George from Walnut Creek points us at the NY Times: Could I Get That Song in Elvis, Please? (free registration required) which discusses Yamaha’s VOCALOID technology. Basically, a vocalist’s sound font.
Probably the most realistic quote in this article was the producer that envisioned a future recording session like this:
O.K., just give me all your
vowels and all your consonants and I’ll see you later.
We’ll see if a set of voice fonts authored at a university lab or a Yamaha clean room will be enough to make this a popular technology. Opening up the means to create the fonts is essential. Unfortunately:
It is a matter of time before Yamaha makes this technology available for consumers to make their own fonts,” Mr. Stratton said. But at present, the process, which requires a deep knowledge of phonetics and audio engineering, is too complex for ordinary consumers.
[UPDATE] The Yamaha site makes you download a random audio player (in Japanese?). So as a service I captured two of the samples here as MP3s:
On hearing these I think maybe we’ve jumped the gun just a little… I don’t think the Bart announcer is quite ready to take on a cotton field spiritual…
[Son of Update] Metafilter took a spin on this one, including an evisceration by ZD-Net in March.
ACID has a checkered past with standards:
- it’s native sound format is Microsoft’s WAV (with a modification known to be ACIDizing which is now an unofficial standard)
- preferred sound drivers were standard Windows (albiet slow to pick up WDM) but they now also support ASIO
- DirectX (instead of VSi) for effects, but VST (instead of DXi) for softsynths
- Window’s DLS instead of the more widely used SoundFont (SF2).
So….. if you want to use SoundFonts with ACID we recommend the cheapest (but solid) VSTi SoundFont player we could find.
[UPDATE] …or free.
Speaking of Computer Music magazine: it’s rather dated in terms of specific applications, but this is a good introduction to SoundFonts.
The SF2 file format remains an important technology in sampling and virtual turntablism.