Home      Demo      Voice      Support      Resources      Order

Voice Recognition    

You can use a microphone to direct calls and other commands to Callarama. The voice command  modules ("Voice1" and "Voice2") are included in the software that installs on your computer. To use them, you need to provide hardware (microphone and soundcard) and have a voice recognition engine installed. If your version is 1.20 or lower, please upgrade before you start voice recognition. The latest version 1.21 provides 2 different voice modules that are visually alike but have different capabilities:

"Voice2" is an advanced module which requires existing "modern" speech recognition on your computer. Windows 7 and 8 usually include speech recognition which can be used to govern various programs (e.g. to dictate to a word processor). Windows XP and VISTA may also have speech recognition. You should check in "Start/Control Panel" whether you have speech recognition. In Windows 7 it is is typically found here:

Voice 2 (version 1.22 and higher) will automatically select English or German speech recognition software if available . The selected speech recognition on your computer must match the selected display language. If that is not the case or if the language is not English or German, Voice 2 may start without an error, but voice input will not work! Users with a not-supported language can upgrade to a Windows 7/8 version with multiple language support or may reconfigure a computer specially for Square Dancing in English.

It is possible to use the built-in microphone on a laptop, but better results are achieved with a good close-talk microphone (headset or a normal dynamic calling microphone) connected to the red-colored input jack. If you can set up the microphone with the existing speech software, train it to your voice and use it on your desktop, you should be ready to use the "Voice2" module. Make sure that "Voice2" is selected under "Voice" in the Callarama menu. Then click the "VOICE" button (located above the "MODULE" panel) to start voice recognition.

Please consult "Help" for voice recognition before getting started. You can click the little "?" next to the "VOICE" button to bring up this help text.

Voice can be fully used and tested in Callarama Basic (Demo) mode, but you can only use a limited number of formations in Basic.

You can test Voice fully and with all Callarama calls in the free Try-Out.

In the full Callarama Pro version, an additional activation fee of $39.00 is required. Without this activation, Voice can be tested, but is limited to the same number of formations as in Basic.

You can purchase activation for Callarama Pro here

To fully test Callarama Voice, it is best to download the Demo and ask for activation of a free Try-Out.

When the Try-Out expires, you can download again and receive another one. It is important that you are satisfied with Callarama Voice Recognition before you buy.

Instructions for Voice1

If you do not have a "modern" speech recognition in your system and do not want to acquire it, you can use the "Voice1" module. This module has mostly the same features, but it does not allow you to string commands together and call fluently. In Voice1, you must observe a distinct pause after each command. The following instructions are for Voice1 only:

Hardware Requirements

Your computer must have a soundcard and a jack for microphone input (usually marked red). You should use a close-talk mike of good quality. A good headset will work, but I have obtained the best result with a dynamic caller's mike (e.g. EV N/D767) directly connected to the jack on the computer. You can position this mike on a mini camera-tripod close to the keyboard.

Open the Volume Control on your desktop (the small "speaker" icon). If you cannot find it, use "Start/Run" and enter "control mmsys.cpl sounds" (or search for "mmsys.cpl sounds" on Windows 7). In the Volume Control, set the mike only for recording and speakers for playback. Adjust the volume meter for the mike so that it shows a good reading when you speak with a normal voice. The speakers should not react when the mike is set for recording.

Software Requirements for Voice1

1. Installing the Voice Engine

Voice1 works with the SAPI4 Voice Engine from Microsoft. This is a 32-bit software, and it can be used on all operating systems Windows 98 and higher, including Windows 8. To install this engine, go to

http://download.microsoft.com/download/speechSDK/Install/4.0a/WIN98/EN-US/SAPI4SDKSUITE.exe

This is a free download from Microsoft. To install it on your computer, choose "Run" and confirm all following actions. When the installation is completed, you should see the green Voice icon:

  

If it is not there, create a shortcut to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Voice\msvoice.exe" on your computer.

Users of 64-bit systems (usually Vista and Windows 8) please note:

SAPI4 is a 32-bit program and will install in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Voice. You must set properties for "msvoice.exe" in this folder. Right-click on the file name and select "Properties". Under "Compatibility", set it to be run in Windows XP compatibility mode and to be run by administrator  for all users.

2. Configuring Microsoft Voice

Before you configure Microsoft Voice, make sure that you are logged in as the same user who will later use Callarama. The settings are specific to the current user, and other users should do their training on their own login.

Dbl.-click the green desktop icon to start Microsoft Voice. A similar small green icon should appear in the taskbar. Right-click there and select "Voice Command Options". In this window, click the "General" tab and then "Check Microphone..." Follow instructions to adjust the microphone. Make sure that you hear your voice clearly in the playback.

If you have multiple voice engines on your computer or if you have multiple recording devices connected, Microsoft Voice may not connect to your microphone automatically. Follow instructions in the "Check Microphone..." wizard. You may have to open the volume control and make settings manually (dbl.click the "Speaker" icon or click the "Start" button and search for or run "mmsys.cpl sounds").

In the same "Voice Command Options" window, click the "Advanced" tag and then "Optional Training". You should see the "Microsoft Speech Recognition Training Wizard". Complete at least one session or more to make sure that it understands you speaking fluently. I have a heavy German accent and completed several sessions to get it used to me. Now it understands me, but does hardly understand my American spouse, which shows that it did its job!

A comprehensive guide for setting up a voice engine on XP can be found in "http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306537"

Using Callarama Voice1

On Vista and Windows 7 or 8 make sure that the file "CallaramaVoice1.exe" in the 'C:\Program Files (86)\Callarama" folder is configured for compability with Windows XP Service Pack 2. The properties window for this file should look like this:

You can use Microsoft Voice (the green icon) to direct commands to the desktop. However, when you use Callarama, Microsoft Voice and any other voice engine must be turned off (right-click the taskbar icon and select "Exit Microsoft Voice"). If it is not turned off, the microphone may not be directed to Callarama, or there can be interference.

In Callarama, make sure that "Voice1" is selected under "Voice" from the menu. Then click the "VOICE" button (located above the "MODULE" panel) to start voice recognition.

Callarama -a Panorama of Square Dance Calls

Chagrin Arts & Graphics 2004-2012