What is voice banking technology and how to create a digital voice with The Voice Keeper?
A step by step guide with The Voice Keeper
For many MND and ALS patients, the thought of losing their voice is closely connected to losing an important part of their identity. Luckily, advancements in technology has allowed people to easily preserve and create a digital version of their natural voice so that they can continue to communicate while maintaining a sense of identity long after their own voice is gone.
How can I create a digital voice?
In order to create a digital voice, individuals need a computer, a good USB microphone headset or their phone as well as a voice banking software. Individuals are required to record themselves reading out loud sentences which the software turns into a synthesised version of their voice. The personalised digital voice can be transferred into a speech generating device which allows them to ‘speak’ in their own voice.
Traditionally voice banking is known as a lengthy process as it often requires individuals to record themselves reading out loud at least 500-1500 sentences. Some solutions also require additional software and various other testing. The process can seem intimidating for many so it’s no wonder that it causes confusion and a lot of questions. However, most recently, advancements in AI and deep learning has allowed new solutions to emerge.
What should I do if I’ve already lost my voice?
If you have already lost your voice, you can ask a friend or a family member to create a digital voice and donate it to you. This way you can still speak with a voice you still have an emotional connection with. For example, with The Voice Keeper, you can create an account and choose the option ‘voice donation’ and add a donor by sending them a unique code. This will allow them to sign up and start creating a digital voice for you immediately. You can both monitor the progress and get notified each time your donor reaches a milestone.
Why is voice banking so important?
As discussed earlier, our voice is often a huge part of our individuality and identity so the thought of losing it to an illness is devastating. Therefore, creating a personalised digital voice as early as possible before, ideally soon after diagnosis is crucial. This can also act as ‘vocal insurance’ as people can keep their digital voice safe until they really need it. While some people manage to keep their own voice for years after their diagnosis, some lose it very early on.
Industry professionals also recommend people to bank their voice as early as possible after their diagnosis while their voice is still healthy and in a good condition. This will give them a better chance to create a digital voice that sounds exactly like them.
How to create a voice on The Voice Keeper app
- Download The Voice Keeper’s voice banking app from the AppStore and register within seconds.
- Alternatively, visit The Voice Keeper website and use your computer to create your digital voice.
- Register within seconds and hit the ‘record’ button and start reading out loud 30-100 sentences to get the first version of your digital voice.
- For another significantly improved version, continue recording another 10 minutes. Repeat this step until you are happy with the voice you have created.
- Purchase the voice once you are ready to use it on your communication device.