Did you know that Software major Adobe has unveiled what it calls the ‘Photoshop for Voice’, a software that makes it possible to take an audio recording and rapidly alter it to include words and phrases the original speaker never uttered, in what sounds like their voice!!
Sugar Mediaz Voice Industry Blog finds out more about this development. This Blog has been compiled with help from articles by BBC.com, Voiceoverherald.com and theverge.com
Voice manipulator Software VoCo from Adobe
Breakthrough technology or threat to Voice over Artistes!
Imagine a scenario where a client needs to get some correction done from a Voice over Artiste for a recording done earlier and the artiste is not available or the client is not okay with the re recording fee of the artiste. The client simply uses this software Adobe Voco and using it’s voice synthesis abilities to RE CREATE the Voice over artiste’s voice from his earlier recording, gets his job done WITHOUT engaging with the artiste, thereby saving money…or rather..depriving the Voice over artiste of his re recording fees!!
Like Photoshop, Adobe VoCo is designed to be a state-of-the-art audio editing application. Beyond your standard speech editing and noise-cancellation features, this software can also apparently generate new words using a speaker’s recorded voice. Essentially, the software can understand the makeup of a person’s voice and replicate it, so long as there’s about 20 minutes of recorded speech.
VoCo allows you to change words in a voiceover simply by typing new words. Have to hear it to believe it? Check out a live demo using a recording of co-host Jordan Peele’s voice.
At a live demo in San Diego on Thursday, Adobe took a digitized recording of a man saying “and I kissed my dogs and my wife” and changed it to say “and I kissed Jordan three times”.
The edit took seconds and simply involved the operator over typing a transcript of the speech and then pressing a button to create the synthesized voice track.
“We have already revolutionized photo editing. Now it’s time for us to do the audio stuff,” said Adobe’s Zeyu Jin, to the applause of his audience.
He added that to make the process possible, the software needed to be provided with about 20 minutes-worth of a person’s speech.
This shows how incredibly powerful this application is as it can generate words that are not in the recording and the same time replicate the voice, in general tone and timbre – making it ideal for voice over projects like audiobooks and podcasts…also Scary!
Powerful and amazing as it is, this voice manipulation technology can pose some serious security and ethical concerns.
Concerns for the Voice over Industry
The creators of this software are peddling that their main target users are those in the voice over industry.
For its part, Adobe has spoken of it’s customers using VoCo to fix podcast and audio book recordings without having to rebook presenters or voiceover artists. On their blog site VoCo is described as giving the user the “option to edit or insert a few words without the hassle of recreating the recording environment or bringing the voiceover artist in for another session.”
But what will stop people with enterprising minds from misusing the application and break ethical boundaries?
If released, VoCo would definitely do wonders for the voice over industry, in particular benefiting producers, but the voice over actors would undoubtedly come up on the short end of the bargain.