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VocalWriter is a Mac OS X music application that can automatically sing unrestricted English lyrics. Combining an advanced software vocal / instrumental synthesizer with an interactive music editor, VocalWriter is a MIDI file editor, player and synthesizer in a single integrated environment. Besides a full General MIDI set for instrumental accompaniment, VocalWriter includes over 85 different singing voice models. The voice range covers models from the complex but subtle characteristics of human singers to models that extend beyond physical possibilities like singing musical instruments.

What's New

KAE Labs announces the release of VocalWriter 2.0, an update version now supporting Mac OS X. In addition, this release features increased vocal polyphony to 20 voices, downloadable PDF documentation and a lower shareware registration fee.

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.2 or later

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VocalWriter User Discussion

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Sandro-Bilbeisi Member IconComment+2
Sandro-Bilbeisi
+1

Seems like Microsoft has licensed a Windows port:
The Whistler Music Synthesizer
http://research.microsoft.com/srg/whistmusic/

looks like a straight port of the Mac OS Classic version.

The blurb is ridiculously fake:
"To demonstrate the potential of Microsoft's Whistler speech technology for musical applications, a novel music synthesizer was designed."

geez, VocalWriter actually has existed since 1997 !!

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Version 2.0
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

I've been playing with this program for about a year. I downloaded the shareware, tried it and immediately sent in my registratration. This is an awesome little piece of work. The control that the user is given over every subtle nuance is very impressive, and the full capabilities are easy to use. If you are willing to dive into the control features such as phonetic pronunciations, portamento, vibrato, breath, pitch bend and so on, you can create very convincing singing. After using this for a year or so, it still seems like magic.

Thus far, I have done all of my composing using only the mouse and keyboard, no MIDI instruments. Works fine.I can imagine that it would be very easy to integrate into a studio setup.

The initial setup I used was on a Mac PPC 9500, running System 7.6.1. Very nice. I have since obtained a dual processor G4, and would suggest that KAE labs update the program for better functionality in system 9.2 and OSX. The processing power of these machines is such that it could very probably handle considerably more than 4 voices, and do that with ease. Also, the registration does not get recognized in anything above System 7.6.1, so I have to use it on the "trial" basis. The posistion counter and Digital VU doesn't work in the newer system eithr. But all told, these are minor complaints, as all the important function perform just fine under the newer operating systems.

Finally, I think Kae Labs should Approach Mark of the Unicorm or DigiDesign to see about integrating this into the Midi portions of Digital Performer or ProTools, Because VocalWriter would make a killer pluggin.

I've been using Macs since 1984. This is one of the coolest apps I seen.

Nice job.

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Version 1.0
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

VocalWriter does exactly what it says it does, and does it well. I've been running it on a Performa 6360 for about three years. Once I got the bugs worked out of my MIDI setup, it integrated into the system very nicely. I have had some occasional crashes, usually when I'm really pushing the machine's capabilities. Overall, if you keep your RAM useage to a minimum (have only VocalWriter open), the app seems to be relatively stable.

This software fills a gap that I've wished were filled for years. You see, I can't sing, but I can write. It's tough to know whether your song has "got it" when you can't sing yourself and you don't have access to a good singer. With VocalWriter, I was able to tweak my songs and hear them sung without having to worry about finding a singer and then paying them.

There is a very good variety of instruments to choose from. I especially like the vocal instruments that superimpose a voice over an instrument. Great for that techno sound!

All that said, an update is desperately needed. I haven't been able to get the program to run at all on my new iBook, either under OS 9 or OS X.

BUGS:
If you leave the reverb on (the default) and export a song to AIFF format, the vocal tracks are out of phase when played back in mono (or converted to a mono MP3). This causes the vocals to drop out so they sound like the singer is singing into a microphone placed in a cracker box on the other side of the room. Remembering to turn reverb off when you export to an AIFF fixes this problem.

Some of the instruments that are labeled as being different sound the same.

I'm not real crazy about the way the speech synthesizer pronounces certain letter combinations. You sometimes have to fiddle and fuss with the word or syllable to get the pronunciation you want. What's annoying is that the synthesizer will often insist on interpereting letter combinations that should be totally different as the same sound.

I hope KAE decides to release a 2.0 version that includes OS X support and fixes the bugs mentioned above. I'll certanly buy it if they do!

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Version 1.0
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Details

Downloads 10,557
Version Downloads 5,136
License Shareware
Date 17 Jul 2005
Platform OS X / PPC 32
Price $39.00
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