This VO Issue Won’t Go Away

by | Mar 17, 2010 | Technology | 1 comment

October of last year, I launched into a series of blogs about synthetic voices.  It got a lot of responses, and landed on John Florian’s VoiceOverXtra site, too.

The idea that a machine can even BEGIN to affect the subtle nuances of a human voice for interpreting copy is an outrage to many.  But those are audiophiles.  What about someone with an iPad or a Kindle, who just wants to plow through some required reading?  Would THAT take a Grover Gardner or an Alan Sklar?

Plus…synthesized voices are getting better and better.  Maybe you should refresh your memory with a listen to some of the voices I link to on that previous article ” ‘TOUCHED A (SYNTHETIC?) NERVE!”

In the last few days, a couple of emails from VO friends prompts me to obring up the subject again, ’cause, believe me folks, this is the VO Issue that won’t go away.

See my friend Chris Wagner’s blog “Computers are Stupid” for a look at not only voice, but synthetic image technology that doesn’t require you to have an intimate friend who works for PIXAR.  Chris asks a similar question:  Is this the beginning of the end for actors?

Then, not to ignore the legal/ethical issues that tend to crop-up around (but always lag far behind) these innovations…my VO friend Steve Hammill pointed me to THIS SITE where authors are crying foul on the argument of copyright violations.

Don’t even get me started on the subject of Steven Jobs STEALING the term “voice  over” for his own convenience.  It’s ruined many a Google search for me.




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1 Comment

  1. Philip Banks

    It’s not really about how brilliantly the technology performs it’s about how badly most VOs do their jobs.

    “Pah! Someone would rather have a ‘pooter voice than mine?” screams Tim Tonsils.

    “Yes mate, I’ve heard your stuff!” Ouch! How unkind. Look if you want someone to be nice change your girlfriend every 6 months. Five years ago a number of VOs could get away with the pedestrian garbage they trotted out every day but now they can’t. Spend time and effort getting better and selling YOU Mr or Ms Voice and the technology will carry on regardless, as will your career.


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