Here is a Vocal box that interests me.
The above video has English subtitles; don’t forget to trun them on.
Short list of features:
-Miku Vocaloid voice in a fun, stylophone style instrument
-USB MIDI, no 5pin DIN MIDI out I would have loved that. Make any synth a stylophone, haha.
-5 vowels, and 5 preset lyrics
-Input custom lyrics via the Gakken website!
-And it has it’s own MIDI GM sound set built right in too!
When/if these boxes get sent to the US, I will definitely be picking one up.
Trust me, it is very real. Yamaha tried to make a full synth version of this years ago. It required a crazy memorization of button combinations to say several basic words. With this, you have to input the lyrics via a website tool instead of live. I think that makes it better.
If it is just an easy order via amazon.jp, I may pick one up. I never thought about that, haha.
I’m sorely tempted to get one of these. There’s a Japanese eBay seller selling offering them on UK eBay, too.
audiohoarder, do you happen to know if it’s possible to create custom phrases in English for it and/or is the website for making them operable by a non-Japanese-speaker?
It’s not an April 1st joke, is it? It looks kinda… unlikely…
There’s other videos of it around, it looks real.
> It looks kinda… unlikely…
Never underestimate Japan!
I bought a couple of Gakken magazines when I went over to Tokyo (back in 2008). They had the stylophone and the theremin DIY kits included inside. It’s crazy what cool stuff you can find over in Japan. Gotta love them!
FWIW I ordered directly from amazon.jp before and it worked out fine.
I’m really tempted…
If I ever get the time, I still want to roll my own singing synth based on the Soundgin chip and the MIDIBox platform. I did start planning it, but was intimidated by the learning curve.
Anyone fancy developing a Monomachine-style Ambika speech synth voice card?
They do pop up on ebay from time to time as well …
@toneburst: It should be feasible. I know that there is at least one vocaloid that can speak English, and that is not the one in the box. However, you can build words from the basic syllables and such available in the box. Like older speech synthesizers, they can make any language via proper use of phonetic syntax. Instead of typing “hello” it is better to put in “haloh” It will pronounce “hal-oh” more naturally.
I am not sure if the gakken web tool accepts English though. If it does accept English, it may also sound like gibberish because it will you that Japanese pronunciation of the words. You may have to learn Japanese syllables. And by you I also mean me.
You can always try Google translate if push comes to shove.
@audiohoarder gotcha. I’m quite intrigued still. You might be right though- may be tricky to get it actually to sing anything recognisable. You won’t be able to get it to sing anything understandable using just the 5 preset phonemes accessed by the buttons on the front- you need a lot more than that to create speech.
Some examples of the Soundgin chip, that I want to (one day) use as the basis of a MIDI-controlled singing synth.
I didn’t mean with only the 5 vowel buttons. That would be impossible, haha. I meant that the speech synth has a set of phonetic syllables that it uses for the basis of every word. Once you figure those out, you can arrange them to sound like anything. There was a great speech synthesizer on the Atari ST that works like this. You can still emulate it. It even had options to change the pronunciation with semicolons or question marks to speak even more naturally.
That voice chip demo actually sounds like the voice synth I was talking about on the Atari ST.
Also, this is the pinnacle of speech synthesis.
The speech synthesis that comes with OSX is pretty good.
I don’t want a ‘good’ speech synth, though…
I like singing robots…
Oh trust me, it will do all sorts of voices. Even does a voice that sounds like singing bells.
Yeah, it is pretty cool, the OSX speech. I just with someone would see this NSX MIDI implementation, and add the MIDI singing too. It just seems so natural.
@toneburst: I have a collection of those older late 80’s early 90’s talking computer toys. They are fun to record and play with. Some of them, like the Speak n’ series, have line outs for playing with effects. I also love the cheesy sound effect that accompany them too. I almost wish they cut out the regular GM sounds for bad retro sounds. I will admit that this GM sound set sounds far above the average consumer grade keyboard. Real Yamaha quality, and only 50 or so dollars! :o