Tag Archives: PowerFX

VoxWave Market Research For Possible French-Language Vocaloid

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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.

Yohioloid on Sale Now! Additional Demos Debuted

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The wait is finally over! For those that have been waiting for it PowerFX/VocaTone’s newest bi-lingual Vocaloid is finally released. Right Hio can only be purchased as a digital downloads but Bil Bryant of PowerFX assures us that the physical DVD edition should be in stock for international shipping some time next week.

Yohioloid’s bi-lingual nature hasn’t seemed to have affected his pricing with his digital download price comparable to Oliver on release at $129. The physical edition is expect to be priced at $149, but no word as of yet if an Yohioloid + Editor DVD combo pack will be made available. For those interested in just the DVD of the Vocaloid 3 Editor it is available for purchase here

 

Purchase Yohioloid:

Digital Download – $149
Retail Boxed – $169

 

The last batch of demos before his launch include Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” as covered by Giuseppe and a Japanese demo of Kiroro’s “Mirai E” as covered by Alberto. You can find the two demos embedded after the break. Expect an in-depth column on Hio later this week as Kodakami gets some hands-on time with PowerFX’s latest Vocaloid.
 

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PowerFX Responds, Statement from Bil Bryant

Yohioloid Official Statement

In response to our previous article Yohio Vocaloid’s Art & Voice Samples Leak Bil Bryant, CEO of PowerFX Systems AB has released this statement concerning the Yohioloid.

In the statement he apologizes on how VocaTone has handled the contest, confirms that the vocal sample was indeed Yohioloid, albeit in an unfinished work-in-progress form, goes over how the winning art was selected, and talks about YOHIO’s latest happenings including how he recently placed second in the Melodifestivalen Eurovision song contest.

You can find Bil Bryan’t full statement here, as a response to the article we published, and quoted in full below:

Hi, Bil from PowerFX here – It´s great to see such passion amongst Vocaloid users. I would just like to set the record straight on a few things and apologize for the way the contest was run.

The demo that was leaked is from a beta version and is not finished. I have no idea who leaked it and we did pass it around to a few people to get feedback. Remember it is a BETA version! Also, Yamaha did not pick the cover YOHIO did. YOHIO in March took part in the Melodifestivalen in Sweden a nationally televised event where the winner represents Sweden in the Eurovision song contest.

Yohio won the Swedish vote but became second because they had other counties voting. YOHIO in his gracious runner up concession endeared himself to many and this brought on an immediate tour of concerts and performances all over Sweden on top of planned Japanese, Swedish and English album releases this spring So having him review over 200 submissions was not easy.

Finally when he was in Stockholm for a TV appearance he came by our office and we once again reviewed every submission and selected one but YOHIO asked for the artist to change something before he would accept it, it took a couple days but it was done and then we announced. Then we could announce the runners up but then we wanted them reviewed again to make sure.

It was our mistake just not to communicate the delay better – apologies from PowerFX.

With the above statement we finally have some insight into how the contest was conducted, how the winners were selected, and what the root cause of the delays were. As stated in our original article Bil emphasized that all details are subject to change as Yohioloid is a Vocaloid still under active development.

Yohio Vocaloid’s Art & Voice Samples Leak

Yohoiloid Leaks

Before we begin let this be clear. Everything in the following news post are ‘leaked’ and come from un-official sources. After further investigation the Engloids.Info staff felt that the news was to groundbreaking as not to make public. So thus we share it with you under the caveat that everything you see and hear below are subject to change, as a public debut of Yohioloid has not yet been made.

For the uninformed “Yohioloid” is the upcoming Vocaloid from VocaTone/PowerFX said to be voiced by the Swedish born Kevin Johio Lucas Rehn Eires, but performing under the stage name ‘YOHIO’. The upcoming voice-bank is expected to be a bi-lingual with support for both English and Japanese. You can view our previous coverage on Yohioloid’s announcement at VocaTone/PowerFX’s Upcoming Bilingual Vocaloid Announed.

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