Voice Banking and Message Banking
Recent advances in speech synthesis have led to two new technologies - voice banking and message banking.
Voice banking is a process by which a computer generated voice is developed for an individual based on a number of recordings of their voice. This process involves setting up a microphone and computer and recording your voice into the computer. These files are then uploaded to a remote server and an algorythm produces a synthesised voice which should sound like your voice.
The process can be quite long, requiring a number of sessions of recording. It is recommended that anyone who wishes to use voice banking does this as soon as possible, as people are often disatisfied with the results if there are any elements of slurred speech in their synthesised voice.
Because our service works with people who require AAC, it is quite often the case that the opportunity for voice banking has passed. Therefore we would recommend to all local services to discuss voice banking far in advance of a referral to our service, if you feel it is likely to be needed.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association has some excellent resources on voice banking which can be found here.
A list of currently available voice banking services can also be found on the Motor Neurone Disease Association's website here.
Message banking is a process by which whole messages are recorded. This means that only this message can be repeated by the computer, as opposed to voice banking above, where any message can be made from a synthesised voice. Message banking simply records a spoken phrase and replays that phrase.
Message banking is available fromTobii-Dynavox and from Smartbox through the Grid 3 Software.