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Performance Modeling technology can Enhance Yamaha Vocaloid!

First example created using LEON library
April, 8, 2004.

  Yes! Now we can show the result of our first attempt to enhance Yamaha Vocaloid using our Performance Modeling technology (PM). Unfortunately, we were unable to get the ready product right at the NAMM Show, where we had some discussions with Ed Stratton (Zero-G) and Hideki Kenmochi (Yamaha), but a week ago Leon Library was delivered to us by express-mail from Best Service (Germany).

We had the aim to completely exclude manual editing of Expression elements in Vocaloid itself, which is laborious enough, and to try to process the initial MIDI file, using one of Modeler Styles (Onyx Arranger PMStyle). Potentially, our algorithms are able to automatically generate any number of functions, contextually dependent on the initial melody. The existing PM algorithms generate Expression, Pitch Wheel, Modulation, Panning, and control Velocity, StartTime and Duration of Notes as well. Unfortunately, from the standard MIDI file, Vocaloid only imports Velocity, StartTime, Duration and Pitch Wheel. In the future we are planning to add to our algorithms the generation of synthesis control parameters, used in Vocaloid (Resonances, Harmonics, Noise, Brightness, Clearness and Gender Factor).

For the time being, PMStyle was used for the first experiment, which has done the following automatically (No manual Vocaloid expression parameters editing at all!):

  1. Appointed Velocity, according to phrase division.
  2. Made the notes sound legato within the phrases and inserted the pauses between the phrases.
  3. Generated ALL Pitch Wheel sendings (curve), providing microdeviations, gliding, bending, pitch ornaments and Vibrato.

To analyze the result - the song Sad Mondays (see its details below), you can take the following files in mp3 and *.mid format:
full demo (voice and background): SadMondays_YVLeon_JMT.mp3 [2,49 Mb]
Verse1 (voice only): SM_Verse1_YVLeon_JMT.mp3 [269 Kb]
Verse2 (voice only): SM_Verse2_YVLeon_JMT.mp3 [271 Kb]
Refrain (voice only): SM_Refrain_YVLeon_JMT.mp3 [440 Kb]
Verse1 - Yamaha Vocaloid (LEON) data file: SM_Verse1_YVLeon_(VFile).mid
Verse2 - Yamaha Vocaloid (LEON) data file: SM_Verse2_YVLeon_(VFile).mid
Refrain - Yamaha Vocaloid (LEON) data file: SM_Refrain_YVLeon_(VFile).mid
Verse1 - PM Processed MIDI file: SadMondays_Verse1_(Processed_Tune).mid
Verse2 - PM Processed MIDI file: SadMondays_Verse2_(Processed_Tune).mid
Refrain - PM Processed MIDI file: SadMondays_Refrain_(Processed_Tune).mid

ALL (6) MIDI files in ZIP

Comments by Alexei Ustinov, CTO Jasmine Music Technology

  1. Vocaloid surpasses other attempts of vocal synthesis and this technology undoubtedly has great prospects.
  2. Vocaloid has extremely flexible synthesis parameters control system, allowing to realize a huge number of variants of sounding, including the ones quite similar to real singing.
  3. Adding the expressiveness while creating a vocal part is the necessary stage of achieving the sounding close to the real live performance.
  4. Manual addition of expressiveness elements, available in Vocaloid, requires laborious work and doesn't guarantee the user the achievement of satisfactory quality unless he or she doesn't possess rich musical and acoustical experience in this sphere.
  5. The flaws of this Vocaloid version are:
  • inability to add expressiveness elements in real time mode.
  • rather overextended time of rendering
  • GUI functionality is not entirely complete

So, Yamaha offers the unique technology, practically unlimited if we speak of the possible result, but lacking control effective enough to achieve such result.

As a matter of fact we come across the typical situation relevant for most synthesis methods: the method itself allows to achieve various soundings but there are no effective ways to control the synthesis and the technology resources are underused. For example, Yamaha VL Syths series, possesses extremely flexible synthesis parameters control system, allowing to achieve unique soundings. But neither keyboards (with traditional wheels or joystick), nor Flute, Sax, Guitar or Violin MIDI-controllers are able to generate necessary control parameters even with the real performance. The creation of MIDI sequences that include all necessary commands (using Piano-Roll and controller's drawing using mouse) also doesn't qualify as productive. Concerning the VL Synths control I can speak more surely since I have studied their possibilities myself. I dare say that the only way to use resources to their maximum potential is our Performance Modeling technology, providing intellectual and contextual transformation of MIDI data and enhancing them with performance nuances in real time. I have no doubt that the developers of VL Series will agree with me after having listened to the samples, created, for instance, for MU100R, or after some experimenting with VL Synth, using our software. I am willing to demonstrate them the sounding of their device impossible to achieve by any other way and which they have never heard. I am also sure that Performance Modeling technology is a real chance to automate the addition of expressive elements to Vocaloid, which will make it more user friendly and widen the circle of its users...

You can imagine that this is the way that other control functions (Brightness, Clearness, Vibrato, etc.) can be generated. And, of course, the PM algorithms can be created for the various characters of singing, including "Soul manner" like Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, when one long note is replaced with a number of short slurred notes of appropriate music scale.

Demo Song details

Tune author - Ravi Dattatreya, Lyrics - Igor Fomchenkov, Arrangement - Alexei Ustinov

Sad Mondays

Verse 1
Come on your time is gone
You've been a way too long
Sad Mondays yet to come, my baby
Nothing will be the same
And you will see again
Sad Mondays yet to come

Verse 2
You said you'd have your day
You'd meet your love again
Warmed by the morning sun, my baby
But you forget one thing
No matter what you think
Sad Mondays may yet come

Well after all you'll live through the Sad Mondays
No matter what you'll live through the Sad Mondays
Whatever you try you will see the Sad Mondays again
And again the world will turn 'round
Whatever you try you will see the Sad Mondays
And this is a plain fact of life