Mbrola speech for the Wavesurfer





What does it do?

The speak.plug adds Mbrola speech functionality to  Wavesurfer. Since Mbrola can only accept phoneme labels and not straight text, it is not a Text-to-Speech application but rather a tool for linguists and Mbrola experimenters.

The speak.plug v.2.0.5 adds to Wavesurfer the following functionality:

  • Mbrola transcription format.

  • Load / Save Mbrola transcription files in Wavesurfer. Save selected portion of a transcription.

  • Manipulate prosody easily with piecewise line prosody plugin.


  • Male-female voices and foreign accents can be tested in parallel in different transcription panes with the same underlying prosody or different prosody curves.

  • Voice pitch can be changed by the user and the results be re-synthesized and played through the speakers.

  • All Mbrola parameters can be used when playing a transcription with speak.plug.

  • Play just a single phoneme, or a portion of phonem(s).



speak.plug download


The 2 plugins zipped

Installation and use


Change log

Wavesurfer forum

Contact: dzach_at_hol.gr subject=speak.plug




Wavesurfer is a sound visualization and manipulation tool, writen in tcl. It is Open Source, fast and extendable and uses the sound processing tcl library, Snack.

Wavesurfer and Snack are actively maintained by Kåre Sjölander and Jonas Beskow at the Center for Speech Technologie (CTT) at KTH in Stockholm.

One of the typical uses of Wavesurfer is the transcription of spoken language. For the transcription process, a user inserts proper graphemes or labels at specific positions in time, along a recorded speech track, so that the start and end of a label , is aligned with its corresponding speech segment. The label and timing data can be saved and used for speech analysis by other applications.




Mbrola is a free speech engine producing high quality speech. It uses diphone voice databases, and comes with 62 different voices for about 27 languages. A large number of free applications, including Text-to-Speech readers, has been developed for Mbrola. Mbrola is extensively used by researchers and Universities and is a project maintained by the team of Thierry Dutoit of the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons,in Belgium.


The speak.plug


The speak.plug plugin adds speech functionality with natural voice intonation to Wavesurfer. It provides a connection to the Mbrola engine, to which it passes phoneme and voice intonation data entered or generated in Wavesurfer. The speak plugin is Open Source, under the GPL license, and works along with Wavesurfer and Mbrola on many platforms, including Windows and Linux.

The speak.plug works together with transcription panes in wavesurfer. Each transcription pane can have its own voice. Right clicking on a transcription pane brings up the popup menu where the item "Speak" plays the transcription to the speakers.

Clicking on a pwline pane with prosody targets plays the transcription with the local prosody.

See more in the "Installation" and "Soundshots" pages.

Mentioning of use of this tool in scientific or other work will be much appreciated.



Last modified on: 29-09-2004