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Pushing back the boundaries...
Mar 28 2004
23:01
administrator
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Has anyone done any really wierd tunes with Vocaloid? I mean avant garde stuff that is pushing back the conventional boundaries of music…. and good taste…

(think Vocaloid meets Jackson Pollock perhaps?)

I am curious to hear any music that really exploits vocaloid as a synth (which is what it is), rather than just trying to make it sing.

Mar 29 2004
00:03
roba
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I thought that the background to Lola’s Ave Maria was the voice used as synth. So, it’s been done. Avant-garde, no.

Mar 29 2004
07:37
andromeda
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Admin, I thought the whole point of Vocaloid was that it CAN sing. Voice synths that sound avant-guard have been around for ages. It seems odd to pay £200 for something that can sound passable as a real vocalist, and then make it sound like a robot!
Cheers
Chris

Mar 29 2004
08:14
robotarchie
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Note to Admin : “Hey Joe, where are you going with that shotgun in your hand?”
(sorry, that last sentence was reproduced without the kind permission of the Hendrix Foundation and in no way reflects the opinions of the ex-pop star)

Don’t despair, mate. I like a bit of “out there” when I can get it. If I can’t get it I usually find I have to make it myself. Andromeda, please! Avant garde = robotic? Que? As I understand (and love it) the “avant garde” has historically been a convenient umbrella expression in coffee table books that applies to those persons or group of persons that are at the forefront of some new idea, concept or movement, usually in the arts. Yes, including music. The term roughly translates as “before fashion” or “ahead of style”. Technically, it is not a style in itself although it can conjure up preconceived notions based on information gleaned from said coffee table books.

Mar 29 2004
09:47
andromeda
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Actually, I have just written an avant-guarde piece, called Lola 3’44”. It’s 3 mins and 44 seconds of silence (inspired by John Cage’s 4’33”). I think the reason for doing this was my forgetting to connect the wire from the ouput of my sound card to the input of my mixing desk.
Cheers
Chris

Mar 29 2004
09:52
andromeda
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PS. The “sounding like a robot” comment referred to the Ave Maria and other pieces which take the vocaloid output and process it. I don’t really see the point of that. I might just as well take my own voice and process it if I want to make a strange sound. On second thoughts, I dont even need the processing…..
Cheers
Chris

Mar 29 2004
11:45
robotarchie
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Ho Ho :D I think I’ve accidentally done a cover version of your Lola 3’44” track! Small differences in the arrangement mean my version includes randomly placed loud buzzing and small electrical crackling noises – and with a really good set of headphones you can just about hear me cursing in the background from under a desk. :D Seriously, though – I recently asked the related question “Has anyone got any sh*t on their harddrive?” and member Pow_Backslash certainly has. I’ve just now been badgering him to post it up. Gwaaaaann, you know you want to…. a track called “Pistol Packin’ Mama”= most excellent!

Mar 29 2004
12:10
robotarchie
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P.S. On the “robot” thing. I don’t know if DSP induced stangeness is necessarily a pre-requisite of the avant garde. I think experimental music has been and is just that; experimental. With wider acceptance and exposure the better experiments quickly move from “weird” to becoming the “norm”. Most people (and I can feel all the anoraks in here starting to get moist now) know that vocoders were first used in the 1930’s by German Intelligence for data encryption purposes, never having been intended for the everyday mainstream music usage we see now. Even Cher ain’t that old <img class=” /> . Modern music production is littered with the pioneering techniques of the Avant Garde. Artificial echo, reverb, chorus, flanging, distortion, etc, etc. There are others, though, like Stockhausen, Riley, Eno, etc of the old school who used unusual note clusters, atonality or non-chromatic tunings, etc to great effect. I think what Admin was wondering is whether anyone on the forum has really pushed our wee squawking mono synth out of her box. Those greyed out areas of the vocaloid editor are “not within the recommended range” but where can they lead?

Mar 29 2004
21:01
administrator
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Sorry, I think my original question was a little unclear. I will try to explain…

Vocaloid is (theoretically) capable of melodic and harmonic stuff that a real singer could never do. A possible idea…. “Vocaloid sings free jazz – Ornette Coleman style!” People may not want to listen to it, but it will plumb the depths of what vocaloid can do technically (and raise a few eyebrows, especially from the jazz purists!)

I also mean stylistically….. why stick to a straight ahead song structure? why stick to standard chords? Why stick to 4/4 rock rhythms? why even have a rhthmic pulse?!! Its good to explore new territory once in a while, music has no limits.

Also, Vocaloid can do a lot more than just sing. It has sonic sound shaping potential that just hasnt been explored yet.. (I mean making vocaloid produce completely new sounds)

:arrow: Basically, I am just curious to hear if anyone has already done anything experimental like this…. thats all.

Mar 29 2004
21:11
robotarchie
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Way to go, Admin. The heights you can stoop to, the depths you aspire to.

Mar 30 2004
11:36
quetzalcoatl
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[quote="Administrator":3pdekqod]Basically, I am just curious to hear if anyone has already done anything experimental like this…. thats all.[/quote:3pdekqod]

Not yet .. still trying to get that [i:3pdekqod]realistic [/i:3pdekqod]feel.

Mar 30 2004
19:38
keepspace
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I’d like to start by getting to realism first, which nobody has done with Lola or Leon yet.

But then I think Picasso painted like he did because he couldn’t draw.

Mar 30 2004
22:15
robotarchie
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8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O Exsqueeze me? SHRIEK ALORS! Pablo Picasso couldn’t draw?! Treat yourself – take some QUALITY time and look out the drawings that he did for his entrance portfolio to the Madrid School of Art at the age of 14 (youngest ever accepted artist – they didn’t know he was only 14). They are “realistically” AWESOME. Totally breathtaking! Picasso was way past so-called “realistic” by the time his voice broke. After that, check out John Cale’s song entitled “Pablo Picasso Never Got Called An Asshole”. Not in New York… Not like YOU….

Mar 31 2004
04:46
gray
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I never been called an asshole either. But I have been asked if i was one… hmmm

Mar 31 2004
07:42
robotarchie
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I think Ian Boddy just twisted Zero-G’s melon

Apr 3 2004
02:23
funkdman
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I’m not sure what you’d consider avant garde, but how about a return to some of the original vocal styles, like tribal songs? Or something like Gregorian chants?

What do you think will be the new wave of vocals for the seething modern masses to latch onto and debase?

In my opinion it might be the intergration of several languages, like those Japanese songs that have english phrases in the chorus. It’s a global market afterall!
I suppose when it was first introduced scatting was very new and interesting, now it doesn’t seem so outlandish, so who knows?

On a side note, what would you think about a song that had a vocal track that was almost inaudible, or even spanning the border of being subliminal? Perhaps in a techno dirge?

Also David Bowie does a pretty good verison of “Pablo Picasso Never Got Called An Asshole”.

Apr 3 2004
09:45
robotarchie
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Interesting food for thought there FunkDMan. It’s funny, but I was helping a friend out a few weeks ago with a long running project/hobby of his which is to collect and re-record Medieval and Olde English (mainly) Folk tunes. He can’t afford to have real singers in very often, so he’d been using a variety of artificial voice programs over the years and I suggested he try the vocaloid on some of them. He seems interested, but generally uses “freebie” voice software. Maybe I could ask if he wants to put them up on our forum if/when finished. The really odd thing is, if you stand back and take them as they are, some of the recordings are very strange sounding indeed. Apart from the artefacts of artificiality, there are lots of words and phrases that are no longer in general use anymore as well as drones and harmonies that aren’t heard much these days. There was even a voice synth that did lots of different accents (American, Spanish, Scottish, Irish, etc) and it was hilarious to switch that in and out. Vocaloid sings better than most of these programs I feel, but it would be a LOT of hard work to reproduce the accents we associate with old folk music and the like. Just a thought…..

Apr 3 2004
17:00
quetzalcoatl
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[quote="FunkDMan":80nlhu55]I’m not sure what you’d consider avant garde, but how about a return to some of the original vocal styles, like tribal songs? Or something like Gregorian chants?[/quote:80nlhu55]

Funny you should mention tribal chants, because when I was working on “Singing” tribal chants were going through my mind. The trance-like drum repetition was my inspiration as I was building it, and I left it bare to give that effect. But when I finished it, I wasn’t convinced that it acheived that effect so I called it a dance tune. But, yes I like the idea of tribal music. It needs researching, most tribal dances are about the basic primal things like sex, marriage, hunting and the harvest. I like the World Music idea too, I think the language barrier is always going to be the problem however nice it is to listen to.

Give it a go, and let’s hear it! :D

Apr 10 2004
14:01
andromeda
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To go back to the original posting by Joe Admin, take a listen to my demo posting, Flight of the Bumble Bee. It would be very difficult (but not impossible!) for a real singer to sing this piece. Lola does a reasonable job at this high speed chase, though there is an audible “clicking” sound. In order to get the consonants to spit out, absolutely necessary with such a piece, there needs to be a certain amount of the “noise” paramater. This has the effect of causing some high frequency sampling noises, I think, on every note. I suppose it is possible to bury this in the mix or with suitable EQ. I decided to leave it as it is for your observation. Anyway, I had a great time doing the sequenced arrangement, complete with manic drummer and even more manic Lola. I would also like to offer my sincerest apologies to Nikolai Rimskij-Korsakov.
Cheers
Chris

Apr 10 2004
16:56
gray
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I gotta admit, I dont think I could sing that flight of the bumble bee thing. Dont think my Willie Nelson voice would sound too good on that anyways. Great job on that song BTW Andro…

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