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#159536 - 11/19/03 02:00 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
travlin'easy Online   happy
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14573
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
"...into a podium for the techophobic among us." First you have to spell "Technophobic" correctly. As for members of this forum being "technophobic," well I seriously doubt it, and anyone that believes they are obviously has run across those who decry advances in technology. Everyone here uses the most advanced technology they can find that will still allow them to be performing musicians. For those who do not, or for some reason, cannot sing, this little gem may be just another tool in their arsenal of tools to enhance their performances. For those that can and do sing, this is something that may put a less vocally tallented individual in the back door or the gig you're currently enjoying.

Think about it!

Gary
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PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#159537 - 11/19/03 03:03 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
I don't necessarily disagree Gary, but there's two ways to look at that back door thing. Arrangers could also allow less technically skilled keyboard players into the back door too couldn;t they ? Let's be honest here. I'm sure there are some among us who could perform solo on a keyboard / organ / piano and still entertain and maybe dazzle too. Does that include everyone who is using an arranger keyboard to entertain though ? I doubt it.

I applaud those of you who have great voices that can work well for so many different things. As I said before, I wouldn't want to hear me doing a soft tenor ballad. I wouldn't want to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan or James Dewar of the old Robin Trower band doing it either. Doesn't make them bad singers though does it ? I'd love to be able to sing like like Michael McDonald just once, but that isn't happening. On the other hand, can everyone who plays an arranger say that they can play every instrument that their arranger is trying to emulate ? Doesn't it work both ways, or is it ok to fake a guitar solo but not a voice ? What's the real answer and who's to say where that line is drawn ?

I have heard an admission or two here that there are those amongst us that aren't necessarily top skilled keyboard players too. I know for me, I'll put my keyboard skills out there anytime, and maybe I won't always be the best player, but.. I bet I don't embarrass myself very often either, and I certainly have enough skills to work without an arranger. The point is, lesser players could be taking jobs from me too if I look at it in that light. I see them now out there in bands, and in solo or duet acts. I'm glad I don't look at it that way though, mainly because I play for me at this point in my life, and to see what I can create. Maybe if I was still trying to do it for a living, I would think differently, and maybe I'd even become anti arranger altogether, realizing that some of the venues that once hosted real bands don't anymore. I'd like to think instead though that I can accept the technology for what it is and adapt to it. It's great to be able to play along with my own personal band anytime to work on my skills or create a song. Much of this was not possible when I started playing. I embrace it.

I can now hold my own on a drum set too if it doesn't get too complex ( ie jazz / jazz fusion ). Now put a sax in my hands, and Boo ( and anyone else that had to listen to it ) would probably be sick. Terry would probably wince at hearing me play his guitar. Still, I can fake a fair emulation of one on a keyboard. It won't fool anyone who has a trained ear and knows what a real sax or guitar is supposed to sound like, but.. the notes will be there in the right places and it'll sound pretty good, at least good enough for entertainment work.. provided of course, I have the other equally important skills needed to actually entertain someone. All I'm saying is that I think all of this works both ways, doesn't it ?

AJ



[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 11-19-2003).]
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AJ

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#159538 - 11/19/03 03:57 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
Tony W Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 836
Loc: Lancaster UK
I quite like this idea!
Ok I know it is not 'real' but like others have said in this thread how often do we get that thrown at us with the technology we utilise now?

After listening to the demo I don't see this as much different to a high end vocal harmoniser. Why does everyone (well nearly) want a T C Helicon Harmoniser as opposed to the old Digitech VHM-5 unit? Because The new voice prism sounds less robotic and false than the old digitech unit that's why. Why do we by Tyros or KN7000 or SD1 as opposed to casio or bontempi 99 units? ...Because we want our sounds to sound as close to the real thing as possible. If a keyboard offered Scat or Choral voices as good as this we would all be rushing out to buy it.

When we use harmonisers everyone in the audience know that there is some technical wizardry going on somewhere because three good looking gals and a guy dont jump out the curtain at the back to accompany us. So really this is just the next step. You buy the prog ....do the programming and hope it gives you the edge.

In five years I bet we will all be utilising this technology and think as much about it as we do now about buying a new harmoniser. Why Yamaha could incorporate this into future boards and Technics will be relying on wonderful organ voices instead (Sorry Grandpa Doug ) Actually I played a KN7000 properly yesterday and have to say I could easily love that board!!
Very best to all
Tony

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www.tonywmusic.co.uk

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#159539 - 11/19/03 05:26 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
I once again concur with Aj on many of his points as I have said in the past all electronic keyboards are all just smoke and mirrors, parlour tricks. The vocaloid is yet another trick to add to the bag of available tools.

For my own comments I was referring to those that play nothing but their computer to make music. While there may be a place for it, I can not stretch the definition far enough to call them musicians in my mind.

Tony I think that it differs from a vocal harmonizer in that one has to at least play a chord to get it to harmonize. With this toy one doesn't.

I do marvel at the technology and embrace what I can live with and discard what I can't, to fit my way of working and standards I set for myself, not those that others would like to set for me.
Terry

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jam on,
Terry http://imjazzed.homestead.com/Index.html
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jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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#159540 - 11/19/03 05:27 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
travlin'easy Online   happy
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14573
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I gues the way I look at a keyboard is the same way I looked at a guitar when I was a 17-year-old kid in the U.S. Navy--it was a great tool to make me a better entertainer. I'm a lousy keyboard player, and I cannot read music worth a damned, but when I step in front of a crowd they tell me I'm a damned good entertainer and singer. Over the years I progressed from an acoustic guitar to an electric (several), then back to a 12-string acoustic, which I still play once in a while, then went through a dozen or so keyboards and a couple drum machines. Each of these made me a better entertainer. I do the singing--not a machine, and I can still do a pretty good job with the vocals without using vocal enhancement devices. I guess the bottom line is I'm not a musician--I'm an entertainer, and that's what audiences pay me to do.

One interesting footnote to all this is I ran across a friend who has a karaoke business, and while he's booked fairly good, he tells me that the number of individuals that stand in front of an audience, at least those that are sober at the time, seems to be dropping off dramatically. Most of the time, he's up there singing until the crowd gets plastered out of their minds, then the drunks get up and make fools out of themselves.

Think I pour myself a tall glass of Kickapoo Joy Juice over ice!

Gary
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#159541 - 11/19/03 06:28 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
The Pro Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 1087
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Hmmm... very interesting. I think I understand more of the feelings here about some of this. I would consider myself more of a musician than an entertainer - playing keyboards is more than my occupation, it's my preoccupation. Whatever technology offers I'm there, and not because I enjoy gadgetry as much as I enjoy the satisfaction of making it work and creating incredible music. Being an entertainer isn't something I do as well I confess, so I compensate by aiming for the kind of audience that would appreciate my art as opposed to performing in a way that would appeal to the most people. Most people do enjoy my music anyway fortunately, and I try to be who am I rather than someone I'm not and hope for the best.

I look upon the Vocaloids as giving me another avenue to explore my skills at sequencing and MIDI with, plus composition, arranging, harmony and more. If I can demo songs easier, so much the better. If I can produce commercial music and jingles with this stuff then it pays for itself the first time it's used. I'm there. I have no beef with anyone who differs but I'm sure that if I don't make the most of the technology at hand then someone else will.

Here's some more demos, some with the Vocaloids in the lead:
http://www.soundonsound.com/soundbank/YamahaVocaloid.php
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Jim Eshleman

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#159542 - 11/19/03 07:28 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Good answers all Jim, Tony, Gary and Terry. I enjoyed reading them.

I think I'm more like Jim in my approach to all of this, but we're really not all that different either Gary, in spite of the approach and our methods. Really, the biggest difference is that it's a casual thing for me. I have a different job. After that, I just look to do the occasional venue that will allow me to feature what I think are my strengths. For me that's playing the instrument itself.

Like you, I like to get the positive feedback too, but when I do, mainly it's for the pieces I play, sometimes solo without the arranger parts, or what the audience can see and feel me play while the arranger is going ( they can tell.. most of them anyway ) or maybe if I can jump in with a band on occasion.

I haven't seen you play and for all I know you could be a great keyboard player, but from what you say here, it appears that the focus for you goes toward your vocals and entertaining skills, and that the instruments are tools that help get you there. Nothing wrong with that at all. If vocals were my strongest feature, I'd probably choose to feature them too, no matter what level of player I was. Instead, I'll take the harmonizers and any other tool that enhances them, and feature what I do best.

When I play live though, I'm not thinking in terms of a machine doing the actual singing for me. That's not what I'm looking for. I'd rather bring my vocalist for that if I need him. I just want a harmonizer / tool that enhances the voice I already have, for better or worse, and maybe something that I can add to my bag of tricks in the studio. In the studio if the thing sings better than me ( oh and I'm sure it does..lol ) , then I'll admit it right now.. I'd use it with no qualms. My music is still going to be about featuring my playing. I look at vocals as an occasional annoyance that is sometimes necessary to get someone to listen to my music... Ok.. that's a joke but maybe there is a hint of truth to it.

AJ

[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 11-19-2003).]
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AJ

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#159543 - 11/20/03 07:42 PM Re: Yamaha Vocaloid Singing Synthesis
Vquestor Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 554
Sounds like "Harmony Assistant" on steroids.

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