Rhythmic Robot SpecTalk KONTAKT LemonShare
1980s-style 8-bit computerised speech synthesiser! We can't leave our Sinclair ZX Spectrum alone. Not only can it do awesome drums (see SpecDrum 2000) and print rude messages about your mates on shiny thermal paper, it can also do RO-BOT VOI-CES!
That's right, we got ourselves a Currah MicroSpeech attachment for the Speccie. This
little black plastic box of tricks did for voice synthesis what the SpecDrum did for
drum sampling: that is, slotted it right into the back of your home computer. Once the
MicroSpeech was installed, every key press you made on the Spectrum's boingy rubber keys
was announced through your TV speaker in glorious, robotic monotone. RUN. EN-TER. SPACE.
BREAK. B-B-B-B-BREAK. Being in charge of a talking Spectrum is the next best thing
to piloting the Starship Enterprise. Probably.
SpecTalk gives you weird glitchy sounds, st-st-st-stuttering v-v-vocals, 8-bit nastiness
and û most importantly of all û the ability to roll your own vocal phrases using its
library of phonetic components. These are mapped out over the lower spread of the
keyboard: there's a handy chart of what note corresponds to what sound on the second
pane of the SpecTalk. To make your very own talking computer, circa 1985, just slot these
bits of sound together in your DAW's pattern editor, nudging them up close to each other
so that they form complete words. There you go û an endless selection of personalised
ad-libs, shout-outs, vocal riffs and doom-laden robotic warnings of impending core
breach, right at your fingertips, and all in the utterly unique 1980s tone of the
Currah. As we say in SpecTalk world, "its (ee)z(ee) wuns y(ou) ge(tt) (dth)u ha(ng)
ov it". There are two velocity layers for the phonemes, so you can program unstressed
sounds or stressed sounds (which are slightly higher in pitch). Combining the two will
make your phrases a little less robotic. (But not much. Otherwise what would be the
In any case, you don't have to string your own phonemes together to have fun with
SpecTalk. We took the liberty of building in a whole library of useful words and phrases
in the top octaves, so you can chop those up, splice them together and make stuff up out
of them. There are two octaves' worth of phrases, with higher velocity values granting
access to three further banks, for a total ofà lots. Lots of phrases. Some of them were
suggested via a poll of Rhythmic Robot customers; some of them are, frankly, a bit odd.
(The phrases, not the customers. Though possibly both.) But you can always slice them up
and rearrange them to make them normal if you want. (Again, the phrases, not the... you
That was supposed to be the whole deal, but then Mongo went a bit mental with the coding
and roped in an octave of "drum" sounds in the middle. These are, basically, the
Spectrum "saying" drum noises: Buh. Tssh. Tsss. Kuk. They're weird, they're unusual,
they certainly don't grace any drum libraries that we've come across, and who knows?
They might be just the thing to set your track apart. You could record them, pitch-shift
them in your DAW, glitch them up, stick them through a granular synthesiserà they're
chock full of 8-bit character. You can get some frankly loopy percussion noises out of
the raw phonemes themselves, come to that; think hi-hat patterns made up
of t s t s t s t s...
The sound of SpecTalk is 80s sci-fi in a nutshell. MONO-TONE RO-BOT VOI-CES.
THE COUNT-DOWN IS COMM-EN-CING. RUN EARTH-LINGS RUN. You know the drill. What's cooler
than that? Nothing, that's what, which is why we made it for you.
- Kontakt .nki sampler instrument for Native Instruments Kontakt
- Sampled at full 24-bit
- Requires NI Kontakt version 4.2.3 or later (including Kontakt 5 and above)
- Not compatible with Kontakt Player
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