Human Voice Audio Description

September 6, 2022 BY ABBY ALEPA

Beginner’s Guide to Audio Description [Free eBook]


Enriching your content with audio description is incredibly beneficial, as it allows the full meaning of your content to be understood by low-vision consumers. There are two approaches to the vocal aspects of audio description—synthesized voice and human voice– each of which may better suit certain types of projects and user needs. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the positives of human voice audio description.

Why would someone prefer to have human voice audio description over a synthesized voice? Here are three important reasons:

Emotion

One of the biggest advantages of the human voice is its ability to convey emotion. Having trained voice actors describing content can help the audience remain immersed in the moods and emotions of the content, and it can even enrich your media. In our Allied podcast interview discussing audio description, expert Dr. Joel Snyder highlights the richness of the human voice: “I still believe strongly that the human voice is far more capable, and will remain far more capable for the foreseeable future, of making the nuances and capturing the subtleties that are involved in making meaning with your voice.”

Context

With human voice audio description, a voice artist understands the context of the media and can modulate not just their tone, but can also adjust pacing, emphasis, and pronunciation to clarify certain key words and phrases. Comparatively, a synthesized voice will read a sentence the same way every time. In the interview mentioned above, Dr. Snyder also highlights how vocal skills are important in audio description, explaining that it is important for a voice actor to know “how to use [their] voice not to be in the movie, but to be of the movie.”

Creativity

Another benefit of human voice audio description is the amount of creativity it grants. Describing a piece of media is an artistic process, from writing the script to sourcing voice talent and mixing the files. Creativity and expression are at the heart of each piece of content. Our description writers work very hard to create descriptions that accurately portray what is happening on-screen while maintaining a consistent tone with the rest of the content.

Showing emotion, incorporating context, and utilizing creativity are important benefits of human voice audio description, while also expanding your audience and making your media accessible.

This blog was originally published by Brigid Ling and has since been updated for comprehensiveness, clarity, and accuracy.

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