Feel free to use the generated audio for any of your projects (commercial or personal). It's free! Hope it's useful for you :)
This online tool generates a computer voice WAV file from the text that you enter in the box above. After you've allowed the program to load, type some text in the box and then click "Speak". A download button will appear below the "Speak" button once you have clicked it.
eSpeak uses a method known as "formant synthesis" to generate the sounds. This means that all syllables are computationally generated and not pre-recorded from a human voice. This gives it a distinctive "1995 computer voice", and it means that you can get it to say almost anything. Though, if you string enough consonants together it might give up and just "spell" the word instead of trying to say it. If you give it syllables that have consonants and vowels, then it should pronounce them without too much trouble.
If you're interested, the general text to speech (TTS) pipe-line is as follows:
So basically, the text is broken down into words, then the words are broken down into phonemes (audibly distinct units of sound in a language), and then these phonemes are converted into the actual wave-forms via a means which depends on the system.
As mentioned above, the alternative to formant synthesis is where the syllables (or even strings of commonly adjacent syllables) are pre-recorded and then joined together to create words. This method is is useful in some circumstances, but since the recorded sounds cannot be easily augmented, there is little that can be done to fix incorrect emphasis and inflection in words and sentences.
For those of you who are old enough, you may remember "Microsoft Sam", the artificial speech which was a part of the Windows operating system. If this simple online generator goes even halfway to giving you some nostalgia for all those hours you wasted getting Sam to say silly things in IT class, then my work here is done.
If you've got any suggestions for this generator, please put them in the comments! Thanks :)