Welcome to Synthiam!

The easiest way to program the most powerful robots. Use technologies by leading industry experts. ARC is a free-to-use robot programming software that makes servo automation, computer vision, autonomous navigation, and artificial intelligence easy.

Get Started
Asked — Edited

Windows 7 Narrator Voice

Is there any way that I can get Windows 7 to use a different narrator voice? I have one that I would like to purchase from Cepstral.com.


Upgrade to ARC Pro

Unleash your creativity with the power of easy robot programming using Synthiam ARC Pro

@rgordon. I messed with my settings some More and no luck.
I have a Bunch of voices from various sources so I'm going to uninstall them and start from scratch.
No it did not cost me anything extra for the effects. They sent me the files for like Old robot, PVC pipe, ect. I can email u the files and the instructions on how and where to install the files. I have William with old robot and it sounds great. Remindes me of Sherman on Millennium.

I went to the Cepstral support link.
- Clicked on "Personal"
- Chose my OS which is Windows
-Clicked on "Learn More"
-Clicked on "How do I customize my voice?"

There it gave instructions (unclear instructions) on how to get the soundfx to work with other applications. Here is a copy of what it says:

"Using Special Effects
A final way to set effects globally (so you can hear them within other applications) is to save the individual parameters in a text file called 'default.sfx' and save that in the voice's data directory.

On Mac OS X, the voice data directory (with David, for example) is typically at:


On Microsoft Windows, it's typically at:

C:\Program Files\Cepstral\voices\David\default.sfx

On Linux platforms, it's typically at:


The voice will automatically use the SFX file when it speaks. If you want to use the sfx files that come with our voices, you can find these in the sfx directory of your voice. Copy these to your default.sfx file to achieve the desired results.

If you're an audiophile and feel comfortable in a virtual rack environment, feel free to use our SpeechFX Rack to create SFX files that Swift can use.

At first I could not figure out what they meant about "save the individual parameters in a text file called 'default.sfx' and save that in the voice's data directory.". ?...?..? *confused*

I drilled down through the folders under my Cepstral folder and found the SFX folder they were talking about. Then I copied the "old_robot.sfx" file and pasted into my folder called Lawrence. Then I changed the file name from "old_robot.sfx" to "default.sfx" . Then when I opened ARC my voice for Lawrence and it had the old robot effect. It sounds great.

BTW all the different sound effects for the voice are located in the SFX folder for you to choose from.

I'm not sure what's going on with your setup....maybe Rich can help.

So in ARC you tried your robots voice using the setting called "child" instead of "adult" right?

That was the only way to make mine stop saying "BLAH BLAH" every time I tried to use it. Even though it is selected as "child" it still sounds as an "adult".

:( Yes:( I've tried almost every combination of the properties. Just out of curiosity, what are your other settings? Emphasis, rate, ect..? Thanks.
Voice = Cepstral Lawrence
Gender = Male
Age = Child
Emphasis = Moderate
Rate = Medium
Volume = 100
United Kingdom
Set the voice you want as the default voice in Windows control panel.
Try every combination of the settings you can try, including changing the voice itself.

Some voices need settings that may not look correct. My Windows 8 PC needs different settings set to my Windows 7 PC too, which I can't quite figure out why that is but I'll blame it on Microsoft.

I'll read through the whole topic tomorrow and see if I can spot anything that's not quite right, I should have been asleep 40 minutes go so can't do it now:)

Did you copy the file Sp5TTIntXP.Msm into C:\Windows\Speech\Engines folder?
Then you re-booted.
What voice are you trying to use? Where did you get it?

What I just found out by testing was that Microsoft Mike and Microsoft Mary show up in my ARC voice list but they do not work. Only Microsoft Anna and the voice I got from Cepstral work.

Microsoft Anna works with any of the combination of settings except "Gender"= Male
Cepstral Lawrence only works when I set "Gender"= Male and "Age" can bet set to anything except Adult. If I set it to adult it goes BLAH BLAH.
OK all I did was load up the Cepstral Speech tool and run the test message then I loaded ARC to start hacking away at the settings and some how Diane and David work now.

I have it set to David and if I have it on any gender but female it will be David. If I select female it will be Diane. Only exception is that if I have gender to not set and age to not set it will play nothing but if I don't set the gender but set any age it will be David.

I did not set any of them as my windows voice unless the Cepstral program did it behind the scenes some how because Windows says I'm using Anna. I wish I could explain what happened to make them work now. After I got it working I used the default.sfx method above and David is rocking old-robot as well.

Thanks for all the help.:)
Wow glad it now works, when I called tech support they did say they where going to setup a how to change the effects page because that was not there when I needed it. They just sent me the instruction and files. I like William with the old robot effect, just enough effect but clear enough to understand.
United Kingdom
@ Cepstral voice users.

Hey guys. So, I have a Windows 7 laptop with a Cepstal voice installed. A while ago I configured the laptop to use the effects following @rgordons tutorial in post #15 and it's been working great with my ARC project.

Here's my problem though. I just purchased another laptop running Windows 8 and has three default voices installed. I copied the Cepstral voice over and configured the effects again, and the Windows text to speech is now using it. But when I try to use it in ARC, it only uses one of the default voices. I have tried every configuration I can in the speech settings, but the voice does not change (except "rate" ) and even changing the voice to one of the other default voices makes no difference.

Any ideas on what else I need to do guys? *confused* *confused*
Have you tried rebooting then a fresh download and re-install ARC?
United Kingdom

Yeah I did try a reboot a couple of times but no joy. I havn't however tried an ARC reinstall. I'll try it now.

United Kingdom
Well I just re-installed ARC, no change. It's still using the same default voice as before no matter what voice I select, whether it's Cepstral or the other two default voices, or changing the speech settings. :(
When you said you copied over the Cepstal voice did you just copy the files into their directories or did you use a self extracting windows installer file?
United Kingdom
I have done a Windows Easy transfer which contained the .exe file. I installed the voice and Cepstral tools, and entered the activation key. Do you think I have missed something doing it this way?
I am stumped... sounds like it should work Steve... Hmmmm
United Kingdom
Yeah, it is a strange one. Like I said, the voice and effect works with Windows and a third party screen reader app, just not with ARC. Weird. *confused* *confused*