Voice Banking: Model Talker vs Acapela

Ken15

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Did a search and found this post from last year, but it's mostly about Model Talker.

Has anyone used Acapela and/or is one significantly better than the other.

The one thing I did notice is Model Talker requires fewer phrase in the PALS native voice - doesn't seem critically significant, though.

TIA,
Ken
 

Nikki J

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I hadn’t heard of this before so have no experience. Checking out their website it looks like Team Gleason approves of them. There was also video of John Costello who is an ST who runs a clinic in Augmentative Communication in Boston for PALS demonstrating its use on himself. Did you get a cost quote? It seems to be set up like modeltalker - you can record and see how it is for free but pay to use. Team Gleason will pay for PALS modeltalker unless that has changed. Maybe for this as well? Do you know?

Thanks for sharing
 

Ken15

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Team Gleason will pay for either one; a reason for asking

They will also supply a microphone (y)

Obviously, my PALS would like to go with the one that requires the least effort, but don't want to pick it if it has a significant downside for our situation. Also, can't seem to find any good reviews via the Google.

Ken
 

Nikki J

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Do you have a communication technology program at your clinic? If no one here knows might be worth asking. I haven’t gone yet or I would ask John Costello for you
 

Ken15

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Do you have a communication technology program at your clinic?
We have a clinical trial visit to the Mayo next week; will ask.

Also, after doing additional internet searches, ALSA has Project Revoice, which uses Lyrebird. However, that product gets zero hits on this site - seems strange?

Ken
 

Kristina1

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One thing my SLP at the ALS AAC program showed me is all the youtube videos giving examples comparing the various voice banking options, so you can hear the same person doing several of them and compare for yourself what you think sounds preferable. Ididn't save the videos but i bet a quick search on YT would bring some up
 

Nikki J

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I also saw lybrebird can not be transferred out of the website to your device
 

KateEmerson

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Maybe if you called Team Gleason, someone there could give you the pros and cons of each?
 

ReginaS

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My pALS used Model talker when his ability to speak was already a bit affected and while he was recording sentences Google Chrome came out w. an update (I think it was Google Chrome...) and the recording of sentences did not work any longer. He communicated w. the Modeltalker support team and it could not get fixed during the time in which he could still speak relatively well. He then used their process anyway, having recorded about 60% of the sentences and the result was surprisingly good. We all could recognize his voice.
I do not want to give Modeltalker a bad reputation by sharing this. Possibly that could have happened w. different service as well.

When he really needed to use his eyegaze device w. voice software most of his listeners - me included - preferred the inbuilt voice called "Microsoft David" (he had a Surface Pro) as it was much clearer and easier to understand. There were other voices and we had quite some fun with them.

Also, he never really enjoyed his new, medical grade Tobii eyegaze device which after a lot of procedures and hoops was mostly paid for by insurance. It seemed clunky. He preferred much more his self bought surface pro, tobii gaming bar that you can buy on amazon for around $150, plus a software called "optikey" which is free. It did what he needed it to do and provided more flexibility w. a larger keyboard.
Neither one of the 2 setups was flawless. Both needed restarts at times and it was not obvious why. Definitely when the battery was somewhat low but that might not have been the only reason. Sometimes that was frustrating... We were hoping that the medical grade device would be much better and would need less restarts but for his needs and use that was not the case.
Eventually he had the "optikey" software installed on the medical grade device as well and then he switched between the 2 devices - usually 1 would work.
 
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D Scott

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My pALS used Model talker when his ability to speak was already a bit affected and while he was recording sentences Google Chrome came out w. an update (I think it was Google Chrome...) and the recording of sentences did not work any longer. He communicated w. the Modeltalker support team and it could not get fixed during the time in which he could still speak relatively well. He then used their process anyway, having recorded about 60% of the sentences and the result was surprisingly good. We all could recognize his voice.
I do not want to give Modeltalker a bad reputation by sharing this. Possibly that could have happened w. different service as well.

When he really needed to use his eyegaze device w. voice software most of his listeners - me included - preferred the inbuilt voice called "Microsoft David" (he had a Surface Pro) as it was much clearer and easier to understand. There were other voices and we had quite some fun with them.

Also, he never really enjoyed his new, medical grade Tobii eyegaze device which after a lot of procedures and hoops was mostly paid for by insurance. It seemed clunky. He preferred much more his self bought surface pro, tobii gaming bar that you can buy on amazon for around $150, plus a software called "optikey" which is free. It did what he needed it to do and provided more flexibility w. a larger keyboard.
Neither one of the 2 setups was flawless. Both needed restarts at times and it was not obvious why. Definitely when the battery was somewhat low but that might not have been the only reason. Sometimes that was frustrating... We were hoping that the medical grade device would be much better and would need less restarts but for his needs and use that was not the case.
Eventually he had the "optikey" software installed on the medical grade device as well and then he switched between the 2 devices - usually 1 would work.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. My mom was diagnosed in February and I am trying to figure out how I can best support her. It does seem that the Surface Pro might be a good investment for her...? She has quality health insurance, but I'm not sure that it's worth going through the hassle if a Surface Pro and gaming eyegaze bar can do the trick without all of the hoops. Did I understand correctly that you preferred one of the Microsoft voices over the banked voice? My mom hasn't banked her voice yet and I'm trying to decide between Model Talker, Acapela, or not at all. Again, I thank you!
 

Wilson2009

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Oklahoma Christian University has built an AAC system using a Surface Pro, the Tobii gaming bar and integrated software that will use the Model Talker voice. Just search VisuALS System. (If you are running a malware software on your browser, you may get a warning, but it is safe to ignore. We had a demo of the system during a support group meeting and all of us were impressed with its functionality and price.

Don't wait too long to start voice banking. The Model Talker voice will replicate the voice based on the recorded statements that are submitted. My MT voice sounds nothing like my voice sounded prior to onset.

You also might want to look through the Team Gleason site, Team Gleason | Steve Gleason of New Orleans Saints helping people with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), for more information on technology options. They also will pay for your MT voice.
 
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