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This is now the official location of the Merlin project.

Project README

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Merlin: The Neural Network (NN) based Speech Synthesis System

This repository contains the Neural Network (NN) based Speech Synthesis System
developed at the Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR), University of Edinburgh.

Merlin is a toolkit for building Deep Neural Network models for statistical parametric speech synthesis. It must be used in combination with a front-end text processor (e.g., Festival) and a vocoder (e.g., STRAIGHT or WORLD).

The system is written in Python and relies on the Theano numerical computation library.

Merlin comes with recipes (in the spirit of the Kaldi automatic speech recognition toolkit) to show you how to build state-of-the art systems.

Merlin is free software, distributed under an Apache License Version 2.0, allowing unrestricted commercial and non-commercial use alike.

Read the documentation at cstr-edinburgh.github.io/merlin.

Merlin is compatible with: Python 2.7-3.6.


Merlin uses the following dependencies:

  • numpy, scipy
  • matplotlib
  • bandmat
  • theano
  • tensorflow (optional, required if you use tensorflow models)
  • sklearn, keras, h5py (optional, required if you use keras models)

To install Merlin, cd merlin and run the below steps:

  • Install some basic tools in Merlin
bash tools/compile_tools.sh
  • Install python dependencies
pip install -r requirements.txt

For detailed instructions, to build the toolkit: see INSTALL and CSTR blog post.
These instructions are valid for UNIX systems including various flavors of Linux;

Getting started with Merlin

To run the example system builds, see egs/README.txt

As a first demo, please follow the scripts in egs/slt_arctic

Now, you can also follow Josh Meyer's blog post for detailed instructions
on how to install Merlin and build SLT demo voice.

For a more in-depth tutorial about building voices with Merlin, you can check out:

Synthetic speech samples

Listen to synthetic speech samples from our SLT arctic voice.

Development pattern for contributors

  1. Create a personal fork of the main Merlin repository in GitHub.
  2. Make your changes in a named branch different from master, e.g. you create a branch my-new-feature.
  3. Generate a pull request through the Web interface of GitHub.

Contact Us

Post your questions, suggestions, and discussions to GitHub Issues.


If you publish work based on Merlin, please cite:

Zhizheng Wu, Oliver Watts, Simon King, "Merlin: An Open Source Neural Network Speech Synthesis System" in Proc. 9th ISCA Speech Synthesis Workshop (SSW9), September 2016, Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "CSTR Edinburgh Merlin" Project. README Source: CSTR-Edinburgh/merlin

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