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The Macne Series (Mac音シリーズ/ Macne Shiriizu) is a series of voice banks designed for Reason and GarageBand, music sequencer software for the Macintosh operating system, developed by MI7 Japan Inc. and distributed by Act2.
- For more details see the Macne Wiki
The idea of releasing a voicebank for Macintosh computers was conceptualized in the Japanese voice actress Haruna Ikezawa's regular column 天声姫語 Vox Reginae, Vox Dei ("voice of princess, voice of god," a spoof of Asahi Shimbun's editorial article 天声人語 Vox Populi, Vox Dei or voice of the people, voice of god) carried in the magazine Mac Fan by Mainichi Communications.
Since then a number of vocals for the Macne series has been produced and there are currently 6 characters in the series. Each new character is created to become a part of the "Macne family" and so some have relationships with each other such as the twins "Macne Coco White" and "Macne Coco Black" and the Macnes' 'father' "Macne Papa". Some vocals have also been updated to new versions and older versions have been retired from sale.
Usage for MusicEdit
✔ Strengths Edit
At the time of release, VOCALOID and UTAU were both released for the PC, leaving Macintosh computers with no such software for music users in Japan. The Macne series would serve to fill that void. For Mac users, the Macne series is one of the best options for vocal music creation as at the time of their first release there were few alternatives. This made them popular with Japanese software users of Reason and GarageBand. The characters are used in Reason or GarageBand by selecting one of them as an instrument and altering pitches and lengths of sound files.
They can also work normally on UTAU by converting their samples and providing a tuned oto.ini file, although the new files will not work with Reason or GarageBand, so users still interested in using them for their intended purposes must purchase the original versions. The reason for this allowance for the vocals to be converted is because they are sold under a open-source license unlike VOCALOID, although this still does not permit users to share their voicebanks produced from UTAU or in their original state. Using them for Reason or GarageBand does not produce the same results when used for UTAU.
However, the fact they are able to be used with UTAU has resulted in an increased popularity, offering a "VOCALOID quality" voicebank for use in UTAU. This is notable considering there are hundreds of voicebanks for UTAU and their quality varies per creator. Out of the main releases like Kasane Teto, Macne are considered some of the more reliable voicebanks. They may also be seen as easier to use for UTAU than their intended software releases. However, they are under copyright and therefore have to be purchased to be legally used for such a thing, whereas most UTAU are handed out for free.
Since the release of the Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki vocal, the Macnes have begun to contain already converted UTAU voicebanks.
✘ Weaknesses Edit
The voicebanks are considered difficult to use or noted for being time consuming to use as there is no quick input method like with VOCALOID and UTAU. Their sound samples are saved within the software and do not produce a form of file that be shared as easily as the VSQ or UST files of VOCALOID and UTAU. Results are usually heavily robotic when used outside of UTAU and they have almost no capabilities to sound human-like. Even though the quality is good, the Macnes only contain just over 100 sounds in their vocal libraries, Macne Nana Petit's original vocal has the least amount of sounds, though was brought up to 104 sounds to match Macne Nana while Macne Papa at 118 sounds has the largest amount of sounds.
- Due to being commonly used in the UTAU software, they are often mistaken as UTAU voicebanks.
- They are also referred to as "Macloids", a pun on "VOCALOID".
- Their attire alludes to the Macintosh computer and various associated devices.
- The majority of western UTAU users who manage secure the UTAU voicebank for their own usage do not own the original voicebank and it is estimated that the number of users who own it illegally is quite high. Part of the problem was that because other UTAU voicebanks are shared freely, they presume the same for the Macne Series even though this is not the case.