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Sweet ANN (VOCALOID2)

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Sweet ANN VOCALOID2


This is an article about the Sweet ANN software for the VOCALOID2 engine.

HistoryEdit

Early DevelopmentEdit

While the exact date of her development is unknown, several clues existence that suggest Sweet Ann may have been headed for a VOCALOID release.[1] PowerFX were known to have joined the production of VOCALOID vocals in 2002, after Zero-G entered production in the UK autumn. PowerFX's involvement was initially not announced until later, leaving vagueness on when production began on Sweet Ann's early development.

A image in the instruction manual for VOCALOID shows a image with Sweet Ann's codename of "JODIE" featured as the name of a voicebank, "JODIE" being identified as a reference to Sweet Ann's provider "Jody". "TARO" and "HANAKAO" are also names seen alongside "JODIE" in the VOCALOID manual, were the codenames for KAITO and MEIKO.[2] "JODIE" had also been sighted in Ann related information to do with her VOCALOID2 version.

A demo was also included on Sound on Sound website with other VOCALOID demos featuring a unknown female Vocaloid that sounds much like VOCALOID2 Ann. Wed, 25 Jun 2003 was the date the file was last modified on the site, with the file first being shown, the file was first entered in Sound on Sound May edition of 2003.

Even in later generations, demos of VOCALOID Sweet Ann were known to exist. On the official vocaloid website, samples of VOCALOID can be found; two of those samples contain examples of what appears to be Sweet Ann singing in VOCALOID.[3]

In the VOCALOID2 manual "JODIE2" also exists, it appears alongside another vocal by the name of "RONIE2", "Ronie" generally understood to be the codename of BIG AL, Sweet Ann's counterpart.

Official announcementEdit

Sweet ANN, along with Prima and BIG AL, first appeared at the NAMM March 2007 event. ANN was later announced to the general public in May for a release, just weeks away from her release date.[4]

PowerFX took steps when Sweet ANN was to be released. They advertised her by creating a MySpace page and uploaded demos "Alove and "Sweet ANN Vs Kitto" to YouTube.[5] Due to time restraints, the VOCALOID2 software was released without public beta testing with both Sweet ANN and Hatsune Miku being released with relatively little testing done to their VOCALOID2 software.[6]

After Sweet ANN's appearance, VOCALOID fell mostly into obscurity in the west due to a change in the trends of the music industry, with the focus of the indie music being taken away from sites like MySpace.[7] This was the circle VOCALOID had mostly been aimed at in the west, although VOCALOID was not the only software to be affected by this change and music software in general was hit by the change of styles. Sweet ANN was the last of the English capable VOCALOIDs to receive great attention by reviewers for a while and the last VOCALOID to be greatly noticed prior to Hatsune Miku's rise to fame.

2011 Taiwanese ExportationEdit

On 01/04/2011 PowerFX's website went down. When it reopened on April 6, 2011, both Sweet ANN and Big Al were sporting a new look.

On April 8, 2011 a PowerFX employee noted that the designs seen on the PowerFX website of both Big Al and Sweet ANN were that of a Taiwanese distributor of PowerFX products and were not the official designs of Big Al or Sweet ANN.[8]

According to PowerFX, they put the Taiwan boxart on their website to try the oblong shape as they preferred it and were thinking about switching to this shape for their VOCALOID products. The boxarts placement was temporary until they could run a Sweet ANN / BIG AL competition, however they noted the fandom had insisted that boxart be on the page and had to switch back.[9]

Later demo songs "Carry on", "U belong to me" and Shu-tP's classic song "Night of the Magic" were released by E-Capsule. Later Sweet ANN and BIG AL were featured in the song "At your side 2010". Other songs include "Everlasting Love".

Final RetirementEdit

At the end of 2015, it was announced that from March 31, 2016, VOCALOID2 was being retired and no new serial codes were be issued by Yamaha.[10]

Product InformationEdit

DemonstrationsEdit

Demonstrations

Crazy YouTube MySpace
Electro Five MySpace
Killing Me Softly MySpace
Waterloo MySpace
Alove YouTube
Sweet Ann Vs Kitto YouTube
Demo medley YouTube
Make me Feel (Sweet ANN/BIG AL beta) YouTube

E-Capsule DemonstrationsEdit

Demonstrations

Carry on YouTube
U Belong to Me YouTube
Night of the Magic YouTube
@Your Side (Sweet ANN/BIG AL) YouTube
Everlasting Love YouTube

RecommendEdit

  • Pentium4 2 GHz / Athlon XP 2000+以上
    • (Pentium4 2.8 GHz / Athlon 64 2800+or higher
    • OS Windows 7 (32, 64bit)
  • Windows 7 (64bit) 32bit Compatibility mode (WOW64)
  • RAM 512MB以上(1GB or more recommended
    • Real-time VSTi when using 2GB or more
  • Interface VST2.3、ReWire、stand-alone

Voicebank LibrariesEdit


Product Information
Optimum
  Genre: Country, Classic Rock, Lyrical Nostalgia  Tempo: 65~155BPM  Range: C3 ~ C5
Package details
As her name suggests, her voice is meant to sound "sweet." She has a wide variety of uses within music, and she is a professional producer-aimed voicebank. She also has a distinct accent that can give Ann a "sassy" ring to her voice.[11] Her counterpart is BIG AL and she is countered as a Character Voice English type vocal.
Vocal traits as noted:
  • Ann has a warm vibrato and, at the time of her release, an unmatched vocal range.
  • She lacks raspiness and is therefore better suited to genres like swing and pop rather than styles such as R&B or soul.
  • According to John Walden of Sound on Sound magazine, she is capable of sounding more realistic than past VOCALOID voicebank libraries and requires less work to edit thanks to the improved VOCALOID2 engine.
  • She has very clear English that makes her more "understandable" than previous English voicebanks.
  • Ann is quite capable of both lead and harmonic roles; this was highlighted during her initial release.
  • She is considered the most outdated of the VOCALOID2 based English VOCALOIDs; Big AL has more recorded keys than she does, resulting in her voice being less smooth than her counterpart.
  • In Japan, Ann was noted to have a thick voice, producing clear English and a powerful vocal.[12]
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Her accent can make her pronunciations of some words sound odd and swapping phonetics may be necessary to get around the accent, but those able to work with it report that she is relatively easy to use.[13]
  • She has no breath samples.
  • She was one of the two English-capable VOCALOIDs released during the VOCALOID2 period to not have a trilled "R" sound.
Voicebank sample

Sweet ANN VOCALOID2

Sweet Ann - Solfege


ReferencesEdit

  1. link
  2. link
  3. link
  4. link
  5. [1] Youtube - Sweet ANN VS. Kitto
  6. link
  7. Wikipedia overview of the decline of MySpace
  8. [2] VocaloidOtaku - PowerFx website is down - post by TipperTorvi
  9. PowerFX e-mail 13/05/2011
  10. link
  11. [3] Sound on Sound - PowerFX VOCALOID2 Sweet ANN
  12. link
  13. link

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