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The SP0264, a newer variant of the 80's speech synthesis chip

 Two of my SP0264-021s next to my SP0256A-AL2

A year or so back, I was wanting to see how I could add voices to my Arduino projects. After some research, I came across the SP0256 series of speech synthesis chips. I decided I needed to get my hands on the SP0256A-AL2 variant, which could produce any word via a set of allophones.

  The SP0264 is a chip in the same series, apparently slightly newer. It's pin for pin compatible with the SP0256, so when I saw some with the number "SP0264-021" on eBay, I thought "The number on it is slightly different, but the datasheet says "Natural Speech", so it must be the same, right?". Wrong. After buying one, then two more after I thought I'd blown the first one, I hadn't been able to get any more than noise, static that at times almost sounded like something but definitely wasn't what it was supposed to be. Frustrated and disappointed, I gave up and stuck them in a drawer somewhere. Later, I got an actual SP0256A-AL2, wrote an instructable on using it, and got it working well, but that's another story.

  Since I'm in the habit of regularly checking eBay for more of the SP0256 and related chips, I noticed when someone listed about 100 SP0264-021s for sale. (I think it was the same batch mine came from). Looking at the listing, I saw that they'd managed to get them to make noise, and they'd recorded the sounds! Excited, I tried it out, and got... Nothing. After some fiddling, troubleshooting, and talking with the eBay seller, I got it working.

  It's definitely not the Allophone set from the SP0256A-AL2. Nor is it the sounds from any of the other SP0256 variants. I haven't been able to find any info about it, and my best guess is that it might have been for some sort of security system.

  But why not give it a listen yourself! And while you're at it, you can download the samples, too.

Want the raw audio, straight from the speech chip and unprocessed? Here you go.


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