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Vocaloid VST in Sonar
Jan 18 2005
19:51
sepheritoh
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Hi

I am thinking about getting vocaloid. I am using Sonar 4 PE with directixer. Can somebody tell me if the problems with Sonar is sorted out with the latest update please?

Jan 19 2005
20:05
rickpaul
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[quote="Sepheritoh":526sf9rj]Hi

I am thinking about getting vocaloid. I am using Sonar 4 PE with directixer. Can somebody tell me if the problems with Sonar is sorted out with the latest update please?[/quote:526sf9rj]

As of SONAR 4.0.1, you still can’t use the Vocaloid VST in SONAR. SONAR won’t send it NRPN messages. I couldn’t get it to work with VST Adapter, either, last time I tried it (probably 4.0), but don’t know if that is the same issue.

ReWire does work in SONAR, and you can also use Vocaloid separately then render a wave file and bring that into SONAR. The latter is probably my favorite way as working in ReWire is slower due to rendering the whole song any time a change is made (whereas in the standalone version you can use the mode that will let you hear changes much more instantly — I forget the name of the mode at the moment, though). Of course, then you don’t get to hear Vocaloid in context until you’re done with the track, but that’s the tradeoff for now.

Rick

Jan 19 2005
20:23
sepheritoh
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Hi Rick

Why would rewire be a problem? I can use Project 5 as rewire and hear it all in Sonar when playing back and it renders to track just like any other VST.

Jan 19 2005
21:49
rickpaul
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[quote="Sepheritoh":1kxqa5bp]Why would rewire be a problem? I can use Project 5 as rewire and hear it all in Sonar when playing back and it renders to track just like any other VST.[/quote:1kxqa5bp]

I didn’t mean bouncing/freezing the audio in SONAR, but rather rendering the Vocaloid lyrics and notes to audio inside Vocaloid so you can play the vocal along with the SONAR tracks.

With most ReWire stuff, like Project5 or Reason, whatever is playing is playing in real-time, without a need for rendering prior to playback. Basically, you hit Play in that application, and you hear playback immediately, and the same is true if you are driving it via ReWire and hit Play in SONAR (or another ReWire host).

With Vocaloid, though, at least in ReWire mode, there is a long delay between when you hit Play and when you hear the start of playback. This is essentially because, when you enter lyrics into the Vocaloid Editor, you are essentially writing a program, which is not itself audio, but must be rendered into audio by the innards of Vocaloid. It compares the phonemes to a database, looking at transitions between phonemes and such, and figures out how to synthesize the actual audio you will eventually hear. When Vocaloid operates in ReWire mode, the entire length of the vocal(s) being synthesized need to be re-rendered even if you make a tiny change in only one part of the vocal for the song. This can take a long time — we’re talking minutes, not seconds. So you end up hitting Play, go get a cup of coffee, and … eventually you hear the playback.

In the standalone Vocaloid Editor, however, there is a mode called Play With Synthesis (I finally remembered the name), which will start playback relatively instantaneously (delay counted in seconds, not minutes), with the main limitation being that there is a limited number of tracks that can be supported by this mode (I think it is something like 5, but don’t recall for sure), so it is much less painful to try a small change, hear how it sounds, try something else, etc.

Also, if you’re going to be working by dealing with the audio outside of SONAR to begin with, and thus having to import it, it also makes sense to work in smaller sections, rather than the entire length of a song as you’d be likely to want to do in ReWire mode since it is playing back alongside SONAR. This can also cut the rendering times, even if you don’t use Play With Synthesis mode, since there is less to be rendered in the first place.

As an aside, I put a piece with a MIRIAM vocal on it that I was playing with yesterday at [url:1kxqa5bp]http://home.earthlink.net/~rpphotos/baby.mp3[/url:1kxqa5bp]. This was done in standalone mode for the Vocaloid Editor, then imported into SONAR, though I’d first played a MIDI melody into SONAR, exported a Standard MIDI File, then added the lyrics to that and tweaked the timings a little. This is probably the most realistic thing I’ve done with MIRIAM to date, owing in part to the type of song and also the mix-level processing to simulate a 1930’s vintage 78 RPM record. (Note for anyone reading this after Jan. 19, 2005: The MP3 clip will probably only be up for a week or so.)

Rick

Jan 19 2005
21:59
sepheritoh
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Thanks for explaining with so much detail. Appreciated. I think I understand the problem now.

It does sound like working in small chunks would be better.

Nice song!

BTW. I just placed my order for Miriam and Leon tonight. So now I have to wait a week for the postman to arrive.

Thanks for helping.

Jan 20 2005
19:04
sepheritoh
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This looks like good news!!! :D

http://www.kvraudio.com/news/2900.html

[quote:3imt1s3z]Cakewalk VST Adapter performance update to decrease plug-in insert “load” time and send NRPN events directly to VSTi synths[/quote:3imt1s3z]

Jan 21 2005
08:27
rickpaul
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[quote="Sepheritoh":1fsr3c63]This looks like good news!!! :D

http://www.kvraudio.com/news/2900.html

[quote:1fsr3c63]Cakewalk VST Adapter performance update to decrease plug-in insert “load” time and send NRPN events directly to VSTi synths[/quote:1fsr3c63][/quote:1fsr3c63]

It sounds like it should be, doesn’t it? And there is partial good news. If you check the flag in the VST Adapter configuration program in the properties for the Vocaloid VST to tell the adapter not to intercept NRPNs for Vocaloid, it will send some of the NRPNs through. However, a test I tried with the “Scarborough Fair” demo file for MIRIAM (I think it was on the second CD, or maybe on one of the web sites?), which sounds just as you’d expect in Cubasis VST 4, it sounds like someone with a really bad stuttering problem, and selective memory of the words of the song. For example, the first syllable that comes through is the “ing” of “going”, then I think it was “borough” then maybe “ley sage”. I may not be remembering the right syllables that came through, but that is the sort of thing. And it got even more sparse as the song wore on.

I don’t know exactly what is happening, but my best theories would be that either not all NRPNs are going through, or there is some kind of timing issue on transmission and Vocaloid is ultra sensitive to that and thinks it is still holding another syllable when one that is missed tries to start and can’t do two syllables at once. These theories are posed in full ignorance of the internals of Vocaloid, so, if they’re correct, it is a lucky guess. ;-)

Anyway, while the fix or enhancement sounded promising, it does not appear to be in practice, unless there is some other parameter that can get figured on one side or the other to change what is going on.

Rick

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