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Festival Speech Synthesis System

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          The Festival Speech Synthesis System
               version 2.5.1 July 2020

This directory contains the Festival Speech Synthesis System, developed at CSTR, University of Edinburgh. The project was originally started by Alan W Black and Paul Taylor but many others have been involved (see ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS file for full list).

Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English (US and UK) and Spanish are distributed but a host of other voices have been developed by others) though English is the most advanced.

The system is written in C++ and uses the Edinburgh Speech Tools for low level architecture and has a Scheme (SIOD) based command interpreter for control. Documentation is given in the FSF texinfo format which can generate, a printed manual, info files and HTML.


Festival is free. Earlier versions were restricted to non-commercial use but we have now relaxed those conditions. The licence is an X11 style licence thus it can be incorporated in commercial products and free source products without restriction. See COPYING for the actual details.


Festival should run on any standard Unix platform. It has already run on Solaris, SunOS, Linux and FreeBSD. It requires a C++ compiler (GCC 2.7.2, 2.8.1, 2.95.[123], 3.2.3 3.3.2 RedHat "gcc-2.96", gcc 3.3, gcc 4.4.x and gcc-4.5.x, gcc-6.2.0 are our standard compilers) to install. A port to Windows XP/NT/95/98 and 2000 using either Cygnus GNUWIN32, this is still new but many people are successfully using it, it works fine with Windows 10 bash

A detailed description of installation and requirements for the whole system is given in the file INSTALL read that for details.


Keep abreast of Festival News by regularly checking the Festival homepage or the US site or on github

New in Festival 2.5 Support for gcc6 (which is a somewhat different dialect of C++)

New in Festival 2.2 updates to hts (hts_engine 1.07) and clustergen

New in Festival 2.1 Support for various new GCC compilers Improved support for hts, clustergen, clunits and multisyn voices lots of wee bugs fixed

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