Lightweight minimal speech recognition?

July 12th, 2023
jammer, music, tech
I currently control my rhythm stage setup with a USB keyboard. This works, except that my hands are often busy playing instruments when I want to change something. I already have a microphone in front of my mouth running to a computer, which I use for my whistle-controlled bass synthesizer: could I use speech recognition?

Another way to look at this is that a lot of my exploration here has been finding some way to play bass and mandolin at the same time: whistle bass, bass pedals, bass and drum pedals. With speech recognition I could call chords to the computer!

I'm currently running on a Raspberry Pi 3B. I tried OpenAI's Whisper and then the C++ port (which should work on the 4B), and then the much older software Julius but my Pi 3B couldn't handle real time with any of these. Is there some existing software that would be a good fit for this? People were running speech recognition back when this computer would have been top of the line.

I'm also considering giving up on the idea of using speech: all I really need is some sound I can make consistently enough that the computer can recognize. I'm already running a system that can mostly decode whistling, so maybe I should figure out how to phrase my commands as simple whistle patterns? I'm a bit nervous about doing this while playing, though, since unless I choose patterns that can sound musical in any key it's going to be pretty hard to combine with playing something else. Maybe alternating low and high notes, but I can choose which notes in response to the key?

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