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Hello!!
Mar 5 2004
14:30
skinflint
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Mar 5 2004
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Hello everyone!

I’ve just registered at this site, and at the moment I am weighing up whether to buy Vocaloid Miriam when she appears.

In truth, the feedback on these boards, plus a couple of reviews I’ve seen leave me less than convinced that this is the right decision just now. For example there are problems with the phonetics and the VST option doesn’t workat all. In short, I’m getting the feeling that the concept is currently running ahead of the technology.

Is this a fair assessment? Or do those of you actually using the software out there feel that the existing products will come good once you’ve spent a fair amount of time mastering them?

I know the manufacturers state that Vocaloid should be viewed as any other plug in instrument, and a good deal of time is needed to learn to use it really well. Fair enough, I’d expect nothing less. But do you, the users feel that the existing products could actually be mastered to the point of being able to make good lead lines? Or are nonedescript backing vocals the best I could hope for?

Its a big decision, considering I’ll need to spend money upgrading my PC, then pay £250 to buy Miriam.

Any help, much appreciated.

Dave H

Mar 5 2004
17:43
davep
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Mar 3 2004
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I am sure the answer to this really does depend on how much time / effort you are willing to put in to learning it.

I have Leon & Lola, and will ‘probably’ buy Miriam when it comes out, depending on the demos I hear.

I have only had the product a few days, and have got some ‘reasonable’ results after about 10 hours of playing with it. There is a knack to getting things right, and that takes time to learn.

Regarding ‘lead vocal’, my answer is, of course, yes and no. I believe that lead vocals for certain kinds of music are going to be very possible to create (given enough time to learn the software, and enough patience to implement the song), but for other types of music, no – you will only be able to acheive acceptable backing vocals.

For instance, I don’t think you will ever get Leon to sound like Michael Jackson, or at the other end of the scale, Ozzy Osbourne. However, I may be proved wrong by sone one else who developes the knack of doing those types of vocals….

If you are expecting to learn the software in a day, and start producing pro tracks on day two, forget it. If you are willing to learn the software over a few days/weeks, then I you will probably get where you need to go.

Hope this helps…

Dave

Mar 5 2004
22:01
andromeda
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I think you said it all in your question. You need to put a lot of time into learning Vocaloid if you want to get decent results. I think the publicity has been a little optimistic. The demos that sound good have been produced, so it seems, by guys who have been working on the development of the product. (For months?) You cannot expect to produce results like that from scratch. I don’t think the product ever claimed in all seriousness, to be able to produce top lead vocals. The technology is still not up to it. You cannot put “character” into the vocals beyond what is already there, as recorded in the samples from the session singer. (and I mean character, not expression) Yamaha/Zero-G have not helped by providing very little in the way of detailed documentation. For example, there are numerous vocal parameters that can be changed – a number of “resonances”, harmonics, brightness, clearness, gender factor etc. and there is very little or no explanation in the documentation on how to use them. (Nothing at all on Resonance) With so many variables, it takes ages to experiment with them. This, coupled with the fact that, even with a fast computer, it takes the software ages to to re-render the vocal line even after you have made just a small change, all adds to the frustration factor. I think vocaloid could be useful as a backing singer. I’m not sure it is ready yet to be a good lead vocal, without a lot (and I mean a lot) of time and effort. As to whether or not to buy it, it depends why you want it. If you run a studio and need a backing vocal, is it cheaper and less trouble than hiring a decent session singer? If you are, like me, someone who likes to compose music and has not been able to produce lifelike vocal texture in my music for lack of a singer, then it is worth a try. That’s why I bought it. I’m not going to buy Leon or Miriam until I get better documentation and feel that I am doing a good job on Lola. The sort of music I write is more classically orientated and I’m afraid that Lola, being a soul singer, sounds a bit odd singing “straight”. At least so far as I have been able to program her. I’ve actually spent days, not just hours, trying to get some of the vowel sounds correct. As I said, the lack of good documentation doesn’t help. I think you will need to give it a bit more time before you decide to buy. Miriam may be better for my needs but I will need a lot of convincing before I buy her.
Sorry I’ve rampled on for so long. back to Lola…….
Chris

Mar 6 2004
01:28
gray
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Results depend a lot on the song and note range. A song I wrote (ballad) came out great. And Leon sounded like a female soprano in the female vocal parts. Seems much harder to ,ake him sound like a male vocal unless in a very low pitch range. I personally am satisfied with the program, tho the documentation is poor as in most software. I am steadily improving my technique. As more people post files here, I will look at their files to learn more technique others have mastered.

Mar 6 2004
21:18
skinflint
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Many thanks for your comments everyone!

In fact am a bedroom musician, producing dance (trance) music.

My aim with Miriam would be to produce a relatively small number of vocal snippets / lines to integrate into my songs (perhaps four small lines, or a small chorus and verse). I certainly don’t anticipate using vocaloid to try and recreate Luther Vandross or Celine Dion, or to produce rock or ballads!! I think of the respondents hit it on the head when they said that they wanted Vocaloid to try and add a bit of life like vocal texture to their work.

In truth, I would happy to create vocals that have that artificial antares / vocoder effect, since the purpose of my vocals would really be to add some extra interest in my tracks rather than single handedly be the focus of them. Naturally being able to add backing and harmonies would also be advantageous.

I am quite happy to start from scratch and work at it. I’ve no real music background, and have had to put in the time to learn a fair few software plug ins and sequencers along the way. A few months putting in the graft with Vocaloid would be well worth it to me, if I could get something worth having out of it in the end.

So it looks like Miriam might be on the menu after all.

Thanks to one and all!!

Dave H

Mar 6 2004
22:50
quetzalcoatl
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Hi Skinflint, which Vocaloid do already own? I assume you’re a customer since you can only hear about this forum by being a customer, or am I wrong about that .. this is called the “Vocaloid [u:703grm2x]User[/u:703grm2x] Forum”. I’m curious to know what you think of the Vocaloid you’ve got at the moment.

Mar 6 2004
22:54
davep
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Skinflint – Trance and Dance music is mostly what I am working on, so in that respect I think that miriam is going to be more than capable of doing what you what/need.

Mar 8 2004
01:12
skinflint
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Thanks again for your thoughts.

DaveP, I certainly hope that Miriam will (eventually) do what I want. Having a few vocals in my tracks will make a real difference I think!!

In fact, I do not own a Vocaloid as yet. I heard about this website through the Zero-G website.

I first read about Vocaloids in Computer Music two months ago, and was fascinated. I’ve tracked them through Zero-G, with interest since then. As soon as I knew I could speak to some actual users on here, I logged on to the site.

I haven’t bought Vocaloid yet, because my existing system would struggle to handle them. I will be buying Miriam, after I’ve upgraded to a new PC in the next month.

Best Wishes

Dave H

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