The Future of Voiceovers: Hold Your Tongue…Possibly ForeverWritten by Peter Drew
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I've Gotta Sing
And that’s crux of matter. The appeal of virtual entertainers probably will be quite limited—at least for foreseeable future—because they can’t tour, do drugs, get into fights, sue their record labels, promote world peace, raise money for charity, or do anything live flesh and blood performers can do. We, audience, love performer as much as performer’s music. And, in this case, that’s a good thing. Tony Bennett, White Stripes, Diana Krall, Toby Keith, Frederica von Stade, and all of American Idol wannabes are quite safe from Vocaloid elimination.
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
But voice over talents may not be so lucky. Voice talents are not seen. They don’t have adoring fans, except their moms and, maybe, a few other voice-over talents. They perform in short increments: 30 seconds, 60 seconds, a 30 minute narration on how to make a million in real estate. If speech synthesis has reached a point of sophistication sufficient enough to create virtual singers, what’s to prevent a software genius from developing a program to replace voice talent? Write program. Sample 300 to 500 voices, male and female, each with unique characteristics, incorporate them into software and, voilá, Instant Announcer in a Box. Just load your script text into program, which converts text to perfectly uttered speech. No retakes. With a few clicks of mouse to tweak inflection, emphasis, pacing, dynamics, etc. to polish natural feel of voice-over and you’re done.
Far-fetched? If entertainment’s got a virtual band call The Bots, why can’t advertising and marketing have its own virtual Don Pardo?
Well, it seems maybe they can...
Peter Drew, a freelance voice-over talent and copywriter/producer with 28 years of experience, is heard on radio and television stations, corporate presentations, web sites, and messages-on-hold across America and countries around the world. To send an email regarding this article, please visit Peter Drew Voiceovers at http://www.peterdrewvo.com/
One Small Step for Man – One Giant Bill from Tech. SupportWritten by Pete McFraser
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Sound a bit hokey? That’s claim TransOrbital makes in a recent PC Magazine article. Laurie said, "September 11 caused people to think about what data backup really means, and there is also always threat of a natural disaster here on earth, such as a small asteroid hitting planet."
Would it really work—data centers on moon? The plan is to build server-friendly environments that could provide “atmosphere” necessary for self-healing servers. Small shelter-like structures that could keep a normal temperature, air pressure, etc. need to be built on moon; currently, Tran Orbital is only company with licensing to do it. While they’re up there, TransOrbital, using Hewlett-Packard technology, plans to make live digital images of earth available on web. They also offer to ship personal objects to moon for safe-keeping for a small fee of $2500 per gram.
The proposal certainly has its fair share of skeptics. The biggest argument being that likelihood of an asteroid hitting earth is miniscule compared to one hitting moon. Earth’s atmosphere burns up most of debris that would otherwise hit surface, while moon has no such protection. Others wonder about upgrading, repairs, and maintenance. As one reader put it, “At 75$ and hour and 30 cents per mile, that’s one hefty bill from tech support.”
Peter McFraser is a marketing representative of Exabyte, located in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more about how you can backup data with Exabyte’s award-winning VXA backup drive.