British English UTAU

Purrpetuity

Myriad Came First
Sep 4, 2021
13
Hell
Hi

I have to bring something up that I feel is really important, because unfortunately it's a massive issue.

1. American English reclists are not compatible with all accents, versions and dialects of English

I've seen British and Australian users being told they're 'refusing to improve' by not using lists like VCCV or Arpasing, even though they're not made for them and are not compatible with their accent or dialect.

I've seen a British user be dogpiled for months because he /dared/ to try to make a reclist for other British users and didn't use the pre-existing ones that didn't work for him when he tried. When he tried to explain that, tried to make people understand that it was not for them and was solely for BE users, he was bullied and harassed by multiple people.

He left the community because of how he was treated. All because he wanted to use something that worked for him, just once.

2. There is not only one British English accent, and if there were, it would not be Received Pronunciation

There are more accents and dialects in England than there are in America. All those accents and dialects are very unique and must be tailored to. Almost none of them are in any way compatible with either VCCV or Arpasing, other than that one reclist that vanished.

Received pronunciation is very rare, and is only spoken by a tiny subset of the British population. It is not the standard.

3. Not all phoneme structures are compatible with British English

Arpasing is built for General American accents, regardless of what others have said, because ARPABET is built for General American accents. Any accomodations built into ARPABET, such as British English's second schwa, ix, were removed from Arpasing. Cz's phoneme structure doesn't work for BE either because it was built for General American, and neither does VOCALOID Sampa without modification. The only current phoneme structures that support BE are

- CV-C because of it's multilingual capabilities
- GeorgiaSonic's custom structure because of who built it
- XSAMPA because in its nature, it's meant to encompass everything
- RSL, a lost prototype that was never released because of it not being 'American enough'

4. Most Japanese users record banks with British English accents

Most Japanese UTAUloids sound wrong when using their English voicebanks because you're using them wrong, by forcing them to sound American.

Stop trying to do that and I guarantee, banks like Anna Nyui and Kasane Teto will sound much better

5. You're not helping by making users from other countries record with an American accent

So please stop doing it. All you're doing is turning people away from an already dying community because you're forcing them to conform.

6. CV English is one of the best methods for British English accent retention

People have been chased out of the community for even suggesting CV English, because it's seen as lazy and lesser than CVVC, when in reality, it takes more work to make CV English sound good.

There's a reason why many British English users choose CV English, and it's not because they're too lazy to use CVVC. British English cuts out a lot of hard consonants, end consonants and some liquid consonants like [l] or [r], as well as having the glottal stop be an actual consonant as apposed to a rarity. CVVC doesn't allow all of this to be reflected as well as CV English does, so many BE users choose to use CV English and work harder for the purposes of retaining their accent.

-

It's not everyone, but if you think I'm 'targeting' you, please do some research into the differences between those languages (because they are different languages) and try to make this community better, because it's not just you.

The English speaking community is not just America or Canada, it's the whole world and you need to be understanding of that.

The only reclists we have that are compatible with other versions of English, currently, are

- MEL, with modification
- CV-C, and only because of multilingual capabilities
- Delta's XSAMPA, which is why it's the list of choice for most Japanese users recording English banks
- GeorgiaSonic's CV English list

Please be considerate of that. Any other lists will mostly result in incorrect phonemes, lost accents and most of the time will result in people just giving up and leaving.

Don't discourage other users from writing lists not for you, don't tell people that they're refusing to improve because they don't use a list that they can't.

Please let me know if I missed anything.

----

UTAU voicebanks and recording lists are not made for you. They are made for the creator and your access to them is a privilege, not a right. You do not have any right to dictate how a voicebank should be made, what list or method it should use or what accent it has. All you have the right to do is support the creator.
 
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luwo

Resident CUL Supremacist
Oct 24, 2020
116
UK
As a Bri'ish person who also happens to be interested in recording with my own accent, I think I can give my own two cents on this.

While CV might be easier to customise to accommodate a British English accent because it's so simple, I think that method is outdated and probably isn't the best way to go about it. GeorgiaSonic's UTAU might sound passable, but it's lacking in the fluidity that English needs.

Arpasing on the other hand? I dare say this is the best way to go for British English accents. While yes, Arpasing may be built with General American accent in mind, that pretty much means nothing when it comes to UTAU - and after a friend pointed it out to me, I noticed that Arpasing is pretty much a blank slate of a reclist and can foster any type of accent one decides to record in. My first ever English voicebank was recorded using this method and I didn't have any issues with it accommodating my accent, because all I needed to do was ignore the pronunciation guides and sing the lines how I naturally would. Any missing phoneme or glottal stop I need? I can just record it separately and add it onto the bank directly.

While I absolutely DO NOT believe users should be dogpiled for simply making a reclist, I do think that the existing reclists can easily accommodate a plethora of British accents, and anything beyond minor additions/revisions is probably doing a little too much and will be counterproductive.
 

Purrpetuity

Myriad Came First
Sep 4, 2021
13
Hell
As a Bri'ish person who also happens to be interested in recording with my own accent, I think I can give my own two cents on this.

While CV might be easier to customise to accommodate a British English accent because it's so simple, I think that method is outdated and probably isn't the best way to go about it. GeorgiaSonic's UTAU might sound passable, but it's lacking in the fluidity that English needs.

Arpasing on the other hand? I dare say this is the best way to go for British English accents. While yes, Arpasing may be built with General American accent in mind, that pretty much means nothing when it comes to UTAU - and after a friend pointed it out to me, I noticed that Arpasing is pretty much a blank slate of a reclist and can foster any type of accent one decides to record in. My first ever English voicebank was recorded using this method and I didn't have any issues with it accommodating my accent, because all I needed to do was ignore the pronunciation guides and sing the lines how I naturally would. Any missing phoneme or glottal stop I need? I can just record it separately and add it onto the bank directly.

While I absolutely DO NOT believe users should be dogpiled for simply making a reclist, I do think that the existing reclists can easily accommodate a plethora of British accents, and anything beyond minor additions/revisions is probably doing a little too much and will be counterproductive.
I agree that the lists can be made to fit with modifications and additions, but Arpasing in its natural state isn't built for British English and while it can work, it doesn't always. If that works for you, awesome! Personally, I have a very strong Northern accent so it really doesn't for me but I'm happy for you if it does.

While I said that CV English is one of the best options, I never claimed that it was the best or only one. There are a lot of things that CVVC can't provide that CV can, and there are deficits with CV that CVVC doesn't have. As I said, it's difficult to use and those of us that do, primarily use it for the purposes of accent retention, not to make the most human or smooth voicebank. I think we can both agree that Kinzoku, Basil, and Nancy sound very very strong in terms of accent, and the latest version sounds absolutely brilliant, especially with oto updates I happen to know are coming.

Claiming that building British English-specific reclists is counterproductive seems a little harsh to me. While lists can be made to fit, the same can be said for making Japanese banks sing in English. Is it possible? Absolutely. Does it come with a lot of drawbacks? Yes, it does. Is it difficult without having done a fair bit of research and testing? Definitely. If someone wants to build a list that makes British English easier in UTAU without having to edit phonemes or shoehorn extras, then all power to them! It's not counterproductive if they choose to make it and it works for them, especially if it's released.

I just personally don't think that our only option should be having to force reclists to work for us by making modifications and having to go out of our way to make it sound like us. I hate that people make us feel like we have to and I absolutely think that we should be allowed and encouraged to make reclists that work for us natively.

My main issue is the elitism that I've seen in this community, the belief that American English lists are the best and only way to record English, the belief that you're refusing to improve by not using them if they don't work for you. If they do, all power, but I just want the community to be kinder to people who want to make or use things that work better.
 
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luwo

Resident CUL Supremacist
Oct 24, 2020
116
UK
While I said that CV English is one of the best options, I never claimed that it was the best or only one. There are a lot of things that CVVC can't provide that CV can, and there are deficits with CV that CVVC doesn't have. As I said, it's difficult to use and those of us that do, primarily use it for the purposes of accent retention, not to make the most human or smooth voicebank. I think we can both agree that Kinzoku, Basil, and Nancy sound very very strong in terms of accent, and the latest version sounds absolutely brilliant, especially with oto updates I happen to know are coming.

Their accents may come out strong, but by the very nature of CV they lack the nuance that some accents desperately need in the transitions (or lack thereof), no matter how much you polish their oto. I dare say it'd be a smarter move to make the transition to CVVC, which can also retain accents greatly and would be much more accommodating to the addition of extra phonemes. Speaking of extra phonemes, I think shoehorned is a strong choice of word, especially with UTAU, a program that has limitless space when it comes to voicebank creating.

Claiming that building British English-specific reclists is counterproductive seems a little harsh to me. While lists can be made to fit, the same can be said for making Japanese banks sing in English. Is it possible? Absolutely. Does it come with a lot of drawbacks? Yes, it does. Is it difficult without having done a fair bit of research and testing? Definitely.

I don't think making a Japanese voicebank sing English is an apt comparison here. While there are certainly differences between British English and American English, the similarities are glaring when it's broken down. Japanese is so far removed from these two that it just doesn't make sense.

My main issue is the elitism that I've seen in this community, the belief that American English lists are the best and only way to record English, the belief that you're refusing to improve by not using them if they don't work for you. If they do, all power, but I just want the community to be kinder to people who want to make or use things that work better.

And I totally think this is a fair point! Elitism is ass and sucks the fun out of everything, and with this community being so US-centric I'm not surprised it's rampant. That said, making British English with already existing reclists is not the daunting challenge that it's made out to be. There is already an Arpasing reclist that supports British English, and CVVC makes it incredibly easy to preserve accents. New reclists are of course welcomed, and I'd love to give some of them a shot one day! But for now, there are plenty of options for accent coverage, but they're often overlooked or hardly used because it's assumed that because they weren't created with British English in mind, they'll either not be sufficient for the job or just can't do it, which couldn't be further from the truth.

EDIT: I should also note that I have/had a Northern accent growing up, but ended up losing it over time because I had a complex over speaking "proper", so I can totally sympathise when it comes to recording with such a strong accent.
 
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Purrpetuity

Myriad Came First
Sep 4, 2021
13
Hell
Their accents may come out strong, but by the very nature of CV they lack the nuance that some accents desperately need in the transitions (or lack thereof), no matter how much you polish their oto. I dare say it'd be a smarter move to make the transition to CVVC, which can also retain accents greatly and would be much more accommodating to the addition of extra phonemes.
GeorgiaSonic herself has said multiple times that her main focus is making strongly British UTAUloids, not making smooth or natural ones, and that CVVC didn't work for her. Multiple other users, including notable British CVE users like Reson Lore (Carlisle) and TMOS (Manchester) have also said that they preferred CVE for that reason, that CVVC didn't retain their accents, that other lists didn't work for them, and both have made serious developments that push CV English to it's very limits and sound incredibly smooth, including finding workarounds for those transitions that sound more natural than vanilla CV English.

CVVC doesn't work for everyone, and not everyone wants smoothness or natural-sounding banks. Many use UTAU as a record of their voice, and in those cases, it's more important that a bank sounds like them instead of sounding real.

People aren't going to just transfer everything to CVVC - if people are choosing CVE as an option, it's most likely because they've tried everything else and are looking for a last-ditch experiment before they give up. It's not seen as a valid choice by anyone in the community, so people aren't just using it on a whim.

Again, it is an option. Not the only option, not the best option, but for those who want to use it, that's the main reason given and that is completely valid. It is their choice and if they want to use a method that's harder but gives them the results they want, then that's their choice. No one else's.

I think shoehorned is a strong choice of word, especially with UTAU
I mean that the point of a reclist is to be able to record it and have a bank that works, after otoing of course. If you're having to add phonemes that didn't exist, modify pre-existing ones or add things because it doesn't work for you otherwise, then that's where I'd call it shoehorning.

If you're okay with that, that's fine, but not everyone is and that's where I find that it's a problem.

Elitism is ass and sucks the fun out of everything, and with this community being so US-centric I'm not surprised it's rampant.
I completely agree, it's unfortunately quite horrific in this community if you accidentally stumble upon the wrong website or forum.

There is already an Arpasing reclist that supports British English, and CVVC makes it incredibly easy to preserve accents
Unfortunately, that BE Arpasing list was removed from everything. Apparently, the creator wasn't happy with the quality? And while CVVC does work for some accents, I know a lot of people who find that it doesn't work for them. As I said, CV English is an option, a popular one for BE users, but it's not the only option or the best one. I'm not saying that CVVC is bad, just that it's dependant on what accent someone has and whether their focus is on something sounding like them or sounding smooth or natural.

But for now, there are plenty of options for accent coverage, but they're often overlooked or hardly used because it's assumed that because they weren't created with British English in mind, they'll either not be sufficient for the job or just can't do it, which couldn't be further from the truth.
I'm speaking from personal experience, and experience from friends, that the main issue isn't that methods are being overlooked for British English. Personally, I've tried each and every English list I've found (Arpasing, MEL, VCCV, Syolist, multiple CVE lists, CV-C, VCV-E, Delta's XSAMPA list) and yes, some of them do work fairly well, Arpasing included, but most people I've spoken to found it too difficult to make it sound like them. Almost all of them had been told that they had to use either VCCV or Arpasing, otherwise they were refusing to improve and seemingly doing something wrong, which resulted in them being rejected and isolated by the community. That's the main issue. People are pushed to use lists that don't work for them, told those are the only options and don't feel like they're allowed to experiment and see what works for them.

Lord knows I was one of them until I joined the CVE community and found a community that encouraged me to experiment and find what worked. It just so happened that Rallie and TMOS's CVExC was the reclist for me. But they would've accepted me anyway, and that's my biggest problem.

This community is so hostile towards anyone who dares even consider straying from the popular lists, and I believe that it should be down to personal choice. Like I said, it's awesome if you find something that works for you, but something that works for one person will not work for everyone. People need to start understanding that.
 
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mahalisyarifuddin

Passionate Fan
Apr 9, 2018
133
23
Palembang, Indonesia
I don't think this is about this community's elitism, but it's rather bigger than that, it's sociopolitical and economical issue. The US is considered "powerful" by dominating everything and have those soft and hard powers than any other Western countries. They're especially dominating technology and music industry. Even actual British singers sounds really American when they sing than when they talked. A shit ton of English songs today is dominated by American accent, and thus, if you ask me, harder to cover when you want to cover them if you use non-American voicebanks.

Vocaloid, albeit using a rather agnostic phonetic system, they only have only a handful of voicebanks that fully support this accent in their roster. Synthesizer V (also Arpasing in this case) and CeVIO choose the Arpabet phonetic system, but if you ask them why, they will answer that the phonetic system is used by an opensourced pronunciation dictionary, though I'm certain it's because of an economical motive. Sure not everyone sings American, but producers really want that accent, because it sells!

I'm talking this as an English learner (I'm not a native whatsoever) and a learning English voicesynth user. I don't remember what accent is taught to me when I was in school, but when I sing and talked, I use flapping but don't use rhotic vowels. This rhoticness is the main issue on every English Utau reclist: they impose you to use rhotic vowels by treating them as VC rather than what's supposed to be "diphthongs", and this is why I gave up on recording an English voicebank altogether.
 

Purrpetuity

Myriad Came First
Sep 4, 2021
13
Hell
I don't think this is about this community's elitism, but it's rather bigger than that, it's sociopolitical and economical issue. The US is considered "powerful" by dominating everything and have those soft and hard powers than any other Western countries. They're especially dominating technology and music industry. Even actual British singers sounds really American when they sing than when they talked. A shit ton of English songs today is dominated by American accent, and thus, if you ask me, harder to cover when you want to cover them if you use non-American voicebanks.

Vocaloid, albeit using a rather agnostic phonetic system, they only have only a handful of voicebanks that fully support this accent in their roster. Synthesizer V (also Arpasing in this case) and CeVIO choose the Arpabet phonetic system, but if you ask them why, they will answer that the phonetic system is used by an opensource pronunciation dictionary, though I'm certain it's because of an economical motive. Sure not everyone sings American, but producers really want that accent, because it sells!

I'm talking this as an English learner (I'm not a native whatsoever) and a learning English voicesynth user. I don't remember what accent is taught to me when I was in school, but when I sing and talked, I use flapping but don't use rhotic vowels. This rhoticness is the main issue on every English Utau reclist: they impose you to use rhotic vowels by treating them as VC rather than what's supposed to be "diphthongs", and this is why I gave up on recording an English voicebank altogether.
Honestly, I agree. The songs can easily be modified to be sung in a different accent but the fact remains that the technology and music sectors are mostly controlled by the US, at least in the Western Hemisphere.

VOCALOID only has four British English voicebanks: LEON, LOLA, SONIKA and Oliver. The other two that most people attribute, MIRIAM and AVANNA, are South African and Irish respectively. Even then, there are issues with all of them, to the point where they eventually had to give AVANNA extra phonemes so that those issues could be avoided. It's more than a little ironic, considering that VOCALOID was initially developed in Japan and the UK. Definitely does feed into your point about American accents selling better.

Most English lists also are unfortunately not built for other accents, which can cause a lot of issues. Personally, my biggest problem is end consonants, since I normally don't pronounce them in favour of a soft glottal stop. Unfortunately, there's no way to properly reflect that in CVVC, at least without serious problems, which means that most lists don't work for me.
 

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