[BCAB] Adverse effect on NVDA voices after Windows 10 update

Giles Turnbull giles.turnbull at gmail.com
Sat Jun 15 16:09:49 BST 2019

Hi all,

I've cross-posted this to the NVDA email list because it is probably
an NVDA issue, but I'm not sure so I'm posting it here too in case
it's a windows update issue or a Dell-laptop issue.

Let me explain what is happening.

Yesterday I had a friend visit who had never heard a screen reader
before, so I demonstrated my NVDA using the Microsoft SAPI 5 voice
Zira. I also changed the symthesizer to the E-Speak one and used the
Lancashire voice before changing back to SAPI5 / Zira.

Windows also picked yesterday to do an automatic update. I am now
running Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.829)

What is happening is that the volume using the Microsoft SAPI5 voices
Zira and David are fluctuating wildly in volume. I do have NVDA set to
duck when outputing speech and sounds but even when I turn ducking off
I'm still getting very large spikes in volume when typing.

For example, as I am typing this it was at my usual nice listening
volume but then I went into the NVDA menu to look at the speech
settings again, and the volume in the menu jumped and got much harsher
(Zira is quite a soft voice at my usual listening volume). I pressed
ESC to come out of the settings and it remained loud and harsh for
several bits of typing before settling back down to the mor normal
volume level. Let me see how long it takes for the volume to rise
again ... and it is already harsher and louder ... and will drob down
and softer now. It's all very strange! I am writing this in Notepad.

I recorded the Zira voice reading most of that previous sentence and
it still sounds exactly the same as in the recording, it starts at a
comfortable listening volume and quicly gets louder and more

Can anybody tell from the recording (link below) what might be happening.

It is most likely that I have inadvertenly changed an NVDA voice
setting (though all settings seem as they normally are), or that the
Windows update has tweeked something in the SAPI5 and Core1 voices, or
has upset something in my Dell Latitude laptop sound drivers.

I'd be extremely grateful for any ideas that I can try to fix this problem.


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