Engaging customers is never easy. There is so much competition, and marketing tactics evolve with each passing minute. There was a time when text and images were all you needed for a successful sales funnel. Now, you can lose it all to your competition without adding audio and video to that list.
And while audio is straightaway voice, video is also lifeless without a solid background soundtrack.
The solution, you ask? Hire a voice artist for the best possible result while paying them a fortune. Not your cup of tea? We have something that will do without breaking the bank.
Murf.AI: An Overview
The biggest problem with AI voices is how “artificial” they sound. The “robot” in their delivery is so apparent that it becomes quite easy for the audience to consider switching to a “human”.
Murf works on that very aspect. They have a few AI voice products, which we’ll discuss shortly. At the end of it, you’ll be able to see if Murf is the one you should bank on for AI voice-overs.
But first, what are the official claims? Murf states to benefit a wide variety of use cases, including:
Overall, they say they have “a voice for every need.”
To check it all first-hand, I have signed up for their free trial. This does not require your credit card and gives you 10 mins of AI voice generation and transcription. Besides, you get access to every AI voice in the Murf catalog and can share your creations.
In addition, the trial lets you invite three teammates. Still, you can’t download anything without moving to a paid subscription.
Despite that limitation, it’s enough to catch Murf in action and see if it’s worth the attention.
As already stated, Murf has many products in the AI voice domain, so further sections illustrate my brief encounter with each one.
Currently, Murf’s text-to-speech engine works with 20 languages, and some of them even have multiple accents to choose from.
To make it sound realistic, you have features like pitch and pause, and one can also emphasize specific words or phrases. Theoretically, you get options to tweak every single element of a speech.
As you can see, there are options to adjust pitch and speed and add a pause. In addition, I could change the pronunciation of specific words. For instance, it’s “today’s” wasn’t feeling great, so I added a different IPA code by double-clicking the original text.
Here, the Create Custom option gives you two ways to proceed. One is adding the desired code via any IPA generator (ex., tophonetics.com). Alternatively, one can go with pronouncing it with a different spelling.
And since background music plays a big role, you can add some from Murf’s stock library or upload your own.
Lastly, emphasis is something by which you can further humanify speech patterns. This works by setting the nodes just before any word, which changes the pitch momentarily.
Murf allows setting up to five emphasis points per sentence. But since you can divide each sentence into multiple parts, there is no practical limitation for using this tool.
While this feature is a nice addition, I wish Murf could increase its impact, as the transition to high-emphasis words was too subtle to make any substantial difference for my ears.
Still, the text-to-speech is definitely attention-worthy, and I recommend trying this out.
No matter how good an AI voice is, there might be hundreds or probably thousands using the same voice over and over again.
So if you want an AI voice to clone personalized just for you, exhibiting all the human emotions the way you like them, voice cloning is the perfect choice for you. Once you sign up for that, Murf will reach out to you.
Next, you work with them to get the custom voice clone ready. At its core, it’s similar to working with a voice artist. But unlike working every time for individual projects, you’ll have secure access to a cloned-for-you AI voice which you can use anytime from the Murf dashboard.
And to reiterate, you’ll have exclusive access to that specific voice. In addition, this has role-based permission levels for efficient collaboration and security features like two-factor authentication. Moreover, the data is safely stored in Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers and remains encrypted in transit with HTTPS transport protocol.
Voice over Video
With this, Murf is trying to encroach into video editing territory. You have this Add media option to include stock music, images, and video. The last two categories are fulfilled from Pexels (a free stock media source), and it might not be easy to find the perfect match for your use case every time.
However, one can always upload preferred elements to best fit the situation.
The editing interface felt smooth without any freezes. The top timeline belongs to the audio and is the output of text-to-speech. The second one is where you can import video clips to.
While it works as advertised, the best place to get it done will be a conventional video editor like Filmora. Because a typical video editing utility is much more powerful in giving you options like transition effects, audio noise cancellation, masking, etc., and doing all that here is not possible.
Therefore, importing Murf-generated audio into a video editor to proceed further is a much better and more flexible option.
Google Slides Addon
This is an extension of voice-over video, which works with Google Slides. One can get started by downloading the Murf Google Workspace addon and activating it from the Google Slides top menu.
Next, it asks for scripts for each slide and to choose a preferred AI voice. Lastly, it creates a voice-over presentation with its Build Video option, which will have the voice perfectly syncing with the slides.
Whatever you create with this addon stays in your Murf dashboard for any further tweaks and additions. Besides, this is collaboration friendly and comes free with a Murf subscription.
In a nutshell, Murf’s Voice Changer is two standard tools, audio-to-text, and text-to-speech, aligned in sequence.
So basically, you upload any audio/video to get it transcribed. From there on onwards, it’s Murf’s text-to-speech tool that we discussed earlier. You can do all kinds of things we have seen there, such as modify speed, change pitch, put emphasis on certain words, and so on.
Murf claims Voice Changer effortlessly tackles all the background noise when anyone records freestyle with any non-professional audio equipment. While I could not verify that claim completely, a moderately noisy video with background claps went quite well, and it recorded almost everything in text.
The transcription also had some pauses in place (others need to be put into the editor), and overall I could have simply swapped the real voice with an AI one for a decent result.
But the best part is the transcription availability in multiple languages and accents. And obviously, you can edit the text your way before giving it an AI voice.
Personally, I think this tool can be useful in multiple ways, including for podcasts, where you can record wherever you like and transform everything into a professional output with background music and speech editing. Similarly, it can do great for tech explainers, audiobooks, etc.
API is the ultimate way to use Murf’s text-to-speech capabilities at scale. Developers can deploy it to make voice applications, including article readers, real-time text-to-speech conversations, audible gaming content, chatbots, etc.
Murf API comes with a 15-day trial and is an enterprise offering for which you have to contact Murf separately.
Murf is good at what it does. Still, the SaaS industry is full of tools, and it would be unwise to think there are no alternate options.
So, here are a few handpicked tools that you can try if somehow Murf didn’t cut it for you.
Right off the bat, Descript seems like a powerhouse for AI voice-supplemented video content creation. While it’s more than a typical text-to-speech utility, this description is primarily about that since we are talking about Murf’s alternatives.
In its long list of features, what caught my eye is Overdub. This allows the creation of a custom AI voice model matching yours, which is generally a paid feature; however, it was available even with the free Descript tier.
Podcasters will have even more fun with Descript since it can auto-detect over eight speakers and label the transcription accordingly. In addition, this is available in 23 different languages as of this writing and also works well with multitrack transcription. And the common problem of word repetition or expressions like “um” or “uh” are automatically filtered.
Descript also supports live collaboration, commenting, and shareable links. Overall, it’s best to try this first hand with its free trial, which also includes unlimited audio exports and one-hour HD video export.
The best part about Play.ht is the availability of premium features in the free trial. This provides evidence about what works for your specific use case and whether paying for paid tiers is worth it.
Some of the things you can do with Play.ht are making your custom voice clone, accessing its API (without an enterprise subscription), doing text-to-speech, hosting podcasts, and integrating its audio widgets to WordPress and other websites.
In total, it gives you access to over 800 synthetic voices in 140+ languages. This also allows for creating custom pronunciations, using various pause lengths for punctuation marks, etc., and has multiple voice styles.
Furthermore, you can personalize the delivery with features such as speed & pitch change, emphasis, etc. One can also use different voice clones with sentences to help it sound like a real conversation.
Consequently, Play.ht is a fine choice for an AI text-to-speech solution and a very strong Murf alternative you should consider trying.
Synthesia is a text-to-AI video platform you can use for tech explainers, e-learning tutorials, YouTube uploads, and many more in 120+ languages.
Though it’s not a direct Murf substitute, it’s more than that for the right use case. While hiring voice artists is costly, creating a video is even more expensive. Consequently, this tries to fill that gap with AI-generated video featuring avatars of your choice.
However, it’s clearly more focused on video generation and might lack the AI voice customization options like custom pause, pitch, emphasis, etc.
In addition, there is no free tier or a fully featured trial (though you can create one sample AI video for free). Finally, I recommend opting for Synthesis only if the video is your primary use case and sticking with others if it’s just about text-to-speech.
Speechify is a text-to-speech utility with a forever free version with ten AI voices. One can also try its voice-over features and ensure it fits their bill before exporting, a feature that asks for a paid subscription.
This AI text-to-speech solution has over 30 professional-sounding AI voices in 20+ languages. They support custom pitch, volume, pronunciation, pause, tones, and speed, which help AI voice-overs sound realistic.
Stock music is also included in the package, and one can upload their own media as well.
AI Voice can be a Good Choice!
Undoubtedly, voice-over artists should be the number one choice for everyone. The human flavor they impart is difficult to match for any AI. Still, these tools are improving continuously and are the budget options most of us can try and afford.
I found Murf good for most use cases, and it sounds even better if you can spend time including customizations. And, Play.ht would be my pick for the best Murf alternative.
But you don’t have to go by my word. Instead, take the trial and see what works for you.
Hitesh works as a senior writer at Geekflare and dabbles in cybersecurity, productivity, games, and marketing. Besides, he holds master’s in transportation engineering. His free time is mostly about playing with his son, reading, or lying… read more