Voice Messenger

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Voice Messenger
The Currah Speech 64 cartridge
Type: Cartridge
Producer: Currah Technology
Price: 49,95 US$
Released: 1984
Discontinued: 199?
Info: Also available for ZX Spectrum

The Voice Messenger or Speech 64 is a speech synthesizer cartridge for the Commodore 64.


The Voice Messenger cartridge was produced by the company Currah Technology in Boston. In the USA it costed U$49,95. The cartridge has got the General Instruments SP0256-AL2 speech processor. The cartridge has its own memory and does not use the memory of the C64. The cartridge can be used without any special software.

In 1985 the Currah company was taken over by DK'Tronics, which went on selling these cartridges.

[edit] Installation

The cartridge Speech 64 is plug in into the expansion port of a powerlesss C64. The audio plug can be plug in into speakers or devices which have a speaker plug in.

[edit] Manual

The manual is sized 14x14 cm and has 16 pages. It describes the handling of the cartridge in assembler and BASIC.

CURRAH Technology, Boston, USA
CURRAH Computor Components Ltd., Cleveland, UK

Table of content

  1. Setting up the Voice Messenger - Speech 64
  2. Simple words and phrases
  3. Using the allophones directly
  4. Using both voices and intonation
  5. The speech buffer
  6. Using machine code with the unit

Appendix I - Decimal and Hex Codes for the Allophones

Appendix II - An example program

Appendix III - A Description of the Extra Basic Commands for reference purposes

[edit] Programming

For activating the Speech 64 is using the command INIT. It appears this message:


If you push a key, it sounds as speak. By entering the command KOFF are the keys silent.

The command KON [0|1] can toggle beetween lower and higher voice (default is voice 1).

The C64 speaks with the command SAY [0|1] "THE SPEAKING TEXT". Example:


By using special speaking letters you must use the allophone mnemonic: If the computer speaks the word Hawai, so must inputed this:


It can directly used voice 0 or 1:


Single string variables can used, also as array. The manipulation of strings aren't allowed by using the command SAY. The limit of speaking text is 256 chars or allophones.

C$ = "[N(II)NT(EE)N]"

The variable SP% shows by activated Speech 64 the number of free chars (allophones) in the speak buffer. The speak buffe has a limit of 256 chars, too. The variable SP% is useful to avoid a buffer overflow.

The command BYE switch off the Speech 64.

All commands can be used in a BASIC program.

[edit] Links

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