Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Location: Rochester, United States

Chronically curious モ..

Monday, August 07, 2006


The problem: You have a speech file, and you have marked the phonemes, using the excellent cross-platform freeware PRAAT. Now you would like to resynthesize using the other excellent cross-platform freeware MBROLA. The solution: My little PRAAT Script for making intonated MBROLA .pho files! (NB: Everything made and tested on a Mac) Setting it up:
  1. Download and unzip the files.
  2. Move the mbrolize.praat (the script) to your favourite location.
  3. Start PRAAT, open the script.
  4. In the script editor menu, click on Add to dynamic menu...
  5. In the following menu, ensure that Class 1 is Sound, Class 2 is TextGrid and Command is Mbrolize as below:
  6. You're set! If you now open a Sound and a TextGrid, and select both, you should see the Mbrolize button like so:
In the zip file there's also one Spanish sentence, Se enteraron de la noticia por este diario, for fooling around with.


- For marking the phonemes you're all on your own, but look at this site for tips. - The script works by looking at the tier you specify in the TextGrid, extracting all the phonemes, and computing -- Their durations -- Their pitch contours, as a list of 20 (%, Hz) values. - Empty slots are replaced by an underscore, so leading and trailing silences are maintained. - For anything else, contact me! :)


Anonymous PoL said...

Greetings from Catalonia,
I know it is a bit late... but I must thank you for this great script. I think it is very useful and easy to run. Bye.

December 09, 2009 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, it's been a while since you put this up... but It would be great for me if you could say what versions of PRAAT and MBROLA you were using for this. I can't seem to get the script to do anything other than just listing the phonemes, even using the spanish sound file you put up. thanks. I'm not sure how to contact you otherwise but I'll see if I can find an email somewhere. This script would be very beneficial for me if I could get it to work to get some pho files from text grids...

February 22, 2011 7:18 PM  
Blogger mohinish said...

Hi there,
this script essentially just creates the mbrola .pho file from a sound file and an associated textgrid. Check the output directory (from the GUI) for the output .pho file. The output directory defaults to /Users/Shared/ so check there...

Btw, you still have to run mbrola on the output file to create the synthesized sound file.

I'm using MBROLA 3.02b and Praat 5.1.


February 22, 2011 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK!! great, and thanks for the super quick response. I was looking at the PRAAT Info window and thinking that i had to save that as the .pho file.
just saw "Current phoneme: _
Current phoneme: s
Current phoneme: e" and thought that was it...
I am getting the whole file in that directory.

Looks good now - other problems seem to be with mbrolix maybe. I got a few syllables out of it this time - but not the whole file. I know this isn't your deal but how do i find the version of MBROLA - i think i have version 3.1a, not sure where to find b? I have MbroliX verson 1.0 -

Do you know of any good mbrola tutorials for mac? I I've found a few for windows that are more step by step but assume that you can use the MBROLIGN software associated with windows Mbrolatools package. Thanks again! as the script itself seems to be working fine now that I know where to look for the output - someone once told me that user errors are the hardest bugs to plan for :) I guess that was me this time.

February 22, 2011 8:41 PM  
Blogger mohinish said...

Well, good to know the script works :)

For Mbrola - if you type just Mbrola in the Mac Terminal, is should tell you the version. I'm not sure if they have older versions on the Mbrola website - but I'm guessing that won't be the big problem.

For actually marking the phonemes (which is what I assume you want Mbrolign for), I do this by hand, following some guidelines that I've posted (see the link in the main post). These guidelines are sort of standard, but they might not be what everyone uses. I myself have tried to use Mbrolign a long time ago, but I found it unreliable for the corpus I was using so I gave up.

I'm not really aware of Mbrola tutorials specifically for the Mac. You might see if there are some lists?

February 22, 2011 9:53 PM  

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