Sound chips

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Thu Jun 14 21:57:23 2001

I do believe you're right, Tony. I had an occasion to hook up both these chips
back in the early '80's when my partner got a couple of samples and wanted to
play with them. I attached the speech device to the printer port because I
envisioned packaging it together with an LM386 amp in a little speaker box, with
direct connection to the printer port. It worked adequately and my partner, a
very talented software weenie, had the thing talking quite well within an hour
or so. I began to regret I'd let him take it with him after seeing the fruits
of his effort a week later. I didn't think much of the chip, yet he'd gotten it
to where it spoke as well as he did, albeit in somewhat of a monotone.
Judicious use of the silences made the speech quite intellegible.

I don't remember a thing about the music chip. <sigh>


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Duell" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2001 5:46 PM
Subject: Re: Sound chips

> >
> > Wasn't the AY3-8910 a speech generator or is that a different gimmick? I
> > to remember having one somewhere in the "pit." IIRC, it uses a 3.12 MHz
> > in the then-popular application. It is, BTW, (if it's the part I'm thinking
> > easily interfaced via the parallel printer port on nearly any Micro.
> No, you're thinking of the SPO256-AL2 speech sythesiser chip. The -AL2
> suffix BTW meant that the sounds were 'allophones' which could be
> combined to make most Engish words. There were other, custom, versions
> with different ROM programming which had limited vocabulary, but which
> could say a complete word given a single command. Somewhere I have one of
> those for a digital clock application.
> The AY-3-8910 (and -8912, -8913) had 3 internal tone generators, an
> noise generator, 'mixer', amplitude envelope generator, etc. They were
> tone/music generator ICs. The difference between the 3 versions was that
> the -8910 has 2 8 bit I/O ports, the -8912, 1 I/O port and the -8913
> none.
> All were designed to connect to a multiplexed address/data bus on the
> processor side, but it wasn't hard to use them with most microprocessors.
> They certainly turned up in a lot of machines (Oric, Einstein to name but
> 2 of the less obvious ones).
> Incidentally, Tandy/Radio Shack sold a speech/sound cartridge for the
> CoCo. It contained a microcontroller, an SPO256 speech chip and an
> AY-3-891x sound chip. The microcontroller was programmed to do
> text-to-speech conversions and to sequence the sound chip so it could
> automatically play tunes, etc.
> -tony
Received on Thu Jun 14 2001 - 21:57:23 BST

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