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ZOLA PROJECT (VOCALOID3)

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ZOLA PROJECT VOCALOID3


This is an article about the ZOLA PROJECT software for the VOCALOID3 engine. ZOLA PROJECT consist of three vocal libraries, YUU, KYO, and WIL.

HistoryEdit

The project was first hinted at early in in the month of February 2013, then officially announced in the following month of March that same year.[1]

More information was published in an issue of “VOCALOID wo Tanoshimou” (Let’s Enjoy VOCALOID), which came out on March 11. The singers were picked out of 40 voices, two being picked fairly quickly. Over 100 hours was spent recording them.

ZOLA PROJECT was released on June 20, 2013, along with a special live-talk event on Nico Nico Douga.[2]

In late April, a special event was held. The event was to present their final drawings and concepts, as well as voice samples.[3]

In May 2013, there was an interview on the YAMAHA Panel at niconico Chokaigi 2. Yuki Seto described three main features he believed ZOLA brings to VOCALOID:[4]

  • The ability to create songs that haven't been possible until now.
  • The highest quality audio due to thorough quality checking.
  • Ease of use for beginners and experts alike.

To back up his first point, Seto mentioned that this was the first time a compound sound bank consisting of three male singers had been released, and consequently the sound bank supported trios, duets, backing harmony, and unison out of the box.

Regarding his second point on audio quality, Seto outlined the process for the creation of the sound bank. Previous sound banks were created by first deciding on a person, and then recording his or her voice. However, this was no guarantee that the person’s voice would be suitable for VOCALOID. Keeping this in mind, YAMAHA started with a total of forty candidates in their teens and twenties, and recorded temporary sound banks for all of them to test the sound quality before deciding on who the final three people would be. For these three, YAMAHA made them undergo over a half-year’s worth of “training” in practising to read the "incantations" from which the phonemes could be extracted. Seto noted that this was because these incantations were very different from what would normally be on a dialogue script, but after training, the vocalists would be able to recite it all. The final stage of the process was that the staff at the YAMAHA Research and Development Center worked to put the data together into a sound bank.

For the final point, Seto highlighted several features of the product that he believed made it easy for both beginners and experts to use. First, it comes with a "Job Plugin" that makes it easier to make vocal data for groups of singers. Second, the sound bank is described as sounding good even without tuning, although further tuning improves it even further. Finally, the software package comes with a how-to booklet, as well as tutorial videos to assist people who are new to the software.

Prolific people of their fields have featured in ZOLA's creation, as well as famous illustrator Amano. The demo songs released in June were composed by Daisuke Asakura (a prominent composer who has produced albums for famous bands such as T.M.Revolution) with lyrics by Yukinojo Mori (lyricist for CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA and also a prolific composer).

Mac UpdateEdit

In 2013, a Mac version of ZOLA Project called "ZOLA Project NEO" was released. This used the new VOCALOID NEO engine to work on Mac computers.

Product InformationEdit

DemonstrationsEdit

Demonstrations

YAMAHA's Livestream (Voice samples only) Niconico
Cha-La Head Cha-La Niconico YouTube
想い出がいっぱい (Omoide Ga Ippai) Niconico YouTube
PIECES OF A DREAM Niconico YouTube
愛唄 (Ai Uta) With BG Niconico YouTube
愛唄 (Ai Uta) W/O BG Niconico
フライングゲット (Flying Get) Niconico YouTube
BORDERLESS Niconico YouTube

RecommendedEdit

  • Correspondence OS: Windows8 (32/64bit) / Windows7 (32/64bit) / Vista (32bit) / XP (32bit)
  • Works in 32bit compatibility mode (WOW64) in 64bit version Windows 7.
  • CPU: Celeron Dual Core 2.1 GHz or more
  • Memory: 1GB or more
  • HDD: 2GB or more

Voicebank LibrariesEdit

Product Information
Package details
The vocal project is centered around 3 vocals, all of them being male. They are developed to harmonize with each other and therefore act as a chorus when together. The three are being released as a limited/special release. They fulfill a variety of purposes such as a trio of singers, a duet, a backing group to other VOCALOIDs, or simply normal solo singing roles.

Software comes with its own Plug-in called "ZOLA_Unison" which is designed to help them sing together.

In addition, their package comes with the VSQX, .WAV files and MP3 from their demo songs BORDERLESS, CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA, PIECES OF A DREAM and 想い出がいっぱい. BORDERLESS also comes with additonal .pdf data.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • The 3 vocals themselves are considered a high-quality product and received much attention with detail during development, to ensure a high level of quality was maintained.
  • They are also intended to be beginner-friendly and to be able to be used without too much tuning or cleaning.
  • What makes the ZOLA PROJECT product a first for VOCALOID™ is that the product offers 3 vocals from 3 different vocalists, whereas past multi-vocal packages were always based on just one vocalist's voice.
  • They are particularly adept at fast paced songs with YUU and KYO having the second fastest tempo range in VOCALOID3 at 210BPM. They are beaten only by IA and IA ROCKS at 228 BPM. At 200 BPM, WIL is among group of vocals which jointly hold the 3rd fastest tempo ranges, making him still fast then most of the VOCALOID3 range.
Software issues as noted:
  • Despite having multiple vocals of the same language, since they count as 3 separate characters, importing them into VOCALOID4 will not open XSY between the 3 of them. They are one of 2 VOCALOID3 packages with this situation, other being anon & kanon.
  • Though they are capable of acting as solo vocalists as noted, due to their small optimum vocal ranges, all 3 vocals are not the best choice for soloing. Their vocals offer limited tones and can easily collapse if drifting too far out of their best range. They are much more adapt at duets or as a trio and backups to other vocaloids then solo roles.


Individual VocalsEdit

Product Information
Optimum
  Genre: Pop, Dance, Jazz  Tempo: 70 ~ 210BPM  Range: F2 ~ B3
Package details
YUU's goal within the group is to handle the higher pitch notes within the lower octave ranges all 3 members can achieve.
Vocal traits as noted:
  • YUU has the highest tempo of all male VOCALOID3 vocals shared with KYO and the second highest VOCALOID3 in general, only being beat by IA
  • He has the highest vocal range of the 3 vocals within the package, and can reach notes KYO and WIL cannot reach so easily.
  • Despite having a large tempo range, YUU's overall vocal range is limited in size.
  • Since YUU has a higher vocal range than KYO and WIL, there is less overlapping notes within his optimum vocal range than KYO and WIL have with each other. He shares more notes within his range in common with WIL than KYO.
Voicebank sample

YUU VOCALOID3

ZOLA Project YUU


Product Information
Optimum
  Genre: Pop, Rock, Electro  Tempo: 70 ~ 210BPM  Range: B1 ~ E3
Package details
KYO's role within the group is to cover the lower ranges more than YUU and WIL.
Vocal traits as noted:
  • KYO has the highest tempo of all male VOCALOID3 voice banks shared with YUU, and the second highest VOCALOID3 in general, only being beaten by IA.
  • KYO has the lowest note capabilities of the 3 vocals within the package.
  • Despite having a large tempo range, KYO's overall vocal range is limited in size.
  • Though he covers WIL's vocal range quite well, he shares less vocal range with YUU.
Voicebank sample

KYO VOCALOID3

ZOLA Project KYO


Product Information
Optimum
  Genre: Pop, R&B, Ballad  Tempo: 70 ~ 200BPM  Range: C2 ~ F3
Package details
WIL is the medium vocal within the package and acts as a link between YUU and KYO's vocal ranges.
Vocal traits as noted:
  • Despite having a large tempo range, WIL's overall vocal range is limited in size.
  • WIL's voice provider is from the Philippines, providing some extra traits for the vocal.
Voicebank sample

WIL VOCALOID3

ZOLA Project WIL


ReferencesEdit

  1. link
  2. [1]
  3. link
  4. http://www.vocaloidism.com/yamaha-panel-at-niconico-chokaigi-2/

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