Tag Archives: PowerFX

PowerFX Pulls the Curtain, Presents Vocaloid 4 Ruby


Without much fanfare, not even a tweet on their official twitter, PowerFX has released Vocaloid 4. In a surprise turn of events on the official product listing and latest demo by VocaloidMaster (embedded below) there is no official character artwork. Instead, they feature a set of stage curtains being drawn and the text “Presenting Ruby”.

This strange release decision is likely related to the controversy previously covered in Behind the Scenes: PowerFX & Vocaloid 4 Ruby. With so much furor and pushback over the AnimeExpo reveal event’s character art PowerFX may have chosen to sidestep the controversy by not including anything whatsoever. Its unclear whether the software splash is similarly art-less as none of the Engloids.Info staff have purchased the product yet.

On Twitter Ruby’s Lead Developer Syo released a custom dictionary using Ruby’s new phonemes. As always it is probably better to avoid the dictionary pronunciations when possible but without much documentation on the new phonemes added in Vocaloid 4 this should help new and veteran users alike.

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V4 Ruby Delayed, To Be Released “Soon”. Physical Edition Confirmed to Follow.


Vocaloid Ruby, previously confirmed for release today[1] has been delayed. Release date is still unconfirmed but she is expected to release “any day within the next 10 days” according to the most recent tweet by Ruby’s Developer Syo. Beyond disclosing the most recent release info Syo also confirmed that a physical release is planned, but there would be some trailing time for physical production to ramp up.

The cause for Ruby’s delays are unknown, but knowing the history of botched Engloid launches I wouldn’t be suprised if Yamaha was somehow involved. Best guess is it is somehow related to Shūbun no Hi[2], the Autumnal Equinox Day, a public holiday in Japan. Its a bit unfortunate that the release dates aligned as such, but the delay doesn’t seem to be related to the voicebank itself so it shouldn’t be a cause for too much worry.

This article will be updated as additional details come in. A new post will be with Ruby release and how to buy her.

[1] – 18 Sep 2015 Tweet by @Price_Syo
[2] – Autumnal Equinox Day via Wikipedia

Behind the Scenes: PowerFX & Vocaloid 4 Ruby


There has been a bit of a media blackout concerning Vocaloid Ruby here at Engloids.Info, part of it was because most of the ongoing reports and ‘leaks’ in Ruby’s production were of questionable vivacity. It wasn’t until AnimeExpo and the 4th of July reveal event that we were able to get the first official word on the finalized details besides the name “Ruby”, an event that surprised many and lead to much confusion within the Vocaloid community.

There was a lot of fragmented information and conjecture involved in piecing it together; ultimately this article is the result of our findings.

Table of Contents

Note: information in this article is sourced from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, official VocaloidOtaku posts, official social media, and interviews & emails with those involved. 

Special thanks to @agatechlo who provided the featured image photo.

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VoxWave Market Research For Possible French-Language Vocaloid


In a press release posted to various Vocaloid related discussion boards French company VoxWave detailed a tentative agreement between them, the Americasn at VocaTone, and the Swedish company PowerFX Systems AB to make a French-language Vocaloid. Negotiations with Yamaha Corporation are still pending but VoxWave has asked Vocaloid fans to take a market survey to help them gauge interest in the possibility of such a product.

The survey is bi-lingual including questions and responses in both English and French. The questions range from demographic information, to general product inquiries on survey taker’s experience in Vocaloid and what they look for in future Vocaloid related products. The final page of the survey includes questions as to viability of a French-language Vocaloid and raises the possibility of a bi-lingual VB in the future and crowdfunding as a possible source of seed money.

Kodakami’s Review of Yohioloid

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So, the time has finally come! VocaTone’s second Vocaloid voicebank, Yohioloid, is released to much applause. Personally, I feel it’s a major milestone for the Western community, because this is the first bilingual English/Japanese voicebank to have both very good quality English and Japanese. While his English is indeed accented (Swedish-Japanese I think?), the voicebank still lends itself remarkably to small tweaks and tricks to achieve respectable results. All in all, I’m very happy to have gotten to work with the voicebank and even contribute a few (very small) suggestions.

“Pros and cons”, you ask? I only got to play with his English bank, so my commentary is limited to half of the package.

On the downside, as I mentioned, ‘Hio is clearly not a native English speaker. The good news is, with only a few vowel replacements, I was surprised to hear a big difference. I’d rank his receptiveness to phoneme-tweaking on the same level as Big Al’s or Avanna’s. With such an easy-to-fix problem as number one, I think it speaks volumes for this quality voicebank.

As for the second disadvantage, along the same lines, some of his English phonemes don’t play nicely together. I noticed “eI and “N” (“ang”) don’t have a smooth transition, which is a fairly common combination in American accents. I substitute “e N” (a more British or perhaps non-regional version), but it’s not quite what I want. In the end though, I did manage to quickly find an alternative phoneme combination, so I suppose it’s not that big an issue.

Somewhere in the middle of a pro and a con is the formant in his voice. For you non-music-speakers, that’s the same as Vocaloid Editor’s “gender” value. While ‘Hio sounds distinctly male in his natural pitch-range, once you get above a certain point on the piano roll his voice takes on a more feminine tone until it’s hard to hear him as the same singer anymore. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences, but I find it not so much a “good” or “bad” thing as just a “thing”.

On the other end of the discussion, I think ‘Hio’s voice is great in a wide variety of musical genres. Because of his higher range, he’s great at sailing over the top of the sea of thick musical textures you might find in trance or in metal. As a producer, I like writing songs where the instrumental lines can be enjoyed even without the singer, which often makes it difficult to add a singer on top of them. I don’t have this problem at all when mixing Yohioloid in, and I’d call that a definite plus.

As a final compliment to this product, I’d like to refer back to my first point: Yohioloid is one of only a few bilingual Vocaloids on the market today. More than anything else, I appreciate the opportunities this provides for more cross-over between those Vocaloid producers who write in Japanese, and those who write in English. It’s a great chance to try writing music in a different language, without the investment of buying a different voicebank that you might end up regretting. In plain English that means you’d be buying two separate, remarkable voicebanks for the price of a single, modestly-priced one.

To put it all together, Yohioloid ended up surprising me. When I expected a bilingual voicebank to have low-quality English, VocaTone delivered a respectable musical instrument that I’d be glad to add to my growing collection. While I don’t think this particular Vocaloid will be the one to bring balance to the Force, nor the Vocaloid movement to the West, I do think that it has the great potential to turn the world’s (and even the kuudere Japanese community’s) glance in our direction.

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