IS!) a very nice little circuit and project. I'm hopeful of reproducing it for sale.

I am a music synthesizer enthusiast, with recent plans and efforts to offer some things to the synth community commercially. I like to respect the intellectual property of others, so I'm asking for permission to use this circuit and information in the derivation and development of a PCB, kits and perhaps completed units, to be offered to other music synthesizer enthusiasts worldwide.

I have not contacted your co-author of the article. If you have contact information for him, would you mind either sharing it or forwarding this message to him?

Provided that is the necessary thing to do; I have no knowledge of current provenance for this project, and would be most interested in any reply and information you may wish to share.

Thank you in advance, and If this email reaches someone not familiar with the Chatterbox speech synth toy, please accept my apologies. If you know how to contact Mr. Ian H Witten, please forward this to him if possible?

Kind regards, Randal Lee
Citrus Heights CA USA
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CC: "Pete Madams"
From: "Ian Witten"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 09:23:02 +1300
To: "Randaleem"

Wow, this is certainly a blast from the past! The Chatterbox was about three lifetimes ago.

You have my permission to use the circuit and information as you describe, providing you acknowledge our work. Please can you send me a kit or (preferably) a completed unit if you end up making them. I toyed with the idea of asking you to donate a small percentage of the proceeds to a charity for deaf or autistic children (I can't remember whether we mentioned in the article that the Chatterbox was used by a therapist with autistic children), but I've decided to leave that as an idea for you to ponder rather than make it a specific condition of the agreement.

I'm cc'ing this to Pete Madams.

Good luck!
cheers
ian
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Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 23:17:27 -0800 (PST)
From: "Randaleem"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?
To: "Ian Witten"

Hello Again Ian,

Thank you for the quick reply!

I will most certainly acknowledge your work (and that of your colleague) and will also donate 10% of the money received for this project to a suitably-oriented charity. As I'm in the USA, Do you have any specific recipient in mind?

I will also plan to send you at least a PCB and parts kit, and perhaps a completed unit, but that will depend upon reliable sourcing of joysticks. One of the advantages of offering to the Music synth enthusiast communitiy is that one is removed from the requirement to source all parts! (I need only determine that no unobtainium is involved, and secure permissions for IP.)

I've begun to lay out the PCB, and will let you know as things progress. Thank you again!

I've not heard from Pete Madams. Is there any reason to suspect he will not approve within the terms you've expressed? Or am I Okay to move ahead boldly with the project?

Kind regards, Randal
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CC: "Peter and Margaret Madams"
From: "Ian Witten"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 10:15:18 +1300
To: "Randaleem"

>On 27/11/2007, at 8:17 PM, Randaleem wrote:
>Quoted text Ian included from my prior message removed

No, you choose. A US charity is fine; just whatever's easiest. As I said, I'd suggest something for deaf or autistic children but I'm leaving it up to you.

>More Quoted text Ian included from my prior message removed

Go ahead boldly. I'm sure Peter will agree. (won't you Pete? -- I'm cc'ing this to you in the hope that you might get it)

This all sounds very cool!

cheers
ian
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Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 23:43:24 -0800 (PST)
From: "Randaleem"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?(orig art. attached)
To: "Ian Witten"

Thank you Ian (And Pete!)

I'll keep you informed as things progress. BTW, Here's the original article, in case you don't have a copy. For old times sake<G>

Kind regards, Randal
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Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 04:22:09 -0800
From: "Peter Madams"
To: "Ian Witten"
Subject: Re: Permission to offer Chatterbox as PCB, kit and completed module?
CC: "Randaleem"

Hello Ian,

Long time..... Hope all is well with you and yours.

And yes, I approve as well - as you predicted.

Hello Randal,

Yes, you have my approval to move ahead as Ian has indicated. It will be good to see the results of that work become live again. I am living in the San Francisco Bay Area now, just back from a vacation in Hawaii and just saw your notes.

Good Luck,
-PeterM
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krisp14u



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Randal
Put me down for 2 of these PCBs when you get them off the ground

and keep us updated as to the charity you decide to donate to

cheers paul

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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

krisp14u wrote:
Hi Randal
Put me down for 2 of these PCBs when you get them off the ground and keep us updated as to the charity you decide to donate to
cheers paul

Thank you Paul,

As Mr. Madams is very close by, I've asked him to suggest one. I'll let you know.

Kind regards, Randal

Last edited by Randaleem on Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Chatterbox Vowel/Voice PCB
Subject description: A PCB offering based on the Chatterbox by Ian Witten and Peter Madam
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Randaleem wrote:
Finished moving what I could from the other thread. Hopefully Jan can move what I could not; i.e.,The other replies relating to a PCB offer?


I'm sorry, I could have split posts off from the original thread, but I can't merge stuff. Next time please request a split Very Happy

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loss1234



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hey please put me down for one.


this should be a real cool circuit. is it going to be a +/- 15v circuit? or just a single supply ( i am just wondering in case i build it as a purely standalone fun circuit)

thanks

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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

loss1234 wrote:
is it going to be a +/- 15v circuit? or just a single supply ( i am just wondering in case i build it as a purely standalone fun circuit) thanks


Well, my plans are to make a bunch of these up for the nieces and nephews for the holidays to more completely endear me to my siblings! Laughing Shocked . so standalone is definitely in my plans!

But I'm planning to look at using 9V regs or something else on board for those who'd want to use this in their modular. Today I'm getting the parts I didn't have, and then I'll know more about how I'm actually going to deal with the 2 different power supply options; i.e., standalone and modular. Maybe just some component changes in the BOM, or a few resistors as voltage dividers on the PS input. Still working it all out. By tomorrow I'll know.

Kind regards, Randal
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loss1234



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sounds good!

it would be nice to be able to battery power this

i certainly cant wait to get a pcb!

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-------------------------------------------- check out various dan music at: http://www.myspace.com/lossnyc
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Randaleem



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject:
Subject description: sent lightheartred. I know how frustrating troubleshooting can be!
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loss1234 wrote:
it would be nice to be able to battery power this
ROTFLMAO! No mains powered modules right now, eh? Wink Forgive me. But your comment really tickled me. Kind regards, Randal
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loss1234



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yeah ....
i am actually not going to have that new psu till next wednesday so its either back to batteries for a bit or i am TRYING to use the paia midi2cv volts out. (In theory they say you can power a few modules with its 18v+/-outs but its very shaky power)


never the less, i was thinking the other day about how much i miss making simple battery powered circuits occasionally. I think that modulars, while maybe more powerful when you finish, are not quite as light-hearted and fun WHILE you are making them and designing them. whereas circuit bending and things like crackleboxes and chatterboxes are lots of fun (for the whole family Wink


looking forward to this!!!

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RF



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Randall
This looks like a fun project - I'd love to have a board....
Thanks,

bruce
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TheAncientOne



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd like to have a couple of boards. I'm old enough to have built the original, on perfboard, about 2 days after getting the magazine, (it was the best electronics mag in the UK then, now sadly a shadow of it's former self). I think my joystick came from Maplins in those days, (they were more common because of the 'Quadraphonic' sound ideas from that era where they were used as 'balance/locator' controls.

I did quite a lot of playing around with cases before I settled on a layout I liked. A teaching student, working with autistic kids had it later on.

I would really like to have another, but don't have quite the enthusiasm for perfboarding I once had.

I only went and left the original article behind when I moved house 5 years ago. I had to leave a good portion of my tech library due to downsizing. It was great to find it posted.

I don't mind if mine doesn't reach the UK before the Holiday.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Whore that I am.. count me in. =]
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