Mobius's Journal

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
You know, I honestly didn't see myself as the kind of person who would have a journal thread. But having had a few ideas of things I'd like to talk about, here I am :).

It struck me that one of the things the fandom is based on is sharing ideas, things we've learned, and things we've created with each other. By sharing these things and pooling our talents, we all grow and prosper better than we can by ourselves. So as I continue working away at my goal of teaching myself music and creating an original song, I thought I'd share some of the things I'm learning, the process I'm working through, and things like that. There might be some other things I'd like to share, too, that would probably fit better in a personal thread than somewhere else. So I'll try this out and see how it goes; hopefully a few people will be interested and will have a look when I add things!

In truth, though, the reason I'm starting this journal now is because of something besides the above topics: my computer is sick.

Or, more accurately, it's quite old, and it's wearing out. It's been behaving such that, when I turn it off, I sadly don't feel perfectly confident that it will turn back on when I push the button. This puts me in that hard spot that, for their own well-being, Vocaloid producers should be aware of, where the license terms/installation guides say something akin to, "if you don't deauthorize prior to switching computers, you may not be able to authorize again on your new machine." (I realize there are...3, I think?...authorizations allowed for each Vocaloid, just in case of a hard drive failure. I should trust that, but at the same time, I don't want to lose one of them. Plus, they're so discreet about telling you those grace activations are available that I find it hard to really accept they're there, without having actually seen someone use them. For both of those reasons, this situation makes my stress level triple.)

Fortunately, I think I've pretty much put behind us the period where I'm herding Miku and her friends at a sprint away from the likely-soon-to-be-buried city of Pompeii, and they are now currently having a vacation bumming a spot on my couch.

This experience has made me wish that things were a little different regarding the Vocaloid authorization system. I'm not sure exactly how. I mean, I get that there needs to be an authorization system so that people will pay for their software. It just seems like there ought to be a better way of doing things than this Draconian, sudden-death-seeming way. I mean, programs like Microsoft Office would seem to have similar considerations, but I've never worried about re-installing those things.... Though maybe I should have; I forget how authorizing those works.

I know there are some pieces of software that come with hardware keys--little things that you put into a USB port or something. You get one in the mail from the software manufacturer, and when you want to use the software, you put it in. There have been a few times when I thought that would be vastly preferable to having to know in advance when your hard drive was going to crash or something. Suppose you could get some kind of generic key, and when you got new software, somehow you could register your key with the Vocaloid company? And if something happens to your key, I guess you need to get a new key; ideally, the keys would be independent of the sofware/software company you use them with, and in some central place, someone could just update a record of which key you're using, so when you take your new key home from the store, it just automatically works.

Another thing that sort of bothers me--the email you get after you purchase Vocaloid 5 recommends to you to save your installer for future use. Really? I personally like to save my installers/etc. for emergencies, but I think lots of people would just delete them, to save space if nothing else. Plus--and this is a big one--lots of people don't READ. And, speaking for myself, everyone is fallible at various times; I've committed spectacular acts of stupidity or unintentional carelessness, so though I try hard to avoid such things, the idea of working without any kind of backup plan just for the sake of Yamaha not wanting to put the work into having one irks me. I mean, at Sonicwire, Internet Co., and pretty much every other place, you can have an account where you can sign in and download your software again once you've paid for it. Why here does the intention seem to be that it's down to the user to squirrel away their installer somewhere where they won't lose it?

Looking around on the Vocaloid website, it looks like the update files are freely available, though. I wonder if you could just install one of those, apply your license key, and be good to go? I mean, are the update files essentially full copies of the software? That would be better, though the email would be misleading in that case.

Oh well, it's all working out. Even if my music work has slowed and I have to dig out extra pillows and blankets.
 

Kona

Avanna's #1 Fan
Staff member
Moderator
Apr 8, 2018
701
USA
Nice to see you with a journal!! I’m excited to see all that you write about!

I’ve had this same issue and fear with Vocaloid products, there are so many way authorization could be improved.
For example, CeVIO’s authorization is only one activation, but no deactivation required—as soon as you activate on a new computer, it deactivates from the last one. It really is a nice way of doing things and at least makes me secure that I can always have IA English no matter how a computer goes out.

That kind of reauthorization and USB dongle is actually something Steinberg’s Cubase does (with my limited knowledge of it). You either have a one use unless reauthorized digital license, or load up your license on a Steinberg USB and use it on any Cubase install on any computer and just move it when you nered to. Though that can have it’s downsides, like losing the USB or, for some users of USB mouses, having a laptop with only one USB port.
Cubase digital activation is very complicated though, at least to me, and I already sold my Cubase copy. It’s not as simple as open a livense manager, type in the code and go sadly.

Overall, I think re-downloading with Vocaloid is such a pain, regardless of company. The only companies I have download versions bought from though are the Vocaloid Shop, Zero-G, and Sonicwire and it’s something. Zero-G seems the best with their newer system with a download manager, if you need the files, you type your Vocaloid activation code in and download them, simple on that part and not a bunch of messy codes. My least favorite is Sonicwire. While most companies of download products I’ve experienced have unlimited download time, once logged in and all that, Sonicwire doesn’t and it was a pain waiting for them to reply to my email so I could get my Kagamine and Miku English installers I never saved. I really hate that method over just letting me download whenever I want to...
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
Nice to see you with a journal!! I’m excited to see all that you write about!
Thanks! I'm looking forward to it, too!
For example, CeVIO’s authorization is only one activation, but no deactivation required—as soon as you activate on a new computer, it deactivates from the last one. It really is a nice way of doing things and at least makes me secure that I can always have IA English no matter how a computer goes out.
Now that you mention it, I remember you mentioning that in your discussion about switching to a new computer yourself. I'm really jealous of CeVIO's authorization system. :)

One area where I want to give Yamaha credit where it's due, though, is in the authorization/deauthorization tools. At least they make the process easy--nerve-wracking, and requiring an unreasonable level of omniscience beforehand, but otherwise it's easy to authorize/deauthorize most everything at once. There is the split between V3/4 and V5, though--you have to do both separately, and it might be easy to forget one...so don't do that. :LOL:
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
It's a period of clouds and broken sun. Outside, the hissing of wind through the leaves (interspersed by the occasional sweet, high twitters of the birds), and the overlapping, indistinct voices of the neighbors, is relaxing, like a babbling brook....

(I've heard more traditional Japanese letters start that way sometimes. I can't imagine it's really related to the contents of the letter most of the time, but it's relaxing, and is a good way to signal your beginning. Maybe we'll start with something like that from now on?)

I've pretty much finished setting up my new computer! There are a few cleanup items, but everything's installed. My couch looks a lot less homey now, without Miku and the gang sitting and sleeping on it, but the truth is that they're actually closer at-hand now than they were before, so that's all just...kind of ironic.

My new machine is, for their purposes, a palace compared to the quite old one in which they lived previously. I want to say thank you one more time to @uncreepy, too, for the promo info she provided recently, which has led to it being a better-equipped living space, too.

As a sort of more on-topic addition to this thread, I was thinking I would talk about the basic software that someone new to Vocaloid would need and what it all does. This is something that I think probably confuses most people at first when they're getting into the Vocaloid world, if they got inspired to create music after hearing the voice of their favorite Vocaloid and haven't done digital music work previously. But having considered it, I thought that this discussion would be widely-useful enough to make a good resource, rather than just putting it here. So I created a Basic Vocaloid Software resource instead. If you're interested, please do give that resource a look and let me know if you have any feedback :).
 
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uncreepy

😎
Apr 9, 2018
589
USA
I've heard about Japanese letters being written like that before, too. I wrote one for my friend like that a couple years ago for fun (it was in Japanese but I translated it for him), and it was indeed fun. :P

Setting up computers is annoying, but fulfilling. It feels nice when everything's finally all sorted out and reinstalled. I've been thinking about how you are trying to get into making music because of Vocaloid. I am too, and I also think about other forum/Discord members and like to compare where everyone's at in our musical journey. I feel really inspired when people get further in their goals, such as doing a collab, making attempts at background music, getting a few more Vocaloids, etc. Music has become a cool new hobby for many of us, it's difficult and mysterious, but I think if we don't give up, we will be able to make cool original songs like our idols. I've been kind of wondering if there isn't one already, if there should be a forum post dedicated to helpful music theory resources.
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
I agree about setting up a new system--it's painful because you're basically rebuilding something that you already had, and going through the process of rebuilding it makes you remember how much work it took over a long period to make your old machine what it was. But, at the same time, it can also be exciting: you're getting a new system, which is presumably better than your old one and isn't suffering from whatever issues it had. Plus, you're hopefully getting a blank slate in the sense that you have a chance to easily reorganize things, and hopefully set up a way of filing/doing things that improves upon what you were doing before.

I'm happy when I see friends moving forward in their music journey, too! And I agree--learning music is a challenge, but if we keep working at it, there's every reason to think we can improve.

I've done some looking around, but I haven't seen a thread devoted to music theory, and I think it would be good to have a thread like that, too. Good suggestion! There also doesn't seem to be an appropriate category under Resources for something like that. I'll put in a suggestion that we add one, and unless someone else adds such a thread first, I'll put one in with some resources I've found for learning theory. Hopefully others will have found other sites/books/etc. that I haven't, and we can get a good thread going!
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
The air conditioning sighs through the nearby vents; deep reverberations from its compressor pulse through the walls and ceiling, like an idling extraterrestrial mother ship....

I've been looking for Vocaloid-wear recently, and I felt like putting together something quick about my misadventures. It's definitely a little more challenging than I would have thought, given how popular the Cryptonloids are, in particular.

I should qualify: it's somewhat challenging to find officially-licensed stuff. Finding what appears to be knockoff stuff by folks who seem to take private artists' stuff off the internet and slap it onto things is very easy. In terms of official stuff, the best sources I've seen so far are Tokyo Otaku Mode and Amiami.

Of course, then we get to the matter of price. Most of the shirts on Amiami, for example, are $60-70. ($60-70!? WTF!?) To be honest, I'm looking for something simple and somewhat inexpensive. I have like one piece of Vocaloid-wear currently, and I'd like to get something nice but inexpensive that I can wear and not be as concerned about protecting it. (Though I'm sure I will be concerned anyway.) $60+ doesn't really fit that bill, but I'm not sure that that price isn't just the going rate.

And then there's sizing. Due to the fact that I don't walk around with a flexible tailor's tape 100% of the time (Which is just ill-preparedness on my part, I'm sure. :) ), sizing as I've window-shopped has been tricky. For example, Tokyo Otaku Mode lists its sizes as follows:

T-Shirt (cm / in)SMLXL
Total Length65/25.668/26.871/28.074/29.1
Body Width46/18.149/19.352/20.555/21.7
Shoulder Width40/15.742/16.545/17.748/18.9
Sleeve Length19/7.520/7.921/8.322/8.7

On the other hand, a few shirts I've glanced at have been from the UK, and they show up like this:

T-ShirtsInchesCM
Youth Large34-3686-91
Small36-3891-96
Medium38-4096-101
Large40-42101-106
Extra Large42-44106-111
Double XL44-46111-116

As you can see, the sizes don't remotely match. I believe the UK shops use a chest size measurement (read: chest circumference), so I guessed maybe the TOM sizes were just flattening the shirt and measuring the distance across, since their measurements are a lot smaller than the ones from the UK. So I was literally trying to use circular geometry to convert between the two, which got close but was still like 50% off....

I feel relatively safe in saying this: 1) I've probably been doing one or more things that are really stupid. 2) Clothes shopping shouldn't be this hard....
 

uncreepy

😎
Apr 9, 2018
589
USA
Me and my sister are avid online clothes shoppers. At first it was extremely intimidating about getting the size right, but I have some tips.

1) Measure yourself and write your numbers down in inches and cm on a word document so you can easily/quickly access it in the future. (Measure more than once just in case you messed up, make sure to check Google/YouTube to figure out the proper way to measure your body.)

2) To fit comfortably, you need to add at least 3-5 cm extra (because when you measure yourself, that's your flesh. You don't want the shirt to be skin-tight, and your body gets bigger in certain parts like your chest when you breathe/move your body).

3) Even if the shops themselves are from the UK or something, do not expect the sizing to EVER be consistent. Sizes range wildly for resellers like the sites you listed, they are selling the clothes that are made by different factories and companies.
You said that some measurements seem a lot smaller than the UK, this might be because they are Asian sizes and that's normal/common for buying clothes online. ALWAYS rely on your body measurements for every single garment, even if you bought something from the seller before, it might be a different material or different cut in the shirt.

4) If you're nervous to buy the wrong size or mess up, only order 1 or 2 things to practice online shopping at first. Bigger is probably better than too small in a T-shirt (unless you're like... ripped and want to show off).

That's all the tips I can think of.
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
Those are some good suggestions! It might be a good idea for anyone to have their measurements written down somewhere--could be useful at brick and mortar stores, too. The extra 3-5 cm is a really nice guideline to have handy, too.

(Boy, those measurements really aren't consistent. I really think TOM (first chart) must be laying their shirts flat and just measuring the straight-line dimensions (So "shoulder width" is really the length across the chest, for example.). Their measurements of about 1.5 ft.+ make sense in that context; if they were the distance around the whole body, the shirt would only be able to fit a smallish dog.... So it's important to be clear on exactly what the seller claims to be measuring, too.)

Thank you!
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
A very short update today: the General Music Theory Resource thread discussed earlier is now up! I've included the best resources I've used so far or that I think look most promising; if anyone has others that they think would be good additions, please do comment, and we can get them added!
 

Kona

Avanna's #1 Fan
Staff member
Moderator
Apr 8, 2018
701
USA
A very short update today: the General Music Theory Resource thread discussed earlier is now up! I've included the best resources I've used so far or that I think look most promising; if anyone has others that they think would be good additions, please do comment, and we can get them added!
It’s really nice to see you making some more resources for the community! Music theiry is especially one that I think can be extremely helpful to people

Here are some additions I thought would be nice;
A free resource that covers just anout everything you could ever need! Also created the paid iOS app Tenuto, but all Tenuto exercises can be accessed here too, I believe (I use this for reference and Tenuto for easy practice)

Hooktheory
Great resource and tectbook series. This is what I used at first, because it has physical textbooks as well as the opyion of getting them as apps so you can use them anywhere. Takes mysic theory mostly from real music and gives examples using popular songs

Computer Music magazine
Not sure specific issue numbers, but there are MANY issues of CM that focus on music theory. They've been very helpful for me in reference and learnung new things
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
Thanks very much, @Kona! Hopefully people find the resources I've made helpful!

I've added Musictheory, Hooktheory, and Computer Music magazine to the resource. Thank you! (I really want to read Hooktheory now. :) )

I added a link for Computer Music magazine to maybe help people get subscriptions; I got it from Wikipedia, which listed it as www.computermusic.co.uk, which redirected over to Computer Music Magazine | MusicRadar. It looks right to me, but just to confirm that Wikipedia doesn't have junk on it, does that website look right to you for the magazine?
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
This is going to be one of my off-topic posts. I've been working on it for a while, and I'd originally intended to put it in the Hatsune Miku fan club thread. But the truth is, its content really pertains to the vocal synth community as a whole, so I wanted to put it where everyone concerned might choose to read it.

Having said that, what I have to say DOES begin with birthday wishes for a certain twin-tailed vocalist.

I'd like to be able to post some kind of art, or maybe a song, in honor of today. But visual art isn't a skill I've developed, and a song would take too long to produce, to say nothing of the difficulty I foresee in capturing everything I'd like to say in such a condensed format. So I'd like to fall back on a skill that I've been working on for a while--which results in the stream of text you'll find below. I hope you don't mind, and that you'll find it interesting enough to choose to finish.

In honor of Miku's birthday, I'd like to talk about why she, and the vocal synth community itself, is so important to me.

I encountered Hatsune Miku a little over two years ago. It was a difficult time for my family. It's better that I don't go into too much detail as to why. Suffice it to say that it concerns long-difficult inter-familial relations that came to a head in a several-months' period of confronting feelings of neglect, denigration, anger, and sadness; screaming, crying, and cursing were routine. Even though I had the benefit of a certain distance from these things, as they didn't directly concern me, they had a way of bringing up other things that did, as well as making me question some of the ideas that are most important to me--precious things I have faith in, but have regrettably never experienced. So aside from simply coping in the ugly, poisonous mess, the difficulties extended inside, too.

My personality is, for whatever reason, relatively durable. However, if thrown into an ocean, even a block of marble will erode eventually, and the permeating toxic, corrosive environment was doing its work.

If things had gone on as they were, I don't know what would have happened. It felt like flowing toward the lip of a falls named "hopelessness." I'm not sure: would I have been strong enough, at the last moment, to resist falling over it? Having gone over, would I have someday been able to climb back?

What did happen was Hatsune Miku. At the impetus of a fit of curiosity, really looking for some kind of distraction, I found a video of a CFM concert online. It started with "World Is Mine." In her parody of a himedere, Miku's confidence, her self-assured and humorously self-centered arrogance, were exactly what the weakened me needed.

And the reaction of the audience was just as important in helping me. Their joy was pure and earnest, and their camaraderie was palpable. The Japanese have a passionate regard for their virtual daughter. But, as evidenced by the concert I saw, those overseas who wait for years at a time to be in Miku's presence realize an acute, poignant, bittersweet longing that comes to its zenith at the moment of its satisfaction. You could hear it in their voices: a thrill and an adoration that approached some kind of love.

The reason? There are probably several. But I think this fact is telling--although I've run across a few other instances of people crediting things with moving their lives forward or helping them out of difficult places, I don't believe I've ever seen it to the same extent as is the case with Vocaloid. As I've learned from interacting with people online off and on over the course of over a decade, so, so many of us carry around a tab of difficulties and seemingly insoluble problems that we've run up as we've gone through life. So, of course, the audience members didn't decry the fact that Miku wasn't real; they relished her rejection of it. With awed, almost worshipful gazes; with screams of sometimes disbelieving ecstasy; with the fervent pumping of glow sticks, they encouraged her. With love for their diva, they prayed for her to continue claiming her impossible place on the stage moment by moment, a catalyst and a symbol for the inspiration, rekindling, or sustenance of their hope.

I spoke of camaraderie....

In a way, the vocal synth community is an "open-source" culture. In the vocal synth world, everyone has a chance to share their dreams, essentially themselves, with everyone in the world who is willing to listen, or to view their artwork or other creations. Aside from the cost of a computer and an internet connection, there are no barriers to entering the vocal synth community. And while I don't roam terribly far--I mainly hang out on VocaVerse Network, though I also go to SoundCloud, YouTube, Piapro, and some other places--the vast majority of the time, as fits an "open-source" culture, the people I've met have been kind; they've supported each other, both personally and in their work; they've accepted each other, even when people were different, liked different things, or believed different things. In a certain sense, just like Miku onstage, this culture defies the "real" world, with its too-widespread state of selfishness, intolerance, or just arbitrary cruelty.

People often have difficulty understanding why people in vocal synth culture get so passionate about it. They seem to argue that the very unreality of an animated performer, of a synthesized voice, diminishes the value of the entire thing.

But the synth characters and the music and other art made around them aren't entirely unreal. They're ideas. Ideas are real things, just like pencils or matchsticks. And ideas have value equal to how good or bad of an idea they are. Love and honor are just ideas, but their benefits for our health and our society are only two areas in which they contribute very practical worth. And the contributions of the artists in the vocal synth community, too, or even just the fans cheering at the concerts, have value also, equal to the positive contribution they make to the people around them.

I'm very aware of their positive contribution to me. Both two years ago and now, and in both a personal and a communal sense, that virtual girl with long turquoise twintails and the vocal synth community itself give me hope.

So please raise a glass. Mine will be vegetable juice.

To Hatsune Miku, and all her friends and friendly rivals. And to the community of artists, musicians, writers, and other passionate fans who support them and create for them. Very many, many happy returns.

Kanpai!
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
@uncreepy: Thank you! :kaito_move:

The sounds of the frogs and crickets are a rainstorm. Each voice drops upon your awareness, a shower of sound.

A few updates this time!

To begin with, I almost got caught by a virus recently. The AV software handled it, but all the same, everyone be careful out there. The site wasn't shady or anything, either, AFAIK.

In better news, I remembered something that I should have realized earlier: For Fans By Fans is a great place to go looking for Vocaloid merch. It's apparently all officially-licensed, so you're not supporting thieves; some of the designs are really first-rate (and the ones that appeal to me less are really more a matter of taste than an actual issue of artistic quality); the prices are MUCH more reasonable than the $60+ shirts I mentioned before; and it just makes me feel good to think of supporting some of the other creators who love vocal synth stuff as much as I do.

Finally, I've been playing with Melodyne a bit. This came about because I had an idea for some music.

My transcription abilities need work. Normally, after having gotten a song idea, I'd try to write the lyrics down as well as some idea of what the melody sounds like. (I literally have little bits of paper with lyrics and squiggles/dots/slashes on them to try to represent the shape of the sound, and some sagely well-chosen adjectives.... Which become a lot less helpful as time goes on, as you can imagine :) .) If I could, I'd go to a DAW and start picking out notes. But it takes me awhile to get the pitches and durations right, and the wrong attempts have a way of screwing up my memory, so before too long I've started to lose the thread of the idea I had.

To get around that, I immediately made a recording of myself humming the melody I had in mind. And then I thought, "If Nectar can correct the pitches in an audio track, then it should be able to identify the pitches in a recording." I don't think Nectar is the best tool for identifying every pitch in a recording and laying that information out for me, but Melodyne seems able to do exactly that. Plus, I think it'll let me export that to a MIDI. There'll be some cleanup work, and I'll need to transpose the notes to an appropriate range for whatever instrument/vocal synth needs them, but I'll be interested to see how well it works and if it ends up being a quicker/easier way to put notes in. (Not that I don't want to get my transcription skills up to a better level, of course--the old masters are surely screaming "sacrilege" and "blasphemy" and such, and knowing the basics of anything is always beneficial, as a rule of thumb.)

From what I've learned so far, Melodyne is like the most godly tool I've ever seen. It seems basically to be able to do all the kinds of alterations you can do when composing with a Vocaloid to audio that's already been recorded. More than just correcting a pitch, you can drag it up/down how ever far you want, make the notes shorter/longer, divide/combine them, and supposedly it keeps everything sounding natural. Should be an interesting experiment.
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
The first leaves to fall swirl across the ground. Is it a storm, or is autumn coming?

I've been really happy about all the awesome songs that have come out on VVN recently. Two of them are from people I've known since joining VocaVerse two years or so ago (on which forum I can even remember participating in discussion threads on some of their earlier songs with them), and it's really neat to see their efforts paying off. As members of a site where we collaborate and help each other grow, we should all be really proud when we see each other progress this way. Congrats to our growing producers!

After very likely shelving the previous one I was working on (Maybe? I don't know; I like that one, too.... But it's been put together piecemeal over a long time, so I have a strong suspicion it'll end up janky when I put the pieces together.), I've been kicking around yet another song idea. I was fortunate enough to remember a post from @uncreepy the other night, which reminded me that there are rules about the usage of character names.
It sounds like this is referring to "promoting" your commercialized product by saying "Hey world, I used VOIDOL and this is OTOMIYA IROHA singing in my song" (for example). Kind of like how Vocaloid does not want you to say "Vocaloid" in YouTube titles (you have to pay to use the "Vocaloid" trademark) or how you can't make wads of cash by using Miku's name/image for commercial purposes. Basically, using the company's product name (Vocaloid/Voidol) and the character name (Miku/Otomiya Iroha) helps people find your song/animation/game/whatever, people wouldn't be able to find your stuff as easily if you weren't promoting your work by using their character, so some companies want a character usage fee.
Trouble is, the usage of Miku's name is slightly important to the new idea I've got. I think I could dance around it lyrically without too much difficulty, but I think I'd like the song better if I didn't have to do that.

Since I can remember lots of songs that do use a character's name in one way or another ("Luka Luka Night Fever," "AiDee," even "Nostalogic"), I wanted to check what CFM says. But all they seem to cover is usage of a Vocaloid's image. Maybe there's something in the EULA that you get when you download the software? I'll have to check.

Other news: I'm thinking of getting a MIDI keyboard. I feel like it might make it easier to try out notes, which might improve the creative process. But getting a keyboard is kind of like hanging a welcome sign over the secret entrance to the BatCave.... Plus, I don't actually play piano.... So these may all be the starry-eyed idiotic ideas of a dumbass. In case they're not, does anyone have a keyboard they'd recommend that works well with Studio One?
 
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Kona

Avanna's #1 Fan
Staff member
Moderator
Apr 8, 2018
701
USA
You can always email CFM here about the name! I know generally, the name is included with the character so as long as it’s non-commercial, you’d be okay. I think generally all “Hatsune Miku” is the character, and the voicebank itself is the voice, so VB does not include name

For MIDI, I’d recommend getting at least a decent size. Even if you can’t play piano, it can be extremely helpful and make things like just picking sounds and testing melodies quicker.
I use an M-Audio 49 Oxygen, which is about $125, but there’s also althe M-Audio Keystation 49 for $100 (with less bells and whistles)
If you want more bundle, less piano, then I have a friend who uses a Native Instruments one. I don’t know the exact model, but it’s around $200, 36 key, and has a pack of NI instruments from Komplete
Alternatively, you can look at all compatible keyboarfs! If you go to options, External Devices and add, it’s a process of picking the brand and model you have. All the ones listed there should do good for you!
 
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mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
747
Cool! I didn't know there was an English contact form! I kind of suspect that they wouldn't have an issue with non-commercial use (There are an awful lot of uses, after all.), but you never know.

Nice. That list in Studio One should be a great place to check; I'll have a look there! I actually thought of your keyboard first, since we both use Studio One and you seemed to like it, but then I remembered the thing you mentioned about the notes not coming through at the proper times. Unless you were able to fix that?

(You know, now that I think of it, I believe I read somewhere in the Studio One documentation or something about a "delay" setting or something like that. It's meant to compensate for lag that occurs when you connect a MIDI keyboard to your DAW; I assume maybe it means Studio One would take the notes it receives and back them up so that they play earlier. That way, they show up when you intended them to instead of at whatever later point the lag pushed them to. That almost sounds too uniform for the issue you described, with chords getting messed up and all, but maybe it would help somehow, if you're still having trouble.)

Thanks @Kona!
 

uncreepy

😎
Apr 9, 2018
589
USA
The "delay" is called "latency". I have 2 MIDI keyboards and I use them in Studio One, there isn't a lag. I DO have a lag with my guitar when I record it, though! The problem is because guitars aren't MIDI instruments and you have to hook it up to an audio box to record in real time. Studio One has their own (PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface), so if you use a different brand of audio box (I have Behringer), there is lag and it's disorienting. When you use Studio One's audio box, they have a faster setting for allegedly no lag. But if you have a MIDI keyboard, you won't have to worry about getting an audiobox (all you need is a USB cord). If the keyboard is not MIDI, then you need an audio box.

For MIDI keyboards, make sure you get one with velocity sensitive keys. I have an AKAI MPK midi but grew out of it within a couple weeks (you can only play 2 octaves at a time, which is useless for playing songs with 2 hands). I bought a Nektar Impact LX88+ used and it's better (it was hard to find a spot to put it and I needed a keyboard stand, though. I picked a keyboard with the most keys because I wasn't sure what genre to play. Recently, I got a Kontakt instrument for a guitar VSTi and it actually uses the extra octaves for extra sound effects (such as knocking on the guitar for percussive effects). Glad I got the bigger keyboard.

Lastly, for using Miku's name/image in a song, it's perfectly fine if you aren't making money from it. But once you start wanting to put it on a CD and make loads of cash, then you have to get a character license. They don't care about tiny amounts of money (ex: paying for a table at a convention, paying to print a few short comics, and selling them because you are basically spending and gaining the same amount of money).
 
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Kona

Avanna's #1 Fan
Staff member
Moderator
Apr 8, 2018
701
USA
I think input lag can just come with the connection, since my friend has also had issues with their Native Instruments MIDI keyboard.

I did find a solution, which is usually selecting all notes after the fact and messing with Length, Quantize, and Stretch until I find something I like. I’d never used them before and just revently started to, and it is extremely helpful both with and without MIDI input. I would still say wait a bar or two before playing and just move the part back as to save from the beginning notes potentially getting cut off.

On the octaves, I would say since you don’t play piano, you only need a 49 or 61 key keyboard. Going any smaller will limit you a lot, and going any bigger now might be extra room you don’t need yet, not to mention pricey. Aside from M-Audio, thee aren’t too many 49/61s in a good starter price range unless you’re willing to spend a little more
 
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