Re: Text Aloud and Voice Narration Recommendations Requested?

Subject: Re: Text Aloud and Voice Narration Recommendations Requested?
From: Milan Davidovic <shl_ctf -at- yahoo -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 16:39:20 -0400 (EDT)

Further to Geoff's thoughts, some ideas from a friend
of mine who has worked in broadcasting and has done
narration work himself:

I agree that no hardware/software solution is ever
going to be better than a human voice. Would you
rather listen to a machine or a well-modulated male
or female voice? As a bonus, there are quite a number
of people out there - freelance radio producers,
journalism students, even some actors - who would be
able to produce these items in a home-studio setting.
It doesn't take much in terms of technology: a
computer, a halfway-decent microphone and a decent
space to work in.

It would probably make sense to have a producer, i.e.
someone from the technical or writing/editing side,
on site to ensure that pronunciations are correct and
to deal with any questions the talent might have.

If you really wanted to splurge you could go to a
small recording studio; I'd guess you'd spend roughly
$50/hour (less in some cities, more in others) for
studio time, including a recording
engineer/technician. In smaller centres, the local
radio station would probably do it for you. If the
recordings are pretty simple, i.e. just reading text
off a page, you can pump out a lot of material in an
hour or two.

Using students is definitely an option, but whether
you're using students or pros, it's a good idea to do
at least a simple audition process (even if it's just
having a conversation with a few potentials, or
asking them to read a paragraph for you) to make sure
you get someone who sounds right.

If you're looking for a quick 'n' dirty solution, find
the person in your office who has the most pleasant
voice, get a microphone and a workstation with a
sound card, and use Windows Sound Recorder to bash out
some basic recordings. You'd be surprised how good
these recordings can be with just a little effort.

There's no substitute for getting some professional
advice on this, particularly if you're planning to
commercialize these voice recordings in any way.

--- Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca> wrote:

> Just a thought: Have you considered actually hiring
> "voice talent" and
> using a human instead of software?

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Text Aloud and Voice Narration Recommendations Requested?: From: Geoff Hart

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