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Miriam can't handle notes above C4 well?
Dec 6 2005
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
Dec 6 2005

I bought Miriam last week and started to work on a 3-part vocal music I wrote a while ago. I found that Miriam handles voices well for notes below C4 in general. Her voice sound really weird above C4. I transposed the music down 4 notes until it stopped bothering me. But still, I am not satisfied with the soprano voice. Perhaps I am missing something here? Perhaps there are parameters I can adjust to make it sound better? I tried adjusting singer parameters to no avail.

I am using vocaloid 1.1, Miriam
Soproano voice: Miriam Normal, harmonics changed from 64 to 80

The soprano voice sounds weak and synthesized, compared to alto and contra alto. Alto is Legato and contra is Strong Accent. By the way, changing singer mode for soprano voice to modes other than Normal does not help.

I added a bit of reverb to the wave file, which makes it sound slightly less weird: … take_1.mp3


Dec 30 2005
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
Dec 6 2005

Err… is anyone reading and replying?

I tried another song and was able to make Miriam sound slightly less weird at high notes, now that I know a bit more about Vocaloid.

With high-pitched notes, Miriam sometimes makes really weird sound when pronouncing ‘e’ or ‘i:’. This is especially evident with normal vibratos created during MIDI import. I had some success with Miriam by either making some vibratos ‘slight’ or removing them altogether. Changing ‘e’ to ‘V’ or ‘@’ also helps (when applicable).

I also noticed that ending ‘z’ sometimes causes problem on high-pitched notes. It may create popping noises. Combined with vibrato, ending ‘z’ can sound at times scary. I worked around these problems by changing ‘z’ to ‘s’.

Jan 2 2006
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
Jan 1 2006

I don’t have Vocaloid, but I cam across your message. Since I know something about vocal production, maybe I can help! I temporarily joined this forum for that purpose.

It is generally the case – not specific to any software or voice – that the phonemes used at low to moderate pitch cannot be used at high pitch in the female vocal range. This is especially true for sopranos. Miriam (the live singer) may or may not be a natural soprano, but that does not matter.

Here is why: To reach high pitches, the vocal tract must be shortened, so that the resonant frequencies of the vocal tract are raised. The only way this can be achieved at the top soprano range is to have the mouth wide open. It is strictly a physical effect.

But some phonemes – especially “ee” and similar sounds – are normally produced with the mouth partially shut. Try it yourself! You can produce various forms of “a” with the mouth wide open, and most kinds of other vowels. But you can’t do it for the “ee” sound, or for the English short “i.”

So, a soprano cannot sing those vowels at high pitch. Never happens. This is one of several reasons why operatic sopranos are unintelligible at high pitch.

I don’t know how Vocaloid calculates phonemes. I assume it uses a combination of sampling and formants. But even so, it would have to use adaptive phonemes for some sounds at high pitch. You have a choice: If you extend an “ee” sound to high pitch it will be shrill and squeaky. If you want something that sounds nice, you must use a different phoneme (if the software and database has something suitable), but then you might complain about enunciation.

Either manually make a phoneme substitution, or tweak some adjustments for that phoneme at high pitch (if you can do it without afecting low pitch), or request that extra, adaptive phonemes be added to the database.

Can Miriam also sing in French or German? If so, the French “u” of “du” might work in place of “ee.” The alternative is German u-umlaut. Those are still not best, but they may be better.

If nothing else works, substitute English short “e” of “best” in place of “ee,” and also substitute a sound like “uh” in place of the short “e.”

As for “z,” that phoneme also cannot be produced with mouth wide open. Neither can “s,” but an “s” is mostly unvocalized white noise, so it doesn’t matter much. Try using “ts” in place of “z.”

Jan 5 2006
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
Dec 6 2005

Ah, that is great. Thanks for taking the time to write.

I think my empirical observations support your explanation. I will try ‘e’ and ‘ts’ as you suggested.

BTW, if you haven’t tried the free version of Vocaloid, you may want to give it a shot. It is severely limited (only a few words are available for you to try), but it will give you an idea about what this software can do. I love it, despite the defects.

Jan 12 2006
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
Dec 29 2005

Hi Fredshu,
I find Miriam has trouble on the high notes too. Much of my music has a low section and a high section and she sounds great low, but like you say “weird” up high. I have fiddled with phenomes and endless fiddling with frequencies, but haven’t got the trick yet. I just wanted to let you know you weren’t alone in your struggle.
If you find a trick, please share, as will I.

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