Cepstral Support FAQ

If you do not find answers to your questions please feel free to open a support ticket.

What's new in Cepstral Personal 6?

Cepstral Personal 6 provides dramatic improvements to almost every aspect of our Text to Speech (TTS) voices.

Natural prosody and smart pronunciation

The voices sound more natural because they are more natural. Our R&D lab has found ways to let the natural prosody of the recorded source material shine through, eliminating a host of pronunciation errors with smarter algorithms for selection and text analysis. The Cepstral 6 Synthesis Engine simply produces our best voices yet.

Enhanced audio

All voices have had their audio re-optimized for crystal clear audio. Some voices were enhanced and are now available with higher definition audio (22kHz).

New voices

-- Allison now has 20% more source material, making this favorite even better!

-- Alejandra is a new high quality Americas Spanish voice.

-- Charlie is a youthful US English male voice with personality,

-- The character voices Dallas and Belle are now available for Windows.

Superb OS integration

Cepstral voices are now available anywhere TTS voices can be used on your Mac, supporting OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), and 10.8 (Mountain Lion)!

Cepstral voices continue to work with your favorite apps for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

How do I make a voice louder?

There are two methods for increasing the volume of a voice:

  1. Use an SSML tag to adust the output volume of the voice. This can only be done if you are using Swift on the command line. You can learn more about the volume tag from our SSML Tutorial.
  2. Using the technique described on the SFX page, create a file called 'default.sfx' and save that file in the voice's data directory. Then add the following line to the 'default.sfx' file:

    GAIN 2

    The range can be from 0 to infinity, with 1 being the default. The value is a multiplier.
    "GAIN 2" is twice as loud as default, and "GAIN .5" is half as loud as default. You may have to play with the levels to get it just right, since some voices may pop if the signal becomes too strong.

How do I uninstall voices?

Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs. Select which voice you want to remove, then click the "Remove" button.

How do I customize my voice?

Altering TTS Pronunciation

Pronunciation of specific words can be altered by editing a voice's lexicon. To learn more about editing the lexicon, visit our lexicon tutorial.

Altering TTS Prosody

Each voice is fully customizable in a variety of platforms using easy to implement tags. There are three interfaces that work with Cepstral voices: SSML, Microsoft's SAPI, and Apple's Embedded Speech Commands.
  • Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) provides control of prosody attributes such as rate, volume, and pitch. Additional SSML controls allow the user to insert pauses, switch from one voice to another, and more. Note that SSML only works in applications that access the Cepstral TTS engine directly. To learn more about using SSML with Cepstral TTS, visit our tutorial on SSML.

  • Some applications like those on Microsoft Windows use the Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI). Like SSML, SAPI can be used to alter the prosody of the speech by altering rate, pitch, and volume, among many others.

  • The Apple Macintosh OS X uses Embedded Speech Commands (ESCs) through its Speech Manager interface.

Using Special Effects

A final way to set effects globally (so you can hear them within other applications) is to save the individual parameters in a text file called 'default.sfx' and save that in the voice's data directory.

On Mac OS X, the voice data directory (with David, for example) is typically at:

   /Library/Speech/Voices/David.SpeechVoice/Contents/Resources/default.sfx

On Microsoft Windows, it's typically at:

   C:\Program Files\Cepstral\voices\David\default.sfx

On Linux platforms, it's typically at:

   /opt/swift/voices/David/default.sfx

The voice will automatically use the SFX file when it speaks. If you want to use the sfx files that come with our voices, you can find these in the sfx directory of your voice. Copy these to your default.sfx file to achieve the desired results.

If you're an audiophile and feel comfortable in a virtual rack environment, feel free to use our SpeechFX Rack to create SFX files that Swift can use.

Using SwiftTalker

SwiftTalker is a speaking text editor located in All Programs -> Cepstral -> SwiftTalker.

Any plain text documents on your system can be opened for reading and editing by selecting "Open File" from the "File" menu. To create a blank document, simply select "New" from the "File" menu.

You can control the speech with the buttons found on the toolbar near the bottom of the SwiftTalker window. Use these controls to Play, Pause, and Stop speech. They also allow you to skip forward and backward through text and jump to the beginning and end of the document.

The "Voice" menu allows you to select and configure voices. From the "Configure [voice name]" item on the "Voice" menu, you are able to alter a voice's parameters, including Rate, Pitch, Volume, mono/stereo, and balance left/right, apply Special Effects, and save the voice as a custom alias. Please note that these voice configuration settings and aliases are only available to SwiftTalker. They do not appear in other applications.

Can I share or play Cepstral audio for other people?

An Audio Distribution License is required if you want to play or distribute Cepstral audio files to others or include Cepstral audio files in a product, application, or Powepoint style presentation.

Please, review the EULA that came with your Cepstral products and familiarize yourself with the restrictions on distribution. If you have questions about the usage of Cepstral software or audio please Contact Us

How do I use Cepstral voices in other Windows applications, besides SwiftTalker?

Cepstral voices are SAPI 5 compliant under Windows, so any application which uses SAPI 5 voices can use Cepstral voices.

Depending on the design of the application, Cepstral voices may not show up as an available option, even if the application is SAPI 5 compliant. In this case, contact the application's author for the latest version, and if needed, request Cepstral voice support in their SAPI 5 implementation.

Cepstral voices will show up in the Speech Control Panel when SAPI 5 is installed on your system. From there you can listen to each voice, and select which voice to use as your system default voice.

All current versions of Windows (XP and later) come preloaded with SAPI 5. You can find a SAPI 5 installer on Microsoft's web site.