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  1. #1
    Master Downunder35m's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Post How to modify Tomtoms LoquendoTTS voices to say what you want

    First my apologies for taking so long to create this and for being complicated, but it is a hard probelm with TT's....
    In this posting I will update on
    a) how to modify the crippled TT LoquendoTTS V7 voices to conform to Loquendo standards
    b) how to modify certain words and phrases with the use of the working Loquendo engine

    Important : I only tested on a 9.400 Navcore with the 885.4021 version of the Australia map, 880 and earlier maps will not work properly with this voice!
    Your map must support british english and should be a 4021 version.
    If you try a different version than 4021 make sure it contains a cphoneme.dat (all maps with CS SPEECH) and to post your results.

    History of the making

    Everyone know that a TT, compared to other devices, has a big problem with pronounciations.
    Some say it is fine, other say it is so bad that can't even guess what comes out of the speaker.
    I tried many times with more or less success to modify a voice so that it is able to pronounce the australian names correctly and to change some annoying words that simply noone uses in Australia.
    After weeks of trail and error tests I was getting close in terms of changing some words and in improving the pronounciation.
    The big problem was a complete lack of information, not only for the Loquendo engine used on TT's but also for the changes TT made to the standards Loquendo uses.
    This is one reason to create this tutorial
    One of the biggest issues was finding all the files and filenames needed for a complete Loquendo voice and the corresponding language settings.
    No other system can be compared to a TT and most files that work fine other devices won't be accepted on a TT.

    Tomtom's LoquendoTTS system (only for V7!)
    If you played with Loquendo voices you might have noticed that you need a so called distribution and at least one voice to make it work.
    Windows already has support for it, Igo uses it too and you get various programs using the LoquendoTTS system to speak.
    Apart from very costly solutions no Loquendo voice comes with the corresponding lexcions or definitions other than for the voice itself.
    You get no localisation, no dialect, not even a dictionary to define abbrevasions yourself.
    Loq (to make it shorter) is very expensive compared to other systems but the most expensive part is defining a voice for regional differences.
    You can find readers that use a welsh dialect and others that offer support for for different reading languages with the same voice.
    Tomtom however goes the easy and cheaper way by using a phoneme definition inside the map folder - the file is cphoneme.dat.
    In this file you should find all words and abbrevasions that differ from the pronounciation used in the default voice for that language.
    This explains why instructions from a french map sound terrible if a german computer voice is used.

    In old and IMHO wrong tutorials you will always find that deleting the cphoneme.dat can help a lot with the pronounciation.
    Now I understand how some users got the idea of it:
    If the file is gone the TT uses only what the computer voice has included and no changes from TT.
    The only reason to that would be if you can provide all the needed phonetic translations for words that are not included in the selected language, same for changes like from "Motorway" to "Highway".
    And that is exactly where everyone was thinking wrong!
    The cphoneme.dat is not only bound to the languages supported by the map but more importantly to the Loquendo engine as well!
    To explain the error I has to go a bit deeper...
    It all started with normal voices (recorded), followed by the Vocalizer voices and than finally the Loquendo voices.
    Most people know that a TT uses the V7 voices, but barely anyone knows that there are also V6, V6.5, V6.7, V7.1 and V7.3 or V7.9 (only android) voice made by TT.
    Now I know that using the wrong Loquendo engine on your TT will cause problems with the cphoneme.dat!
    What I mean is that even if the cphoneme.dat corrects some problems userchanges will cause instructions to be completely messed up like "Smith Street" becomes "Smith circle" for example.
    But!! If the correct Loquendo version and voice for the map and Navcore is used there is no messing up of instructions!

    I never thought about it too much as all of them worked more or less good on my TT.
    Until the new 9.400 Navcore arrived....
    Home refuses to offer me any Computer voices, except the German - and that is with english language and voice settings as well as an australian map!
    I started digging and found some minor differences in the libraries of the 9.400 which made me thinking that it could be related to the available voices in Home.
    Tested with an older Navcore and Home offers much more voices, but not as much as I got about 2 years ago.
    Assuming that the offered voices for the 9.400 are indeed updates for the current V6.9 voices I adopted the new voice system from Windows, Android and IGO (thanks to Chas521 for the input on the way!).

    What does that mean in noob terms?
    Well a standard voice for your TT has about 30 files, not including the files for the libraries and Loquendo support for the TT itself.
    I have not counted but in my release you'll find far over 100 files, all done by try and error....

    The Kate in my release is a mix from V6.5 files to V7.5 files but the engine now supports all features according to Loquendo V7.3/V7.5 standards.
    Great!! but I don't understand a word you're saying
    Overview of TT's Loq engines (best to my knowledge):
    V6.5 : only very basic support and almost no user changes possible
    V6.9 : many changes possible, but problems with the cphoneme in current maps
    V7.1 : added support for different pronounciation rules, still problems with cphoneme (at least for AU)
    V7.3 : added support almost any Loquendo definition (but not with the same file/rule hirachy) that includes emotions to support a better "feel" of the voice. Main target are voice readers and the upcoming replacement for Ebooks. Why read if you can listen to your book?...

    You see where I'm getting?
    Until now it was impossible to create a proper localized voice on a TT.
    At least my TT has now a fully functional Loq engine with the possibilty to change certain things for the sound output.
    I could not override the names for places, streets and so on as defined inside the cphoneme.dat, but I could modify the engine for a perfect fit

    How to modify the voice

    Still to come and since I have to be very specifiy to avoid you having the same problems as I did, I will wait with it until necessary.
    In the mean time feel free to check the files - always use a Unix capable Editor like Notepad++ for the work on the files.

    How to create a working voice for other languages

    I can't give a simple and easy to follow tutorial for that quest.
    Why you ask?
    1. I have not checked what other voices in the correct version are avaiable for the use on a TT - If you check the bin files inside the folder for the voice you know what I mean. Except for the voicename the rest of the filename must be a match to the ones used in my release.
    If anyone has a collection of the original TT V7 voices (.cab) please upload.
    2. You need the lexicon files (.lex) for the default language and the language used (they are the same but have different filesnames) please check the "EnglishGb*" and "defaultEnglishGb*" files for reference.
    If no working lexicons are available you can create your own by mofifying mine. As an example change Roundabout to Traffic Circle.
    3. Except for english and german I would not be able to tell what is wrong or right, and only for australia I can be fairly to sure I know how something is pronounced or what bridge names have changed

    I know it sounds hard, but you already got a template, all I had to start was misleading infos and missing/incorrect files.
    I had a piece of paper and a pen as I wanted to see how many reboots my TT has to make until I solved all errors (only for the install, not errors/changes for instructions) or until I had to give up again.
    While uploading I started to count, one dot for each start of the TT.
    Stopped counting at 287 as I had to go to the toile urgently - that was about half way through the dots. So stop the time it takes your TT to reboot, prepare and simulate a route and to check if your changes are noticable. I think you will agree that I've spent far too many hours on this project...
    In case you want to create a voice I suggest to start from scratch, meaning with only the voice from the CAB file installed.
    You need the folders "lib" and "bin" on your TT, the are only included in original TT voices and each voice has it's own set.
    If you get the voice working (should not be a problem) you can start to add the language support files and lexicons.
    Do yourself a favour and activate the logging, this you can check the error log for the file that's currently making problems, fix it and move on to the next problem.
    Again : it is basically just a matter of adjusting the paths and names inside the definition files (*.lde *.vde *.ycf *.lcf) and exchanging the lexicon files. The database files should be matching too, you might find suitable *.dbl *.gpr and *.phd files in the IGO voice section, but you have to check yourself.
    You won't be able to get rid of errors in relation to reading styles other than the language you use and for the default version of it. Like Teleatlas for the AU maps. But if done correctly the cphoneme is used and the actual voice output always uses the default, not the one forced by the map.
    Also from time to time an error in regards to the eng;.lcf pops up - you can ignore it as it does not affect anything.
    And never work on more than one definition file at a time, always delete the log files and restart the TT to check for changes/problems.
    If the voice worked after the initial install with only the files from the CAB than it will work again once you have all the definitions right and the corresponding files in the right places.

    Download of the new V7.3 Kate and instructions

    Still to come - ok, only joking this time....

    Please read the following carefully, completely and at least twice before installing the voice!

    Before you start make sure you use a 885 map that matches what I say.
    Before you install the new Kate test the instructions and pronounciations with you current computer voice!!
    Now install the new Kate and compare.

    1. make a complete backup of your existing LoquendoTTS folder
    2. check that use English UK for the menu language on your TT and that your map actually supports the british english voice! It makes no sense at this stage to try the voice in other setups. If there is enough interest and help through feedback from users I will create a US version for Susan at a later stage. Final goal would be to complete all V7 voices for TT with all their regional differences.
    3. check if your backup is complete - you can skip that if you have a working full backup of your device
    4. delete the folder LoquendoTTS - if you have a device with internal and SD memory you should do your testing on the internal memory without a SD present to prevent interference with the settings
    5. unpack the archive for the new voice to the root of your device - all folders will be created
    6. to make sure testing and checking is possible I activated the Error and event logs for the Loq engine.
    The log are located inside the folder LoquendoTTS and have the name !Error.txt and !Log.txt
    !Log.txt shows how the engine works and how the actual output of a word is created - must have to find problems
    !Error.txt show all problems from the engine. This includes missing/incorrect files, version conflicts, double entries in lexicons and some other stuff.
    I could not reduce the error rate to zero due to a few non-conforming things between TT's and Loquendo's view of definitions.
    Also it was impossible to create the defaults for the Teleatlas pronounciation rules which causes a constant flow of errors if a pronounciation from the cphoneme.dat is used.
    But I was able to override this setting so that the same pronounciation is used together with the default rules of pronounciation.
    To prevent your device from running out of free disk space within a few hours of use I highly recommend to change the following lines inside the file default7.session , located in the folder LoquendoTTS :
    "LogFile" = "/mnt/sdcard/LoquendoTTS/!Error.txt"
    "TraceFile" = "/mnt/sdcard/LoquendoTTS/!Trace.txt"

    ;"LogFile" = "/mnt/sdcard/LoquendoTTS/!Error.txt"
    ;"TraceFile" = "/mnt/sdcard/LoquendoTTS/!Trace.txt"

    Note the ; at the beginning of the line - this will disable all logging.
    Password for all is:
    7. Disconnect and start your TT
    8. if you post that your device runs too slow or has a long pause between some intructions or even freezes:
    I will delete you posting as I have to assume you did not follow step 6! Same for questions about the password or how to download.
    Please help to keep this thread nice and clean!

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    How to test this voice and post your feedback - please read and follow
    To avoid uneccessary postings with useless informations please follow this procedure to avoid timeconsuming questions and problems:
    1. install a suitable 885 map if not already on your device - if using several maps make sure the right one selected
    2. test the instructions and pronounciations, compare the last to your original voice setup. If you find wrong street types let me know.
    3. first steps with new Kate:
    I assume you use NC 9.400 or something similar out of the V9 range...
    Click on the left pane to check the volume and if the voice if working - Delete any active or planned routes first.
    You would hear "Starting Demo" with my map and a normal voice - check what you have now!
    Prepare and simulate a route were you know you had pronounciations problems with previous map releases.
    Check if all instructions are correct and if the pronounciation of the problem words are corrected (or better than before).
    Enjoy the new arrival note and don't forget to disable logging inside the defualt7.session

    Your feedback is welcome and your help for testing and improving is needed!
    Thanks for help and support.

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
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    May 2012
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    I hope this is not unappropriate place to post this bu can I use loquendo computer voices on a tomtom xl please? The computer voice option is greyed out. I upgraded to Navcore 9.01 but do not know how to get the computer voices to work. Any help greatly appreciated.

  4. #3
    Master Downunder35m's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Should be no problem, if it is grayed it means you either have no voices (or incomplete), or you have a new XL model that needs extra patching.
    I uploaded a pack with ASR, sounds and voices some time ago, you can check it [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].
    Password for all my files: downunder




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