Primordial computer voices sought

Lazyweb, I need text-to-speech into the voices used to announce BART trains, which are Lucent / Bell Labs "John" and "Grace", from the mid 1990s. They sound like this. This is for purposes of Important Comedy.

If you can't find either of those precise voices, can you find something pretty close?

Previously, previously.

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17 Responses:

  1. J. T. Foote says:

    I know they say Lucent but it really sounds like DECTALK to me. Here it is for MAME, works for me:

  2. Jered says:

    1) Definitely not DECtalk. Have a friend in college who used a DECtalk with his laptop. Different voice. It is Bell Labs.

    2) Until the internet bitrotted away they had a functional site that would have let George and Gracie say whatever you want, but it's dead now. (Thanks, Nokia!) But it has a contact for inquiries, Michael Tanenblatt, and if he is a True Geek he would be happy to hear from you. Here's his (ugh) LinkedIn:

  3. Anonymous says:

    which are Lucent / Bell Labs "John" and "Grace",

    John and Grace? They're George and Gracie, you uncultured lout! Though the computer voices sound like whales, they even did the bit!

    • jwz says:

      Not according to the linked article. John and Grace were the original voice names. BART renamed them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very well, I should've read the article instead of just listening to the recording (where they introduce themselves under their BART names). I retract my comment.

  4. atporter says:

    I think this is the modern evolution of the Labs TTS SDK, but they seem to have dropped or renamed George & Gracie

  5. thielges says:

    Sounds like the output from the federal screw works voice synthesis chip. I think they went defunct in the early 80s but maybe someone bought their IP and sells a similar part.

  6. oranchak says:

    I just tried to install but some failed Visual C++ dependency kept it from working on my version of windows.

  7. megabyte says:

    Bell Labs had created SABLE which was an XML markup language for synthesis. Perhaps Festival (which has SABLE support) might lead to clues? Clearly Bell Labs/Lucent collaborated with CMU (

    Lastly a demo of "Festival Lite":

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