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“Voice Cloning” with Le Monde

The Appeal of 18 June: Recreating one of history’s most important speeches

“The flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished….” We all have the impression that we’ve heard the Appeal of 18 June 1940, General de Gaulle’s historic speech to rally the French Resistance. The speech was never recorded, however, and few managed to hear the original radio broadcast from London. His subsequent address on 22 June is what most people remember instead.

So how can we hear the original Appeal of 18 June, which has often been confused with the 22 June speech that came after? What are the differences between the two?

 

Charles-Henry Groult, journalist and head of video at the French newspaper Le Monde, conducted a four-month investigation in search of a recording that simply does not exist. Once he had uncovered a reliable written transcript of the Appeal of 18 June, he was determined to make it heard.

The solution came in the form of Voice Cloning, a major innovation developed by Ircam Amplify, leveraging the technologies and expertise of the IRCAM research institute.

Voice Cloning is a made-to-measure voice reconstruction process capable of determining and “learning” the emotions and dynamic articulations of an existing voice.

A rigorous documentation process and only a few dozen minutes of analysis were enough to allow Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to reconstitute General de Gaulle’s voice with pinpoint accuracy.

In parallel, the text of the speech was recorded by the actor François Morel, to convey the intonations and emotions of de Gaulle’s voice without looking to imitate it. Voice Cloning then fleshed out this foundation with the machine-learned audio to reconstruct the Appeal of 18 June.

With

IRCAM Amplify

  • Frédéric Amadu, Technical Director
  • Elias Karam, Project Manager
  • Marion Laporte, Brand and Community Director

 

IRCAM

  • Axel Roebel, Head of the Sound Analysis and Synthesis staff – Joint Research Unit, Sciences and Technologies of Music and Sound (which associates the CNRS, Sorbonne University, France’s Ministry of Culture and IRCAM)
  • Sylvain Cadars, Director of Sound Engineering and Computer Music
  • Marine Nicodeau, Director of Communication and Partners

 

With the support of the French National Research Agency within the scope of TheVoice and ARS projects

Le Monde
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