(Topic ID: 261476)

SC-01 speech synthesizer replacement?

By ForceFlow

4 years ago


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    There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 3 years ago

    The prototype is working.
    However I would like to factory calibrate it so that it resembles the original as much as possible.

    Is there anyone that has a Rocky with an original working SC-01 that can record the TILT sound and post it here (or send it over to me by PM)?
    I would also need to know what the R6 pot is set to. Its resistance can be measured across pins 2 and 6 of U21 (the 8 legged IC just above the two gray pots).

    #52 3 years ago

    I got two of these new chips from Albianto. They showed up on my door step from Voghera in just a few days. I tried both chips in a Volcano and a Black Hole. They work great! The voice sounds perfect to me! So much better to have the games speak! Thank you so much for your hard work on this project Albianto. It’s great to have a modern alternative for this obsolete chip. Thank you!!

    2 weeks later
    #53 3 years ago
    Quoted from albianto:

    The prototype is working.
    However I would like to factory calibrate it so that it resembles the original as much as possible.
    Is there anyone that has a Rocky with an original working SC-01 that can record the TILT sound and post it here (or send it over to me by PM)?
    I would also need to know what the R6 pot is set to. Its resistance can be measured across pins 2 and 6 of U21 (the 8 legged IC just above the two gray pots).

    I sent the files by email and from your answer, I see that the project is progressing well to take into account the frequency variations.
    R6 is adjusted to 5.4 KΩ to produce a basic frequency of 720 KHz (for a medium setting of $7F on the 1408 - smaller value decrease frequency, while highter increase).

    As we have discussed, the Rocky is not the right candidate as the TILT sounds are produced by the standard tone generator and not by the SC-01. It is however used in the Q*Bert's Quest and in the Volcano.

    I made it difficult for myself to redo the samples for the Volcano, while a ready-made example was available on our site
    Indeed, several years ago, when we created the ROMs for Critical Mass, the sound of the TILT is exactly the same as that of the Volcano, with a variation of the frequency.

    It was enough to give the link to this page, where the sample can be played: https://www.flipprojets.fr/Criticalmass_EN.php

    #54 3 years ago

    Thank you so much again.
    I used those settings to test my replacement board.
    However they seem a bit different to the values I expected.
    I had previously bench tested the emulator and set the 720khz frequency using the resistor and capacitor values from the datasheet.

    Setting my pot to 5.4k produces a totally different frequency. Maybe it's wildly different from board to board to compensate for differences between components on the board.
    Can somebody else measure the value of their pot (as I described above)?

    Just to make sure the value is pretty much in that ballpark.

    2 months later
    #55 2 years ago

    Hi, I have read with interest the comments about the SC01A synthesizer chip. I used to use these in a talking scientific calculator I designed a number of years ago. I was amazed to hear this chip had been used in many diverse devices. I happen to be doing some work with DCC model trains and the possibility of adding speech and sounds cheaply. I found a synthesizer chip from Speakjet which sounds remarkably like the SC01A and currently available at around £28.

    #56 2 years ago
    Quoted from flooby47:

    Hi, I have read with interest the comments about the SC01A synthesizer chip. I used to use these in a talking scientific calculator I designed a number of years ago. I was amazed to hear this chip had been used in many diverse devices. I happen to be doing some work with DCC model trains and the possibility of adding speech and sounds cheaply. I found a synthesizer chip from Speakjet which sounds remarkably like the SC01A and currently available at around £28.

    Unfortunately, the speechjet chip is not a drop-in replacement for the SC-01.

    Someone did comment a while back about adapting a speechjet to emulate an SC-01, but I'm not sure if there was enough detail to actually build something:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vortex-sc01-voice-chip#post-5901354

    #57 2 years ago
    Quoted from flooby47:

    Hi, I have read with interest the comments about the SC01A synthesizer chip. I used to use these in a talking scientific calculator I designed a number of years ago. I was amazed to hear this chip had been used in many diverse devices. I happen to be doing some work with DCC model trains and the possibility of adding speech and sounds cheaply. I found a synthesizer chip from Speakjet which sounds remarkably like the SC01A and currently available at around £28.

    The SpeakJet does sound very similar. Back in 2007 there was a project I wrote about and published in SERVO magazine. I used the SpeakJet and a small microcontroller to proxy all the signals and do the appropriate translation since the phonemes aren't the same. Plugged right into the SC-01A socket. At the time there were still SC-01A chips out there so it didn't make sense to shrink it down but I always considered that option since I have smaller surface mount versions of all the parts. You can find the article online here:

    https://www.robotworkshop.com/robotweb/wp-content/uploads/servo200712_HERO_Speech_translator.pdf

    #58 2 years ago

    I am going to revisit the project that I had in the article and finally shrink it down to a small module. Just waiting on some of the microcontrollers so I don't have to redo all the code for it.

    #59 2 years ago

    Small update: voice pitch support is complete.
    Needs testing on different machines but I'm confident it's gonna be a good improvement with respect to the previous board (especially on machines that make heavy use of it).
    Unfortunately I'm having some microcontroller supply issues due to the current chip shortage so the availability of the board will be limited in the next few months.
    Also waiting on feedback from a Gorf owner since the new version of the board should be compatible with it too.

    #60 2 years ago

    Forgot to mention that I also included a fallback setting to use the internal clock (as before) if the circuitry on the sound card related to voice pitch is broken.

    1 month later
    #61 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Unfortunately, the speechjet chip is not a drop-in replacement for the SC-01.

    I am the creator of the Speakjet. (Me and another guy named Jeff)

    The reason that the Speakjet sounds similar to the Votrax is because we based the functionality of it on the Votrax.
    However, we wanted the voice to be more understandable so we based the vocal data on Jeff's voice instead of the Votrax voice.
    That being said, we can always change it.
    So ... Is there any interest in making it a pin for pin drop in replacement for Votrax?
    Is it worth taking the time to do?

    #62 2 years ago
    Quoted from SMSavage32:

    I am the creator of the Speakjet. (Me and another guy named Jeff)
    The reason that the Speakjet sounds similar to the Votrax is because we based the functionality of it on the Votrax.
    However, we wanted the voice to be more understandable so we based the vocal data on Jeff's voice instead of the Votrax voice.
    That being said, we can always change it.
    So ... Is there any interest in making it a pin for pin drop in replacement for Votrax?
    Is it worth taking the time to do?

    Yes...the original sc-01 chip is now completely and entirely unavailable. All the known stockpiles are gone.

    Having a new drop-in replacement would be great

    #63 2 years ago
    Quoted from SMSavage32:

    I am the creator of the Speakjet. (Me and another guy named Jeff)
    The reason that the Speakjet sounds similar to the Votrax is because we based the functionality of it on the Votrax.
    However, we wanted the voice to be more understandable so we based the vocal data on Jeff's voice instead of the Votrax voice.
    That being said, we can always change it.
    So ... Is there any interest in making it a pin for pin drop in replacement for Votrax?
    Is it worth taking the time to do?

    Hello Scott, I used the Speakjet to create a drop in replacement that was in SERVO magazine years ago. Back then I had intended to use the surface mount version of the Speakjet to make a small drop in replacement hybrid module but put it on the shelf since SC-01a chips were already around. I had worked out all the handshaking signals but a new version of the Speakjet could incorporate that and eliminate the need for a separate microcontroller like the SX28 that I used for the translation.

    #64 2 years ago
    Quoted from SMSavage32:

    So ... Is there any interest in making it a pin for pin drop in replacement for Votrax?
    Is it worth taking the time to do?

    It would be a wonderful solution. I can answer the "worth it" question for you.
    I recently developed an SC-01 emulator (as you may have read in this thread). So far I've sold a couple dozen units and demand seems to have reduced considerably.
    I'm not sure if it'll come back up as more techs reach the end of their personal stock of original working units but I thought there was a lot more demand that there really is.

    #65 2 years ago
    Quoted from albianto:

    I thought there was a lot more demand that there really is.

    We thought there would be more demand for voice chips in general when we made the SpeakJet as well.
    We were disappointed.

    But now that old robot sound might be considered retro.

    #66 2 years ago
    Quoted from Robotworkshop:

    a new version of the Speakjet could...

    There are a LOT of new capabilities available that didn't exist back when we first made the SpeakJet.
    For one, the SpeakJet does audio out via a PWM out which has to be filtered. Now it is going to have a Analog out.

    #67 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    All the known stockpiles are gone.

    Yeah... I have noticed the prices on eBay have gone through the roof.

    #68 2 years ago

    Okay ... next question. Does anyone have a QBert machine that can also provide us some technical details. Specifically, the falling of the grid sound. This doesn't sound like something a base line Votrax can do. A schematic would help nail down some details.

    #69 2 years ago
    Quoted from albianto:

    It would be a wonderful solution. I can answer the "worth it" question for you.
    I recently developed an SC-01 emulator (as you may have read in this thread). So far I've sold a couple dozen units and demand seems to have reduced considerably.
    I'm not sure if it'll come back up as more techs reach the end of their personal stock of original working units but I thought there was a lot more demand that there really is.

    I'm looking to pickup two chips for spares, hopefully Black Hole will be coming home is several weeks.

    #70 2 years ago
    Quoted from SMSavage32:

    Okay ... next question. Does anyone have a QBert machine that can also provide us some technical details. Specifically, the falling of the grid sound. This doesn't sound like something a base line Votrax can do. A schematic would help nail down some details.

    daudioguy

    This whole talk is worth watching but here is the relevant section about QBert sounds:

    #71 2 years ago

    Wonderful and insightful video, thank you for sharing

    #72 2 years ago

    A SC-01 data sheet from 1980 can be found at https://www.redcedar.com/sc01/sc01.pdf

    There have been several bankruptcies, mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs since the chip was created. I have no idea who the current IP rights holder is, or if they are active like "Gottlieb". Pinsider staff can decide to attach a copy of the pdf here to preserve it, should the above website go away in the future.

    #73 2 years ago
    Quoted from SMSavage32:

    Okay ... next question. Does anyone have a QBert machine that can also provide us some technical details. Specifically, the falling of the grid sound. This doesn't sound like something a base line Votrax can do. A schematic would help nail down some details.

    Also, what about Gottliebs Reactor?

    #74 2 years ago
    Quoted from albianto:

    It would be a wonderful solution. I can answer the "worth it" question for you.
    I recently developed an SC-01 emulator (as you may have read in this thread). So far I've sold a couple dozen units and demand seems to have reduced considerably.
    I'm not sure if it'll come back up as more techs reach the end of their personal stock of original working units but I thought there was a lot more demand that there really is.

    I think you'll get some demand from Gorf owners once it's been confirmed to work properly and it gets posted to some Gorf groups and arcade forums.

    #75 2 years ago

    Alright ... Jeff and I have decided to go ahead with the Votrax Drop In Replacement.

    #77 2 years ago
    Quoted from girloveswaffles:

    what about Gottliebs Reactor?

    Since this will be a drop in replacement chip, every game should work.

    #78 2 years ago
    Quoted from mdeslaur:

    I think you'll get some demand from Gorf owners once it's been confirmed to work properly and it gets posted to some Gorf groups and arcade forums.

    I’m in the process of doing that right now. I’ll keep you posted.

    4 weeks later
    #79 2 years ago
    Quoted from albianto:

    ... but I thought there was a lot more demand that there really is.

    For one thing I did not even know about this product but for accidentally seeing this discussion a couple days ago. If you're not effectively getting this news out to thousands of Gottlieb owners, then "demand" is going to be perceived inaccurately. Where is this being sold or advertised outside of this Pinside thread? (your website is not yet showing up in Google searches for SC-01 replacements)

    I imagine that true demand for your product would exceed whatever demand already exists for Gottlieb replacement MPUs, Drivers, S & S boards, which are already much more expensive than this. Many people have no choice but to get a whole brand new sound & speech board when their SC-01 goes bad; surely these same people would rather spend less and just replace the chip with yours.

    I greatly appreciate the efforts and encourage you to stick with this. A giant marketplace for new/used Gottlieb parts, like eBay, might be a great place to sell a bunch while getting the word out to many more people. Or maybe contact a huge Gottlieb parts dealer like PBR and work out an arrangement to sell through them?

    I have two questions:

    • Will this work in place of either SC-01 or SC-01-A ? I was confused by earlier comments whether these two chips were interchangeable.
    • Is the variable frequency issue fully resolved?

    Thank you!

    #80 2 years ago
    Quoted from sparky672:

    • Will this work in place of either SC-01 or SC-01-A ? I was confused about earlier comments and whether these two chips were interchangeable.

    They are interchangeable, the differences in output between the two are subtle. There is a great page on the 'net that discusses the SC-01/A in some depth that is worth reading.

    #81 2 years ago
    Quoted from sparky672:

    • Will this work in place of either SC-01 or SC-01-A ? I was confused by earlier comments whether these two chips were interchangeable.

    The SC-01 and the SC-01-A are the same circuit, 100% compatible. In fact, the SC-01-A is the corrected version of the SC-01 that VOTRAX released very quickly after seeing an error in the first version.

    Here is the story: VOTRAX developed its phoneme speech synthesis circuit, initially on a card system called ML-1. The synthesis is carried out by a set of oscillators and filters, which are sequenced by a small internal ROM.
    The whole thing was then integrated into a single circuit, the SC-01. It was used on the first MARS GOW. But very quickly, they noticed that the voice was very metallic and that there was probably a flaw in the chip.
    Indeed, there was a coding error in the small internal ROM and VOTRAX corrected this and quickly released the SC-01-A, which is strictly identical to the SC-01, except for the contents of the internal ROM.

    As the SC-01 had already been produced and sold, they simply continued production with the SC-01-A. Also, we found MARS, but also VOLCANO and BLACK-HOLE, sometimes with SC-01-A, but sometimes SC-01 which remained in the stocks.

    Since SC-01 was produced for a very short time, it is even rarer than SC-01-A. That said, the quality of the voice produced is less good than that of the SC-01-A, it is much more metallic. To choose, it is better to have an SC-01-A.

    Emulations like VpinMame, use a ROM dump from an SC-01-A. To my knowledge, no one has dumped the "bugged" ROM of an SC-01.

    #82 2 years ago

    The emulator has SC-01-A like functionality. Thanks to Pascal, i got my hands on an original working SC-01.
    Over the last few months I’ve fixed the variable frequency issue.
    I’ll upload a video of the descending TILT TILT TILT sound so that you can also hear it.
    I’ve also improved the sound output quality, to have more Mid an High and less Bass. It is now much more similar to what an original SC-01 produces.
    I’ve been plagued by the ongoing semiconductor shortage but I should have a significant stock available soon. I’m also in contact with a US parts reseller that will also have units available for purchase.
    Also, you cannot get a new replacement sound card that does speech if your SC-01 is not working. They require it as far as I know.

    #83 2 years ago

    @albianto, thanks for your work on this. I just watched Sean’s (classics arcade repair) video test on a wizard of wor yesterday. This is such a great thing you’re doing here.

    #84 2 years ago

    Thank you for posting this here.
    It is great to know that it works fine on those boards sets as well, since I do not have access to one of those myself.
    I also got the recordings from Sean and I’ll try to compensate that small pitch offset he noticed.

    1 week later
    #85 2 years ago

    keep up the good work, Alberto!

    4 weeks later
    #86 2 years ago

    Wow, I have the feeling I've been living under a rock... This (the existence of a SC01 replacement) is completely new for me! Amazing work, @albianto!

    Also, you have a PM.

    #88 2 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the support and for sharing info here.

    1 year later
    #89 1 year ago

    Interesting video on q-bert voices, and a pre-announcement for an upcoming drop-in replacement SC-01 chip


    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    Speech chip tester:

    ebay.com/sch/i.html?_dkr=1&iconV2Request=true&_blrs=recall_filtering&_ssn=smsavage&store_cat=0&store_name=yourstuffcentral&_oac=1&_nkw=speech

    #90 1 year ago

    That would be good news.
    I own a volcano and would buy one as a spare

    #91 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballAir:

    That would be good news.
    I own a volcano and would buy one as a spare

    I do too and might too.

    While I think the entire video is worth watching, if you're not into the nuts & bolts of speech chips, Arduino programming, or Q*bert, here's the announcement queued up at 01:49

    It's been 4 months since this video, so hopefully something is coming soon.

    #92 1 year ago

    I bought one of the existing emulator chips for my Black Hole and it worked great. It is pricey though at $100. Haven’t watched the video, is this new thing significantly cheaper?

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from play_pinball:

    I bought one of the existing emulator chips for my Black Hole and it worked great. It is pricey though at $100. Haven’t watched the video, is this new thing significantly cheaper?

    I posted a link of the video all queued up to the chip announcement; it is literally only 14 seconds long. Nothing about a release date or price, but Scott Savage, the YouTube guy, is selling an original SC-01 chip on eBay right now for $299.

    #94 1 year ago
    Quoted from sparky672:

    Nothing about a release date or price

    I did a cursory search when I first saw the video, but didn't find any announcements or discussions posted about it anywhere else.

    #95 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Interesting video on q-bert voices, and a pre-announcement for an upcoming drop-in replacement SC-01 chip

    Scott Savage in that video has a pinside account SMSavage32 and posted about taking on this project above if you scroll up to post #75
    He hasn't been here for 8 months but hopefully he'll return once it's complete with details.

    #96 1 year ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Scott Savage in that video has a pinside account SMSavage32 and posted about taking on this project above if you scroll up to post #75
    He hasn't been here for 8 months but hopefully he'll return once it's complete with details.

    He is working to tweak the voice to his satisfaction, I reached out to him this morning.

    #97 1 year ago

    Again, all good news.
    Thanks for posting

    #98 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballAir:

    Volcano speech: ... Send me a sacrifice ...

    "Throw me a sacrifice"

    Also, "It's gonna blow" (ball enters crater) and "OOOooo" (when game is slammed)

    #99 1 year ago

    I have a stash of NOS SC-01 chips if someone wants the real deal.
    PM me if interested.

    Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
    Http://chrishiblerpinball.com/contact
    Thank you for checking out the PinWiki - http://www.PinWiki.com/

    1 year later
    #100 2 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Interesting video on q-bert voices, and a pre-announcement for an upcoming drop-in replacement SC-01 chip

    [quoted image]
    Speech chip tester:
    ebay.com/sch/i.html?_dkr=1&iconV2Request=true&_blrs=recall_filtering&_ssn=smsavage&store_cat=0&store_name=yourstuffcentral&_oac=1&_nkw=speech

    It looks like the chip SC-01-Z drop-in clone chip is available:

    ebay.com link: itm

    eBay user: Scott Savage techo scavenger

    ebay.com link: str

    There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.

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