4 Jul 2001 dhd   » (Master)

Hanging out with friends in Ottawa, YAPC, B.C., Calgary, Ottawa, back home, sleep-deprived stupor, work, etc.

YAPC was pretty fun. As usual I didn't get enough sleep. My talk didn't go nearly as well as I'd hoped. I need to bite the bullet and actually practice these things ahead of time. I did, however, control my slides with the power of my voice!

I am working on really fun stuff now, namely converting cluster-based unit selection databases from Festival to work with Flite. I'm still managing to avoid writing any Scheme code, and have ended up using Perl to parse Scheme data and write out C. It works really well, so I don't care...

There's a lot of work to be done in shrinking and optimizing databases which should keep my busy for a while.

As a consequence, I'm finally really getting acquainted with the internals of the TTS engine. It's amazing how much more straightforward some things become when they're expressed as well-written code. Of course, I may not have been able to understand the code as well without the prior explanations.

It's also deceptive because some of the algorithms are very simple in implementation and "just work", but rely on a frightening amount of signal-processing-fu or statistics-fu to explain why exactly they just work. Unfortunately there's a tendency in some papers and books I've read to throw down the big scary math *first* and then eventually derive the practical implementation.

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