Software Automatic Mouth

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Software Automatic Mouth
Atari 400/800 cover for Software Automatic Mouth
Original author(s) Mark Barton[1]
Developer(s) Don’t Ask Software
Initial release 1982; 35 years ago (1982)
Platform Apple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit, C64.
Type speech synthesis

Software Automatic Mouth, or SAM, is a speech synthesis program developed and sold by Don’t Ask Software. The program was released for the Apple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit family, and Commodore 64. Prices ranged from about USD$50 to $200.

The Apple version prefers additional hardware that contains DACs, although it can instead use the computer's one-bit audio output (with the addition of much distortion) if the card is not present. The Atari makes use of the embedded POKEY audio chip. Speech playback on the Atari normally disables interrupt requests and shuts down the ANTIC chip during vocal output. The audible output is extremely distorted speech when graphic and text display is turned on. The Commodore 64 makes use of the 64's embedded SID audio chip.

SAM, released in 1982, is 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.


  1. ^ a b It Sure Is Great To Get Out Of That Bag!, Author: Andy Hertzfeld, Date: January 1984,

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