Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning. – Maya Angelou
Looking for that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for someone special?
How about: your voice?
Our ability to employ speech to express human emotion is a gift. We are empowered to tell stories, make someone laugh, or buy something they didn’t even think they wanted. Unique as a fingerprint, the human voice – a wondrous result of individual physiology, environment and background – vibrates to the world who we are.
How about sharing some of those good vibes to make the world sound a little more human?
VocalID, a global voice bank based in greater Boston, needs voices of all kinds for the over ten million people who live without speech. Many have lost the ability to speak due to Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, or throat cancer. Others were born without a voice as a result of cerebral palsy, or other neurological disorders.
For decades, iconic, and electronic sounding text to speech devices, made famous by Stephen Hawking, have helped people to express themselves. Its one-voice-fits-all limitation doesn’t reflect the diversity of personalities, ages, gender and emotions and attitudes.
Crowdsourcing 14 thousand speakers from over 110 countries, VocalID uses their sound-blending technology ‘to create a unique vocal persona for any device that turns text into speech.’
All kinds of speakers are needed, and you don’t have to be a voice actor to record a few hours of phrases. Children and teen voices are a particular need, so if you know any young’uns’, round them up, and point them to a microphone.
For a more complete explanation of VocalID, check out this TED Talk by its founder, Rupal Patel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d38LKbYfWrs
Let’s make the world sound a little more human, and change a life, one voice at a time.
Liz Solar is a former top-rated Boston radio personality, Liz became a full-time voice actor in 2004. Her natural ability as a storyteller, relatable style and collaborative work ethic keep clients engaged, and her dog entertained. When she’s not in her studio, Liz is revising her first novel, and co-produces the blog ActsofRevision.com. She loves to do yoga, make stuff, hike, and cook. Getting through her kids’ adolescence somewhat unscathed, and composing a country western song for her Goldendoodle, number among her greatest accomplishments.