Software Automatic Mouth

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Atari 400/800 cover for Software Automatic Mouth

Software Automatic Mouth, or SAM, was a speech synthesis program for the early personal computers; developed and sold by Don’t Ask Software. The program was available for non-Macintosh Apple computers (including the Apple II, and the Lisa), various Atari models and the Commodore 64. Prices ranged from about USD$50 to $200. The Apple version preferred additional hardware that contained DACs, although it could instead use the computer's one-bit audio output (with the addition of much distortion) if the card was not present. The Atari made use of the embedded POKEY audio chip. Speech playback on the Atari normally disabled interrupt requests and shut down the ANTIC chip during vocal output. The audible output is extremely distorted speech when the screen is on. The Commodore 64 made use of the 64's embedded SID audio chip.

SAM, released in 1982, was the first commercial all-software voice synthesis program. It was later used as the basis for Macintalk.[1]

SAM was featured in the online game Peasant's Quest, a parody of 1980s adventure games from Homestar Runner, where it was used to produce the speech of the ending boss Trogdor.


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