Project VoXenuS Revival

by VocAddict | 17 Jun 2022 | Diary, UTAU | Hikaru Yami, VoXenuS

This article will take approximately 5 minutes to read.


This might be a bit long since it’s a comprehensive update of VoXenuS since my last update in 2018. For those of you who hate words, you can check out the tl;dr at the end.

Introduction

I’ve been working on my utau, on and off for the past five years. During that time, I was keeping track of his development over on UtaForum but now that I’ve got my own site up and running, it’s only fair to use here and mirror updates there.

In fact, this blog post was supposed to be up since last year but the pandemic really throwed things off the rails and since I knew I couldn’t record anything at point (and at this time still unable to do so), I just kept putting it off again and again and well, here we are.

As a quick refresher for those new or have forgotten, VoXenuS is my main UTAU.

For the most part, the aim of the project remains the same: a product that is intended to have no fixed design aimed to cover multiple languages, multiple expressions and numerous singing styles. As before as well, Over the last several years, I’ve come to accept that perhaps my original plans were too ambitious so I’m going to be taking it one pitch at a time.

Originally, the plan was to record 7 pitches per bank (F♯2, A2, D3, F♯3, A3, D4, F♯4) but I reduced it to 6 (D2, F2, A2, D3, A3, D4), and from a custom VCV list to a custom CVVC list mainly because I don’t have the time I had in the past to record for extended periods of time in one sitting. Also, the original plan was to do (coughs) 15 languages, which was obviously overambitious so now I’m just focusing on 3: English, Spanish, and Japanese.

The number of banks per language remain the same as well, though their definitions may have changed from when they were first defined:

  • Eclipse: natural tone
  • Soul: solid/strong/powerful tone
  • Noct: mellow/calm/soothing tone
  • Flight: soft tone
  • Lune: whispery tone

The extra expressions (Dull and Sharp) and the extensions (Growl and Falsetto) are still planned but its more of a stretch goal to the main banks and not something mandatory to be released with each bank.

The Dull and Sharp extras are meant to give an extra push in terms of head and chest voice. For Sharp, instead of usual normal transition into head voice at a certain pitch, I’ll be recording a pitch that pushes the limit of my chest voice. The same applies to Dull but in the opposite direction when I would usually transition into chest voice, pushing the limit of my head voice, I’ll record a pitch that pushes the limit of my head voice in that direction. The aim of this is to give a bit more versatility to the voice. It’s still in the planning phase though, I’m not sure if I could pull that off (it is an extra two pitches).

Falsetto is going to be an added pitch to each bank instead of its own bank so it would fit naturally depending on the tone of the rest of the voice. Some banks may share the same falsetto pitch if it’s similar enough to reduce the amount of recordings I’ll have to do. It’s still in planning phase so we’ll see how that goes. I have to finalise just how much my voice could do without sounding like a vampire burning in the sun.

The Growl bank is on the fence. I’m not sure if I’m going to give a proper growl bank or just a vocal fry one but we’ll see.

Progress

Japanese

Currently, I have four pitches of Eclipse recorded for Japanese (D2, F2, A2 and D3) though I may rerecord for give power in the upper pitches. Below is what makes up the reclist and a sample from a test bank using it.

  • glottal stops (vowels and nasals)
  • nasalised 'g' consonant
  • isolated nasals (5) and consonants
  • both variants of 'j'
  • both variants of 'z'
  • extras: English R and L, trilled R
私へ (To Me)
by: supercell (YouTube (Reprint))
しわ (Wrinkles)
by: buzzG (YouTube)
English

I haven’t made much headway in terms of English since I recorded VoXenuS Arpasing in 2017. I’ve been reworking my custom reclist for a while now and I actually have a finalised version but I haven’t managed to record and test it yet. However, I do have a test from a old version of the list that you can also listen to below. These are the currently implemented features of the reclist:

Some added phonemes I would like to have added to the list though I probably would not be able to have in VoXenuS’ recorded banks are:

  • Consonants: W (written as 'hw' in the reclist), 5
  • Vowels: 1, {~, I~, E~
  • R-coloured vowels
  • L-coloured vowels
  • Contextual allophones of consonants and vowels

I currently don’t have any samples for this list yet.

Spanish

Spanish is also a language I plan to record in the future as well. Though it may look like I love to reinvent the wheel, I don’t plan on making my own reclist for Spanish. Instead, I plan on making use of nJokis by Text to Death since it gives the most natural sounding Spanish I’ve seen on UTAU. It also reminds me a bit of Arpasing in terms of how the list is structured.

Other Languages

These are really stress goals but some other I’ll want to record in the future are:

  • Korean
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French

And many, many more…

Hikaru Yami

Hikaru Yami is the face of the product VoXenuS, and as such, at least from my end, where you see one, you will most likely see the other. Yami has publicly been in existence for a bit over 6 years now and though his voice is taking forever and a year to be released, he has developed a lot lore wise since his inception so over the coming months leading up to his 7th birthday, I’ll be sharing some stuff about him and his friends here on this blog.

I’m also finally getting around to having a design done for him so he isn’t forever a blank face whenever I’m talking about him especially since I have designs for his friends so… yeah, design soon! Can’t wait to share it with you guys.

Conclusion

In short, VoXenuS is in the works. The Eclipse bank for Japanese is coming along pretty well and I should be starting the English and Spanish ones in the coming months if things pan out well. Maybe, just maybe I may be able to release at least one bank this year. We’ll see how everything works out.

Look out for the lore on Yami as well leading up to his official release!


Comments

Please ensure that your server supports server-side PHP, the modules required for Hashover 2.0 are enabled and that its directory is accessible.