The MBROLA Project

Towards a Freely Available Multilingual Speech Synthesizer

1996 - 2006: 10 years! Happy Birthday MBROLA


MBROLA reads EmbROlA/, think of "umbrella"...

ITEA 96 Winners
Winner of the IT European Award 1996

AF AR BR BZ CR BZ CZ DE EE EN ES FR GR HB HN HU JP MX NL PT RO SW US TR ID IT IN PL CA LT IR VZ IC MA LA

The aim of the MBROLA project, initiated by the TCTS Lab of the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium), is to obtain a set of speech synthesizers for as many languages as possible, and provide them free for non-commercial applications. The ultimate goal is to boost academic research on speech synthesis, and particularly on prosody generation, known as one of the biggest challenges taken up by Text-To-Speech synthesizers for the years to come.

Central to the MBROLA project is MBROLA, a speech synthesizer based on the concatenation of diphones. It takes a list of phonemes as input, together with prosodic information (duration of phonemes and a piecewise linear description of pitch), and produces speech samples on 16 bits (linear), at the sampling frequency of the diphone database used (it is therefore NOT a Text-To-Speech (TTS)synthesizer, since it does not accept raw text as input). This synthesizer is provided for free, for non commercial, non military applications only.

Diphone databases tailored to the Mbrola format are needed to run the synthesizer. A French voices have been made available by the authors of MBROLA, and the MBROLA project has itself been organized so as to incite other research labs or companies to share their diphone databases. The terms of this sharing policy can be summarized as follows :

After some official agreement between the author of MBROLA and the owner of a diphone database, the database is processed by the author and adapted to the Mbrola format, for free. The resulting Mbrola diphone database is made available for non-commercial, non-military use as part of the MBROLA project. Commercial rights on the Mbrola database remain with the database provider for exclusive use with the Mbrola software.

MBROLA synthesis demos

The Mbrola Christmas song (in mp3 format), fully synthestic choral music!

Melissa , an MBROLA-based Virtual Singer


Comparison with other synthesis methods.

Introduction to TTS synthesis

For those of you who wish to learn more about Text To Speech technologies, check this short introduction to TTS synthesis or, for more details get T. Dutoit's book.

Last updated January 4th, 2005, send comments to thierry dot dutoit "at" umons dot ac dot be