Microphones for Voice Recognition

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Matt, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I'm a computer programmer and very fascinated by Home Automation. I'm
    starting to take a look into the many, many possible options out
    there. One thing I'd like to mess with myself is Voice Recognition in
    my home. However, I don't want to have to walk up to a microphone on
    my computer, blanket every square inch of my home with microphones, or
    wear a wireless microphone (or headset).

    So, I figured this might be a good place to ask these kinds of
    questions. I live in a loft... about 1500 square feet (all open) with
    about 15 foot ceilings. The loft is a converted factory near Uptown
    Charlotte, NC. What I was thinking about was looking into some options
    that would allow me to hook up just 2 or 3 (depending on what's
    suggested) GOOD microphones that are small with good range so they can
    be hidden in the cross beams that go across my ceiling. I'm trying to
    get solid coverage that won't require me to shout or turn off the
    television set. Ultimately I'd want the input from all microphones to
    be fed into my computer for voice recognition processing.

    Any ideas of a good direction for this?
  2. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "Matt" <mphilmon@pobox.com> wrote in message
    news:a182cdc3.0308191159.3461a11b@posting.google.com...
    > I'm a computer programmer and very fascinated by Home Automation. I'm
    > starting to take a look into the many, many possible options out
    > there. One thing I'd like to mess with myself is Voice Recognition in
    > my home. However, I don't want to have to walk up to a microphone on
    > my computer, blanket every square inch of my home with microphones, or
    > wear a wireless microphone (or headset).
    >
    > So, I figured this might be a good place to ask these kinds of
    > questions. I live in a loft... about 1500 square feet (all open) with
    > about 15 foot ceilings. The loft is a converted factory near Uptown
    > Charlotte, NC. What I was thinking about was looking into some options
    > that would allow me to hook up just 2 or 3 (depending on what's
    > suggested) GOOD microphones that are small with good range so they can
    > be hidden in the cross beams that go across my ceiling. I'm trying to
    > get solid coverage that won't require me to shout or turn off the
    > television set. Ultimately I'd want the input from all microphones to
    > be fed into my computer for voice recognition processing.
    >
    > Any ideas of a good direction for this?


    http://www.shure.com/mixers/installed/ams/default.asp
  3. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    In rec.audio.pro, mphilmon@pobox.com (Matt) wrote:

    >I'm a computer programmer and very fascinated by Home Automation. I'm
    >starting to take a look into the many, many possible options out
    >there. One thing I'd like to mess with myself is Voice Recognition in
    >my home. However, I don't want to have to walk up to a microphone on
    >my computer, blanket every square inch of my home with microphones, or
    >wear a wireless microphone (or headset).
    >
    >So, I figured this might be a good place to ask these kinds of
    >questions. I live in a loft... about 1500 square feet (all open) with
    >about 15 foot ceilings. The loft is a converted factory near Uptown
    >Charlotte, NC. What I was thinking about was looking into some options
    >that would allow me to hook up just 2 or 3 (depending on what's
    >suggested) GOOD microphones that are small with good range so they can
    >be hidden in the cross beams that go across my ceiling. I'm trying to
    >get solid coverage that won't require me to shout or turn off the
    >television set.


    You may need input from the TV, stereo, radio and whatnot into the
    software to act as an 'anti-vox' [as the term is used in amateur
    radio] so the VR system won't respond to someone on a sitcom saying an
    annoying command such as "turn the TV off."

    >Ultimately I'd want the input from all microphones to
    >be fed into my computer for voice recognition processing.
    >
    >Any ideas of a good direction for this?


    This looks like fun. Probably the best mics for this application
    are the Panasonic electret elements sold at digikey.com. These are
    round, about 1/2" diameter by about 1/4" thick, and so should be
    easily mounted in wood beams and such. These require a 'bias voltage'
    just like the microphones that plug into computer soundcards and
    minidisc players.
    It might be helpful to add some processing before the signal gets
    to your voice recognition software, depending on how reverberant the
    rooms in your house are. I'm thinking specifically of acoustic echo
    cancellation. With mics in ceilings 15 feet high, it may not work well
    with sound reverberating from the walls and such. You may need to be
    much closer to a mic to get good results.
    Also, for software questions related to this, ask on comp.dsp,
    you're sure to get good responses there. Perhaps the best way to get
    it up and operating quickly is buy some off-the-shelf VR library and
    use that for home control, then take the time to develop your own VR
    code.
  4. Chip Wood

    Chip Wood Guest

    Having been in the Speech (not Voice) Recognition field professionally for
    30 years, rolling your own is not trivial, in fact, almost impossible. Get
    the Scansoft "Naturally Speaking" or the IBM "Viavoice", both are good
    products and relatively inexpensive. Both work out of the box for clean,
    well articulated, continuous speech, but with training work a lot better.
    Train in the environment you will use them in and most of the relatively
    constant background artifacts and echo will be neutralized by the built-in
    processing software. One sensitive boundary mic (like the Crown PCC) is
    probably better than several, as the others not near you will intro noise
    with little signal. Unless you can figure out a way to only turn on the mic
    nearest you.

    Actually a wireless headset would work great, many use this method already.
    This is usually teamed with a phone switch so you can use one headset for
    both. There are several very light and good ones on the market.

    If you are only going to use it for Command and Control and not for
    dictation, I would go with "Dragon Dictate", if you can still find a copy.

    The "anti-vox" idea is a very good one since it can be triggered by other
    voices coming from anywhere. Use the "active noise control" idea to invert
    the phase 180 degrees and cancel out the TV, etc.

    comp.speech.users is a good source of info.


    "Ben Bradley" <ben_nospam_bradley@mindspring.com> wrote in message
    news:3f428a6d.23959807@newsgroups.bellsouth.net...

    > In rec.audio.pro, mphilmon@pobox.com (Matt) wrote:
    >> One thing I'd like to mess with myself is Voice Recognition in
    > >my home.


    > You may need input from the TV, stereo, radio and whatnot into the
    > software to act as an 'anti-vox' [as the term is used in amateur
    > radio] so the VR system won't respond to someone on a sitcom saying an
    > annoying command such as "turn the TV off."

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