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Start a "Voice Marketplace" ?

Posted By TimothyMasters 3 Years Ago
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TimothyMasters
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I'm not sure if this is the correct forum, or if this is an appropriate post, but I want to toss out an idea for comment.

Like many hobby or small-scale creators, I have a need for real human voices, but no serious money to pay professionals.  I am very unhappy with even the latest and best free TTS software. So...

Reallusion has a marketplace for clothes, props, etc.  What about adding a marketplace for voices?  These need not be done by professional actors with two-thousand-dollar microphones.  They could be done with a $50 USB mic plugged into a laptop, recorded in a quiet room of the house.  The quality would not be professional level, but it would be a heck of a lot better than TTS.  And of course the price would be correspondingly cheap.  People could offer their services and post their rate, maybe a few bucks a minute or any reasonable amount that might be related to their expertise and equipment.  Buyers could compare prices and quality, and choose someone who fits their need.  I know I would occasionally pay someone for this service.
Any thoughts or comments?


Kelleytoons
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Not sure if you live in the U.S. or not (and I'm unfamiliar with other countries so I don't know if this will translate well) but here almost every single city, town, or small village has a local theater group, populated by folks whose love of performing causes them to spend enormous amounts of their free time volunteering to put on shows.  These people, by and large, are more than happy to help out with voice recordings, particularly if you can show them examples of your work so they know it will be a worthwhile effort.

It's easy to find them -- just look in your local paper or online and see when their tryouts for their productions take place.  Then show up yourself (all such tryouts are open to the public) and in the downtime introduce yourself and explain what you have in mind.  Bring along a portable recorder and you may well be able to get all the voices you need recorded that night, but if nothing more you can make contacts to have them voice almost anything you have in mind.

While there is *some* truth to the "you get what you pay for" adage, I've found such amateurs to be pretty amazing and have used their work in my own animation to great success.  Provide such people with a copy of your finished work and you've more than repaid their efforts.

Here's an example of work done completely by amateurs.  I particularly love the voice work done by the gal doing our commercial - she could easily make a career out of doing such work.






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3 Years Ago by Kelleytoons
Data Juggler
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I researched creating a software called narrator for the same purpose, and soon realized Text to Speech is quite complicated.

That sounds like a pretty interesting site to build, so I just bought a domain called saythis.net. (saythis.com someone has for sale without a site built).

A user posts a description of what they need said, with any pictures or video, and then options for paying or volunteer wanted. Some famous voice actors charge $500 an hour or more, but someone else might volunteer for free if they are bored.

I have seen demos of software that can mimic other voices, and that to me is a better solution than text to speech. A person could speak in their own voice to get the pauses and tone, then some recording magic transforms to the vocal pattern wanted.

Lots of things need audio spoken such as commercials, 3D animation and videos, audio books and games. There also could be an option for 'Sing This' for jingles. I asked someone to sing one line for a book I wrote and they wanted $150 to sing 'Keeping you safe all day, your friendly neighborhood DEA'.

Let me see if I can throw something together in the next couple weeks, and then see if anyone else would be interested in it.









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TimothyMasters
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Wow, that was really great!  thanks for the inspiration.
Tim
TimothyMasters
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You sure did jump on the commercial aspect of this fast.  Wonderful!  I'll keep my eyes open.

Tim
Data Juggler
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You have to help with marketing if I build it, because I can't sell free code. 

I know every Text To Speech Software developer would want to reach the users of the site, so finding sponsors would probably be easy once people know about it.

I have had worse ideas for sure, and the size of audio files is much smaller than video so storage and bandwidth charges wouldn't be much of an issue.

Fiverr probably does some of this now, but a specialized site would get better quality.

I need a staff and a budget, luckily I have a flexible day job until one of my ideas turn out to be a good one.

Will keep you posted. 




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Data Juggler
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I wake up every day knowing that in less than 252 years, I will be 300, and there a billionaires who have written less code for me.

My open source "career" hasn't paid too well, and rarely helps me get a job unless an actual developer is the hiring manager. HR and recruiters don't value it.

I have another project this falls under the umbrella of:
partnerboat.com
Where Partner Ships are born. I already have a database with many of the tables needed, I just need to modify it a little for audio.


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I will do a little research as to what exists out there already, as I reinvent the wheel a lot. That I know of, there isn't a dedicated "dialog community', but I am the least informed of what others are doing currently.

There are a lot of details to it once you get to paying gigs. First thing I want to do is just put a sign up, and a let user pick if they need dialog, want to speak, or both. I think this site and the partnerboat.com (not live) work together in that many projects are hard to do alone. 

Off to work.




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animagic
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In my rural town the only theater is a movie theater...Unsure There are some youth groups from schools or church, but that wouldn't do. Also, with the current situation, much has been shut down.

I'm also a shy person (otherwise I would make films with real actors, like my brother does), so approaching people is not so easy. I used to live in an urban area and when I still worked I have used people I knew that were only too happy to help out. I could also use the recording studio of the local community radio station, so the audio quality was good. I can't stand bad audio.

I have checked various voice artist websites, and I am surprised that some don't even take the trouble to check the audio quality of the clip they put up. If the chosen usage category is animation, it suddenly has to be over the top. Too much overacting...

In the end, it is the audience who will either accept or reject the movie and I have had some nice results with my latest movie, which has been voiced artificially.

That said, I think a voice market place is not a bad idea especially if it attracts people who know what we are doing.



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Data Juggler
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Thanks for the feedback. Having a quality control is a little later in version 2. If someone does something for you for free, even if you don't like it is still best to say thank you and not use it. Paying gigs deserve more critique, but I agree the better narrators should have some way of having a higher rating.

Right now I am just doing sign up, create request or respond to request with a sample. I haven't gotten far enough to think what that would look like.

Every project sounds easy until you get to the details.

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jlittle
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What, nobody likes to use the voice-over actors from Fiverr anymore?
Talk about a "Voice Marketplace", it is filled with all kinds of voices.
There is even one that advertises the best Orc voice ever.

Yes, none of them are free but you can get 150 words for as little as $5 and another offers 300 words for $20.

Maybe this new web site should just target free offerings and/or work for donations.

@DataJuggler: Suggestions for other domains:
SayThisForMe
SayThis4Me
VoiceOversForMe
VoiceOvers4Me
VoiceOverForMe
VoiceOver4Me
VoiceOverMarket
VoiceOverSupply

Wink

Jeff



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