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What is VoCo

Adobe edits voices with VoCo technology

What is VoCo and is it the kind of technology we need?

As a voice over agency there’s been plenty of times that we have recorded a fabulous session. For the client to then call up once the voice talent has left the studio and ask for one slight change.

Adobe noticed there was a problem and created a solution. In their latest project VoCo, users are able to edit and replace speech by simply typing in new words into the file. The software will then reproduce the message in such a natural way that we can’t even tell which words are synthetic.

VoCo is seen as an incredible advancement in technology as no other platform has been able to reach the same level of genuine human-like replication.

How does Adobe’s VoCo work?

First, it takes in a large amount of voice data, a person speaks for about twenty minutes which is then broken down into phonemes (all the distinct little sounds that make up our speech). It then works with those phonemes to build up sound and create a voice from the speaker.

There is certainly talk of VoCo replacing voice over jobs, although we imagine that it will take some time to smooth out all the edges. It has to be a high enough standard that companies would be comfortable enough with to have representing their brand. However, their could be potential for it in the podcast, eLearning and audiobook market in the early stages where the costs outweigh the risks.

Not everyone is a fan of VoCo though, Dr Eddy Borges Rey from Stirling University in Scotland quotes:

Noting that lawyers, journalist and other professionals rely on certain digital media as evidence and this faces great misuse.

What direction do you think VoCo will take? Tweet us your thoughts.