Hamilton Health Sciences
Print This Page Print

Message Banking: What is It?

Content revision in progress

Message banking is the process of digitally recording words, phrases, messages, and stories for future use in a communication device. We recommend using a free recording software called Audacity. 

Those who are at risk of losing the ability to speak (e.g. due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)) may choose to get an augmentative communication device. Some people like the idea of using their own voice for this. If you are considering this option, it is important to record messages when your speech and voice are still easily understood.

Download a Message Banking Template 


Message Banking Instructions (for Windows): 

To Download Audacity:

  1. Download Audacity here
  2. Choose ‘Download Audacity for Windows’ link
  3. Follow directions to download onto your computer (chose the highest version)

To Begin Message Banking: 

  1. Start Audacity. 
  2. Review the Getting Started message.
  3. Under "Edit" select: "Preferences" >> "Devices" >> "Channels": Select "Mono".
  4. To record a sentence, press the Record Button (red circle). Then speak into the microphone immediately after pressing the record button.
  5. Press the Stop Button (yellow square) to end recording.
  6. To listen to the clip you just recorded press Play Button (green triangle). If you wish to re-do the recording select "Edit" then "Undo Record" to completely erase the previous copy. 
  7. If satisfied with the recording select: "File" >> "Export". Make sure the "Save As Type" is set to "WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM". The first time you do this, create a folder called MY VOICE FILES. Save all of your recordings in that folder; the program will remember where you last saved things. Then, name each recorded phrase or sentence name that will allow you to identify the exact recording. (e.g. gdmorning). Select the Save button. Ignore the "Edit Metadata" window by clicking "OK".
  8.  Note – If the Export option is greyed out under the file menu then click the rewind button |<<. Export should be a selectable option under the File menu now.

  9. To record your next phrase, select ‘Edit’ then ‘Undo Record to completely erase the previous phrase, then repeat steps 4-8 until all phrases have been recorded.

Voice Banking:

Message Banking is different from Voice Banking. See the comparison chart below for more information. 

comparison chart

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.