When I noticed Synthesizer V, it caught my attention because of the quality of output (then, it held me with it’s native Linux support and generous licencing & cost). I’m not even a producer, I’m a software engineer who was looking around for a voice synthesizer for a little project of mine, and I was originally planning to use Vocaloid for it (which is, for now, switched out for Synthesizer V in said project). The English actually sounded really good, understandable, smooth, and pleasant to hear.
Since the amount of people being pro-custom voicebanks I also wanted to reply. Because to be very honest, I hope against it beside for actual professionals (compagnies etc) and maybe the better hobbyists/freelancers, and if it’s going to be added, I hope for a really good implementation. I rather see this software as a competitor for Vocaloid and other professional software than as competitor for UTAU. A small company with passion and it’s own vision will be an interesting add on to the market. Please note that this is a personal view, and I don’t mean to tell others their opinion is wrong! It’s simply how I personally look at it based on my own preferences, uses, experiences, and opinions.
Biggest reasons I like it “closed” is quality, branding, and what that’ll mean for me.
- I generally skip songs made with UTAU because of the high amount of low quality voices, and the usage of it. Even if there might be some higher quality ones, the amount of them is so small, it feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. And that’s generally not worth it considering there are other options around. Even after finding them, the few voicebanks made in good quality also have to be used well or the final product (generally, a song) will still sound bad. To be very honest, when trying to look up Vocaloid songs, I’m already kinda sad/annoyed at the amount of low-quality produced songs, regularly but not exclusively covers of songs where VSQ(X) files have been provided for by others, and when I look Eleanor Forte on YouTube, similar cases already exist. If people are allowed to make voicebanks without professional quality control, I fear it’ll end up with thousands of low quality releases for each good one, making it even harder to find the good ones. If it’ll get too bad, I might end up avoiding it like I do now with UTAU.
With Vocaloid, although there is a lot of not-so-professional stuff made, there is also still a lot of good stuff to be found. The proportion between lower-quality and high-quality stuff is different. I hope that with time, this will also be the case for Synthesizer V as it’ll make a name for itself (right now, the program is too young and there is too little to really judge the proportion between professional produced songs and clearly hobbyist projects). But to make name, it’ll need a good reputation. Which brings it to the second point.
I fear a drop in the average quality people see/hear will make the software come over less professional and make people think it performs worse than it does. This is a problem partly because I like to see it used professionally as I mentioned before, but also partly because I feel the software has much potential so I like to see what it can become in terms of higher-end vocal synthesising software for which it needs to be supported by more than hobbyist. And in becoming recognised as high-end software, having a “hobbyist reputation” can really hurt.
Considering the “most users are already UTAU users” thing. Current userbase doesn’t need to be the same as the market it’s marketed to or that’ll be the userbase in long term, especially with software this new. I stumbled across this randomly and it caught my attention right of the bat. This can happen with more software engineers, producers, etc. I think the way it’s marketed is especially important for this, as I wouldn’t have heard about it if not trough a mention on a Vocaloid related page and when looking what it was about, it looking good right away. First immersions count, and the places it’s advertised/talked about.
That all being said, I would be very interested in a dev kit (for example C libraries) to use this as an engine in the background for synthesised vocals for other software. Right now I’m working making my software boot it up and send signals acting like a user, using playback for output, which I’m sure you can imagine isn’t ideal. I understand if this is not going to be a thing, but it would be great from my perspective.
Again, I like to pressure that this is a personal opinion based on my perspective only, and I can understand many will not agree with it or perhaps will even dislike me saying this. But for me, opening up the possibility to make voicebanks without proper quality control is really not a positive thing. I like to see this as fully professional aimed software. Also, note that when I say “professional” I mean it comes across as such, not that the person involved has to be a professional.