Secret tip: How to bring your Text to Speech voices to life
As we all know, stories really come alive through its characters. Every single one has their own personality, voice and way of speaking. When using a Text to Speech tool to create scripts or classroom materials we lose this liveliness, as a Text to Speech voice will always pronounce words in the same way.
Normally Text to Speech is created by combining word sounds. Acapela Group, the Text to Speech developer that creates the Infovox iVox voices, makes sure the voice talent reads a script that is designed to record as many sounds and sound combinations as possible. When the database is done, basically any word can be spoken by combining those sounds into actual words. That is why words will always be pronounced without emotion.
Well, that used to be the case. Here’s a secret not many people know: most of our Infovox iVox voices that you can use with GhostReader offer sounds and expressions.
To make sure the sounds and expressions have a unique intonation, each expression was recorded individually. Expressions such as “Excellent!”, “Goodbye!” and “Stop it!” can now be pronounced with emotion. There are also many sounds available, like yawning, coughing and laughing. For the unique children’s voices even sounds that kids use when reading books or when playing are available. Need the sound of an ambulance or a barking dog? It’s all there!
- Bloody hell! Bloody hell!
- Dad! Dad!
- Hooray! Hooray!
- Laughing Laughing
- Ambulance Ambulance
- Donkey Donkey
So how does it work? For expressions that’s fairly easy: you simply start with a capital and add a question mark at the end of the expression. Remember, this does not work for every word or expression. It only works for the expressions we recorded individually. For sounds it’s a little trickier: you need to enter the sound code.
Which sounds and expressions are available varies from voice to voice, and from language to language. Older voices do not have sounds or expressions, whereas, for example, the children’s voices have many. Also keep in mind that every voice is different and has its own personality. Have a look at this Acapela Group document to find all the expressions and sounds per language and voice.