when to use AI tts or a voice actor voiceover

To Use AI or Not Use AI: That is the voiceover question

Just as you wouldn’t send a clown to negotiate a business deal or deploy a ballerina to fix a leaky faucet, the world of video production requires the right talent for the right job. In this game of voices, it’s crucial to know when to pull out your real-deal voice actor, or when to dial up the AI for some top-notch text-to-speech (TTS) action. 

At times, the spotlight necessitates a duet between these two. And at WellSaid Labs, we’re waving the conductor’s baton. Best part? This performance isn’t leaving voice actors out in the cold.

When to use the artful articulators (voice actors) 

Nothing quite matches the unique rhythm, timbre, and emotion a voice actor can bring to the mic. That’s why we’re always working to emulate it. This human touch is irreplaceable in scenarios like character-driven animations or high-impact advertisements, where every pause, inflection, and audible sigh can make all the difference.

Indeed, a voice actor’s benefits are as broad as their vocal range–they’re emotive, versatile, and adaptable. However, they also bring several pitfalls. Scheduling and budget constraints may loom large. Or worse, you’ll have to cross your fingers that they don’t catch a cold on the day of recording.

WellSaid Labs, being the thoughtful orchestrators we are, understands this interplay. With our custom voice solution, you can choose your voice actor and let our high-quality TTS fill in the gaps. Think of it as a symphony orchestra with a synthesizer. 

Harmony: isn’t it beautiful?

When to use the digital decibel (TTS)

On the other hand, AI-generated voice is the pragmatic workhorse, ideal for the steady hum of elearning modules, training videos, and marketing materials. No more scheduling woes, no big budget blowouts. Just crisp, clear audio–ready when you need it.

TTS brings benefits aplenty–it’s cost-effective, scalable, and ready around the clock. Yet, it harbors some quirks too. Depending on the specific one, TTS voices may sound synthetic, lacking that human touch. And improper usage may even wander into uncanny valley territory–yikes!

Plus, courtesy of the ever-informative Voices.com: The good ol’ freelancer’s invoice doesn’t just pop out of nowhere—it saunters in, alongside 3 strapping sidekicks: hourly rates, script lengths, and whether it’s getting the showbiz treatment (TV, radio, or online ads).

Meaning, your average 5-minute vocal extravaganza could set you back a cool $499, and then, if it gets to bask in the glory of local TV for at least 13 weeks, that’s an extra $749. Go big, like a 45-minute feature or a national TV spot, and you’ll be looking at a bill in the realm of $1,249 and $7,499, respectively.

Meanwhile, AI voice comes in with a softer hit to the wallet. Sure, some pricier options hang around the $17.49 to $49 per month range, but hey, you get what you pay for, right? Like a fine wine, the quality of AI voiceovers tends to rise with the price. That’s because the tech behind it, like the slick and sophisticated Deep Neural Network (DNN), can churn out high-quality sound bytes.

But here’s the kicker: as your voiceover ambitions expand, the allure of AI voices becomes hard to resist. Whether you’re orchestrating an army of chatbots in a call center, whipping up multilingual e-learning courses, or breathing life into a horde of unique NPCs in a video game, hiring freelance actors can become a bit like herding cats. Picture hundreds of hours coordinating work, scheduling studio time, and dealing with more voice actors than a Star Trek convention. In stark contrast, your shiny AI voice comes off the digital shelf, ready for some quick custom tweaks, and voilà–you’re producing human-like voiceovers. We’re confident that TTS will play an increasingly central role in video production. As it evolves, so does WellSaid Labs. We ensure our TTS is always the A-list celebrity, not just an extra.

The TTS sommelier–getting the best of both worlds 

Selecting the right TTS is a bit like choosing the right wine. It requires careful consideration and an understanding that not all are created equal. You’ll want to find one that’s truly high quality, something with a human-like flair. We’re proud to say, WellSaid Labs stands out as a fine vintage bottle rather than a cheap box of plonk. We reached human parity back in 2021–and we’ve still advanced plenty since then. 

Moreover, ethical practices are paramount here. Deep fakes and stolen voices are not just bad for the soul, they can damage your brand in the long run as well. But rest assured, our TTS sips from the goblet of consent, making sure every voice is ethically sourced and the original voice actor is paid their fair due.

User experience also sets us apart. Our TTS platform is intuitive, smooth, and soon will be offering more customized options. I.e. you’ll be in the driver’s seat, able to adjust the volume and speed to suit your needs.

In essence, blending voice actors and AI gives you the best of both worlds. After all, a 1K bottle of Cab Sauv isn’t suitable every night. You get the soulful performance of a human actor mixed with the convenience and cost-effectiveness of TTS. 

Final thoughts 

Just as an orchestra needs both the first violin and the bassoon, video production thrives on the right blend of real voices and AI-powered TTS. It’s all about understanding the right tool for the job—and, of course, having the most suitable tools at your disposal.

At WellSaid Labs, we’re here to help you hit all the right notes. To create your masterpiece, fill out the form and reach out to us. We’re ready to help you master the right blend, or even cover all of your voice needs. Because at WellSaid Labs, we believe every project deserves a standing ovation.

Curtain drop.