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n. Voice Operation Demonstrator - An electronic device that is capable of producing a recognizable approximation of speech.


The Bell Telephone Laboratory'sVoder (from Voice Operating Demonstrator) was the first attempt to electronically synthesize human speech by breaking it down into its acoustic components. It was invented by Homer Dudley in 1937–1938 and developed on his earlier work on the vocoder. The quality of the speech was limited; however, it demonstrated the synthesis of the human voice, which became one component of the vocoder used in voice communications for security and to save bandwidth.

The Voder synthesized human speech by imitating the effects of the human vocal tract. The operator could select one of two basic sounds by using a wrist bar. A buzz tone generated by a relaxation oscillator produced the voiced vowels and nasal sounds, with the pitch controlled by a foot pedal. A hissing noise produced by a gas discharge tube created the sibilants (voiceless fricative sounds). These initial sounds were passed through a bank of 10 band pass filters that were selected by keys; their outputs were combined, amplified and fed to a loudspeaker. The filters were controlled by a set of keys and a foot pedal to convert the hisses and tones into vowels, consonants, and inflections. Additional special keys were provided to make the plosive sounds such as "p" or "d", and the affrictive sounds of the "j" in "jaw" and the "ch" in "cheese". This was a complex machine to operate. After months of practice, a trained operator could produce recognizable speech.

Performances on the Voder were featured at the 1939 New York World's Fair and in San Francisco. Twenty operators were trained by Mrs. Helen Harper, particularly noted for her skill with the machine.

The Voder was developed from research into compression schemes for transmission of voice on copper wires and for voice encryption. In 1948, Werner Meyer-Eppler recognized the capability of the Voder machine to generate electronic music, as described in Dudley's patent.

Whereas the vocoder analyzes speech, transforms it into electronically transmitted information, and recreates it, the voder generates synthesized speech by means of a console with fifteen touch-sensitive keys and a pedal. It basically consists of the "second half" of the vocoder, but with manual filter controls, and requires a highly trained operator.

Usage examples of "voder".

The voder had lost the ability to speak, both machines adrift in a stupefying realization that could only be described as the artificial intelligence equivalent of hebephrenic schizophrenia.

She had a slight soreness in her neck where Mari had installed the binaural radio and voder that went with the suit.

The other worlds were empty of intelligent lifes,” Coypu said and even the voder echoed the regret in his manner.

The captain readily admitted how many planets they had surveyed, but not what the surveys had discovered: she discoursed on many matters - some of which were marred by the insertion of growls, snarls and woofs where the voder could not accommodate a translation.

The voder at his throat translated his words from good Middle Hrruban into inarticulate growls and coughs.

She muttered a long, low stream of grunts and growls at him, flipping off the control on his voder.

But if you case the voder in a gutted tracker droid, you can shoot it up the shaft fast enough to survive a few hits.

Voders were passed over to the reporters which Todd hoped would prove so irksome to use that the newsgatherers would depart.

He had also shortened the cord of his voder so that it no longer prodded his ear or the back of his head.

He passed his voder over so that any queries Cinnamon had could be understood.

Cardiff frowned slightly, turning the voder from side to side, re-examining its c(ftiponents.

I've been arguing day and night on your behalf but, since you've solved the voder problem, when are we going to get to trade?

That voder contraption unnerves me,” Mike said, "and I understand its purpose.