Software Automatic Mouth

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Software Automatic Mouth
Original author(s)Mark Barton[1]
Developer(s)Don’t Ask Software
Initial release1982; 42 years ago (1982)
PlatformApple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.
TypeSpeech synthesis
A demo of SAM on the 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 computers, Apple II, and Commodore 64. Released in 1982, it was one of the first commercial all-software voice-synthesis programs.[citation needed]

Don't Ask Software also sold PokerSAM, a poker game with speech,[2] and also licensed out the S.A.M. engine for use with other games, such as Tales of the Arabian Nights for the Commodore 64.


The Apple version uses an included expansion card which contains an 8-bit DAC, although hackers 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


S.A.M. was used as the basis for the original MacInTalk speech synthesis software.[1]

The technology was recreated for the voice of the character of "SAM" in the software Chipspeech.[3]

S.A.M. was used to create the voice of Trogdor in the Homestar Runner game Peasant's Quest.[4]

S.A.M. was used to create the voices of characters in the 2017 game Faith: The Unholy Trinity.[5]

S.A.M. was used to create the voice of the main character in the 2024 game Cash Cow DX.


  1. ^ a b It Sure Is Great To Get Out Of That Bag!, Author: Andy Hertzfeld, Date: January 1984,
  2. ^ "PokerSAM". Atari Mania.
  3. ^ link
  4. ^ "Trogdor - Homestar Runner Wiki". Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  5. ^ "FAITH - Edition by Airdorf".

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