Virtual Voices: The World of AI Vocal Synthesis
What if you didn’t need to head to the studio to lay down new vocals? Or what if you didn’t need to hire vocalists to complete your instrumental beats? In the age of AI voice synthesis, these ideas are quickly becoming reality.
Virtual voices are increasingly common through voice synthesis. But what is AI vocal synthesis exactly? And what does that mean for the future of the music industry? We’ll answer these questions below and share a couple of AI voice synthesis engines you can currently check out.
What Is AI Voice Synthesis?
As the name suggests, AI voice synthesis is the process of artificially recreating human speech or vocals. Early mainstream examples include Apple’s Siri or Amazon Alexa. To clone a voice, machine learning engines analyze different affects or tones of a person(s)’s voice, slowly learning individual patterns of speech. After some modeling, the engine is able to create a convincing synthetic voice.
As technology has advanced, this specified artificial intelligence has expanded to musical vocal applications, as showcased through some of the live vocal synthesis engines below. AI voices can be adjusted according to a specified tone, tamber, and note quality.
What Is A Vocaloid?
While diving into the world of virtual voices, you’ll probably come across the term vocaloid. Technically speaking, “Vocaloid” refers to the vocal synthesizer technology owned by Yamaha.
However, this term is colloquially used to describe virtual voices or artists that utilize synthetic voices. Vocaloids typically blend speech samples from an individual’s voice with synthesizers and other sound engines, creating a melodic sound.
There’s also a strong culture tied to the Vocaloid community as discussed below:
What Does AI Voice Synthesis Mean For The Music Industry?
AI voice synthesis and virtual singers are set to shake up the music industry for good. Here’s what you can expect from this shift in the creative process:
Established artists can create more efficiently. AI vocal synthesis opens the door for established artists to synthesize their unique voices. This allows artist teams to create without needing a studio session, or experiment with collaborations sans a Zoom meeting or in-person meet up.
Producers can create without vocalists. Producers don’t need to rely on vocalists to layer melodies into their instrumentals. Vocal synth programmers are given more recognition throughout the industry with the shift from singer to software.
Fans can perform alongside artists in the Metaverse. Fans can synthesize their own voice or use one of their favorite artist’s synthesized voice to interact through Metaverse concerts and jam sessions.
Beatmakers and songwriters can create more accurate demos on the go. Beatmakers can help lay out demo melodies for singers without having to rely on their own vocal abilities. Songwriters can share topline ideas more efficiently, even when they aren’t in a place to sing.
Harmonizing just got easier. No choir, no problem. Voice synthesis can help singers have a full choir feel without having to source multiple sessions with vocalists.
Appeal to your global audience. You might not be able to sing your song in fluent Japanese, but your synthesized voice can! Vocal synthesis opens the door to international audiences.
Everyone can sing. The most obvious change is that everyone is given a voice! Whether you don’t have obvious vocal chops or your voice simply doesn’t stand out from the crowd, voice synthesis is here to help.
7 AI Voice Synthesis Engines And Vocaloids You Should Know
Are you ready to fire up some virtual voices? Here are some of the most promising voice synthesis engines, synthetic voices, and vocaloids you’ll want to keep tabs on:
Hatsune Miku is probably the most famous vocaloid around, enchanting listeners so strongly the vocaloid has been happily married to a man IRL. This vocaloid is owned Vocaloid software voicebank developed by Crypton Future Media and has collaborated with mainstream artists like Ashnikko.
Voiceful is a voice synthesis engine originally developed to convert text to speech, now creating virtual voices. It’s marketed towards musicians as well as corporations and advertisers for creating lifelike virtual voices.
EMvoice is a DAW plugin that serves as a clean vocal synthesis engineer with clean UI and customization features. Choose between vocaloids Lucy, Jay, or Thomas synthetic voice to sing directly in your DAW:
Cyber Song Man is a male vocaloid provided by Yamaha. He offers English male vocals in a dark, smooth tone.
This AI singer models her voicing after Broadway performer Emma Rowley. The vocaloid provides plenty of realism with adjustable tone, diction, and other features:
This female vocaloid was developed by Yamaha. She’s currently supported by Cubase editors, but her reach is massive for a single virtual voice:
Super Tone is focused on created highly realistic synthesized voice for clients, based on a custom set of samples. The company is focused on providing customized virtual voices for commercial content, virtual artists, and musicians.
All in all, vocal synthesis opens up the door for a new wave of producers and virtual artists. These customizable vocal instruments are set to transform future generations of music as we know it.
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