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Thread: SD and voice recognition - my experience

  1. #1
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    SD and voice recognition - my experience

    Just wanted to document my experience with SD voice recognition, as I couldn't find very many user experiences in the thread when I was enabling it yesterday.

    I am running the latest version of SD on a fresh install of WindowsXP. I downloaded and installed the Microsoft Speech SDK v5.1. I am using a cheap analog PC lapel mic with NO noise cancellation features whatsoever, and clipped it to my sun visor, directly in front of me and just above my line of sight.

    I was able to successfully train the microphone and get SD to recognize voice input. Not surprisingly, the voice recognition seems to work well when stationary, but any additional road noise (say above 15mph or so in my Mustang) causes recognition errors that prevent me from using the feature.

    I have no experience with a USB microphone or a mic with noise cancellation, but I imagine that if the noise cancellation was good enough, then the feature would work as designed.

    Just my two cents

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    Maximum Bitrate S4Per's Avatar
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    Take a look at my post over here. I've been using SD voice recognition for the past few weeks, and it's been 99.5% accurate, even at highway speeds.

    I bet some basic noise cancellation will help you tremendously. I use the NC that's included with my Realtek Audio HD on board sound card.

  3. #3
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4Per View Post
    Take a look at my post over here. I've been using SD voice recognition for the past few weeks, and it's been 99.5% accurate, even at highway speeds.

    I bet some basic noise cancellation will help you tremendously. I use the NC that's included with my Realtek Audio HD on board sound card.
    Quote Originally Posted by S4Per View Post
    I don't think there's one perfect tool for safe input, but rather a collection. Here's what I use:

    1. Touchscreen
    2. ccStick (i.e. rotary encoder)
    3. VOICE!

    I use Streetdeck for my front end which has very thorough voice commands. I use the rotary encoder to trigger the voice input (never have to look down at it, it's in the same spot as my car's OEM nav rotary control. My hand naturally rests there if using the arm rest). So, I use voice to go to different modules, pause, skip tracks, create a route, route me home, tell it to tell me the next nav direction, go to the equalizer, call home, and about 30 other things.

    If I'm looking for artists to play, I use the ccStick to scroll the list (requires periodic glance, so not ultra safe, but better than holding down a button on the touchscreen). I can click the ccStick to select/ hit OK, and also use it to 'go back'. Between voice and ccStick, i'm barely even using the touchscreen at this point while driving.

    Also, btw - Dragon Naturally speaking is great for normal PC control. With one command, I can open my OBD-II software of choice, select my template of 32 variables to log, and start logging.....or do a zillion other things.


    EDIT: FYI - I'm using a cheap $15 mic that I picked up a few years ago, mounted by my sunroof controls where an Onstar mic would go. Key to good voice recognition is training the mic, and also having a finite set of commands available. For example: Dragon Naturally Speaking is the best voice recognition software available today, I could use it to navigate in Streetdeck. I don't, though, because Dragon is listening for anything like a command ("Call Home") to dictating text...it's constantly evaluating which one of the million things it can do, it should do. There is an option to put it into 'Command Mode' or 'Spell Mode' etc. but it's a bit of a hassle to move in and out of those modes. Streetdeck voice recognition doesn't have to work as hard: it just listens for commands, and there's only about 40 of them (that I've configured). So as long as the commands don't sound too much like each other, it's easy for it to figure out what I want. anyway...

    Jst my 2 cents,
    Per
    Yeah, if you're using a $15 mic and getting consistent results, the noise cancellation must be working wonders. We have essentially the same setup...I just have a Powermate mounted on a very shortened joystick base in place of your ccStick, I have the Powermate set up to trigger voice command on a long press (click), and the microphone is mounted essentially in the same place as yours.

    Right now I'm using the onboard sound from my Dell Gx240. My two PCI slots are taken up by my ATI video card and a USB 2.0 card, both of which I need. If I could find a USB sound card with noise cancellation features built in, then that might be a possible solution.

    From the little bit I've experimented with it, voice control seems to be far superior to touchscreen control...I'd be willing to invest in a decent sound card if it worked.

    Thanks for the advice...hopefully this will help others, as there just isn't that much in the forums on SD and voice recognition.

  4. #4
    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Here's something interesting that just might work:

    Asus USB sound card.

    Sort of expensive, at 79.00 after rebate, but it comes with a noise canceling microphone that an array microphone on each side of the main mic. These array mics apparently pick up sounds in a 120 degree arc around the main mic, and then use that info to reduce background noise by 15dB and white noise by 20db. Might be worth a try...I'll see if I can find a local retailer with a liberal return policy (Fry's comes to mind...)

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    Maximum Bitrate S4Per's Avatar
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    The Andrea array mic is excellent also. Somewhere on this forum is me posting an audio file of doing 50mph in a tunnel that is only one lane wide, with my windows down!...the results were totally understandable :-)

    In order to get echo cancellation for it to work (critical for bluetooth phone if you're using it), though, you need to run the speakers out through it also. I didn't like the audio quality I got out of the speaker out (I'm somewhat picky) and so went back to the cheap mic.

    just fyi - to get echo cancellation to work, i added a Phoenix Audio card that's meant for dektop IP telephony. It plugs in, the PC doesn't even know it's there, and it works (PCI though, and $100..ouch).


    Lastly - totally with you on hopefully this helps some folks, and the value of voice recognition...i barely ues the touchscreen at all anymore!

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    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4Per View Post
    The Andrea array mic is excellent also. Somewhere on this forum is me posting an audio file of doing 50mph in a tunnel that is only one lane wide, with my windows down!...the results were totally understandable :-)

    In order to get echo cancellation for it to work (critical for bluetooth phone if you're using it), though, you need to run the speakers out through it also. I didn't like the audio quality I got out of the speaker out (I'm somewhat picky) and so went back to the cheap mic.

    just fyi - to get echo cancellation to work, i added a Phoenix Audio card that's meant for dektop IP telephony. It plugs in, the PC doesn't even know it's there, and it works (PCI though, and $100..ouch).


    Lastly - totally with you on hopefully this helps some folks, and the value of voice recognition...i barely ues the touchscreen at all anymore!
    So do you have two sound cards then?

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    No. Just using the onboard one now. The Phoenix card is just this intermediary black box. It has 4 plugs on it: you plug the mic and speakers into it, and then two short cords go from it to the soundcards' mic input and speaker output. I believe the thought is that it can regulate bandwidth and timing between the two incoming and outgoing streams. Here's a link to the Phoenix card.

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    FLAC is for flaccid parksgm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4Per View Post
    No. Just using the onboard one now. The Phoenix card is just this intermediary black box. It has 4 plugs on it: you plug the mic and speakers into it, and then two short cords go from it to the soundcards' mic input and speaker output. I believe the thought is that it can regulate bandwidth and timing between the two incoming and outgoing streams. Here's a link to the Phoenix card.
    Gotcha...thanks for the link. Interestingly enough, it seems that I wouldn't actually need a free PCI slot:

    Note: the SOHO card “sits” between your microphone and your PC loudspeakers on one hand, and your PC soundcard on the other hand. As such, the microphone and the speakers are connected to the SOHO card, and the SOHO card is connected
    to the soundcard. The connection to the soundcard is done externally, using Jumper Cables (provided). The only direct connection between the SOHO card and your PC is to the PC power supply. The SOHO card is not connected to the PC data
    bus or any other interface bus. It cannot interfere with any application you have running on your PC, and it does not use or require any driver. The PC will not even know that the SOHO card is plugged in.
    ...I'd just need to provide power to the proper pins/traces on the card via a old PCI slot that I could salvage from some motherboard. And since it conforms to the PCI standard, identifying the proper pins should be dead simple.

    I read some of your other threads, and it seems like you decided to go with this card as a solution because it allows you to use whatever sound card you want, and then essentially provides noise reduction, echo cancellation, and timing adjustments to whatever signal passes through it. If that's the case, then I think it would even work with speaker path length timing adjustments from the sound card, since the delay would be present in the original signal.

    Interesting product. If I get into bluetooth audio with SD, then perhaps it will be worth the investment. Thanks for the info...I'm surprised I haven't seen this car mentioned other places on the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parksgm View Post
    Gotcha...thanks for the link. Interestingly enough, it seems that I wouldn't actually need a free PCI slot:



    ...I'd just need to provide power to the proper pins/traces on the card via a old PCI slot that I could salvage from some motherboard. And since it conforms to the PCI standard, identifying the proper pins should be dead simple.

    I read some of your other threads, and it seems like you decided to go with this card as a solution because it allows you to use whatever sound card you want, and then essentially provides noise reduction, echo cancellation, and timing adjustments to whatever signal passes through it. If that's the case, then I think it would even work with speaker path length timing adjustments from the sound card, since the delay would be present in the original signal.

    Interesting product. If I get into bluetooth audio with SD, then perhaps it will be worth the investment. Thanks for the info...I'm surprised I haven't seen this car mentioned other places on the forum.
    Yup, that's my thinking with going with that card...it can handle the echo cancellation piece no matter sound card I'm using. Not sure why others haven't discovered that card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S4Per View Post
    Yup, that's my thinking with going with that card...it can handle the echo cancellation piece no matter sound card I'm using. Not sure why others haven't discovered that card.
    cos you kept it your personal secret... im definitely gonna have to check this out
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