What Reading Voice Do You Use?

As we all are aware, when your piece is read by a second set of eyes, no matter how good you are or you think you are, there are always mistakes found or perspectives you had not been aware of. I have worked as an editor, I know. I use a device (as in method) to give my writing that second perspective as I am still in my process of writing. I highlight text and then select Speech/Start Speaking. I do this often and I will read along with the text as it is spoken. This often tells me when I have not structured a sentence correctly or have missed a misspelled word often innocently left behind by an over zealous automatic spell checker.

I use Alex, one of the built in Mac OSX voices to do this. But as I do it so often I am wondering if others could recommend a more advanced voice? I believe there are better sounding voices that can be purchased for this purpose. I am not sure though if they work well, if one brand is better than another, etc. The cost has to be compared to free although … as I am now seeing how much I use this feature in my writing, cost is not the only factor to consider. If there is a better way to do what I spend this much time doing, it could prove worth the extra cost.

Can anyone recommend for or against any of these advances text to speech voices that I am assuming could be loaded into the system and used instead of the stock Mac voices? - Thanks.

Post Script: Here is one site with such voices. If anyone knows of another please let me know? https://www.cereproc.com/en/storeosx

I use an Australian Voice from Acapela. IVox (acapela-group.com/infovox/).

To me, the voices sound great and the pronunciation can be modified. They are about 15 dollars USA AND… You can try Any or All of them FREE for 30 Days… I’m on a Mac… not sure about Windows…

I’ve been working on some projects lately with their Voices… I’ve figured out a way to use Scrivener to let me use Multi-Voices… it even Scrolls automatically… So now, with some tweaking each of my characters have their own voice and talk to each other…

That’s turning out pretty well, but I"m still in the midst of figuring it all out… HAPPY NEW YEAR and have a Great Time Thinking and Creating.

Pura Vida

Costa Rica… it’s still 2016 Here…

I purchased Voice Dream Suite for iOS so I can listen and make notes while walking. It came with several voices–as I recall, I was able to select which ones, so I’m using Will and Sharon from Acapela. Additional voices are $2 - $5 USD.

You can mark passages of text with a specific voice, control speech speed, etc., but I usually just manually change the voice when switching to a new POV. I regenerate the file via Scrivener for iOS (compile and share to Voice Dream Reader) too frequently to want to spend much time marking up the document.

It’s definitely money well spent, and I highly recommend it, but it would be even better if I could make the notes directly within Scrivener. Right now I have to manually step through all my notes in Voice Dream Reader when back at the computer, find the location in Scrivener, and make the appropriate changes. Roland, I’d definitely love to hear how you’re using multiple voices directly in Scrivener.

Happy New Years to all. 1 minute to go here in Utah.

Brad Edwards

It could be me, not able to see the obvious, but the other day I used the speech facility in recently acquired Sierra, and had the choice between only two male voices, both of which sound like robots. I couldn’t find the usual speech customisation facility, offering a choice of multiple male and female voices. Obviously another Silly Sierra improvement.

I’m not sure this is what you’re looking for but check in Accessibility → Speech.

There’s settings there which have customizations for VoiceOver and Siri, including options to download high quality voices. I’m pretty sure Apple doesn’t include the high quality voices in the installer because of their size. They’re relatively large.

My Dear scshrgged,
Before I make my grovelling apology to Sierra, my sincerest thanks to you for your speedy and elucidating reply. The time I used speech, apart from this last time, was pre Yosemite. Things have obviously moved on, and Sierra’s speech facility is far more sophisticated and comprehensive. Thank you scshrugged :smiley:

Dear Sierra, please accept my sincerest apology for ever doubting your capabilities.

A safe and Happy New Year to all aboard Scrivener.

Thanks for suggesting this. And, Happy New Year. I am still trying to understand how to purchase this as the link you provided goes to their home page but … there does not seem to be an option to purchase there. I have to go to the North American distributor (in Canada) and query them … and I STILL can’t tell the cost. Apparently this is going to be a bit tricky to get as I cant find “this is how much it costs” blurb and then the “click here to buy it now” button. But, I will continue to check into it.

I am delighted to hear that others are reporting that I can have the software change voices in the reading of my characters. That sounds like a dream come true.

It took a while, but I finally got a quote from frontiercomputing.ca. The price is $349 plus $20 (Canadian dollars) for shipping for Infovox4.

From the website, it looks like the full iVox program comes with 62 voices in 26 languages, all from Acapela, which if true is cool, but you don’t need to spend that much if you want just a few voices. Before I moved to Voice Dream Reader on my iPhone, I was demoing Ghost Reader Plus on my Mac (convenienceware.com/ghostreader). From that site, you can download InfoVox iVox Voice Manager to demo voices for 30 days or buy them using credits ($15 USD for 1, $60 USD for 5, $157 for 15, etc.).

For what it’s worth, the voices in Voice Dream Reader are about typically $3-$5 and come from Ivona, NewSpeech, and Acapela instead of just Acapela. However, I’m pretty sure the voices are locked to the Voice Dream suite and cannot be used in other apps, whereas the InfoVox voices are installed for the entire system.

The German macOs voice of “Petra” is good enough for me. :slight_smile:
PS: After finishing a chapter with Scrivener I always run Petra an listen to the text, just to get a feel how the flow reads.