Creating a project in Mix

This section describes how to choose channels, modalities, and an engine pack version compatible with your Speech Suite deployment, for IVR projects.

Channels and modalities

When creating a project in Mix you specify the communication channels you intend to support. The predefined channels have recommended modalities preselected for you but you can customize the channels to suit your needs. You can also create and name your own custom channels.

Mix offers three project templates with default channels and modalities. For example, the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) predefined channel is meant to support the classic interactive touchtone telephone system using voice and DTMF, with prerecorded audio files for prompts (called messages in Mix.dialog).

A modality specifies a format used to exchange information with users, such as text-to-speech (TTS), audio, and text. Modalities determine the options that are available for a channel in Mix.dialog. For example, if you select the DTMF modality, you will be able to map DTMF keys to entity values in the DTMF properties of question and answer nodes. If you don’t select the DTMF modality for any of the channels in your project, these properties will not be available, nor will any DTMF-related settings appear in the Project Settings panel for your project.

Consider the following factors when making your modality selections for an IVR project:

  • If your application will be using recorded prompts, make sure Audio Script is selected. Select this option if you intend to use prerecorded messages, including messages dynamically assembled from smaller prerecorded audio files using dynamic concatenated audio, with or without backup text to be rendered using TTS.
  • If your application will rely on speech synthesis (text-to-speech), make sure TTS is selected. The TTS modality enables the TTS streaming feature of the Dialog service.
  • If your application will be DTMF-enabled, make sure DTMF is selected. The DTMF modality provides support for Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency tones as user input.

Unless you’re creating an omnichannel project, you can skip Rich Text and Interactivity:

  • Rich text lets you specify text messages that can be displayed on any screen, such as SMS messages. It also provides the ability to include richer content in messages, such as HTML tags that can be used in a web chat.
  • Interactivity lets you add interactive elements to your dialog design, such as buttons and clickable links.

Once you have specified the channels and modalities for your project, you must select a use case (General is the default), followed by the languages you wish to support. The available languages depend on the selected use case. For more information, see Create your own project.

Engine packs

When creating a project in Mix you must select the engine pack version that corresponds to the engines installed in your self-hosted environment, or, if you’re a Nuance-hosted IVR customer, to the engines available in the hosted environment.

This ensures that the resources generated for your project (ASR DLMs, NLU models, and dialog models) are compatible with the engine versions available in the environment where your application is to be deployed. The engine pack version also determines the tooling features you can access. In the Mix tools, features introduced in a later engine pack version are not available until you upgrade to the engine pack version supporting these new features. This ensures that changes introduced in any engines in the Nuance-hosted Mix runtime environment will not affect existing projects.

An engine pack version includes a major and a minor version number. Speech Suite 11 is only compatible with the 2.x releases of engine packs—this holds both for Nuance-hosted IVR deployments, as well as for self-hosted deployments. To determine which specific engine pack version to use, select the version corresponding to your installed engines.

For the list of engine packs available for Speech Suite deployments, see Speech Suite.

If you are creating a Mix project to be deployed to an IVR environment with Speech Suite 11 (11.0.9 and later) and the Nuance Dialog engine—whether these components are self-hosted or Nuance-hosted (Nuance-hosted IVR)—you must select an engine pack that matches your Speech Suite version and the version of the Dialog engine installed in the IVR environment.

For example, consider the following Speech Suite 11 deployment:

  • NVE 21.06.0 (aligns with TTS 21.06)
  • Krypton 4.8.1 (aligns with ASR 4)
  • NLE 4.9.1 (aligns with NLU 4)
  • Dialog 1.1 with VoiceXML connector 1.1 (aligns with Dialog 1.1)

For this deployment, you would select the 2.0 engine pack.

To determine your installed engine versions and the recommended engine pack version to select for your project:

  • For self-hosted IVR deployments with Speech Suite 11, see the release notes for your version of Speech Suite and VoiceXML Connector.
  • For Nuance-hosted IVR deployments, please work with your Program Delivery Team Leads to identify the versions of Speech Suite and VoiceXML Connector available for your application.

For more information about engine packs, see Manage engine packs.