I used to work with SynthV lite vocals a lot (I use SynthV lite vocals since I’m not in a good position to commercially produce vocal synth content at this time), but after taking a break from SynthV by working on productions with UTAU vocals, I’m starting to feel more aware of some bugs or issues with SynthV Basic and SynthV lite vocals.
Now, I get that SynthV lite vocals are supposed to be inferior, less versatile than the full vocals, but it’s really starting to become apparent that the lite vocals NEVER bother to get updated even as SynthV changes. While SynthV basic is much more limited in functionality compared to SynthV pro (you can only use 3 tracks per project, plus you don’t get the super sweet AI features such as Cross-Lingual synthesis or Vocal Modes), SynthV basic still gets updates from time to time. This causes a problem with the SynthV lite vocals; since they almost never get updated, they visibly lag behind. This is rather strange as paid SynthV vocals tend to get updated regularly to adapt to new SynthV features, so why don’t they show the same care to the SynthV lite vocals?
It would be nice for the SynthV lite vocals to see a little update from time to time again (such as updates to the quality of the sound synthesis), but they never do. At best, the lite voicebanks just get a V101 or something.
Also, the palette of available SynthV lite vocals is kind of… bad… and that can be jarring for people that want to test out SynthV. The majority of SynthV lite vocals are only feminine Japanese vocals, such as Koharu Rikka or Kyomachi Seika. There are a few English feminine vocals, such as SOLARIA and ANRI, but that’s about it. The only representation for masculine vocals is GENBU, a Japanese vocal with no AI, the only representation for Mandarin Chinese vocals is Chiyu (who also has no AI).
Sure, ASTERIAN and XIA YU YAO are confirmed to have lite vocals in development, but the dry catalogue of lite vocals has become even more apparent as Dreamtonics doesn’t make lite vocals for any of their wide array of vocalists (besides Saki), and AUDIOLOGIE hasn’t (or will not) make a lite vocal for JUN (despite making a lite vocal for ANRI).
What do you think about this issue? What do you think could be done about the situation regarding SynthV lite vocals? Do you think more lite vocals should be produced? If so, what do you think would be good candidates for new lite vocals?
There’s not really any reason to update lite vocals. If anything, doing so would cause the company to lose money because more users wouldn’t feel like it was necessary to purchase the full versions.
More variety would be nice for casual hobbyists, but again, a free option could prevent them from spending money. If the purpose is to get people to try out the software, you only really need one free option to get a feel for how it works.
The long delay for Asterian lite was likely because the developers felt that a lot of people were satisfied with Solaria lite who otherwise would have purchased her full version, so despite the fact that Solaria was a success the lite version may have actually hurt the product. It’s hard to measure exactly to what extent that might be true.
Really the purpose of lite voices is to give people a limited way to try out a product before purchasing. In the case of Asterian, I think this was largely unnecessary due to the number of demos provided by Eclipsed Sounds showcasing the product in various ways. Buyers were given clear expectations of the product in order to make an informed purchasing decision.
The flip side of this is Dreamtonics, who historically has provided very few demonstrations and no lite versions beyond Saki, so it’s often very risky to purchase a Dreamtonics voice database because it can be hard to tell what it is capable of or what quirks it might have.
While it would of course be good for hobbyists and casual users to have more free options, it’s not exactly the best business decision to actually offer that.
Are you sure?
Think of voicebanks as like instruments. Obtaining a lite voicebank is like renting an instrument. It may be run-down, but at least you get to have the experiencing of playing that instrument if you ever buy the real thing. When you only get to hear a voicebank in action and don’t actually get a chance to rent it (or, at least, get the lite version), you don’t have the experience of using that voicebank first. You might find that you actually don’t like the voicebank, and you might feel like you’ve wasted your cash on something useless.
Also, even if you think Asterian getting a lite voicebank was “unnecessary”, it would help fill the void of masculine voicebanks with lite versions. Therefore, SynthV users will get the chance to play with a masculine vocal and practice playing with the vocal to their liking before obtaining the real thing.
Also, having lite voicebanks available may not be as harmful to sales as you think. SynthV’s lite voicebanks can’t be used for commercial use and are much more limited in function compared to the full voicebanks. If people get to play with the lite voicebank first, they may find that they not only like the voice of the voicebank, but also using that voicebank, and therefore they would want to obtain the full version for commercial use in the future.
It’s not like I have any special information or anything, but considering multiple of the companies who do have that information have opted to stop or delay releasing lite versions, it seems unlikely that they’re just doing it on a whim.
Like sure you can rent a guitar, but you generally can’t rent any guitar you want. It’s not uncommon for music shops to only rent specific brands or models. And unlike a physical instrument which feels different to play and might have a different weight, balance, etc., the actual user experience of using SynthV Studio doesn’t really change between voice databases.
As for the quirks that do exist for individual voice databases, many of them are not suitably represented by a lite version, such as synthesis quality and vocal range. A time-limited trial of the full product would probably be much more beneficial in a hands-on sense.
Of course more lite versions would be of great benefit to hobbyists, and Asterian lite will release soon which will offer a lot of flexibility for those users. I suppose once Eclipsed Sounds can compare the results of an early lite release (Solaria) and a later one (Asterian) we might be able to see which was more beneficial for the company based on how they treat any potential for a “Saros lite”, if it even ends up happening at all.
It is more like borrowing an instrument indefinitely, the lender gets nothing in return.
I can see your point as a ‘user’ wanting as much as possible for minimum cost but the supplier has to fund the production of that voicebank somehow and as there have been, in my opinion, really good songs produced using only ‘lite’ voicebanks … does it make commercial sense?