This section describes how to install Festival from source in a new
location and customize that installation.
* Requirements:: Software/Hardware requirements for Festival
* Configuration:: Setting up compilation
* Site initialization:: Settings for your particular site
* Checking an installation:: But does it work ...
In order to compile Festival you first need the following source
Festival Speech Synthesis System source
The Edinburgh Speech Tools Library
The lexicon distribution, where possible, includes the lexicon
input file as well as the compiled form, for your convenience.
The lexicons have varying distribution policies, but are all free
except OALD, which is only free for non-commercial use (we are
working on a free replacement). In some cases only a pointer to
an ftp'able file plus a program to convert that file to the
Festival format is included.
You'll need a speech database. A number are available (with
varying distribution policies). Each voice may have other
dependencies such as requiring particular lexicons
Full postscript, info and html documentation for Festival and the
Speech Tools. The source of the documentation is available in the
standard distributions but for your conveniences it has been
In addition to Festival specific sources you will also need
_A UNIX machine_
Currently we have compiled and tested the system under Solaris
(2.5(.1), 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9), SunOS (4.1.3), FreeBSD 3.x, 4.x Linux
(Redhat 4.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 6., 7., 8.0, 9, FC1 and other Linux
distributions), and it should work under OSF (Dec Alphas) SGI
(Irix), HPs (HPUX). But any standard UNIX machine should be
acceptable. We have now successfully ported this version to
Windows XP, Windows NT and Windows 95 (using the Cygnus GNU win32
environment). This is still a young port but seems to work.
_A C++ compiler_
Note that C++ is not very portable even between different versions
of the compiler from the same vendor. Although we've tried very
hard to make the system portable, we know it is very unlikely to
compile without change except with compilers that have already
been tested. The currently tested systems are
* Sun Sparc Solaris 2.5, 2.5.1, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9: GCC 2.95.1, GCC
* FreeBSD for Intel 3.x and 4.x GCC 2.95.1, GCC 3.0
* Linux for Intel (RedHat 4.1/5.0/5.1/5.2/6.0/7.x/8.0): GCC
2.7.2, GCC 2.7.2/egcs-1.0.2, egcs 1.1.1, egcs-1.1.2, GCC
2.95., GCC "2.96", GCC 3.0, GCC 3.0.1, GCC 3.2, GCC 3.2.1
GCC 3.2.3, GCC 3.3.2
* Windows NT 4.0: GCC 2.7.2 plus egcs (from Cygnus GNU win32
b19), Visual C++ PRO v5.0, Visual C++ v6.0
Note if GCC works on one version of Unix it usually works on
We have compiled both the speech tools and Festival under Windows
NT 4.0 and Windows 95 using the GNU tools available from Cygnus.
Due to there being too many different `make' programs out there we
have tested the system using GNU make on all systems we use.
Others may work but we know GNU make does.
You can use Festival without audio output hardware but it doesn't
sound very good (though admittedly you can hear less problems with
it). A number of audio systems are supported (directly inherited
from the audio support in the Edinburgh Speech Tools Library):
NCD's NAS (formerly called netaudio) a network transparent audio
system (which can be found at
`ftp://ftp.x.org/contrib/audio/nas/'); `/dev/audio' (at 8k ulaw
and 8/16bit linear), found on Suns, Linux machines and FreeBSD;
and a method allowing arbitrary UNIX commands. *Note Audio
Earlier versions of Festival mistakenly offered a command line editor
interface to the GNU package readline, but due to conflicts with the GNU
Public Licence and Festival's licence this interface was removed in
version 1.3.1. Even Festival's new free licence would cause problems as
readline support would restrict Festival linking with non-free code. A
new command line interface based on editline was provided that offers
similar functionality. Editline remains a compilation option as it is
probably not yet as portable as we would like it to be.
In addition to the above, in order to process the documentation you
will need `TeX', `dvips' (or similar), GNU's `makeinfo' (part of the
texinfo package) and `texi2html' which is available from
However the document files are also available pre-processed into,
postscript, DVI, info and html as part of the distribution in
Ensure you have a fully installed and working version of your C++
compiler. Most of the problems people have had in installing Festival
have been due to incomplete or bad compiler installation. It might be
worth checking if the following program works if you don't know if
anyone has used your C++ installation before.
int main (int argc, char **argv)
cout << "Hello world\n";
Unpack all the source files in a new directory. The directory will
then contain two subdirectories
First ensure you have a compiled version of the Edinburgh Speech
Tools Library. See `speech_tools/INSTALL' for instructions.
The system now supports the standard GNU `configure' method for set
up. In most cases this will automatically configure festival for your
particular system. In most cases you need only type
and the system will configure itself and compile, (note you need to
have compiled the Edinburgh Speech Tools `speech_tools-1.2.4' first.
In some case hand configure is require. All of the configuration
choice are held in the file `config/config'
For the most part Festival configuration inherits the configuration
from your speech tools config file (`../speech_tools/config/config').
Additional optional modules may be added by adding them to the end of
your config file e.g.
ALSO_INCLUDE += clunits
Adding and new module here will treat is as a new directory in the
`src/modules/' and compile it into the system in the same way the
`OTHER_DIRS' feature was used in previous versions.
If the compilation directory being accessed by NFS or if you use an
automounter (e.g. amd) it is recommend to explicitly set the variable
`FESTIVAL_HOME' in `config/config'. The command `pwd' is not reliable
when a directory may have multiple names.
There is a simple test suite with Festival but it requires the three
basic voices and their respective lexicons install before it will work.
Thus you need to install
If these are installed you can test the installation with
To simply make it run with a male US English voiuce it is sufficient
to install just
Note that the single most common reason for problems in compilation
and linking found amongst the beta testers was a bad installation of GNU
C++. If you get many strange errors in G++ library header files or link
errors it is worth checking that your system has the compiler, header
files and runtime libraries properly installed. This may be checked by
compiling a simple program under C++ and also finding out if anyone at
your site has ever used the installation. Most of these installation
problems are caused by upgrading to a newer version of libg++ without
removing the older version so a mixed version of the `.h' files exist.
Although we have tried very hard to ensure that Festival compiles
with no warnings this is not possible under some systems.
Under SunOS the system include files do not declare a number of
system provided functions. This a bug in Sun's include files. This
will causes warnings like "implicit definition of fprintf". These are
Under Linux a warning at link time about reducing the size of some
symbols often is produced. This is harmless. There is often
occasional warnings about some socket system function having an
incorrect argument type, this is also harmless.
The speech tools and festival compile under Windows95 or Windows NT
with Visual C++ v5.0 using the Microsoft `nmake' make program. We've
only done this with the Professional edition, but have no reason to
believe that it relies on anything not in the standard edition.
In accordance to VC++ conventions, object files are created with
extension .obj, executables with extension .exe and libraries with
extension .lib. This may mean that both unix and Win32 versions can be
built in the same directory tree, but I wouldn't rely on it.
To do this you require nmake Makefiles for the system. These can be
generated from the gnumake Makefiles, using the command
in the speech_tools and festival directories. I have only done this
under unix, it's possible it would work under the cygnus gnuwin32
If `make.depend' files exist (i.e. if you have done `gnumake depend'
in unix) equivalent `vc_make.depend' files will be created, if not the
VCMakefiles will not contain dependency information for the `.cc'
files. The result will be that you can compile the system once, but
changes will not cause the correct things to be rebuilt.
In order to compile from the DOS command line using Visual C++ you
need to have a collection of environment variables set. In Windows NT
there is an installation option for Visual C++ which sets these
globally. Under Windows95 or if you don't ask for them to be set
globally under NT you need to run
See the VC++ documentation for more details.
Once you have the source trees with VCMakefiles somewhere visible
from Windows, you need to copy `peech_tools\config\vc_config-dist' to
`speech_tools\config\vc_config' and edit it to suit your local
situation. Then do the same with `festival\config\vc_config-dist'.
The thing most likely to need changing is the definition of
`FESTIVAL_HOME' in `festival\config\vc_config_make_rules' which needs
to point to where you have put festival.
Now you can compile. cd to the speech_tools directory and do
nmake /nologo /fVCMakefile
and the library, the programs in main and the test programs should be
The tests can't be run automatically under Windows. A simple test to
check that things are probably OK is:
which reads and plays a waveform.
Next go into the festival directory and do
nmake /nologo /fVCMakefile
to build festival. When it's finished, and assuming you have the
voices and lexicons unpacked in the right place, festival should run
just as under unix.
We should remind you that the NT/95 ports are still young and there
may yet be problems that we've not found yet. We only recommend the
use the speech tools and Festival under Windows if you have significant
experience in C++ under those platforms.
Most of the modules `src/modules' are actually optional and the
system could be compiled without them. The basic set could be reduced
further if certain facilities are not desired. Particularly: `donovan'
which is only required if the donovan voice is used; `rxp' if no XML
parsing is required (e.g. Sable); and `parser' if no stochastic paring
is required (this parser isn't used for any of our currently released
voices). Actually even `UniSyn' and `UniSyn_diphone' could be removed
if some external waveform synthesizer is being used (e.g. MBROLA) or
some alternative one like `OGIresLPC'. Removing unused modules will
make the festival binary smaller and (potentially) start up faster but
don't expect too much. You can delete these by changing the
`BASE_DIRS' variable in `src/modules/Makefile'.
Once compiled Festival may be further customized for particular
sites. At start up time Festival loads the file `init.scm' from its
library directory. This file further loads other necessary files such
as phoneset descriptions, duration parameters, intonation parameters,
definitions of voices etc. It will also load the files `sitevars.scm'
and `siteinit.scm' if they exist. `sitevars.scm' is loaded after the
basic Scheme library functions are loaded but before any of the
festival related functions are loaded. This file is intended to set
various path names before various subsystems are loaded. Typically
variables such as `lexdir' (the directory where the lexicons are held),
and `voices_dir' (pointing to voice directories) should be reset here
The default installation will try to find its lexicons and voices
automatically based on the value of `load-path' (this is derived from
`FESTIVAL_HOME' at compilation time or by using the `--libdir' at
run-time). If the voices and lexicons have been unpacked into
subdirectories of the library directory (the default) then no site
specific initialization of the above pathnames will be necessary.
The second site specific file is `siteinit.scm'. Typical examples
of local initialization are as follows. The default audio output method
is NCD's NAS system if that is supported as that's what we use normally
in CSTR. If it is not supported, any hardware specific mode is the
default (e.g. sun16audio, freebas16audio, linux16audio or mplayeraudio).
But that default is just a setting in `init.scm'. If for example in
your environment you may wish the default audio output method to be 8k
mulaw through `/dev/audio' you should add the following line to your
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Method 'sunaudio)
Note the use of `Parameter.set' rather than `Parameter.def' the
second function will not reset the value if it is already set.
Remember that you may use the audio methods `sun16audio'.
`linux16audio' or `freebsd16audio' only if `NATIVE_AUDIO' was selected
in `speech_tools/config/config' and your are on such machines. The
Festival variable `*modules*' contains a list of all supported
functions/modules in a particular installation including audio support.
Check the value of that variable if things aren't what you expect.
If you are installing on a machine whose audio is not directly
supported by the speech tools library, an external command may be
executed to play a waveform. The following example is for an imaginary
machine that can play audio files through a program called `adplay'
with arguments for sample rate and file type. When playing waveforms,
Festival, by default, outputs as unheadered waveform in native byte
order. In this example you would set up the default audio playing
mechanism in `siteinit.scm' as follows
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Method 'Audio_Command)
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Command "adplay -raw -r $SR $FILE")
For `Audio_Command' method of playing waveforms Festival supports
two additional audio parameters. `Audio_Required_Rate' allows you to
use Festivals internal sample rate conversion function to any desired
rate. Note this may not be as good as playing the waveform at the
sample rate it is originally created in, but as some hardware devices
are restrictive in what sample rates they support, or have naive
resample functions this could be optimal. The second addition audio
parameter is `Audio_Required_Format' which can be used to specify the
desired output forms of the file. The default is unheadered raw, but
this may be any of the values supported by the speech tools (including
nist, esps, snd, riff, aiff, audlab, raw and, if you really want it,
For example suppose you run Festival on a remote machine and are not
running any network audio system and want Festival to copy files back to
your local machine and simply cat them to `/dev/audio'. The following
would do that (assuming permissions for rsh are allowed).
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Method 'Audio_Command)
;; Make output file ulaw 8k (format ulaw implies 8k)
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Required_Format 'ulaw)
"userhost=`echo $DISPLAY | sed 's/:.*$//'`; rcp $FILE $userhost:$FILE; \
rsh $userhost \"cat $FILE >/dev/audio\" ; rsh $userhost \"rm $FILE\"")
Note there are limits on how complex a command you want to put in the
`Audio_Command' string directly. It can get very confusing with respect
to quoting. It is therefore recommended that once you get past a
certain complexity consider writing a simple shell script and calling
it from the `Audio_Command' string.
A second typical customization is setting the default speaker.
Speakers depend on many things but due to various licence (and resource)
restrictions you may only have some diphone/nphone databases available
in your installation. The function name that is the value of
`voice_default' is called immediately after `siteinit.scm' is loaded
offering the opportunity for you to change it. In the standard
distribution no change should be required. If you download all the
distributed voices `voice_rab_diphone' is the default voice. You may
change this for a site by adding the following to `siteinit.scm' or per
person by changing your `.festivalrc'. For example if you wish to
change the default voice to the American one `voice_ked_diphone'
(set! voice_default 'voice_ked_diphone)
Note the single quote, and note that unlike in early versions
`voice_default' is not a function you can call directly.
A second level of customization is on a per user basis. After
loading `init.scm', which includes `sitevars.scm' and `siteinit.scm'
for local installation, Festival loads the file `.festivalrc' from the
user's home directory (if it exists). This file may contain arbitrary
Checking an installation
Once compiled and site initialization is set up you should test to
see if Festival can speak or not.
Start the system
Festival Speech Synthesis System 2.0:release July 2004
Copyright (C) University of Edinburgh, 1996-2004. All rights reserved.
For details type `(festival_warranty)'
If errors occur at this stage they are most likely to do with
pathname problems. If any error messages are printed about
non-existent files check that those pathnames point to where you
intended them to be. Most of the (default) pathnames are dependent on
the basic library path. Ensure that is correct. To find out what it
has been set to, start the system without loading the init files.
$ bin/festival -q
Festival Speech Synthesis System 1.4.3:release Jan 2003
Copyright (C) University of Edinburgh, 1996-2003. All rights reserved.
For details type `(festival_warranty)'
This should show the pathname you set in your `config/config'.
If the system starts with no errors try to synthesize something
festival> (SayText "hello world")
Some files are only accessed at synthesis time so this may show up
other problem pathnames. If it talks, you're in business, if it
doesn't, here are some possible problems.
If you get the error message
Can't access NAS server
You have selected NAS as the audio output but have no server running
on that machine or your `DISPLAY' or `AUDIOSERVER' environment variable
is not set properly for your output device. Either set these properly
or change the audio output device in `lib/siteinit.scm' as described
Ensure your audio device actually works the way you think it does.
On Suns, the audio output device can be switched into a number of
different output modes, speaker, jack, headphones. If this is set to
the wrong one you may not hear the output. Use one of Sun's tools to
change this (try `/usr/demo/SOUND/bin/soundtool'). Try to find an audio
file independent of Festival and get it to play on your audio. Once
you have done that ensure that the audio output method set in Festival
Once you have got it talking, test the audio spooling device.
This plays a short introduction of two sentences, spooling the audio
Finally exit from Festival (by end of file or `(quit)') and test the
script mode with.
A test suite is included with Festival but it makes certain
assumptions about which voices are installed. It assumes that
`voice_rab_diphone' (`festvox_rabxxxx.tar.gz') is the default voice and
that `voice_ked_diphone' and `voice_don_diphone'
(`festvox_kedxxxx.tar.gz' and `festvox_don.tar.gz') are installed.
Also local settings in your `festival/lib/siteinit.scm' may affect
these tests. However, after installation it may be worth trying
from the `festival/' directory. This will do various tests
including basic utterance tests and tokenization tests. It also checks
that voices are installed and that they don't interfere with each other.
These tests are primarily regression tests for the developers of
Festival, to ensure new enhancements don't mess up existing supported
features. They are not designed to test an installation is successful,
though if they run correctly it is most probable the installation has