Adobe Developer Reveals Project VoCo: Software Will Function Like Photoshop, But For Audio


Adobe is developing new software that will function similar to the picture-editing application Photoshop, but will instead work for audio files.

Details regarding the software, which has been codenamed Project VoCo, was revealed by Adobe developer Zeyu Jin at the Adobe MAX conference in San Diego.

One of the major functions of the ever-developing Photoshop is adding to an image things that were not there when the picture was taken. This same function will be seen in Project VoCo, allowing users to add words that are not part of the original audio file.

Project VoCo Demonstration

A representative for Adobe confirmed that the software, which also comes with standard speech editing and noise cancellation capabilities, was indeed shown off at the MAX conference.

In the demonstration of the software, Jin took an audio clip of a speech and opened it. By opening an edit box and typing in text, words were added to the audio file that were said in the same voice as the one present.

According to Jin, Project VoCo needs about 20 minutes of recorded speech so that the software will be able to add words to the audio clip accurately. According to Creative Bloq's Craig Stewart, that length of recorded speech is impressively short for how accurate the added words sounded like compared to the original voice.

How Will Project VoCo Be Used?

Adobe, also known for Lightroom and Adobe Stock, said that Project VoCo is intended for users who made mistakes or decided to insert changes into recorded audio files. As long as the minimum recorded time of 20 minutes is met, the software's algorithm will handle the requested additions and changes.

Similar to how Photoshop revolutionized image editing and creation, Project VoCo has the potential to transform the way audio engineers work in editing, polishing and cleaning up recordings. On the other end though, the software presents ethical implications as it can function as a tool to falsify statements to the benefit of the user or to cause harm to others.

However, it should be noted that a similar issue cropped up as Photoshop was developed, but the public was able to develop a mindset of being critical of possibly edited images. Project VoCo could push the formation of a similar mindset against doctored audio clips.

Project VoCo Release Plans

The software, which is the product of a collaboration between the Adobe Research team and Princeton University, is still in an early prototype stage. Adobe has not yet revealed any commercial plans for Project VoCo, but audio engineers might already be looking forward to its release.

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