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June 29th 2012: New Voice Engines for Orpheus 4.01

Orpheus 4.01 is in development. It has the ability to offer new voice types using a much smaller voice database. These new voices retain the speaker identity and naturalness of the concatenative voices like Brad, but offer the potential for better intelligibility at higher talking rates.

The voices use the methods of the 'formant' analysis and synthesis used for synthetic voices, but unlike those synthetic voices, the analysis is applied separately to the each fragment of speech making up a voice database This allows the special manipulations of the voice that give intelligibility at fast-talking to be applied, but retains most of the speaker's natural characteristics.

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Jan 17th 2011: Download Problem Fixed

The problem some users experienced downloading Orpheus installation packs from this site has now been corrected. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

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Dec 29th 2010: Download Problems

We are sorry to note that users are experiencing problems downloading Orpheus installations from this site. We apologise for the inconvenience and are trying to get the service running again as soon as possible.

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Nov 9th 2009: Windows 7

Meridian One is pleased to announce that current releases of Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS plus are fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7.

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Jul 15th 2009: Orpheus Update

Work on Orpheus 3.03 has been extended to include an update to the TTS engine.

Orpheus TTS or Orpheus TTS plus 3.03, with the engine update and Hindi will be a FREE update for users with earlier activated versions of Orpheus TTS or TTS Plus from Meridian One.

The additional update delays the release of Orpheus with Hindi. However, Orpheus 3.03 voices will have better performance under fast speech scenarios and a smoother feel. Orpheus 3.03 will also include updates to the US and UK English pronunciation lexicons.

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Mar 19th 2009: Progress on Hindi for Orpheus

Progress continues with Orpheus 3.03 and its Hindi voice.

The basic conversion of Devanagari Unicode to Hindi speech is working including the effects of markings for nasal vowels and consonants. Some rules for 'schwa' deletion are implemented: more work is being done here, on the speech sounds and on phrase and sentence delivery.

Orpheus 3.03 with Hindi will be a free update for users with activated versions of 3.01 or 3.02.

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Dec 10th 2008: Hindi for Orpheus

Work is now in progress to create a synthetic Hindi voice for Orpheus 3. The first release of Hindi will be available as a free upgrade to version 3.02.

The first version of Orpheus Hindi will convert the Unicode representation of Devanagari script into speech using rule and lexicon-based methods to deal with issues of 'schwa deletion' and interpretation of markings such as candrabindu and anusvar.

Watch this space for more information.

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Nov 09th 2008: Orpheus Version 3.02 Released

Version 3.02 of Orpheus, the text-to-speech (TTS) synthesiser from Meridian One is now released and available for download from this site.

Please read the release notice for more information.

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Oct 20th 2008: Sad News

A short while ago we heard the very sad news of the death of Veli-Pekka Tštilš at the very young age of 24. I had spoken with Vellu over many years about speech, TTS for blind and visually impaired computer users, the Finnish language in particular and whatever else occurred. Latterly Vellu was helping test the latest betas of the new Orpheus. He was always most helpful, interested and engaging; he had so much he wanted to give.

Vellu will be missed by many in the visually impaired and blind communities. My deepest sympathies go out to all his family, friends and colleagues.

John Rye
20th October 2008

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Oct 18th 2008: Version 3.02 Beta 4

Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS Plus Beta 4 version 3.02 are now in test. Beta 4 corrects a fault in the build of the UK English voices in earlier betas.

This website now includes a Tips and Trouble Shooting page which gives easily available support for Orpheus.

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Oct 8th 2008: Version 3.02 Beta 3

Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS Plus Beta 3 version 3.02 are now in test. Beta 3 fixes more issues, mainly in SAPI 5 and SAPI 4 and adds yet more pronunciation improvements for loan words (from French), computer acronyms and a few corrections to the American and British English voices.

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Aug 15th 2008: Version 3.02 Beta 2

Beta 2 of version 3.02 of Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS Plus is now in beta test. Beta 2 fixes a crash in SAPI 5 and adds some pronunciation corrections to Finnish and English.

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Apr 5th 2008: Version 3.02 Beta 1

Beta 1 of version 3.02 of Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS Plus, FREE updates for existing users is now in beta test. Version 3.02 includes many language and voice updates, speed 1000 for EVEN faster synthetic speech, and some bug fixes. Additionally 3.02 Orpheus TTS supports Microsoft SAPI 4 and SAPI 5.

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Mar 8th 2008: More on Version 3.02

Orpheus TTS and Orpheus TTS Plus 3.02, a FREE update for existing users nears completion and goes to beta test shortly. 3.02 includes many language and voice updates, speed 1000 for even faster synthetic speech, and bug fixes to 3.01. In addition Orpheus TTS now supports Microsoft SAPI 4 and SAPI 5.

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Jan 2nd 2008: 3.02 Beta 1 Underway

Happy New Year everybody! The development of 3.02, a FREE update to existing users is well underway. Version 3.02 Beta 1 includes improvements to UK, US English, Finnish, Swedish and German voices. Better grammar processing improves phrasing of sentences. Date, time and currency processing is now available for German.

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Nov 20th 2007: Orpheus Version 3.01 Released

Version 3.01 of Orpheus, the text-to-speech (TTS) synthesiser from Meridian One has now released and available for download from this site.

Please read the release notice for more information.

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Nov 6th 2007: Version 3.01 beta 4

Beta 4 of version 3.01 of Orpheus is released. Beta 4 includes greater Vista compatibility and more steps to facilitate installation from the web and other fixes to beta 3. Beta 4 also includes pronunciation improvements to its Finnish, French and Greek.

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Aug 24th 2007: Version 3.01 beta 3

Beta 3 of version 3.01 of Orpheus is released. Beta 3 includes fixes to bugs in beta 2.

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Aug 3rd 2007: Version 3.01 beta 2

Beta 2 of version 3.01 of Orpheus is released. Beta 2 includes: new product options, easier activation, Microsoft Vista compatibility, support for logon speech with Dolphin Supernova, more support for JAWS via SAPI5, easier to use control panel and language improvements.

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Feb 14th 2007: Version 3.01 beta test

Beta 1 of version 3.01 of Orpheus is released for beta test. Version 3.01 includes added control of voice prosody, smaller voice database files further improved working with Microsoft SAPI, Internet activation and many other operation and pronunciation improvements.

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Nov 28th 2006: Version 2.08 beta test begins

The first beta Orpheus from Meridian One replaces its former proprietary Dolphin installer with Microsoft installer, adds the Lithuanian language and has much improved SAPI support.

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Aug 14th 2006: Meridian One Acquires Orpheus

Dolphin transfer all rights to Orpheus speech synthesiser to John Rye, who through Meridian One Speech, a trading name of Meridian One Consulting Ltd will further develop the TTS engine, incorporate new languages, improve interface support and make available worldwide through Internet download.

Orpheus TTS is already well known to many thousands of blind and visually impaired users of screen reading software worldwide and is renowned for the intelligibility of its synthetic voices at the fastest talking rates, a very practical benefit to TTS users in everyday work and education situations.

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July 4th 2006: Meridian One Formed

John Rye founds Meridian One Consulting Ltd. Meridian One will provide software and management consultancy services to software developers and has particular expertise in speech and speech synthesis.

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