Miku may finally have competition.
The Yamaha Vocaloids, particularly Hatsune Miku and her colleagues at Crypton, have been the gold standard in synthesized vocals for over a decade. None of the alternatives I’ve looked at combine musicality and intelligibility as well. 1
That may change soon. I just stumbled across the Emvoice One beta and gave it a try. Its capabilities are limited — it doesn’t receive MIDI data yet, all note entry and editing must be done by clicking on a piano-roll, and the one available voice, “Lucy,” is not particularly melodious — but it already sounds more musical and enunciates more clearly than Plogue’s Alter/Ego. Here’s a quick five bars of Lucy with a bit of compression and reverb.
This might be worth keeping track of.
By the way, if you use Alter/Ego, the “NATA” voicebank is now free for the downloading.
- Eduardo Tarilonte‘s vocal libraries sound very nice indeed but have limited word-building capabilities; Alter/Ego is free and easy to use, but is not particularly expressive and is no longer in development, while Chipspeech intentionally sounds inhuman. It’s possible that UTAU and other technologies have improved since I last checked them, but to my knowledge, Vocaloid is still the best in the business.