Some things to consider before asking someone to donate their voice / agreeing to become a voice donor:
There is normally no payment to be a voice donor, donating (just as the word suggests) means it’s done for free.
The donor will need to record between 50 and 300 sentences in order for a voice to be created, depending on which company is used. This takes time and commitment.
The donor will need the correct equipment, quiet space and reliable internet connection to make the recordings.
The voice will sound like it has been made on a computer and not totally natural (listen to the sample recordings to hear some examples.) If the donor has a regional accent it will be present in the banked voice but it won’t be perfect It is possible to adjust speed (to make the voice speak faster or slower) and pitch (to make the voice sound higher or lower). So, if the donor’s natural voice is a bit deeper than you would like this can be changed.
Some people don’t want the voice created for them because they don’t like it when they hear it. This also happens sometimes when people bank their own voice too. Some people don’t mind if it sounds a bit unnatural, as long as it sounds a bit like they would if they could speak. They are happy to have a unique voice.
Finding a voice donor:
It is the responsibility of of the person who wants a banked voice (or those supporting them) to find a suitable donor. Usually this will be a family member, such as a brother or sister or a close friend. If there is nobody suitable you may wish to look for someone else.
Once you have found a voice donor there are a few practical decisions and discussions that must take place between you and your voice donor to ensure the process is as smooth as possible:
- Make sure they have all the facts about what is involved
- Choose which company you would like your donor to bank their voice with
- Ensure they have the correct equipment to use
- Agree how you will preview the voice once they have finished recording
- Discuss how you will make payment to the voice banking company
- Ensure you will have login and password details so you can officially ‘own’ the voice and download it onto a windows/iOS device to be used with communication software.
- It is worth noting that ModelTalker has experience of working with voice donors who are not related/don’t know the person who would like their voice. Because they have a process for this it resolves any issues around previewing a voice, payment and logins.
- Acapela does not have a process for voice donors, but if family/friends are voice banking it should still be quite straightforward with a little planning.
Donating your voice:
If you are interested in donating your voice there are two main ways to do this:
- Donate your voice to a large bank of voices so that it can be blended/mixed with someone else’s to create their voice. Your voice may be used many times and you won’t know who has received it.
For more information about donating your voice to be blended with other voices look at the Vocal ID company website: https://vocalid.ai/. They are the main company that offers this at present.
- Donate your voice to one specific individual. Your voice will become a synthetic voice for one person.
As the donor you will usually be a relative or friend of the person you donate your voice to. It’s also possible you have heard about someone who is looking for a voice donor and would like to donate your voice to them, even though you do not know them.
Other pages about voice banking will explain the voice banking process, equipment you need, how to get started and tips on making good recordings. Please return to the menu to take a look.