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Rachel's Song by Al Straker
Mar 23 2004
12:08
quetzalcoatl
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Absolutely wonderful!

Tell me, what word did you type in to make Lola sing? Was it it “Ooh”? It sounds like a closed-mouth vocal sound, but not quit “Hmm”.

Mar 23 2004
15:51
robotarchie
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[quote="QUETZALCOATL":2wt0so5w]Absolutely wonderful!

Tell me, what word did you type in to make Lola sing? Was it it “Ooh”? It sounds like a closed-mouth vocal sound, but not quit “Hmm”.[/quote:2wt0so5w]

Hey – many thanks for that comment – really, it’s a boost to know that someone likes your efforts. I’m not at the computer which has the original vocaloid MIDI file on at the moment, but I can tell you that the file is VERY untidy as I began experimenting with lots of phonemes directly into it without pressing the transformation button and over time some got left in and others changed dotted about over the length of the song. I had this notion that a singer would change their mouth shape depending on where they were in the course of a line and how much breath went into it as well as a different shape “mouth” sometimes for higher and lower pitched notes. I think that the vibrato speeds up on higher notes too here and there as in life. On top of that there was the effects of post production wave editing, mainly on attacks, decays and odd wind “chuffs” caused by fast sweep ups and then the compressor/de esser added its own tuppence to the tonal pot. I wanted to cut down on the “electronic zing” from aliasing artefacts a bit without it going too wooly sounding and melting into the background, so a lot of compromise went into it.

Mar 23 2004
23:24
gray
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You’re right. That is a beautiful piece of music. I rate the song highly but I would like to hear you do more spoken vocals. Any way you can upload this to the user files? I would love to have the midi instrumental and voice track. That song gives me chills its so beautiful.

Mar 24 2004
09:05
robotarchie
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Hi Gray :D . I think I actually posted a reply to this question in another thread to do with soundfonts elsewhere, sorry. I will say that I’m not really a big Vangelis fan as such, but I’ve always loved the almost Celtic feel of that particular song. I knew that vocaloid Lola was suited to that sort of Enya type thing. Interestingly, I read somewhere that Mary Hopkin’s “oohs” were recorded originally only as a guide vocal and that they ran out of time on the film deadline before the words were written so just went with it. A nice story of serendipidy, but one of the big reasons I chose to cover it with Lola was that it doesn’t have any “spoken” words! I’d just previously been wrestling with a spoken word tune of my own (in my naivety) and it was sounding giddy bleedin’ awful so in my alarm I abandoned it temporarily. I don’t have the skills yet to get the results I dream of. Also, in your comments on my version you wondered about a version with words. I think Vangelis would die weeping if I stuck a few “baby,baby,baby” lines on his toon :!: . Seriously, I think you really have to have a fairly clear plan firmly ahead of you in order to produce an acceptable vocaloid track. The non-realtime nature of the rendering does not inspire on-the-hoof experimentation. I had two or three acceptable lines of my song and a long white beard. Lola doesn’t exactly jam with you. However, I will take up the reins and take the plunge again soon with words (on another tune, best leave Vangelis alone). In the meantime, I’ve got a wee idea that I ought to write something “around” Lola and play to her foibles rather than try to force her to mine.

Mar 24 2004
10:56
quetzalcoatl
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Spoken? :? Do you guys really mean spoken, or do you mean pronounced words instead of oohs and aahs? Spoken = speech.

Mar 24 2004
11:20
robotarchie
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I took Gray’s reference to “spoken” to mean sung pronounced words – yup, it can be a bit confusing, thanks for pointing this out and I agree speech is quite different. Does anyone feel uncomfortable that I’m running around in a Batman suit, by the way? Or should I start a new thread on ID’s?

Mar 24 2004
11:39
quetzalcoatl
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If you want to be seen as a caped crusader for someone or something … <img class=” />

Mar 24 2004
12:14
robotarchie
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I kinda like the way the little stars above the head look like in the comics when Battie gets whomped on the nut…. dare I ask what a Quetzalcoatl is?

Mar 24 2004
13:14
gray
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If you want to run around in gray tights, I got no problem with it. Ya know, there’s laws against that in Texas. heh heh

Mar 24 2004
13:22
robotarchie
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Do you mean grey tights or Gray’s tights? No wonder I’m a chilled user and not cool. You know what makes the grass grow in Texas (A: bullsh*t) :D

Mar 24 2004
19:18
quetzalcoatl
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Quetzalcoatl, pronounced ket-zal-co-atle was the “Feathered Serpent” of the ancient Aztecs. As chief protagonist of lunar dualities he was the-great-above-and-great-below. The bird which soared in the sky and the snake which traversed the ground .. Quetzal = Bird, coatl = snake.

Mar 24 2004
20:23
robotarchie
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I am now the wiser. Who dares wins and I dared to ask. Who is this masked man who goes amongst us?!?! <img class=” />

Mar 25 2004
00:06
quetzalcoatl
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A cleverly-disguised member of Zero-G?

Mar 25 2004
08:21
robotarchie
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8O Not me! I’m the Caped Crusader remember – bravely fighting the injustice of the evil Zero-G Men wherever I find it. Boldly transforming their wretched squawker into a thing of unutterable beauty – and I have never been a member of the Communist Party….. 8)

Mar 25 2004
17:17
andromeda
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Hey you guys. This thread is supposed to be about Rachel’s Song. :?
Anyway, Vangelis ripped this lovely tune off from a classical source. Erik Satie, I think. He of the Gymnopedies, though this tune is not one of them, you can hear the similarity.
Cheers
Chris

Mar 25 2004
20:08
robotarchie
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Unfortunately I’m not familiar enough with Satie’s work to make any comment on the originality or otherwise of it. So back to Rachel’s Song by Vangelis for me it is then. Even though one of the reasons I chose to do a cover of this song was the fact that it didn’t present any lyrics to wrestle with, I did become aware of how “one dimensional” the vocaloid can sound, especially in the raw (if you’ll pardon the expression). I tried lowering and raising the key of the song to find a possible “sweeter spot” for Lola, but I don’t know if it’s feasible to even approach the sheer depth and richness of a human – sorry Eurovision Song Contest Winner Mary Hopkin’s – delivery. I don’t expect the earth, but I was surprised really at tthe subleties of expression which can be going on within a seemingly “simple” melody. They are obviously not something to be trifled with lightly. Q: Most people who hear Rachel’s Song by Vangelis/Hopkin seeem to easily make “mind pictures” of scenes and places which they conjure up in response. I’m not able to comment just yet as I’m still too close in time to it, but does my version with Lola “paint” any particular picture – or are we all so close to the technicalities involved that we don’t really “see” beyond the editor screen much yet? Deep, eh? Comments welcomed.

Mar 25 2004
20:25
andromeda
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I’ve been a fan of Vangelis since his Chariots days in the earlier 80s. I would even go so far as to say it is what inspired me to start writing and trying to record instrumental music. Strangely, I have never heard the complete Bladerunner score, and certainly not Rachel’s song ever before. (Must get hold of a copy) The reason I mention this is that the Vocaloid piece I’ve been working on is an attempt to re-record a piece I wrote in the 80s which was meant to have a wordless female voice floating over orchestral stings. It never sounded right because the synthesized voice I used, from a DX7, was too robotic. The piece is remarkably similar in style to Rachel’s Song, but I have got Lola to sing, I think, in a more classical/operatic style. It has taken a while and is still not quite right. I will upload it when it’s done. I don’t work on the PC so when it’s finished I will have to transfer the files across and make an MP3. BTW, the Satie piece is rather obscure, but I played it earlier this evening and it is very similar. Not sure if the borrowing was intentional though.
Cheers
Chris

Mar 25 2004
20:44
robotarchie
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The whole BladeRunner movie continues to be a source of marvel and wonder. It was a most remarkable film, no doubt about that for me. Incidentally, a friend of mine, who passed away almost a year exactly ago (funnily enough) worked on it in wardrobe, which is a small kind of personal connection. I would definately not describe myself as a Vangelis fan as such – I have the soundtrack disc and I can say that the vast majority of the tracks on it are very good given a very eclectic range of music types and some fab guest singers. “One More Kiss” springs to mind… ahhhhh – and Demis Roussos (ferchrisssakes) on “Damask Rose” delivers a spine chillingly AWESOME performance, etc…..

Mar 25 2004
22:00
andromeda
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Of course, Demis Roussos and Vangelis were both members of the 60s band Aphrodite’s Child – they had worked together before. And their big hit (only hit) “Rain and Tears” from1968 was a rip off the classical piece Pachelbel’s Canon.
Cheers
Chris

Mar 25 2004
22:47
robotarchie
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Well spank my ass and call me “Rachel”. I love this group – it makes me feel …… so…. young :D Have you heard that there’s a big Cray supercomputer on a 24/7 mission spanning years RIGHT NOW “writing” every possible combination of musical notes and theoretical combinations of notes/melodies, etc therein possible? Should outta have had enough for at least an album by now. Probably screwed up the distribution deal or something. Why is probably the rhetorical question. It is interesting to note that BladeRunner is set against a backwash of unrelenting rain and tears….. “I’ve… SEEN… things….” (Roy)

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