New software can edit human voice like text

One step ahead:VoCo usesa sophisticated algorithmto recreate voices.  

Scientists have developed a new software that allows people to edit audio recording of a human voice with the ease of changing words on a computer screen.

The technology developed by researchers at Princeton University in the U.S. may do for audio recordings what word processing software did for the written word.

The software, named VoCo, provides an easy means to add or replace a word in a recording of a human voice. New words are then automatically synthesised in the speaker’s voice.

The system, which uses a sophisticated algorithm to recreate a particular voice, could one day make editing podcasts and narration in videos much easier.

The technology could provide a launching point for creating personalised robotic voices. “VoCo provides a peek at a very practical technology for editing audio tracks, but it is also a harbinger for future technologies that will allow the human voice to be synthesised and automated in remarkable ways,” said Adam Finkelstein, a professor of computer science at Princeton.

VoCo’s user interface looks similar to other audio editing software, with visualisation of the waveform of the audio track and a set of cut, copy and paste tools.

Faster process

Unlike other programmes, VoCo allows the user to replace or insert words that do not exist in the track simply by typing them in. VoCo then synthesises the new word by stitching together snippets of audio from elsewhere the narration.

“Currently, if you want to add a word, it is possible only through a painstaking trial and error process of searching for small audio snippets,” said Finkelstein.

The finding was published in the journal Transactions on Graphics .