How Voice Cloning Makes Dubbing and Localization Easier: The 3 Biggest Benefits for Studios

May 19, 2021 2:03:00 PM

Is it possible to adapt the authentic dialog of an actor from one language to another so that nothing is lost in translation?

Things to consider would include idioms, cultural specifics, tone, the list goes on. What’s more, the technical side of the process also demands time, patience, and experience to be managed properly.

With machine learning and new AI voice cloning technologies, the $2.5 billion localization and dubbing market is undergoing a major disruption. Today’s article explores the most relevant factors.

Challenges that dubbing studios must overcome

Of the $2.5 billion market capitalization mentioned above, 70% (1.7 billion) belongs to dubbing. With the growing popularity of streaming networks like Netflix, the demand for dubbing is on the rise. It is safe to assume that market capitalization will increase by another 30% over the next few years.

Simply put, dubbing is the process of translating and replacing original speech with the same speech in a foreign language.

Television shows, movies, and animated films are the most common examples of dubbed content. Every year, hundreds of films are dubbed into dozens of international languages in Hollywood alone.

Dubbing a video that contains a dozen actors with one and a half to two hours of audio material can take months. Here are the main reasons that cause the dubbing process to take so long.

Dubbing and cultural adaptation

When initiating a dub, a studio has to consider the target country's cultural aspects - references, jokes, names, idiomatic expressions, etc.

The literal translation of a dialog will not be understandable to an audience. Sometimes, it can even offend the viewer. Not all phrases and cultural references may be appropriate in certain regions. In this situation, edits are made to the text of the original dialog.

Synchronization difficulties

Three types of synchronization must be taken into account to allow a dubbed voice to fit the original video.

  • Lip-sync: voice is synchronized with the mouth articulations of onscreen actors.
  • Kinesic: voice is synchronized with body movements.
  • Isochrony: voice is synchronized with an original actor's utterances.

The problem is that an exact phrase in different languages may take additional time to pronounce when compared with the original.

This leads to the problem of audio ceasing to correspond with what is happening on the screen. This discrepancy spoils the experience for the viewer watching the dubbed film.

Business complications

To launch their content in multiple markets, production companies rely on the services of multiple dubbing studios around the world. The dubbing market is very conservative and over the past decades, every dubbing studio has revealed the same flaws.

  1. There are too few high-quality service providers.
  2. There is a limited number of voice actors employed by regional dubbing leaders. This results in having to use the same voices in almost every film that comes out in a particular region.
  3. In this regard, there is an almost constant queue for projects that studios are working on. This leads to significant delays in production schedules.

 

How speech-to-speech voice cloning is disrupting the dubbing industry

If you're not familiar with voice cloning, you can delve into applications for industries like film and TV, game development, and even dubbing and localization - as well as learn how Respeecher technology works.

In short, Respeecher's AI technology allows you to clone the voice of any person in such a way that it sounds like the voice of another person. Provided, of course, that the AI has an audio recording of sufficient length for the target voice.

In practice, this means that your voice can be transformed, for example, into Beyoncé's voice. With this type of technology, your gender doesn't even matter.

The resulting recording will contain all the emotional accents you spoke into the recording and will come out the other end sounding like the famous singer. 

This is what Shaun Cashman, Emmy award-winning animation Producer/Director has to say about the technology:

I first contacted the Respeecher folks during the editing process of my first documentary short. I was working with very old sound materials - over 35 years old - that had been damaged and rendered pretty much useless. Through their amazing technology, I was able to restore the dialog from the original tracks with a combination of cleaner, original VO samples, and my own voice that I converted into my original subject's voice, complete with natural intonations and cadence, and amazingly, the film was saved!

Shaun-Cashman-producer-director-Respeecher-voice-cloning-testimonial

Shaun Cashman, Emmy Award Winning Animation Producer/Director

So let's go over some of the benefits of voice cloning for content creators and dubbing studios.

1. Imagine if the actors on a TV show could speak ten languages fluently

Or maybe 20 or 30, why not? Of course, then you wouldn't need dubbing :) With Respeecher, you don't just dub a target actor's voice, for example, in Chinese. You can make it so that the Chinese voice acting belongs to the same voice.

It is as if your actor has learned a foreign language on their own and is dubbing themselves. All this is possible because our AI speech-to-speech technology clones the voice itself, and what language this voice is speaking does not matter.

The speech of any dubbed actor can be easily transformed into the original voice of the actor. And this is a game-changer for every dubbing and localization studio.

With this type of technology, you can do dubbing in languages outside of your regional specialization. To do so, all you need is access to at least one native speaker for your target language.

2. Dramatically shorten the dubbing process in multiple languages

Considering that a studio is no longer dependent on the voice (or even the free time) of a specific dubbing actor, they can significantly speed up the dubbing process. A studio no longer needs to wait in line for particular actors to become available.

Any native speaker of the target language that has some training can act as the voice double. This speeds up the dubbing process tenfold and gives way to other enjoyable benefits.

3. Distribute workloads between voice actors to reduce the costs of dubbing

For both customers and dubbing agencies, the cost of content production is reduced to a fraction of its original cost.

Now one actor can voice dozens of different roles, including those of another gender.

Artificial intelligence easily converts the speech of the stunt double into the target voice. All this allows for the workload to be easily distributed between actors within agencies as gender is no longer a deciding factor.

If you are looking to expand your dubbing agency’s presence and gain an essential competitive advantage, contact us today. We will help you choose the best workflow and pricing for your business.

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