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Vocaloid keyboard lets your fingers do the talking - or singing


March 25, 2012

The Vocaloid keyborad lets users input lyrics with their left hand and "sing" with their right (Photo: DigInfo)

The Vocaloid keyborad lets users input lyrics with their left hand and "sing" with their right (Photo: DigInfo)

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Growing out a of a research project led by Kenmochi Hideki at Spain’s Pompeu Fabra University in 2000, Yamaha’s Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer that lets those with a voice like Roseanne Barr after a big night out synthesize more pleasing vocals by inputting lyrics and melody. While the current commercial version of Vocaloid 3 requires these inputs to be prepared on a PC prior to a performance, Yamaha has now developed a Vocaloid keyboard prototype that lets users input lyrics and melody and generate a singing voice in real time.

The Vocaloid keyboard prototype is optimized for Japanese users with 16 buttons for inputting consonants, vowels and two types of voicing marks used in the Japanese written language with the left hand, and keys to “play” the voice with the right. An LED display above the keys displays the entered text and the pronounced text in katakana to allow the played content to be checked. The three knobs to the left of the display are used to adjust the vocal sound.

A Yamaha spokesman says the keyboard doesn’t only allow Vocaloid users to give live performances, but also makes it easier for those users who might be daunted by the current Vocaloid software interface, but are able to play a keyboard. While it looks like it could take some practice to get the left hand up to speed using the device, the spokesman said that several keyboard players evaluating the system have been able to perform simple nursery rhymes after about three hours.

Yamaha doesn’t have plans to release the Vocaloid keyboard commercially, but says the device’s sound chip can be provided to other companies who might wish to pursue it.

Check out the Vocaloid keyboard in action in the video below.

Source: DigInfo

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Guess Auto-Tune isn't enough to make a no talent sound like a talent, so now we have one more tech to help the posers. Can't wait for full human voice replicators to get rid if the posers all together. Concerts use to be live when there were singers as now they are lip sync karaoke events.


@ctcsme you arrived late to the show. Look in youtube for Hatsune Miko or vocaloid concert. You don´t have to wait anymore.

Marco Gonzalez

Look up the Bell Labs VODER from 1939. Voice Operation DEmonstratoR. It sounded pretty good.

It's a good thing Bell didn't get together with Westinghouse back then, with their prototype voice command system used in a primitive robot at that same expo, the two could have produced telephone voice menu systems far earlier than they got inflicted on the world.

Gregg Eshelman
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