Grand Idea Studio

Emic Text-to-Speech Module


The Emic Text-to-Speech Module is a fully-integrated solution that converts digital text into a high-quality English-speaking voice using concatenative synthesis. The module provides a simple interface to a PC, BASIC Stamp, Javelin Stamp, Microchip PIC, or other processor. Voice speed, volume, pitch, and phonetic control can all be adjusted by the user.

Parallax, Inc. was the exclusive manufacturer of the Emic Text-to-Speech module. The module has been discontinued as of October 30, 2009.

Please visit the Emic 2 Text-to-Speech Module page for an enhanced speech synthesis solution.

Module Highlights:

  • Serial TTL interface (2-wire, 2400 baud)
  • Requires single +5VDC supply
  • 2″ L x 1.375″ W x 0.233″ max. H
  • On-board 8 ohm, 300mW speaker driver
  • Easy-to-use ASCII or hex command sequences
  • Bi-color LED for visual indication of activity
  • 0.100″ pin spacing for easy prototyping and integration
  • -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C operating temperature


This paper describes our original prototype based on a Handspring Visor Springboard module which is no longer in development.

The speech technology industry is trending towards software-based speech synthesis and recognition solutions, which currently require high-powered processors and large amounts of memory running on expensive devices. There are no readily available, low-cost TTS solutions for use in mobile or portable environments that are generalized (requiring only the necessary computational power and functionality) and are user programmable (allowing for an infinite number of applications and uses). This paper introduces Emic, a modular hardware platform intended for use in the design of speech-enabled products.

Published by the Applied Voice Input/Output Society (AVIOS) at the AVIOS Speech Developers Conference 2003, San Jose, California, March 31-April 3, 2003.

Audio Samples:

These audio samples were recorded directly from the analog output (AOUT) of the Emic module into a PC.

  • Announcement: “Grand Idea Studio is pleased to announce the release of the Emic Text-to-Speech platform. Now there is a simple way to quickly and effectively speech-enable your product.”
  • Financial: “On a positive note, Dow component Procter & Gamble up $2.93 to $74.26, posted higher profit for the first fiscal quarter.”
  • Directions: “Bear right on San Thomas Expressway, Turn left on N 1st St. Total 8.4 miles.”
  • Homographs: “I have read the book, you should read it, too.”
  • Caller ID: “Raymond Allan, (965) 789-2634”



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