Enriching your content with audio description is incredibly beneficial, as the full meaning of your content can be understood by any viewer. 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. Here, we’ll take a closer look at human voice audio description and why some projects choose one over the other.
If you need a quick refresher on what audio description is, check out our Description Primer.
Why would someone prefer to have human voice audio description? Let’s look at three important reasons.
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 the moments of your favorite media. In a recent interview with audio description expert Dr. Joel Snyder, hosted by our partners at 3Play Media, 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.”
With human voice audio description, a voice artist understands the context of the media and can modulate not just their tone (as mentioned above) 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, saying 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.”
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, 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. If you’re looking for samples or more information, let us know!