Interest Yamaha Keyboard Performs Live, Real-Time Vocaloid Songs
posted on 2012-03-21 04:25 EDT by Egan Loo
Yamaha, the developer of the Vocaloid vocal song synthesis software engine, has developed a keyboard that can perform Vocaloid songs live, in realtime. The user simply plays notes using a traditional piano-like keyboard with the right hand. Meanwhile, the user can spell out Japanese syllables for the lyrics by simultaneously pressing the keys for consonants and vowels with the left hand.
Shota Kagami of Yamaha's Software Design Group noted that until now, Vocaloid song creators had use a personal computer to compose music, and then spell out the lyrics separately. Also, previous "live" performances of Vocaloid songs were actually mapped out in advance; a technical problem in this month's "Miku no Hi Dai-Kanshasai" ("Many 39s Giving Day") concerts left the virtual idol Hatsune Miku speechless during part of one song, even as she kept dancing to pre-programmed moves.
With the new keyboard, a Vocaloid song creator can perform and change songs on the fly, based on audience feedback and the creator's own mood at the moment.
In addition to the consonant and vowel buttons, the keyboard has two diacritical mark buttons. The Japanese language uses diacritical marks that differentiate between unvoiced and voiced consonant sounds, such as "ha" versus "ba" or "pa." The keyboard also has three parameters knobs for adjusting the sound, although it cannot necessarily duplicate the finessing and polishing that users can add to a song with the full Vocaloid desktop music software.
Yamaha does not plan to release the keyboard commercially, but it will offer the technology to interested companies.