Voice Banking - Tips for capturing your natural-sounding voice right now
The voice cloning technology we are working on isn't easily available for everybody yet but we are working on getting funding that will allow us to make a product that can be widely available. In the meantime, there are actions you can take now to be ready for when it is.
Please use these tips along with your clinician’s expert advice. These are not a substitute for their professional guidance.
The most important thing is to record high-quality samples of your voice. These recordings should sound conversational and as close as possible to how you actually speak.
Below we offer some instructions which may be helpful.
Find a time when you can be on your own and feel relaxed. During the day might be better as you will have more energy in your voice and can sound more conversational.
A quiet space with lots of soft furnishings will mean there is less echo in the recording. If you can do the recording under a blanket or duvet this will also help in improving the sound (be careful not to create ruffle sounds!).
Use the best quality recording device you can get find. This might be a Dictaphone or a computer with a good external microphone. Modern smartphones often have good microphones, but it might be better to find a good external one to attach to it. The subject that you speak about isn’t important. What is important, is that you are speaking conversationally and do not sound like you are reading.
The technology we are using to create the voice clone learns from the audio that is recorded, so speak as you would like to be represented in the future.
Tell a story from memory. Share a positive experience. Talk about your day or week etc. Record as much as possible – the more the better! We recommend one hour of audio at the very least but you can never have too much!
This technology is very sensitive to the subtleties in how you speak. It will pick up on things like in-breaths and out-breaths, um's and ah's etc. These are naturally part of how we speak but try to limit them as much as possible.
When you have finished the recording, copy and store it safely in as high a quality as possible (ideally digitally in the cloud using a service like dropbox, google drive or even simply emailing the audio file to yourself).
Don’t let getting it perfect get in the way of getting started. Work with what you have available. A little bit of recorded audio, even if recorded on your smartphone, is better than no audio at all. Even if you simply read a script into your phone right now it’s better than nothing. If you want to do this, here’s a script you can use. Remember, try to sound natural, not like you’re reading.
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