Voice Banking with SpeakUnique
We are delighted to announce we can now offer funding for Friends of Ataxia UK to use Voice Banking via a company called SpeakUnique.
There are 3 options, Voice Build, Voice Repair and Voice Design which will allow anyone with ataxia to have a synthetic voice that sounds how you want, no matter how badly your voice is already affected.
Voice Build is a synthetic replica of your own voice that can be used in your communication device. This is ideal for people whose ataxia is likely to impact their speech but who have not yet had any significant symptoms.
This is for people who have already noticed considerable changes in their speech. For example, if you struggle articulating some words or sound more breathy than normal, Voice Repair can repair this damage in your synthetic voice.
This is for people who have no intelligible speech and enables you to design your synthetic voice based on your chosen characteristics such as regional accent, age, and gender.
Recording Your Voice
For Voice Build or Voice Repair, you must create an account with SpeakUnique and record your voice. You will be asked to record between 150-400 sentences. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all in one go, if it’s tiring you can do the recording across several sessions.
To record your voice, you will need access to a PC or laptop with an external microphone.
To use Voice Design SpeakUnique ideally ask you to nominate 2 different individuals, or ‘voice donors’, with a voice similar to how you would like to sound, to record their voices. They then use these voices to create a new voice that you identify with. It is sometimes possible to use old recordings of your own voice. If you are interested in Voice Design, please contact SpeakUnique directly to discuss your options for designing a new voice.
Once you have successfully recorded your (or your donor’s) voice. SpeakUnique will create up to 5 versions of your synthetic voice for you to listen to and choose your favourite.
Paying for the service
Once a speech therapist has said you are ready to use your synthetic voice, you can apply for funding from Ataxia UK via your account on the SpeakUnique website. If you do not have a speech therapist, please contact the Ataxia UK Helpline and we will be able to help you.
- Check out the SpeakUnique website: https://www.speakunique.co.uk/
- Decide which service is right for you: Voice Build, Voice Repair or Voice Design. You can discuss it with your speech therapist.
- Create an account with SpeakUnique.
- Record your voice for Voice Build and Voice Repair OR contact SpeakUnique to discuss Voice Design.
- Listen to your synthetic voice options and choose your favourite.
- Ask your speech therapist if they agree that you are ready to use your synthetic voice.
- Apply for funding from us via your account on the SpeakUnique website.
- Download your synthetic voice onto the communication device of your choice.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on the SpeakUnique website and if you have further questions please contact the Helpline on 0800 995 6037 or by emailing email@example.com.
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