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Vocaloid for English Speakers – Easy and not too terribly expensive

My adventures in Vocaloid date back to 2012 when I first started getting into the music I heard on YouTube with Hatsuni Miku. At first I didn’t even realize it was a completely synthesized voice! After I figured out what was going on and what I was hearing, I really wanted to start using it. At that time it was still really hard to get any information on using Vocaloid in the West. I was struggling though Japanese websites and trying to understand all the concepts behind using it. Licensing was a huge pain as well because I had to get my editor from Yamaha, and the only English voice bank I could find at the time was from a company literally called “Internet”, haha.

Thankfully it’s much easier now. Yamaha put together a completely excellent voicebank called Cyber Diva. Not only is it English, it’s one of the nicest and most realistic sounding Vocaloids I’ve ever heard. I used it as the lead voice on my track “Atlantis Falls” (video below).

So how do you use it? Well Vocaloid isn’t just a plugin you plop into your VST folder. It’s a bit more complicated than that. You need a Vocaloid Editor and a Voicebank like Cyber Diva, or Miku to make vocaloid work. The two together will cost you about $200. It’s not super cheap, but considering what you can do with it, it’s not that expensive either.

Using the Vocaloid Editor is a bit weird. It is a stand alone program, so my general workflow is to make a rough mix of the song I want vocaloid on, then export that from whatever DAW I’m using at the time as a stereo wav file.

Then I open up the Vocaloid Editor and import the rough mix into the editor. There is where you compose the vocals. Vocaloid Editor has the ability to mix tracks and add fx as well, though I don’t really use it for that. Once I finish my Vocaloid tracks, I then export each one individually, and import them into my DAW where I composed the song. Then I do all of my mixing and fx on Vocaloid like it’s a regular vocal track.

Anyway, I hope this helps any English speakers who are a bit lost with Vocaloid and gives them an idea of how to get going with this amazing software!