Circuit-Bending Speech with the Intellivoice

I’ve finally got my workbench set back up following the move out to Connecticut for my new gig at the University of New Haven, and I’ve started to get back to some tinkering.

I had been poking around on eBay for a little while, trying to find an Intellivoice module to build my collection of vintage consumer audio chips. The Intellivoice was an add-on for Mattel’s Intellivion Game Console that strapped on to the side and added a couple of chips allowed a few games to have computerized speech output.


It sounds a little something like this:

Anyway, I found and Intellivoice for about $10 (plus shipping).

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The seller, however, neglected to mention that it seems like he had been storing it in a bath of saltwater. I had to drill out a couple of the screws to get it open, as they had rusted beyond recognizability as screws.

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After I got the RF shield off, however, it all looked relatively clean. The whole piece isn’t particularly attractive as a collector’s item, but the chips seem to be in good shape.

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So, let’s make this thing talk. With a little Arduino magic, I got some words out (see below), and, with a little more tinkering, I should be able to make a MIDI-controlled Intellitalker instrument.


Watch this space.

2015-11-03 16.38.18 HDR

One comment

  1. […] been a long time since I started this project, but I’ve finally got my Intellivoice Synth […]

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November 2015
Art, to be fully appreciated, must be true to contemporaneous life. It is not that we should ignore the claims of posterity, but that we should seek to enjoy the present more. It is not that we should disregard the creations of the past, but that we should try to assimilate them into our consciousness.

-Okakura Kakuzo