Voicebank Plans and Status (UTAU/DeepVocal) – January 2023
Hello all! I’ve been wanting to write this post to inform everyone what the current status is of my voicebank release plans.
I haven’t mentioned this yet on the blog, but sometime last year (2022), my Blue Yeti microphone that I’ve had since 2015 unfortunately broke down. Do not fret, however! Not long after this happened, I bought a new microphone, a Rode NT-USB to be precise. This means that I can still continue recording, and in my opinion, this microphone offers higher quality audio, which means that my future voicebanks will sound even better than they did before.
However, there’s an obvious downside to all this: I have to rerecord everything. Again.
What probably bothers me the most about this, is that several of my UTAU voicebanks had either been updated not too long before my microphone broke, or I had been working on updates that were to be released in the near future. Unfortunately, in order to have a matching quality among all voicebanks, combined with my personal perfectionism, I do feel obligated to rerecord everything again. I am currently in the process of doing so.
This also means that Joëll, who had literally just been updated before my microphone broke, will have to get updated again, relatively soon after his last update. No, I don’t like it either, but again, I feel obligated to do so. Especially since I had already been planning to record an alternate English voicebank for him, recorded with a different method (more information on this in future posts), even before my Yeti broke. But I sadly can’t do anything anymore with the in-progress Yeti recordings I did have… So I have no other option. A possibly positive aspect of this, though, is that I’m currently looking into making his MidNight (soft) voice color/append tri-pitch, so that its range will match the other two colors/appends. I’m trying to make his new English bank tri-pitch as well; his current one is a bit lacking in range.
I’m also currently working on updating Hanami, whose update… was also relatively soon after the last one, but at the very least I never actually got to finish my updates for Korean and Chinese, so those will be coming, as well. And same as with Joëll above, a new English bank will come as well, same with Spanish. I’m trying to make all these banks tri-pitch.
QUiNN‘s new Japanese bank has actually been finished for a long time now; unfortunately, I’ve been lacking inspiration for her concept art, which I find rather unfortunate. I hope I’ll get the inspiration to resolve this problem.
Annushka‘s “Japanese Plus” (aka Japanese with some extra consonant sounds) is already fully recorded, but not yet fully configured. I also still need to draw her new concept art. However, I hope to release QUiNN’s update first.
LEONA had only gotten a newly-recorded extra pitch for her Core voice, so for her I’m working on rerecording her whole bank rather than a simple “patch”. I also plan on giving her a new English bank.
I have some news considering DeepVocal that might disappoint some of you: While I will not take Cecilia’s existing voicebanks down, development on her has unfortunately been stopped. This also means that her planned male counterpart, Dorian Calmato, will not be released. Cecilia’s planned English voicebank, as well as the Soft, Power, and Cute Japanese voicebanks, have also been scrapped. I’m very sorry about this!
Instead, I’m considering uploading her source files (audio files/DVCFG files/etc.) of each existing voicebank to a git repository, making her effectively open source in the process, akin to my UTAU voicebanks. The reason I’m considering this is because I’m aware that her currently released voicebanks contain some instances of sloppy configuration on my part due to a lack of proper knowledge at the time, but I also can’t be bothered to fix them due to my diminished interest in DeepVocal development. So, for those who are interested, I am willing to let users themselves reconfigure her so that she will sound better, if they so desire.
Believe me, this was not a light decision to make. Cecilia as a character concept essentially represents a sort of “what if?”-situation, had I gotten into UTAU now instead of back in 2011. The existence of DeepVocal, at the time, seemed like an opportunity to me to essentially start “from scratch” with a character I’d actually be “100% behind”. However, when Hanami’s 10th anniversary arrived, I saw the opportunity to give some of the concepts that had been wandering in my mind to her as well as a sort of “character reboot”, which meant that Cecilia, unfortunately, started serving less of a purpose. This, combined with the fact that I admittedly find DeepVocal development to be an excruciatingly tedious process, and the fact that I became a dev for the wonderful software OpenUtau, has caused me to make the decisions I did. And again, I am not taking her voicebanks down – I am more than OK with people still downloading and using her! All I’m doing is step away from her development. I am setting her free.
I hope you guys understand this decision, even if you don’t entirely agree with it. I simply have a desire to concentrate full-time on (Open)UTAU again, just like how I started. It simply is my home.
So! This is the current overview of my update plans. There are a few more things I’d like to say about these updates, including something else that I have been considering, but I’ll save that for a future post.
That’s all for now. Hope to see you around!