Author Topic: Will your keyboard sing, too?  (Read 2785 times)

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Offline pjd

Will your keyboard sing, too?
« on: July 01, 2017, 09:42:25 AM »
Hi --

Will your next arranger sing, too?

I stumbled across this sing-tar prototype on the Yamaha Japanese web site.



It uses Vocaloid technology for human vocal synthesis. The performer downloads lyrics to the Vocaloid keyboard and plays the melody. Neck buttons navigate through the lyrics, while the ribbon controller raises and lowers the pitch.

If you are interested in more technical details and further links, please see:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/your-keytar-can-sing/

I also came across some interesting information about Yamaha's NSX-1 Vocaloid integrated circuit. The NSX-1 has a General MIDI 1 sound engine in addition to the Vocaloid engine. And get this, the Vocaloid engine can synthesize "Real Acoustic Sound" voices, which are based on Articulation Element Modeling (AEM), also known as Super Articulation 2 (S.Art2).

The NSX-1 sells for 2000Yen ($18 USD) in sample quantities. Makes you wonder if or when Yamaha might build NSX-1 Real Acoustic Sound into an arranger or some other keyboard product.

All the best -- pj

Music technology blog: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/
 
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Offline Roger Brenizer

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 11:26:29 AM »
Very interesting, Paul.  Thank you so much for sharing.  :)
"Music Is My Life"
My best regards,
Roger

(The older I get...the better I used to be...LOL!!!)
Rogerís PSR Performer Page
 

Offline voodoo

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 04:22:18 AM »
pj,

your posts are genius. Thank you very much for this interesting topic.

Uli
Yamaha Genos (finally)
Nord Electro 5D
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 06:45:08 AM »
Hi --

It's been slow going since much of the information is in Japanese!

I eventually found the NSX-1 specs and data sheet. The NSX-1 is 64 voice poly and has a DSP effects unit that is roughly equivalent to the S650. The bad news is the GM wave memory: "Equivalent to 4MBytes."

Designers seem to have settled on the following usage model. Edit natural language lyrics in a computer- or web-based browser app. Translate the natural language lyrics to phonemes. Send the phonemes to the NSX-1 using SysEx (max 127 phonemes per message). When the musician plays a note, synthesize the next phoneme at the chosen pitch. Add vibrato and pitch bend if requested. Stir well.  :)

So, arranger-wise, I could see a separate app for editing and generation of SysEx for the phonemes. The SysEx could be embedded in an SMF (song or style). The arranger would step through the phonemes as the musician plays the keys.

The NSX-1 is embedded in the Gakken Pocket Miku. Here is our main man UJEII demonstrating the Pocket Miku. It gives an idea of the usage model as well as the chip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-v5CB5krws

I ordered a Pocket Miku from a shop in Japan since you can hook the Pocket Miku to a PC and mess with it. I just couldn't resist!  ;D

All the best -- pj

P.S. Always new info on the blog as I find it: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/

Offline voodoo

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 06:58:30 AM »
I ordered a Pocket Miku from a shop in Japan since you can hook the Pocket Miku to a PC and mess with it. I just couldn't resist!  ;D

 ;D ;D
Yamaha Genos (finally)
Nord Electro 5D
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 06:59:52 AM »
Hi Bachus --

The NSX-1 is fairly mature and appeared around 2013. So, the technology could have been designed into the SWP70. We certainly know that the SWP70 can do S.Art2!

As usual, it depends on Yamaha's perception of the market. The Vocaloid thing seems overly focused on ANIME. I experimented with the English language Tonio and I can see the potential for other applications given the appropriate voice database.

I just believe there is a big gap between current support for human voice (vocal harmony, oohs and ahhs, scat syllables) and real honest to goodness synthesized singing. There are many people (myself included) who are self-conscious about singing and would love to have a vocal companion.

The NSX-1 seems designed for low-cost applications like karaoke, cell phones or automotive. One could make an interesting keyboard out of it, however! Yamaha really could design much better entry-level instruments with their tech and still achieve a very competitive price point.

Thanks for listening to these opinions -- pj

Offline voodoo

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2017, 07:41:21 AM »
pj,

I read your latest post about SA2 and the technology behind it. Excellent writing! Again, I learned something new.

Uli
Yamaha Genos (finally)
Nord Electro 5D
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2017, 10:18:39 AM »
Hello Uli --

Thanks very much!

I've been trying to learn as much as I can about the NSX-1 and Pocket Miku, especially since my Pocket Miku is now somewhere between here and Japan.  ;D This exploration has dragged me in a bunch of different directions including the Web MIDI API. (Straaaaaaaaaaaaange syntax, that.)

In case anyone else is interested, I posted a blog:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/real-acoustic-sound/

that looks into Real Acoustic Sound (versus eVocaloid, versus AEM). It's been slow going due to the language barrier, but I am finding more documents in English:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/yamaha-nsx-1-resources/

It finally dawned on me that the NSX-1 itself stores the eVocaloid or RAS samples in an internal 2MByte memory. Not a lot of space by Tyros 5 standards, so Real Acoustic Sound has a long way to go to S.Art2. A cool hack would replace the eVocaloid samples in the Pocket Miku with instrument samples...

All the best -- pj
 
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Offline Marcus

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 01:07:28 PM »
There has been this Vocaloid Yamaha PLG expansion card since the 1990s. I have used several PLG-150 cards over the years, but the PLG100SG card is a rare one from Japan. Designed mainly for the Japanese language, but interesting singing effects can be produced.

Proto-Miku: Yamaha PLG100-SG demo song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmFsn88f2w8

Secondly, EWQL Symphonic Choirs has a word builder function to create your own singing words via the program and your keyboard. EWQL Voices of Passion is an awesome program as well. Personally, I love the vocal/choir effects on the Tyros 5 and choir harmony effects from my own voice using my connected external Roland VP-7 VH unit. Looking forward what Yamaha will introduce in the upcoming Genos arranger in this regard.

EWQL Symphonic Choirs - Wordbuilder Demo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9u98APouTQ

East West Quantum Leap (EWQL) Symphonic Choirs + Voices of Passion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ_BrKJwpCo

Marcus
Gear: Triangle
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 11:30:48 AM »
Hi --

I finally wrote up my experiments with Pocket Miku and the NSX-1:

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/pocket-miku-module-review/

Pocket Miku makes a decent enough General MIDI module, if you don't mind Miku singing on MIDI channel 1. $40 USD from Japan.

The page has links to a couple of demos and development resources.

All the best -- pj
 

Offline Roger Brenizer

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 12:33:01 PM »
My notes would be so far off, Bachus, that they would be on another planet.  ;D  ;D  ;D
"Music Is My Life"
My best regards,
Roger

(The older I get...the better I used to be...LOL!!!)
Rogerís PSR Performer Page
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 02:08:06 PM »
When talking about singing and (home)keyboards, one feature i have been missing so far is a build in singing tutor that tells you how far your notes are off...

I think that would be a nice feature for many home players that want to learn to sing...

That's a great idea!
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 01:17:00 AM »
EWQL Symphonic Choirs

I am very interested in this prog. :)

What about your experiences with this program ?

DO I NEED TO INSTALL KONTAKT 5 ?

Plse advise.

Many thanks, Jeff
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 02:01:52 AM by Jeff Hollande »
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 03:25:12 AM »
Thank you, B !  :)

Jeff
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline pjd

Re: Will your keyboard sing, too?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 12:47:01 PM »
Yamaha announced the VKB-100 Vocaloid keyboard. It's shaped like a keytar and will appear in Winter 2017. Price is TBD.

English: http://sandsoftwaresound.net/vocaloid-keyboard-announced/
Japanese: https://www.yamaha.com/ja/news_release/2017/17083101/

Take care -- pj