An electronic device that makes it possible of speed up recorded speech while retaining the normal tone of the voice has been built by the American Foundation for the Blind......
CU: RECORD PLAYER; PULL BACK TO SHOW BLIND COUPLE :0975
VERTICAL SHOT: RECORD PLAYER :0225
MS: BLIND BOY :03
MS: BLIND GIRL :0225
PAN BUILDING :0425
TWO MEN MANOEUVRE HARMONIC COMPRESSOR :0250
OPEN COMPARTMENT :03
CU: WIRING :0225
RECORDIST SIGNALS :04
RECORDIST & NARRATOR :0275
CU NARRATOR :0175
CU BOOK :0125
MS RECORDING DIAL :0250
CU REELS :06
LS ENGINEERS ADJUST HARMONIC COMPRESSOR :03
CU ONE ENGINEER :0250
CU DIALS :0250
CU ONE ENGINEER :0250
CU TAPE SPINNING :0225
MS TWO RECORDING ENGINEERS & HARMONIC COMPRESSOR :0250
MS BLIND COUPLE. ZOOM IN ON RECORD :05
CU GIRL :0225
CU BOY :0350
MS HI ANGLE OF COUPLE :03
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Background: An electronic device that makes it possible of speed up recorded speech while retaining the normal tone of the voice has been built by the American Foundation for the Blind......
The American Foundation for the Blind records hundreds of Talking Books every year -- recordings made available to blind persons through the Library of Congress. Soon, many texts and magazines will be condensed by the Harmonic Compressor and added to libraries for the blind.
SYNOPSIS: If this speech sounds unusual, it's because it's been compressed by a new electronic device to help blind persons hear a spoken text in half the normal time.
The American foundation for the Blind makes these recordings at double speed by using the new Harmonic Compressor. Bell Telephone Laboratories provided the designs and the Foundations built the unit. Here, speech is recorded on tape at the usual speed.
When the recorded tape is played back at double speed without using the Harmonic Compressor, it gives the voice the familiar "Donald Duck effect":
However, when the tape is fed through the Harmonic Compressor's complex circuitry, the speed is doubled but the normal tone of the voice is retained.
Thanks to this new electronic device, blind persons can now speed-hear books being read at about 400 words per minute, the same rate most sighted persons can read them in print.