59 Replies
Manuel Aicart

Most of the free voices around sound robotic. After many searches all I can say is that if you want something decent you'll have to pay for it (assuming you're looking for voices for commercial use). If it's for personal use, use Ivona voices (www.ivona.com).

The best voices I've found so far are:

Ivona (www.ivona.com)

iSpeech (www.ispeech.org)

Acapela Virtual Speaker (www.acapela-group.com/virtual-speaker-6-speech-solutions.html)

OWEN HOLT

Believe it or not, you can use google translate to generate audio files from text for free.

1) Type or paste the text into the translation window. (Note: you don't need to actually translate the text to another language.)

2) Click the listen button in the window where the "to be translated" text sits.

3) Look in your browser window cookies folder for the mp3 file google just created to play back your text.

4) Move and rename the file so you can find it later.

This works for me as long as I am outside of my company's firewall (which blocks the audio cookie).

The dowside is, you can't select your voice. The upside is it is quick, easy, and free.

If you need more info, I have a screenr I recorded some time ago: https://player.vimeo.com/video/204928666

Manuel Aicart

Owen,

Thanks for the info. Can you use Google translate voices for redistribution, commercial purposes?

Kennethg,

Computer generated decent voices will cost you around 1.500 euros/5 hours, 2.500 euros/10 hours, or 3.500 euros/20 hours, but it depends on the type of project and amount of words you need. You may want to contact the companies directly. If you opt for voice-overs, you may want to post an ad on www.voices.com or www.freelancer.com. As far as I know, a good price would start at 0.08 dollar/word, as opposed to an average of 0.05 dollar/word for computer-generated non-robotic voices.

Diane Rhodes-Michaely

Paul S. said:

Owen,

I use Audacity to record and save the audio.

Hi Paul:  could you share details about how you used Audacity to record and save the audio?  I tried doing this and found the resulting audio to have a lot of echoing in it. I set my microphone up to the computer speaker.  Is there a better approach?
OWEN HOLT

Diane Rhodes-Michaely said:

Thank you everyone for your responses. Unfortunately I don't have the "stereo mix" option on my Windows 7 machine after I selected the "show disabled devices' option.


I'm also on windows 7 and found that the option was listed as Rec. Playback . I also discovered that my sound card driver was outdated so it would not let me select it when using apps like Replay. Now that I've updated my audio drivers, it works like a charm.

As an alternative, you can actually use google translate to create MP3 files from text for free.

1) Type or paste the text into the translation window. (Note: you don't need to actually translate the text to another language.)

2) Click the listen button in the window where the "to be translated" text sits.

3) Look in your browser window cookies folder for the mp3 file google just created to play back your text.

4) Move and rename the file so you can find it later.

This works for me as long as I am outside of my company's firewall (which blocks the audio cookie).

The downside is, you can't select your voice. The upside is it is quick, easy, and free.

If you need more info, I have a screenr I recorded some time ago: https://player.vimeo.com/video/204928666

Travis W

Hi guys, I'm new to the group.

I wanted to mention, as someone else did, that Google does have some powerful text-to-speech engine. Also, if you have an Android device you can use their Google Text-to-Speech engine for turning text into speech. It's very high quality, especially the newer HQ voices. You can also use apps like Type Your Ringtone (full disclosure, I developed the app) to create and save different phrases. I wonder if a dedicated app for this type of thing would be useful.