The singing voice synthesizer market is about to have yet another contender.
VocaCenter.net has just learned that Emvoice, a startup hoping to develop a “new vocal experience to power the coming AI-first world” is working on its own singing voice synthesizer hoping to put it beyond a niche market and into mainstream music.
Its founders recently announced that it will be releasing a beta of its Soho virtual instrument plugin, which runs on their Emvoice Vocal Engine in a few months. As of this post, the startup has released demos of the singing and speech capabilities of a male voice library named Julian and a speech demo of an unnamed female voice. There are no further details whether which DAWs will work with Soho or its retail price when it becomes available by Q1 of 2018.
Emvoice has no prior products for existing synthesizers such as VOCALOID. Instead, the startup takes pride in developing its own vocal engine that claims it can sing and speak “in a much more expressive way” than its competitors.
A number of music producers, some have already used VOCALOID and UTAU, expressed interest in the new synthesizer. However, in a recently published letter by the founders of Emvoice, some have pointed out its seemingly dismissive tone against its established competitors particularly those working on English-language voice synthesis.
“English songs made with “virtual singers” always have subtitles, because they’re very hard to understand”
It is speculated that Emvoice was referencing VOCALOID to which the startup has gotten the ire of some fans and users.
Rodolphe Ollivier, CEO of Emvoice, has responded to an UtaForum thread by admitting the situation could have been handled better. He furthered clarified that his intention with the development of Soho would be to take singing voice synthesizers into mainstream music production.
“[What we meant to] say on the website: “for the first time ever”; it simply means that producers don’t use vocal synths yet outside of a relatively small scene … We want to take vocal synthesis to the mainstream, not necessarily in the form of virtual pop stars, but simply in every producer’s toolset.”