Re: How do they record the actors for voice response systems

Subject: Re: How do they record the actors for voice response systems
From: "Crimmin, Peter" <Peter -dot- Crimmin -at- nuance -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 11:06:09 -0400


My employer makes extensive use of "voice talents" for applications and
products. We have detailed criteria and processes for selecting and
directing the talents, and there are several public domain books on the
subject from employees or ex-employees (e.g. Chris Kotelli).

Briefly:

1. Define and design a "persona" for the application.
2. Hire a talent that accepts direction. This facilitates the coaching
process to create the persona.
3. Make high-quality recordings in a well-constructed studio. Pay
attention to subtle intonations.

We have tools to display recordings on a screen, along with descriptions
of the desired emotional qualities. The talent reads and speaks one
recording at a time. The tools writes each file to a filename expected
by the application. You can buy tools like this, and you can buy a
studio booth and assemble it inside a small office.

We also sell some of the best text-to-speech software available. For
example, we are the voice of the new (and controversial) Kindle2. To
create a TTS voice requires hours and hours of recordings. We chop them
into small pieces and reassemble in creative ways. The result is
astonishing. Send an email and I can reply with an attachment of our
newest voice.

peterC
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