July 11th, 2015

14 Robots recite Shakespeare's famous Sonnet 18 (Shall I Compare Thee...)

This was a test of various robot and computer voice techniques - the goal was to make robots that are more articulate than the typical monotone robots that you get using basic vocoding.

There was a rationale behind this [really!] which is that poetry requires a degree of expression and subtlety, so it was thought to be a good test of the robot voices.

The source vocal is also available here.


1 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
2 Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
3 Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
4 And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
5 Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
6 And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
7 And every fair from fair sometime declines,
8 By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
9 But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
10 Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
11 Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
12 When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
13 So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
14 So long lives this,
14a and this gives life to thee.

1-2 - Normal 'monotone' vocoder.
3 - 'Depressed Robot' - granular resynthesis.
4 - 'Sci-fi' voice - pitch and delay effects only.
5-6 - Vocoder but using real-time pitch detection to apply phase modulation to the carrier.
7-14 - Resynthesised using more advanced pitch detection and modulation techniques.
14a - Pitch shift effect, computer style voice (partly for a funny ending!)

Generally, from line 7 onwards, the voices are more articulate and, in some cases, clearer. It's not a perfect test because these also have some other processing to make them clearer which isn't present in the preceding voices. I've developed some slightly better processes since making this.

Not sure what purpose this serves, but I'm sure you'll think of something!

This sound is not in the public domain.
License: Creative Commons BY-NC (Attribution Noncommercial) 3.0
License text: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
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  • avatar
    zer0hero 1 year ago

    Great stuff!! Used it as a sample on a uni project. Thank you mate.

  • avatar
    fce 3 years, 11 months ago

    Excellent - I use it on a DOKUBLOG.DE (SWR2) mix featured on https://fce-lu.com/cyberbloc-notes/blog/disconnected-tixerb-it-s-teatime

  • avatar
    tonia123 4 years, 8 months ago

    so wonderful. what is the voice in "and often is his gold complexion dimmed"

    I would like to use it in a performance as a sound, if I may. Thanks a lot. I will mention you int he credit if its cool with you that I use it :)

  • avatar
    itsfriday 4 years, 9 months ago

    swaggity boi is cr33ped

  • avatar
    djevilj 5 years, 3 months ago

    nice job! big ups!!

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