Text to speech speed

Hello Guys, i think Articulate Storyline needs to improve the text to speech features, so that we are able to adjust the speed of the narrator. because all the narrators (voices), are really too fast, and in order to make it some how slower, we have to add punch of commas; which make the sound very annoying but understandable. 

It will also be great , to make the narration speed in a slider (from 1 to 10)not drop-down list (slow, medium, fast).

Thanks

47 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Mohamed,

That's a neat idea, and I can see how the ability to adjust the narration speed with a slider would be very useful for a lot of people. I'm happy to pass along this idea for you!

For now, you can use punctuation, such as commas and semicolons, when you want to insert brief pauses. If you need longer pauses, convert your text to speech, then open the clip in the built-in audio editor and insert silence where it's needed.

Chris Reynolds
I've tried to find ways to add pauses between paragraphs but have so far been unsuccessful. It seems the conversion process ignores blocks of spaces, line breaks and commas.
The only way that works for me is to break the text into discrete objects and then use the timeline to adjust the timing. This has the added benefit of keeping subtitles in-sync too.
Acronyms are a real problem for me. We've got a system called HBCIS but pronounced "Hibiscus", like the flower. I have to type "Hi-Biscus" to get Russell to pronounce it correctly, then go back through the subtitles and manually change each instance to the acronym.
After a few review cycles this can get quite tedious.It'd be good if there was some markup that could be used to overcome these failings. Here's my current thoughts. I'll give them a bit more thought and then submit a feature request. Any ideas or suggestions from the community would be good.
    [[p,10]] inserts a pause of ten seconds.[[s,HBCIS,Hi Biscus]] Uses the first word in subtitles and the second for text-to-speech.[[em,this]] puts extra emphasis on the word "this".

I'd also have a drop-down that allows you to choose whether your text uses this markup or if it's just plain text.

James Ferrone

I have the exact same thought, I was just coming on the see if there was a way to adjust speech speed.  It's not so much adding silence, it's slowing down the speech.  This is a really cool feature, but we have a lot of people where English is their second language, and they speak so quickly it will be difficult to pick up for many.

But I do LOVE this feature, it works a lot better than I expected...you guys did a great job with this one, I've had dedicated programs in the past that aren't as smooth as this one is.

Chris Reynolds

It looks like Articulate are using Amazon Poly for the text-to-speech, and it allows the use of SSML tags.

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/polly/latest/dg/voice-speed-vip.html

It looks like SSML is a W3C standard whereas VTML is a proprietary standard so my preference would be to support the former; especially since it seems to already be supported by AWS.

Could the prosody tag be permitted within Storyline to control speed?

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi all,

I appreciate the added insight into what you'd like to see added to Text to speech! We'll let you know as we expand that feature set or make any changes, and your voice truly helps us prioritize and determine next steps. I’ll be happy to pass your thoughts on to our product team, but you can also feel free to detail them more through a feature request

Emerson Collins

Agree with all the comments above. Another option is to use a non-grammatical character (/) as the pause indicator and allow multiple occurrences of the character. Adding silence to the audio track is, indeed, cumbersome. The character should be machine-read only and not affect the closed captioning. This may be a modest stop-gap fix with out a massive application re-engineering?

Bottom line, put me on the list. 

Thank you,

Emerson

Patricia de Souza

I have just started trialling 360 - specifically for the TTS feature

The feedback so far from my stakeholders is that it is too fast and robotic.... I think if we could slow down the speech and add pauses, it would sound less robotlike!!...

This feature defo works better than I thought it would and would be incredibly useful for quickly adding voice overs in different languages (which is currently a very time consuming and expensive process for us!!)

I am keen to know when/if the above suggested feature requests will be added! (soon I hope as I would like to use TTS to convince my boss to give the go ahead for us to upgrade to 360 :) )

Ben Boozer

While this is not the best solution, it does a much better job than trying to add silence.

  1. Export the audio to .wav
  2. Use the Change Tempo effect in Audacity to adjust the tempo slower (I use -10)
    1. If you have pauses inserted, select the text between the pauses to adjust the tempo (this leaves the pause the same)
  3. Save the audio and import back into Storyline

I am using the portable version of Audacity so nothing need be installed on our firm machines.

Sophia Hinga

Hi there.

I used to record voice overs for the eLearning courses I developed, but it became very time consuming particularly as it relates to the editing process. 

Fortunately, some companies have really come out with excellent text-to-speech applications.  However, the process of using multiple applications does add an extra step to the development process.  So, I was quite excited to learn that Storyline 360 has integrated the text-to-speech software!  YAYA!

From the applications I have been using (Speech2Go and Text Speaker), I have learned that inserting at least a 0.25 second pause after each sentence helps quite a bit.

Here are some programming commands that might be used within Storyline 360:

Insert 0.25 second pause - <silence msec="250"/>

Insert 0.50 second pause - <silence msec="500"/>

Insert 0.75 second pause - <silence msec="750"/>

Insert 0.80 second pause - <silence msec="800"/>

Insert 1 second pause - <silence msec="1000"/>

Insert 2 second pause - <silence msec="2000"/>

 

Angelica Correa

Greetings All, 

I recently came across the same issues with the voice being either too fast or robotic. As the staffed has shared in the past using punctuation helps a lot, but also adding spacing between the words. In my company, we were a bit reluctant to use the feature as an immense percentage of our employees have English as their second or even third language. However, utilizing the Microsoft Word Software, to replace the single space to a triple space has reduced significantly the pace of the automated voice in our case (English: US: Mathew) and using commas, periods and semicolons have gone a long way when explaining very technical aspects. Extra Tip:  If you have the script in a word format and would like to add the spacing in an efficient and concise way just use the shortcut (CTRL + H), push the space bar on the bar of what you want to look for in the document and replace it with the desired spacing. 

I know it is an extra step. However, I thought it may help some of you that need the pace to be slower. 

Have a wonderful rest of the year. 

Sherry Ryan

If you need additional capability to manipulate speed, pauses, and pronunciation, you can generate your audio with an AWS account and the Amazon Polly console (includes same voices used in Storyline). It works much like the Text to Speech in Storyline, there is just an extra step to export the audio file and insert it into SL. You can switch between Plain Text and SSML which is handy for customizing your audio. See documentation here: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/polly/index.html#lang/en_us