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September 2015 Tip of the Month – Voice Banking

Written by Jackie Hancock, SLT, South Island

Voice banking is the recording of one’s natural voice for the possible eventuality of losing one’s voice.  Software then utilises these recordings in a speech generating device or on a computer so that the person may communicate using a copy of their voice.  Phrase banking involves recording of whole words and/or phrases for use on a speech generating device.  A donor voice involves another person recording their voice and donating it to someone else. This should be someone from a similar demographic but not a family member or close friend.

One of the key benefits of voice banking is the use of your own natural voice rather than a computer generated voice within a speech generating communication device.

The key group currently utilising phrase banking are those people with progressive neurological conditions resulting in a motor speech disorder. For example, motor neurone disease (MND), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), primary progressive aphasia (PPA).  Children using SGD may also benefit from having a system that utilises phrases banking of peers’ voices.

Voice banking is now surprisingly simple…

People are now able to voice bank on any device for later use – this means that you can voice bank on a mobile phone, computer, iPod, voice recorder or even in a professional recording studio if you so wish. So long as the recordings are produced in MP3 format, we can use them later on within a speech generating device.

People can voice bank whilst their voice is still natural and strong.

Below are some ideas of categories you may wish to include when phrase banking:

  • Greetings/Social Communication
  • Feelings
  • Food and Drink
  • Places
  • People
  • Questions
  • Likes and Dislikes
  • “Favourites”
  • Other – pet commands, swearing, “X-rated”, specialist language
  • Non-English languages
  • Much, much more

You can get started straight away…simply record words and phrases you may need in the future on your phone, computer or other voice recording device.

eknosity bank voice recog

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Paula Shennan

Paula Shennan

Speech Language Therapist at The Talklink Trust
I am a Speech and Language Therapist who joined the Talklink Auckland team in November 2011. I have an interest in the area of Assistive Technology and enabling and empowering individuals to communicate using various means.
Paula Shennan

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2015/09/07/voice-banking-how-to-get-started/


  1. Dee Gordon

    whats the best software for recording..how do i save? We have an apple laptop and i have na android phone.

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi, there is software called ModelTalker which is web based and creates a synthetic voice based on recordings you do. You will need an external microphone for recording. Please make a TalkLink referral if this is something that you would like support with. Thanks, Paula

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