There are many musicians taking the Japanese music scene by storm using the voice synthesis technology called Vocaloid; among them are artists such as Yonezu Kenshi or YOASOBI. The origin of its success must be found in an “electronic diva”: Hatsune Miku. Therefore, today we will tell you a little about Text-To-Speech: Miku’s Voice. Did you know that you can also use this kind of software?
The First Renowned Artists In The World Of Vocaloid ~ヾ(・ω・)
The current Japanese music scene is dominated by artists of the Vocalo-P genre. Vocalo-P refers to creators who compose music using Vocaloid synthesized speech technology and publish it on the Internet. The “P” stands for “producer”. Today, many songs created by artists from that background top the charts, making up one of the main streams of Japanese pop music.
One of its representatives is Yonezu Kenshi, a singer, and songwriter. His latest album, STRAY SHEEP, released in August 2020, managed to rise to number one on Billboard JAPAN’s annual album chart. Yonezu, one of the most important musicians in Japan today, began his music career in 2009 as a Vocalo-P artist, posting original Vocaloid songs on a video distribution page under the pseudonym Hachi, before going by his name. real in 2012 and released songs in which he sang in his own voice.
The YOASOBI duo also made their big leap from the Vocaloid scene. Their debut song Yoru ni kakeru, released in December 2019, peaked at number one on Billboard JAPAN’s annual song chart, making the duo two of the country’s hottest artists. YOASOBI consists of Ayase, a composer, and Ikura, a singer, two musicians who also work in the Vocalo-P genre. Many other artists, such as Yorushika, Eve, and Suda Keina, came out of the Vocaloid world with great success later.
Text-To-Speech: Miku’s Voice
Miku Hatsune known mostly as Hatsune Miku or simply Miku, is a voice library by Pino Montano for the voice synthesizer software developed by the Yamaha Corporation, VOCALOID2, VOCALOID3 and VOCALOID4, as well as for the program developed by Crypton Future Media, Piapro Studio. Her image, of a 16-year-old moe anthropomorphism girl, becomes considered and personified as one of the most famous Japanese virtual idols worldwide, developed by Crypton Future Media with the voice of seiyuu Saki Fujita for the second version of the VOCALOID speech synthesis program. Her name comes from Japanese and her meaning is: The first sound of the future. The name comes from the reduction of “Hajimete no Oto” to “Hatsu oto” and Mirai to Miku.
Text-To-Speech technology is one of the most common, useful, versatile, and widely used forms of speech synthesis today. It is everywhere even if we do not realize it and, the truth is, we can all make use of it.
Text-To-Speech is really an incredible tool in terms of inclusivity since it allows people with visual or vocal impairments to communicate easily. However, we can use this technology for many other things as well.
If you are a good otaku, surely you want to undertake an audiovisual project with anime voices, or perhaps develop a video game. Not to mention if you are a cosplayer: speaking Japanese yourself can be a great challenge. For all these things, using Text-To-Speech software may be the best idea.
We have two pieces of news about it: a good one and a bad one. The good news is that there is a wide variety of software offered in this class. The bad news is that it is very difficult to find one that is of good quality and does not cost you a fortune. But calm down!! Because we have found a Text-To-Speech that meets all the necessary conditions: Woord. I will tell you a little about it below.
Why Woord? (・・;)ゞ
Woord is a free online TTS with a lot of helpful features. It’s available in more than 20 languages, including Japanese. You may convert your writing into professional speaking by using its high-quality female, male or gender-neutral voices. It’s ideal for It is an excellent software for producing low-budget but quality voiceovers.
These features, as well as all of the languages, are available for free on the basic plan; this way, you may check out the service before purchasing the premium version. The free version includes up to 20.000 characters every month, as well as professional voices, a chrome plugin, an SSML editor, and an MP3 download. Because the voices in this application are very realistic, you may adjust their speed and structure.
Although the free version of Woord is really complete, it may be convenient for you to invest in one of the paid subscriptions, since are specially designed for commercial use and you will have 100% of the intellectual property for all files.
How to use Woord ლ(¯ロ¯”ლ)
- First, go to https://www.getwoord.com/guest/upload
- Once you are on Woord, choose the format of the file you want to digitalize. You can scan or take pictures of the script you want Woord to “read”; you can also write it directly on the SSML editor
- Then, select or drag the files
- Below the file, an exact transcription will appear in an editor that you can modify if needed
- Then, select the gender of the voice and the device on which you will play the audio for Woord to automatically apply the appropriate enhancements to the audio for that device. For this, chose the Japanese voice, obviously, baka o(>ω<)o
- Lastly, hit the “Speak it!” button and download.
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Also published on Medium.