Voice banking is a process that allows a person to record a set list of phrases with their own voice, while they still have the ability to do so. This recording is then converted to create a personal synthetic voice.
If the person doesn’t have the ability to use their own voice they can use a voice donor, such as a sibling.
When the person is no longer able to use their own voice, they can use the synthetic voice in speech-generating communication devices to generate an infinite number of words and sentences.
The voice created will be synthetic and not be a perfect replica of the person’s natural speech, but it will bear some resemblance.
Will voice banking work for everyone?
It is very important that a person whose speech might become harder to understand banks their voice early (for example someone with MND). This gives the best chance of success because words need to be said clearly as they are recorded.
It is possible to bank a voice with mildly slurred speech. However, it is important to understand that the voice that you get out will resemble the voice that's put in.
Alternative voice banking services
Some companies offer services for people who do not have clear enough speech to go through the normal process, or who have noticed changes to their voice that they would not want reflected in their banked voice.
These alternative services combine your recordings with pre-recorded or donated voice samples, and make other adjustments, to produce a clearer sounding voice.
Please see the useful links page for more information about what services are offered by voice banking companies.
Some information taken from the MNDA website
'What is voice and message banking?' - a short video made by the MNDA