Message banking is the process of recording phrases, sentences or sounds. It can be done as an alternative or in addition to voice banking.
The messages will sound exactly like the person with their intonation and voice. A person may choose to bank messages that are personal and meaningful to them. Once they messages are recorded they cannot be changed (without re-recording).
It is also possible to ask a friend or family member to message bank using their voice.
Unlike voice banking, message banking does not require a company to complete the process.
Currently the number of apps compatible with banked messages are very limited. It is not always possible to import and export messages into an app so please read the guidance below and consider when deciding if and how to message bank.
How do I record my messages?
For increased compatibility, we recommend recording audio in WAV or MP3 format. If possible save the audio file in both formats.
Different ways to record your messages:
- Voice recorder app: there are many free voice recorder apps available. On iPads there is the Apple app ‘Voice Memos’.
- Within AAC app: Predictable, Speech Assistant and Grid for iPad it is possible to message bank. It may not be possible to extract the audio file from the app so it will mean it can only be used on that software. (see 'Where can I use my messages?' below)
- Dedicated microphone/zoom recorder: These can be purchased online
- Using a computer and microphone: Most computers have an audio recorder programme. Alternatively, you can use Audacity software: a free software that can allow you to record and edit voice messages.
What do I record?
Thinking about what messages you want to record can be a bit daunting. They should be messages that are important for you to say in your own voice.
Some ideas for messages to record:
- Family and friend names
- Common questions or instructions
- Jokes and catch phrases
- Sounds: whistles, laughing, sighing
Please view this article by Boston Children's Hospital for more ideas of messages you might like to record. (You will see the term ALS in the article. ALS is what people in the US call MND.)
How do I organise and store my messages?
- Make sure you keep a backup of the audio in multiple places!
- Label your messages clearly, you may want to categorise them in folders on a computer.
- The www.mymessagebanking.co.uk website can be used to organise messages but the organisation will only be retained if using Communication 5 software or Predictable.
Where can I use my messages?
Unfortunately, there are not many apps available that are compatible with banked messages. It can be difficult to import and export sound files into an app.
Record messages within app
Import messages into app recorded elsewhere
Export recorded messages from app
Yes, can record within app or on laptop.
Yes, via Predictable account area on website (MP3 or WAV). This can only be accessed via a computer not via iPad.
You can also import messages organised in mymessagebanking.com
Yes, via Predictable website.
Yes, via iPad app. Can import M4A, AAC, MP3 or WAV files.
Yes, via iCloud Backup.
Please see guidance on Information Governance for AAC apps.