We need a speaker who has time to come to OGI for several hours a week over an extended period of time. The first task is to record a long list of short meaningless sentences (of the form "say pedet again") to create what we call a diphone database that will be used in our speech synthesis system. Speech synthesis is the conversion of text to speech by a computer. The diphone database is a set of approximately 3300 diphones that cover all possible transitions from one sound to the next in English. These sentences have to be read out slow and monotonous, making it quite time-consuming. The recordings are made at OGI in a sound-proof booth. The material to be read is presented on a computer monitor and the recordings involve both a microphone and a "laryngograph", a little strap around the neck to monitor vocal chord vibration. The second task will be to extend this database with approximately 3000 diphones that are recorded spoken with different types of intonation.
In October we start a new project funded by the National Science Foundation that aims at creating expressive speech synthesis that can be used to read children's stories and other types of text to children with learning disabilities. Right now, only very boring-sounding synthesis is available for that. In order to study the intonation of a storyteller we need to record several stories. It is not yet certain how much time this will take. After that we may require the speaker to come back for more recordings, but it will be on a stand-by basis.
The material to be recorded ranges from sections of children's' stories to, again, short meaningless sentences (e.g., "say pedet again") that are used to create an artificial voice.
Payment will be $25 per hour.
If you meet these criteria and would like to make some money, make a recording of your voice reading out the text below. Use any recording format, but a cassette tape or a computer sound file (.wav format) is preferred. Send the recording along with a signed release form (download MS word, Adobe pdf, Postscript) to:
OGI School of Science and Engineering
20000 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, OR 97006
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call: 503 748 3005
Don't forget to include your name, address and contact phone or email address.
Read the following fragment very lively, as if you are reading to an audience of children:
Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy,
Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.
'Now, my dears,' said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, 'you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden:
your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.
'Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out.'
Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's.
She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries:
But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate!
First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes;
And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.