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la vie en violet, a journal

xuu

fly like a butterfly
Apr 8, 2018
289
18
England
la vie en violet
life in purple, a journal by xuu
Introduction
I had to get in an IZ*ONE reference where I could. Shining more than a ruby, I'm xuu! This is my journal, which I'll try to keep updating regularly. I need a good reason to frequent more than two sites.

It would be suitable to introduce myself, yes? I'm xuu, also known originally as uchuu. I'm an 18 year old living in the United Kingdom, and have been a VOCALOID fan since I was 13. I am currently a sixth form student studying Politics and Sociology. Due to a chronic illness, I had to drop my other subject (I've studied Economics and Spanish over the last 2 years) and now find myself with a little too much time on my hands. Outside of sixth form, I have been a student of Japanese since 2013 and Chinese since September 2018. I intend to study Japanese at university, and have a career in either Japan or China, depending on where life takes me.

In terms of vocal synths, it feels like bragging, but I believe I am generally regarded as one of the experts on CeVIO in the western fandom. I was sort of an early adopter of CeVIO Creative Studio S and try to provide the community with important news when I can, though things have been a little sparse as of recent bar IA ENGLISH C. To fill the gap I've become very acclimated with both Sharpkey and Synthesizer V, and have beta tested a couple of Sharpkey vocals. I'm friends with Suoyun Rila's voice provider offline, and have learnt a lot from her. I'm currently working on a project I care a lot about, and I hope that it can be shared in the coming months. VOCALOID-wise, I've been focusing on the Chinese scene mostly; my favourite VOCALOID is Mo Qingxian. I'm forever sad that Haiyi will never be distributed, though I understand the reasons.

Outside of all of that, I'm a massive fan of Korean music, as well as a few Chinese acts here and there. My favourite groups are Loona, IZ*ONE and 9MUSES, with my favourite soloists being IU and Jolin Tsai. I'll share a song recommendation in every post at least.


Journal Terms
This section is a little unneccesary, I'd just like for people to know it's completely OK to reply to this thread and ask me anything they want. I hope I can share something useful. I can't really talk about some VOCALOID stuff because it's up to the companies to disclose that information. About development for other synthesizers, I can merely share my own opinion which may not be wholly reflective of the case. For example, with Sharpkey, I only know what I have been told by Boxstar and friends working on Sharpkey libraries, and my own experience of working with Boxstar. For Synthesizer V, I only know a little from business enquiries which I'm not sure is OK to be made public. Regarding custom libraries, it is still being considered but there are multiple reasons why it has not been implimented as per this post.

What to Expect
This journal will be a little free-form, I believe. There are a few things that I'll try to include as often as possible though.
・Progress I am making on covers, or cover ideas I have.
・Any purchases I made recently, be it synthesizer, music, or game-related.
・Some rambling about my UTAU library, uchuu, and xxx, when the time comes.
・Some gossip I've picked up on, or personal speculation. Will probably stray away from VOCALOID here.
・A recommendation I can make for a voice library, regardless of software.
・Occasionally some Pokémon talk, since I'm a big fan.
・A story about me...?
・Kang Hyewon.
Anyway, enough rambling. Hope you enjoy your stay in my little corner of hell!
 

xuu

fly like a butterfly
Apr 8, 2018
289
18
England
2018/12/31, New Year's Eve
life in purple, a journal by xuu
Well I uh, said to myself I'd do this a few hours after my first post. That was a lie. Good morning to all you wonderful people. Today, I actually had the will to work on a cover for once.

New Cover
I finally got around to working on a cover of "Somehow (Chinese ver.)" by DIA. No doubt their second best song after the musical masterpeice that is Superlove the reup [[WOOWOO]] Edition, I've been wanting to cover it for a while. Since AiKO has been released I'm no longer forced to suffer tuning VOCALOIDs and can do a cover using just Sharpkey and Synthesizer V vocals if I want to. However, I'm feeling a little chaotic and might try and use Qingxian or something for one of the smaller parts. I've done up to the postchorus here:
The first iteration of DIA's lineup included 7 members: Seunghee, Eunice, Huihyeon, Jenny, Yebin, Eunjin, and Chaeyeon. The vocals I definitely want to use are AiKO, Huan Xiao Yi, Kiana, Lian Hua, and Yong Qi. I'm not too hot on Yuan Xiao's tone, and I'm unsure if it's OK to use Suoyun Rila publicly yet. I do have good news in that she should be released sometime this week if things go well. She has a Japanese voicebank as well as her Chinese voicebank. Not sure on specifics of who will sing what but AiKO will probably be doing either Seunghee, Yebin, or maybe Eunice. Lian Hua is Jenny or Chaeyeon, Yong Qi is probably either Eunjin or Jenny, Huan Xiao Yi is Eunjin or Huihyeon, and Kiana gets what's left. I'll probably make Qingxian Yebin or something.

Recent Purchases
In terms of recent purchases, I guess I was one of the first international people to purchase AiKO? I understand a lot of poeple had issues with purchasing from ANiCUTE. When I tried to buy with my card the bank shut it down because it thought it was fraudulent, so I had to wait for them to open Paypal. Thankfully, they have amazing customer service and emailed to check if everything was OK since the payment failed twice. They kindly cancelled the order and let me pay through Paypal and even gave me an activation code for Synthesizer V as compensation! Will honestly buy again. That's the kind of service vocal synth suppliers should be striving towards.

Regarding AiKO herself, she's an amazing DB. Easily the best Synthesizer V vocal available right now. She has an incredibly natural tone for such a cute voice, and also has a really flexible range. The benefits of being a tripitch DB where Eleanor Forte and GENBU are monopitch, I suppose. AiKO reacts very well to SynthV's tuning parameters and is probably one of my favourite voices to work with already. It also helps that SynthV provides good results out of the box in most cases.

New UTAU Library
Yesterday (12/30), I finally released the uchuu library I've been working on since the summer, meigetsu.
Gosh, so many people contributed to this. It made it very clear to me that I lack a lot personally, but at least I can record a decent library still. Five pitches of VCV, which seems to have become my standard. Looking back, I could have made the G2 pitch lower or eliminated the A2 pitch entirely, but it kinda felt like the difference between D3 and G2 was quite drastic as my voice gets closer to the vocal fry register and it sounded a lot darker than A2. It felt like an eternity to wait, but I'm happy the library is out now. I'm taking a break from recording UTAU voicebanks until February at least, both since I have slightly larger fish to fry recording-wise and the whole process was pretty stressful this time. I'm also waiting for Ameya to update UTAU before making any big decisions about what to do for uchuu's 5th anniversary.

My next job is to record 4 pitches of Japanese and 3 pitches of Chinese. Glad I started Chinese classes and have pronunciation down a lot more than I did half a year ago. Since I'm working with a native speaker it's a little intimidating but at least she can coach my pronunciation, right? I just don't want to sound like I have a thick regional accent in any way. Still not sureon what pitches to do, though I want a pretty wide range in both voices. I guess for Japanese it'll peak out at D4, or I might try an E4, maybe even F4 pitch. If I do a higher top pitch, I'll adjust my other pitches accordingly. In Chinese, I'll try something along the lines of D3, G3, D4. I'm comfortable with those tones and it sets a clear range for each pitch.

Gossips and Speculation
The only VOCALOID-related thing I could express about this year is how ridiculously quiet it's been. Expect a lot of new voicebanks in the first half of next year, though not many western ones. I think there'll be 2 or 3 western VOCALOIDs this year, but not any of the ones that Vocatone were teasing, those seem pretty dead in the water to me since we haven't heard much from them or PowerFX in a while. PFX haven't even added RUBY to their VOCALOID section and it's basically 2019. I'm no authoritative source and a lot of it is my speculation but one or the other is probably defunct by now on the VOCALOID front.

OK, enough VOCALOID. Let's talk about the stunner that is Cangqiong (苍穹):
In case you couldn't tell, it's another Quadimension girl. The snippets of her design look pretty good and I like the sky motif. Vocal synth equivalent of Rayquaza over here. Given Xingchen is a VOCALOID and Haiyi is a (pretty well covered up but still kinda obvious) UTAU, I speculate she's netiher. Beijing Photek, Quadimension's business arm, is Animen's actor in mainland China and Quadimension distribute Synthesizer V and AiKO on their Taobao. It would be a pretty good punt therefore to suggest that she is a Synthesizer V vocal. I could see them doing this and actually selling her, and I pray to god she has a voice more like Ling, Chuchu or Qingxian than Tianyi or AiKO. Not that I don't like that kind of voice, but early diversity in tone is a very good thing. Looking forward to what they do with her and then proceeding to not buy the albums because importing from Taobao is a royal pain in the ass on a budget.

At this point I would make a voice recommendation, but all I will say is go buy AiKO for the reasons detailed above. Let SynthV do well and we'll get more good quality and user-friendly voices.

IRL Stuff..?
It's New Year's Eve, also my brother's 16th birthday. We watched drag race and all that this morning, though I've been up since 2AM because of some sleep problems. Will probably try to stay awake for the new year to come in since I need to hear LALALA La Vie en Rose the moment the clock strikes 12. In an hour or so I'm taking my brother to get another piercing God know's where, and then buggering off to do my own thing while he's off with friends. I'll probably eat out and then come back and work on my Somehow cover more.

In case it wasn't obvious, the only things I'm good at academically are social sciences and languages, and the latter seems to be limited to east Asian languages right now. I'm really enjoying my Chinese classes and Japanese is fun as always. We were only able to put on Level 1 this year, but it's a change from last year where we couldn't do it at all. We've formed a nice little group and even went out for a meal at possibly the best Chinese place I have ever been to upon my teacher's recommendation instead of doing a last lesson for the term. I feel a little bad, since I'm a little ahead of everyone with relatively minimal effort... I might brag a little, but on every quiz we've done so far I've had a perfect score and some of the people in the class can't remember more than a couple of characters. My flaws are my tones (which are a work in progress since I don't want to sound like I'm overeununciating but have to balance that with avoiding being atonal) and my pronunciation of some finals to do with a and o. Reading, writing and listening are all pretty fine. I want to sit the HSK1 exam as soon as I'm able to.

Kang Hyewon
Today's Hyewon is brought to you by the letter H, for HONDA HITOMI.

Song Recommendation
Of course, it would have to be something from Jolin Tsai's new album, UGLY BEAUTY. This is track four, KARMA (你也有今天, Lit. You Also Have Today). Only Jolin could do tropical house in 2018 and not completely mangle it. You should consider streaming the whole album even if you're not huge on Chinese music, it's so amazingly cohesive and well done, and Jolin herself worked on pretty much every track. One of the standout albums from this year for me and it only came out less than a week ago!
Well, see you in the new year! Hope everyone has a great couple of days and that 2019 treats them well. I've been writing this post for hours it feels like, enjoy.
 

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