Lexlex

Ma Bell (Pat Fleet) agrees to do Asterisk prompt set.

50 posts in this topic

So I had a conversation with Pat Fleet, a very nice lady from the South who has been more or less the "official" voice of AT&T since about 1980 (See attachment for example of her voice). I had worked with her on a project several years ago and we remained friends.

Anyway, I described Asterisk to her and the concept of open source and she's game to do a full prompt set under an open source license. It would be good for her as she would get more customization work and she also really likes doing it.

I am game to do the editing work on it, but I would really like to release it as an official Asterisk release (perhaps in the 1.6 version coming up).

Is anyone here familiar with the process and/or could direct me to how or who I might be in contact about this? I really think than when it's done, it will be a big deal and I'd like to get as much exposure for the thing s possible.

thxATT.wav

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this would seriously be awesome

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who I might be in contact about this? I really think than when it's done, it will be a big deal and I'd like to get as much exposure for the thing s possible.

Well, the person would be Mark Spencer but I would post a question here

http://lists.digium.com/mailman/listinfo/

or use contact page

http://www.asterisk.org/contact

but faster answer whom you should contact I guess you can get from IRC channel.

btw: nice, that's the lady from 'military activity'

Edited by Havoc
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So I had a conversation with Pat Fleet, a very nice lady from the South who has been more or less the "official" voice of AT&T since about 1980 (See attachment for example of her voice). I had worked with her on a project several years ago and we remained friends.

Anyway, I described Asterisk to her and the concept of open source and she's game to do a full prompt set under an open source license. It would be good for her as she would get more customization work and she also really likes doing it.

That would absolutely, terrifically, mind-blowingly cool. And I don't use the terms lightly! :voteyes:

I have been working on building a new Asterisk box, and was going to post in the other thread to offer it up for development/testing once I had it ready. Trouble is I haven't quite finished it yet. Would this be of any help to you, or do you have a test rig already?

Also, if for some reason the Asterisk folks aren't able to include your new prompts in the "official" build (perhaps they have a contract with Allison or something?), there'd be nothing stopping you from releasing them as a third-party replacement set. This would be quite simple to do, and the user would only have to complete a few steps to install and utilize them.

With something this big, I have no doubt that there would be a lot of interest in it. A few well-placed emails would probably be all it would take to get the "avalanche" started.

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Got in touch with Mark Spencer and he asked for some examples of her voice. So we'll see what happens!

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Oh, hear's a cool one I bet you never got a chance to record. I sent it as example with above.

fivecents.wav

Edited by lexlex
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Very nice! It'd be especially awesome if you could get Pat to say something, I dunno, phreak-ish, being, as you said, the voice of AT&T and all. The first thing that comes to mind is something pretty general, like 'I own all you noobs'. Either way, major props, you don't exactly get to hear the voice of a major telco up close every day!

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Sure, post a list and I'll do them when we record the set.

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Very nice! It'd be especially awesome if you could get Pat to say something, I dunno, phreak-ish, being, as you said, the voice of AT&T and all. The first thing that comes to mind is something pretty general, like 'I own all you noobs'. Either way, major props, you don't exactly get to hear the voice of a major telco up close every day!

'Please deposit forty cents for the next three minutes, or press the appropriate buttons on your red-box' ;)

On a more serious note, this brought to mind an important question that hadn't occurred to me before: custom prompts.

Right now, Asterisk's bundled prompt set is voiced by a woman named Allison Smith. She makes herself available for custom prompt orders through the Digium website. So if, for instance, I needed a recording that said "For further assistance, contact ABC Telephone Company" I could pay her to make it for me.

I would assume you'll be specifically offering the set "as is" to head off anyone looking for custom work... right? Or is such a thing part of the plan?

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Yeah, the custom prompts are the whole point. I registered patfleet.com and will set up a system where you can order custom prompts directly from her. Should be set up within 60 days or so.

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While Allison Smith sounds very good, I still like Pat Fleet recordings for that "old school" sound.

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Yeah, the custom prompts are the whole point. I registered patfleet.com and will set up a system where you can order custom prompts directly from her. Should be set up within 60 days or so.

Sixty days, huh? Guess now I've got something to look forward to between my birthday and HOPE (ha ha!).

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Found a couple video clips of Pat Fleet with Jane Barbe on Nightline from a few years back.

Put them up on youtube:

Here is the link:

.

Here's another with Mr Moviefone on

. Edited by lexlex
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Found a couple video clips of Pat Fleet with Jane Barbe on Nightline from a few years back.

Put them up on youtube:

Here is the link:

.

Here's another with Mr Moviefone on

.

Awesome, I've never seen the Nightline video. I've seen pictures of Jane, but I've never seen Pat before. It's nice to be able to put a face to the voice that I've been hearing for such a long time.

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Agreed! I had seen Jane's picture a number of times, but never had seen Pat's picture before.

RIP Jane Barbe! :cry:

Allison Smith has a good voice, but nothing like these two!

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That is extremely cool! I'm glad to hear you're working on this and hope everything goes great for you. I never personally liked the voice of asterisk and I think Pat Fleet would be a welcome addition.

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Any news on this? Haven't seen/heard anything in a while... hope it's still in the works!

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OK - it took a bit longer than hoped, but last weekend I recorded the complete base and extra sound sets for Asterisk using Pat Fleet. It sounds pretty good, and I will be spending the next week or so, trimming and adjusting these recordings into a prompt set. Then on to beta as I'm sure there will be some adjustments. Even with what I have done so far, it's sounds more "phone company" than you can possibly imagine. Very interesting what a voice does!

Her website is almost done, but in the meantime, if you want to see a picture of Pat Fleet I took when there, check out her wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Fleet

Also, if any of you want to help beta this set, please message me here and let me know. It should be ready in a week or so. I'm looking for people who are intimately familiar with Asterisk and use it on a regular basis.

Soon!

A

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I hope you got Pat to do the "weasels have eaten our phone system" and the various takes of "moo" as well! :D

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OK -- So am a little more than half way through the core set of Asterisk prompts and thought you all might want to hear how it's going. Yes - we recorded every weird asterisk prompt, including weasles - and many more.

Take a listen - any comment?

dem08.wav

Edited by lexlex
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Sounds pretty darn good. Glad she was willing to do the prompts on the system.

However, either this was a low quality recording, the bass was turned up a bit too much, or she seems to have a deeper voice than she did a number of years ago? Just my take.

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Well -- it is "low quality" in the sense that it has been converted to lo-fi 8khz for phone use. But if you play it over a phone, it sounds pretty standard.

I think her voice has changed as well. She is getting older, but probably more affecting: she stopped smoking about 4 years ago.

I don't know if it makes that much of a difference, but I hear it too. She's still warm and I think the prompts will be fine, but there was a slight, maple syrupy difference at a pack a day.

The earlier recordings in this thread were made in 1996 - when she was still smoking. They are not converted to 8khz, so will sound great - but if I have some time I'll put together a comparison recording so we can hear the difference.

I am tempted to fold in the older recordings into the prompt set - but it might be too hard to match them. I'll see what I come up with once this first core set is completed.

A

Edited by lexlex
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Are these the Asterisk 1.6 sounds or did you re-word the 1.4 sounds? And how can we get the set split up an named -- i.e. a drop in set of recordings for asterisk?

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