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Hello

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Where do you start?

Start with figuring out which companies you want to record with. Each company has their own process, and unfortunately seem to require/recommend different equipment to record with them. Prices range, methods of recording range (like you will need different microphone types to record for different companies...not that I WOULD ever do this, but Amazon has a really GREAT return policy, just sayin'), results differ, and where and how you can use the voices differs. Right, i know! So here are the places i decided to record with and my review of each.

This is my voice of choice. Bottom line was i got the voice that sounded most like myself. 

PRICE : ranges from $235usd for the basic Voice Build, to $335 for Voice Repair, up to $400 for Voice Design (this is created from OLD recording of your voice if you didn't have a chance to record prior to losing your voice check it out!)

PRO's: 

  • The version of my voice they made was the truest to my actual voice. BOOM, mic drop.

  • You can LISTEN and preview your voice BEFORE you pay. 

  • They have their own app available for IOS and Android that is free. I also test drove numerous phone apps and liked thiers the best in terms of operations. You find out very quickly when you are relying on texting to speak that speed is paramount, so little things like placement of the 'buttons' mean a lot. 

  • I had some questions along the way and they were responsive!

  • The voice is SAPI5 (don't ask me what that really means) which means you can use it for lots of AAC applications and hardware like those made by Tobii and Smartbox. (I will have to elaborate on these systems further elsewhere!). I do use this voice with my Tobii Communicator 5 software and it is almost fully functional. Communicator can't link in my 'message banked' phrases totally.

  • You 'own' your voice - you can download it as many times as you like and don't have 'fees' to keep it up. 

CON's:

  • I did end up paying more to go up to the 'Repair' level so i could get better results, even though my voice was fairly intact.

  • There are some glitches using this voice on my Tobii Communicator 5 software

  • The message banking input is ONLY available on the phone app itself. So you have to use your phone speaker to do it (not the highest quality), and the recording to me was cumbersome. Retrieving the banked messages on the app is also rather cumbersome, i RARELY use them. REALLY RARELY. 

PRICE : they gotchya by the balls buddy. $99/year for a 'subscription' or a whopping $999 perpetual license.

PRO's: 

  • Not a horrible version of my voice, but a bit 'nasal' and domo aragoto mr.roboto

  • You can LISTEN and preview your voice and use your voice for a 3 month FREE TRIAL. There are real advantages to having a trial run of a voice - there are just performance issues that you really only figure out once you are knee deep.

  • The voice is SAPI and limited IOS compatible.

  • The voice is widely used and compatible with MANY phone and AAC apps. 

  • Message banking of up to 300 phrases included.

CON's:

  • Domo arragato mr.roboto. They actually just sent me an improved 2023 release of my voice, i mean that's nice...that they are enhancing (it's time for me to renew my subscription coincidentally). But its still got that digital robot edge to it.

  • Subscription to my own voice? $1000 for my voice? i mean i get it, they have to keep the lights on. The real issue here is that HEALTH INSURANCE should cover our synthesized voices (i understand other countries do have means of subsidizing this)!!!! Don't get me started...just don't.

PRICE : $299 usd

PRO's: 

  • My voice was pretty good. A little bit of a robot edge to it, kind of a hollow sound. 

  • SAPI format makes it usable with lots of Windows communication software like PRC, Saltillo, Smartbox Accent, Tobii Communicator, etc.

CON's:

  • They also have their own iPhone app for your Voice Keeper voice, but its a super simplistic app. Um, simplistic not in a good way. Every time you type something you have to 'backspace' to erase it before you say something else. You can imagine that its hard to carry on a conversation that way. You can buy it for other apps on Android s, but i have an iPhone.

  • Just didn't like the version of MY voice as much. 

PRICE : approximately $600 usd

PRO's: 

  • I actually had an online meeting with several of the people in this company, and they were super nice.

  • While their policy is you need to purchase your voice site unseen (voice unheard), they extended to me a courtesty to hear my voice first. Again, super nice of them....but......

CON's:

  • My voice sounded like i was 100 years old, or maybe speaking from the inside of that tv in the Poltergeist? I'm sorry Ceraproc people! You were super nice but my voice was just horrible...horrible...sigh not much point in listing more pros and cons than that... did i say the people were nice?

PRICE : $1499 usd

PRO's: 

  • ? anyone?

CON's:

  • I paid $29 for the preview and wasn't overly impressed. My voice sounded fairly robotic. So honestly i didn't take it further. I had a limit to my time and resources. 

  • There is some stuff that feels a bit shifty to me that i couldn't quite sort out about this company. They promote this 'human voicebank' thing like it's a social service. That you can get on and record your voice and then other people will get to use your voice or portions of your voice - like you are donating blood. However, the company isn't just donating these voices to others, they are charging $1499 and up for synthesized voices. Listen, I'm not against companies making money...i totally cannot imagine all the time it takes to do this work. But it just sits wrong how they are spinning this.

PRICE : FREE!!! yes, that's right! I said FREE. However it did highly recommend buying a specific device (Zoom H1 recorder) to record.

PRO's: 

  • did i say mention this is FREE???? 

  • you end up recording a bunch of your personal messages and sayings that you then have in .wav format. This is also in my 'insurance policy' category. i was able to pass these on to the AI company, SpeechMorphing that i am working with to create a more hi-tech synthesized voice with. (more details on this forthcoming in section below!)

CON's:

  • to recap this is Message Banking and NOT Voice Banking. 

  • it takes some work to go through the transcriptions that they return to you and edit appropriately so you can get them to work correctly on your Speech Generating device. Unfortunately because i really prefer my Speak Unique voice i can't combine and use these with that voice in my Tobii Communicator software. 

  • I am unaware if there are phone apps you can use this with.

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