"What is VocaliD?"
VocaliD was founded in 2014 and uses its cutting-edge technology to blend brief samples of a recipient's residual vocalization with a comprehensive speech database recorded by a matched donor. The result is a voice that sounds like the recipient in age, personality and vocal identity but is as clear and understandable as the donor. VocaliD's personalized voice service offers a breakthrough innovation empowering recipients to engage in conversation and be heard through their own voice.
"Who benefits from a VocaliD voice?"
All 2.5 million Americans who live with voicelessness could benefit from a VocaliD voice. Another 10+ million people worldwide are living with voicelessness due to cerebral palsy, Amyothrophic Laternal Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, throat cancer, etc., as well as individuals with low vision who rely on generic voices on their assistive communication devices.
"What do I need to do to share my voice?"
First, you will need to create a user account here. Once you have signed up, you will need an over-the-ear headset with microphone. Make sure that you are using a computer and not a phone or tablet when recording. For best experience we recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser. You can download Google Chrome here.
"Will others know I am a speech donor?"
We will keep your contribution to The Human Voicebank by VocaliD confidential. You may, of course, choose to share the idea with others and help us spread the word!
"Do I need to sound like a radio announcer?"
No. We want and need all types of voices. Each person has a unique voice, we want to catch the diversity of the human voice.
"Are you a non-profit? Why not?"
No, we are not a non-profit because our technology requires large and continual investment. You can’t get the best technology if you are a non-profit. Given the kind of technology and commitment to having cutting edge technology is better suited for the for-profit arena, we are a for profit that are creating a social benefit technology that has multiple applications.
"How can I help spread the word?"
We are always looking for ambassadors and others who are passionate about sharing the gift of voice. You can help recruit speech donors for a local Voice Drive or hold your own Voice Drive. To host your own Voice Drive, see our Ambassador Program for more information.
"Why should I do this?"
There are so many reasons! First of all, you can help give someone a voice — that’s powerful. But in the process, you can learn something about your own voice just by banking it. Most of us rarely give our voice much thought, but the process of recording can be made educational and reflective.
But really, there are more reasons than this. If you have banked your voice, it may be possible to recreate it should you ever lose it in the future. And your voice may help scientists learn more about the human voice in general. It could not only help us determine better ways to design synthetic voices, but also ways to apply our knowledge to improve health diagnostics, bioengineering, and other related fields.
"How long does it take to complete the full recording?"
We need between 6-7 hours of speech from each donor. You won’t do this at once, though. You can take your time and break it up into small sessions of around 15-20 minutes, so that you can record your best voice. The online voice bank allows you to record whenever you want. All we ask is that you record in a quiet place without distractions. The better your recordings, the better the voice we can create.
"English is not my first language. Can I still share my voice?"
Yes, no problem at all! We welcome all accents.
"Are there any other languages than English available right now?"
As of now, we are focused on English. In the future, we hope to add additional languages!
"Is my voice recordings stored in a safe place? I’m worried about my privacy."
Your voice recordings are safe with us! Your personal information is stored in one place and the audio files in another place where they are simply numbered without connection to your personal information. Even if someone got access to our storage, all they would see is tens of thousands of donor numbers.
"Do I have to be over 18 years old to share my voice?"
No, people of all ages can share their voice on our online platform!
"Will others recognize me in someone’s voice?"
A VocaliD voice is always blended unless it is for yourself. To create a VocaliD voice, we combine elements of your voice with that of the recipient. While it is possible, it is very unlikely that others will recognize you in the blended voice — unless, of course, you have a famous or well-known voice!
"How do I change my email address?"
To change your login and email address, log in to your account and click on your name in the upper right corner. Go to ‘Edit Profile’ and then ‘Account’. Change the email listed and click ‘Save Changes’.
"I lost my password, what do I do?"
Click here and select ‘Forgot your password?”. Once you do, you will receive an email with instructions on how you can change your password.
"Can I delete my account and my recordings?"
Yes, you can. To do so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you out.
"Can I use my phone or iPad to record my voice?"
No, The Human Voicebank portal is currently only available on a Mac or PC using Google Chrome. You cannot access the site with a smartphone or tablet, and we cannot guarantee the site will work with any other internet browser. We're working actively to get The Human Voicebank working on other browsers and devices!
"Why do my recordings sound hollow or unclear?"
You will need a headset microphone to record — please do not use earbuds or your computer’s internal microphone. Once you have plugged the headset into the USB port, click the Chrome menu in the top right. Then, go to Settings > Show advanced settings, and select Content settings in the Privacy section. Make sure to select the headset in the dropdown under the Microphone section and the option 'Ask' when a site requires access to your camera and microphone. If you do not own a headset with microphone, see if you can borrow one from a friend or purchase our recommended headset here.
If your microphone still isn't working, make sure that https://vocalid.co is not set to the behavior "Block" by clicking Manage exceptions.
Simply put, you need to make sure that the internal microphone isn't enabled when you're wearing the headset.
"How often are my sentences saved?"
"How often are my sentences saved?"
The platform tracks your progress and saves your sentences frequently. Even if your browser crashes unexpectedly, it is unlikely you will lose more than a few sentences.
"How will I know if I my recordings are of good enough quality?"
There are multiple quality checks built into the platform. If a problem is detected as you record, you will receive a pop-up message. If an issue is detected after you log out from the session, you’ll receive a notification on the dashboard when you log back in. If you don’t hear anything, you are doing great!
"I’m getting a pop-up that indicates that I am talking too loud. What am I doing wrong?"
Make sure that there is no background noise! Also, try to move your microphone closer or further away from your mouth to see if that helps.
"Do I have to read all the sentences?"
The sentences are carefully chosen to cover all the sounds and sound combinations in the language in order to create a high quality voice. The more recordings we have the better the quality voice we can create.
"Is it possible for an individual to bank their speech for their own personal use?"
Absolutely, all recordings will be saved indefinitely.
"Do you charge anything for me to store my own voice in the Voicebank for future use?"
There is no charge to store your own voice in our Voicebank. If you would like us to create your personalized digital voice for you in the future, you would simply purchase the voice from us!
"What is the purpose of the phonetic symbols on the recording screen in The Human Voicebank?"
The phonetic background in the voice bank symbolizes all different sound combinations in the English language. Once you record a specific sound, that symbol will light up! Once you have completed the full set of recordings, the whole background will be lit.
"How do I know my recording is up to standard?"
If the interface saves the phrase when you record, you are all set. We have specifically designed the interface to recognize acceptable recordings. If the recording is not up to par, it won’t allow you to save the given phrase.
"I see that I have matches in The Human Voicebank, what does that mean?"
It means that there is a chance that your voice might be used to create a personalized VocaliD voice for that person.
"How do I get more matches?"
It’s simple! All you need to do is to complete more recordings. More recordings = more matches.
"I have no matches in the Voicebank, why is that?"
If you do not have any matches, you need to complete some more recordings. You need at least 100 sentences in the Voicebank to find a match — the more you record, the more matches you will have.
"Can my voice be matched with more than one voice recipient?"
Yes, your voice contribution can be used to create a unique voice for multiple recipients.
"If my voice is used, will I be able to learn more about the recipient?"
For privacy reasons, it is our policy to keep the recipient’s identity confidential.
"Does everyone have the same script or are there different ones?"
We currently have one script but this might change in the future!
"If I need additional help, whom do I contact?"
Please reach out at email@example.com. You can also tweet us at @VocaliDinc.
"Do I need an assistive technology device to use a VocaliD voice?"
No, you can use a VocaliD voice on any Windows, Mac, Android or iOS device.
"Do you sell any devices that your voices can be used on?"
No, we simply create the voice that you can use on any existing device that may own. You can use the voice on a smartphone, tablet, computer or assistive technology device.
"Is there a VocaliD app for my smartphone?"
Not as of now, but we might introduce one in the future!
"Can you explain the satisfaction guarantee?"
If you are not completely satisfied with the personalized voice we create for you, we will create a second one with another voice donor to make sure that you are 100% satisfied.
"Is the voice covered by insurance?"
Currently, we are selling the voice as an out of pocket expense, but in the future we hope to have the voices covered by insurance.
"What happens when the person gets older?"
We are working on modifying the voice over time, just like your voice grows.
"Could you create a voice using a recording of the patient’s voice or do you require clients to be able to produce sound now?"
It depends on the length and quality of the recording. It is possible, but we can not guarantee the outcome until we are able to assess the pre-recorded material.