Posts Tagged ‘Yamaha’

JP VOCALOID STORE to Shut Down, DL Sales to Resume on VOCALOID SHOP

VOCALO SHOP

Following the April 30 closure of the Korean and Chinese store fronts for the online shop VOCALOID STORE, it appears that the Japanese store front is also expected to close on May 26 at 5:00 PM Japanese time, according to a news update on the store’s website. Each of the different language store fronts sold slightly different items, with the Japanese store front stocking both packaged and download versions of VOCALOID software as well as Cubase, books, CDs and various merchandise. The news update indicates that the English store front will continue to operate as usual, albeit its selection pales in comparison to the Japanese one. Customers who have purchased download products on the Japanese VOCALOID STORE are urged to login to their accounts and make sure they have downloaded all of their installers and written down their activation serial numbers. The upcoming closure is the latest in a series of closures of VOCALOID-related services provided by b-plats for Yamaha, with digital music distribution agent VOCALOID MUSIC PUBLISHING having closed doors in late March of this year as well.

Meanwhile, Yamaha expects to open a different store front called VOCALOID SHOP in late May on their VOCALOID NET website. According to the announcement, this shop is expected to provide download sales of both VOCALOID libraries and editors, with the current lineup not finalized yet. Yamaha is also looking into hosting Job Plugins in the shop as well. With the new VOCALOID SHOP, customers are expected to be able to download installers for Yamaha-branded VOCALOID software products previously purchased on the VOCALOID STORE, with products released by other companies currently under discussion. Yamaha’s VOCALOID NET is a website providing various online services to VOCALOID users, including a simplified online implementation of the VOCALOID engine as well as cloud storage and file exchange capabilities.


Yamaha Announces VOCALOID4

vocaloid4
During a product announcement live stream, Yamaha has revealed that VOCALOID4 is coming this winter. More specifically, VOCALOID4 Editor and VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase, along with VY1V4, are scheduled to be released late December, “in time for Christmas.” The hardcopy version of VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase will also come with a complementary license to Cubase AI so that users can immediately use the software. VOCALOID4 will bring a few new features, including growl (the amount of growling/raspiness can be adjusted as a time-varying parameter), cross-synthesis (the singing of the same singer in the same language can be blended smoothly between two different voices (e.g. between normal and power) using a time-varying parameter, as long as a special “voice” has been prepared beforehand with the two voices), pitch rendering (displays the effective pitch curve on the UI) and real-time input (using a MIDI keyboard, fixed syllable).

Cross-synthesis, pitch rendering and real-time input are supported for VOCALOID3 banks as well, and VOCALOID2 banks can support pitch rendering and real-time input as long as they have been imported into VOCALOID3. DTM Station’s writeup also indicates some other features such as pitch-snap mode (remove natural portamento, etc.) as well ways to bake the portamento and vibrato effects into the PIT curve. The press release from Yamaha indicates that VY1V4 will have four voices—Normal, Soft, Power and Natural. As for upgrade pricing, customers who bought any version of VOCALOID3 Editor, VOCALOID Editor for Cubase or VY1V3 are eligible for an upgrade pricing of 5400 JPY for the new products. Those who bought the editor software after November 10 are also eligible for a free upgrade until end of June, 2015. Starting on November 21, there will also be a song contest on VOCALOID NET with a VY1V4-Editor set as the grand prize.

UPDATE: According to a tweet from Kenmochi, VOCALOID3 Editor and VOCALOID Editor for Cubase will be receiving updates in the future to read .vsqx files created by their VOCALOID4 analogues.


VOCALOID Engine Used for Vocals in Upcoming hide Album

According to a news item on the hide official web site, the vocals for the title track on the upcoming album “Co GAL” were created with the help of Yamaha’s VOCALOID engine. A former member of X Japan as well as a solo artist, hide passed away at the age of 33, with his death officially ruled a suicide. At the time, only a demo track with rough vocals was available for “Co Gal”, unfit for release on the then upcoming posthumous studio album “Ja, Zoo”. Fellow musician I.N.A., along with Yamaha’s VOCALOID synthesis engine, have now recreated the song, which will be released on an album commemorating hide’s 50th birthday. This album will also include remastered versions of 15 other popular songs of hide’s. Finally, the first press limited edition version of the album will include the original demo track as well. Both versions will be available starting December 10 at a price point of 3000 JPY/3800 JPY for the standard and limited editions respectively.


galaco NEO Gets Early August Release Date

galaco NEO Package DesignYamaha has unveiled a teaser site for the upcoming galaco NEO, shortly after DTM Magazine posted their article. Yamaha will release the packaged version of galaco NEO in early August with “open pricing” (i.e. retailers set their own prices; it’s the norm for a lot of Japanese products, including some VOCALOID libraries) and a download version on August 5 at 16000 JPY. The official website is slated to launch on July 18 with demo songs. Unlike the original galaco, whose voice provider’s identity is still a mystery, the new version is publicly confirmed to be Ko Shibasaki. The Win/Mac software package will come with two VOCALOID3 soundbanks — the solid and clear galaco RED, with pitch and tempo ranges of F2 to G4 and 60 to 175 BPM respectively, and the calm and full-bodied galaco BLUE, with pitch and tempo ranges of E2 to F#4 and 90 to 195 BPM respectively. Furthermore, over 100 types of voice samples will be included as well as a Windows-only galaco Talk software. The character design has also been updated for the NEO release, with Tomioka Jiro as the new illlustrator. The DTM Magazine article also provided a quote from Ko Shibasaki, who said that she was looking forward to seeing her alter-ego galaco surpass her, reach out to a wider audience, get molded through the process of creation and give birth to a new wind that’ll sweep through the world.


v flower Gets May 9 Release Date

v flower
Yamaha has just posted a press release announcing more details about the upcoming “v flower” VOCALOID3 voice bank that had been used recently in a new song by production team HoneyWorks. The voice bank will have a May 9 release as a digital download at 9333 JPY, with a hard copy version scheduled for summer of this year. The voice bank is touted to be a powerful and clear-sounding female voice suitable for rock music. Her range is from F#2 to F4 and her recommended tempo range is from 80 to 200 BPM. The character herself is called “flower” and was designed by Rukoru and illustrated by Yamako, both members of HoneyWorks. A booth will be set up at niconico Chokaigi this year to demonstrate the software.


Crypton’s Free Offerings for Currently Registered Users

Crypton Future Media is currently offering several software packages as free downloads to existing registered users of its software. Users must have created an account with Crypton and registered serial numbers corresponding to the required products in order to be eligible. Currently, three offerings are available, and all current offerings end on February 28, 2014.
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Crypton to Provide Miku V3 VIVID and LIGHT to Users Who Already Own Append

According to a new blog post on Crypton Future Media’s website, Crypton Future Media will be providing Hatsune Miku V3 VIVID and Hatsune Miku V3 LIGHT free of charge to users of Miku Append who buy Miku V3. More specifically, this applies to users who have registered their copies of Hatsune Miku, Hatsune Miku Append and the standard or bundle version of Hatsune Miku V3 with Crypton’s website. The VIVID and LIGHT sound banks were the two remaining sound banks from Append that were not added to the main Hatsune Miku V3 release. Details are expected to be sent out to eligible users by mid October. Plans to distribute these two sound banks for free were previously hinted in solicitation emails sent out to currently registered owners.


VOCALOID Activation Servers Overloaded on Night of Miku V3 Release

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According to an official tweet last night and subsequent blog post this morning, Crypton Future Media had received many inquiries from users unable to activate their copies of Hatsune Miku V3, which had just been released yesterday. Yamaha, who runs the activation servers, also reported a similar situation last night. Shortly after noon, Crypton CEO Hiroyuki Itoh talked more in detail about the situation and their morning meeting with Yamaha through a series of tweets [1 2 3 4], stating that Yamaha had confirmed a much higher than normal amount of hits to their activation server(s) and are looking into expanding the capacity of the system. Apparently, activation for all VOCALOID products are done through the same server system, and hence this should be affecting other VOCALOID products as well; Itoh hopes for Yamaha to make a general announcement regarding the issue. He also noted that Hatsune Miku V3 can be used for up to 14 days without activation, and thus it would be possible to activate her later after the online activation problems have been resolved. Finally, he apologized for the inconvenience and promised to keep people informed of any new developments.

UPDATE: Yamaha has posted an update and apology on their website, stating that the servers should now be fixed and that they are looking into addressing the original cause (too many activation requests).


Yamaha Posts New Project Demo on galaco Anniversary

Today happens to be the first anniversary of galaco’s release (as well as Shibasaki Ko’s birthday), and Yamaha has posted a video featuring a beta VOCALOID3 sound bank. This sound bank is a collaboration between Yamaha and Stardust Promotion, the talent management firm to which Shibasaki Ko belongs. The video description states that the sound bank is approximately 60% complete. In a related tweet, Yamaha has also stated that although the current serial codes for galaco are set to expire at the end of October, users should keep those serial codes in a safe place and not lose them.


Yamaha and Crypton Announce New Products at Press Event

Earlier today, Yamaha held a press event along with invited guest Itoh Hiroyuki (CEO of Crypton Future Media) at the Yamaha Ginza building; the event was also streamed live on niconico. During the event, Yamaha announced their “NEO” line of Mac/Windows VOCALOID products, including VOCALOID Editor for Cubase (VocaCu for short), VY1V3, VY2V3, Mew, Aoki Lapis and ZOLA PROJECT. They also outlined procedures for current owners of (the Windows version of) these products to be able to obtain the Mac version for free. The first half concluded with a demonstration of VocaCu, and the second half was a presentation from Itoh. It appears that Miku V3 Japanese and Miku V3 English will be separate products. Miku V3 Japanese will also feature several different sound banks as well. Details on which sound banks, pricing and distribution channels are expected to come out in early August, although a brief shot of a computer screen revealed Dark, Soft, Sweet and Solid variants in addition to Original and English.

UPDATE: Fixed final parts of Crypton presentation for accuracy.
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