Software Automatic Mouth
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Atari cover for Software Automatic Mouth
|Original author(s)||Mark Barton|
|Developer(s)||Don’t Ask Software|
|Platform||Apple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit, C64.|
Software Automatic Mouth, or S.A.M. (sometimes abbreviated as SAM), is a speech synthesis program developed by Mark Barton and sold by Don’t Ask Software. The program was released for the Atari 8-bit family, Apple II, and Commodore 64. Released in 1982, it was one of the first commercial all-software voice-synthesis programs.
The Apple version uses an included expansion card which contains an 8-bit DAC, although pirates created a modified version of S.A.M. which can instead use the computer's one-bit audio output (with the addition of much distortion) if the card is not present. The Atari version 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's 4-bit volume DAC, reducing its quality significantly vs the Apple and Atari versions.