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Aug 31, 2015
Can anyone give me some info about voice banking or assistive communication. I have read some stuff but I am totally confused about what I will need. My voice is okay right now but I guess now is the time to do something. Thanks Wendy
I banked my voice with ModelTalker. It was free.

It is sensitive to the microphone you use, as a certain quality level is necessary before a voice file can be generated.

I used a Sennheiser PC8 USB headset on Windows 7 Professional and it worked out very well.

The process is well-described on their web site.

You download some stuff, record a sample, and submit it for approval. The approval process is making sure you are able to record meaningful-enough voice patterns to eventually generate a workable voice file.

I failed at this initial step, purchased the sennheiser PC8 mentioned above, tried it again, and passed.

After I passed, I progressed to the step of recording a large number of phrases they provided. I did it first thing in the morning when my voice was fresh.

I followed recommendations for professional speakers, which include consuming no fat or dairy before recording the phrases. A warm beverage such as tea, black coffee, or just hot water can help prepare the voice for better speaking. These are tricks I used throughout my career, where I was called on to do quite a bit of public speaking.

Some mornings, I could only get through 15 phrases before my voice started to degrade. Other mornings, I could do as many as 100 phrases (though, most of them time it was 50 or less). I wanted the highest-quality sound file possible, so took care to re-record phrases where my voice had degraded. It took several weeks to do this task.

Once that was done, I submitted my recorded phrases for voice file generation. A bit after that, I received the file that is used to generate my voice. I backed that file up on 6 different disks and my cell phone. One disk is always stored off site.

I have installed the TalkTablet app on my android cell phone (Samsung Galaxy 4s). I can type in a phrase and then play it with something that sounds like my voice.

Some phrases sound just like me. Others not so much.

I don't need speech generation right now, but as my voice continues to degrade I know I will. Overall, I am very satisfied with ModelTalker and glad that I banked my voice using it.

Thank you, Steve.
I echo what Steve said. Even the headset: i gave up using the cheapies i had lying around and sprang for the recommended Sennheiser.

I initially tried the downloaded app on my Windows system but had issues with it. I finally simply used the web app.
Good advice. Wendy- I'm with you. Voice is good, so now is the time.

I find myself totally overwhelmed by getting properly set up to bank my voice. I have the instructions and info from the SLP, but can't seem to bring myself to sit down and record. It seems like a lot of work. I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Fiona, yes it's a lot of work. Pace yourself. I did about an hour a day. So worth it, now that I have lost my voice entirely. You won't be sorry. I can't imagine being without it now.
I did 50 a day.

I'd get up from my nap and head to the computer.

It seems a bit overwhelming at first, but it goes by pretty quick.
At my last clinic visit, last month, they suggested I begin voice banking. They gave me all the info about ModelTalker but I have to admit, I've been procrastinating.
I've read all the info that they gave me and I know I need to find a really quiet place to record. I can never tell when Holly will start barking or the birds will begin talking to each other. Maybe the bathroom.
Thanks very much for the advice on the headset and other tips! I'm going to order one and start banking very soon!
ditto swalker
I would like to recommend you on-line banking using a mouse and an on-screen keyboard (Microsoft standard package). It has been working very well for me. Since I cannot use a regular keyboard any longer.
I used Model Talker. Easy program. Like others have said here - pace yourself. I found it a little tiring. Recorded over a 2 week period and was happy with the results. Keep in mind that its a computerized voice that sort of sounds like you. I was testing it out when my daughter was here & we had a good laugh over some of the sentences -- some will sound better than others. I recommend that anyone that is able to speak now to record your voice while you're able to do it.
I too used model talker. Took about a month to complete. I moved to different locations in the house till one spot was acceptable to the model talker folks. I used a headphone and mic bought at the big online place. I used a Logitech H540, cost about 30 bucks.

I did all this several years ago. I am now starting to need as my voice is almost gone. Noticing that my voice file did not sound all that good now, I wrote back to them and the model talker folks said they have been updating the software over that time and regenerated my voice file. The new voice is much better than the original. If it has been awhile since you got your voice file from them, I suggest writing to them and get a new file.

I used Model talker and a microsoft head set ($80). Finding a quiet place can be a tricky thing. It sounds like a robot doing an impression of me. The other thing I found was phonetic spelling is needed for some words to come out clearly. Dana comes out garbled, Dayna sounds much better.
Another Modeltalker user here. I recorded using a Sennheiser mike and living in the boonies made it fairly easy (in winter) to find a quiet spot--once I'd kicked the dog and cat out. I found the people behind Modeltalker helpful and responsive when I had questions. My wife, daughter and another close friend who've listened to my synthesized voice think it sounds very much like me, though robotic for sure. Recording took me around three weeks, doing 75-100 sentences per session. Rerecording one you've messed up is quite straightforward.

O.K., so here comes what may be a really dumb question, but ...... What is the actual procedure with voice banking? What I mean is, do they recommend you start with words in the beginning of the alphabet - like apple, balance, cat, door, ...... and then work your way thru a dictionary of sorts and record every word? I am very new to this as well, but want my husband to start while his voice is strong. Thank you, and sorry for the delayed post/question.
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