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“Alexa, can you sing me a song?”

Voice cloning technology has developed rapidly, offering artists new ways to explore their creative depths. Artists like Holly Holly Herndon and Ghostwriter managed to shake up the music industry, for better or for worse. Although this technology is best known for robot voices in Alexa or Google Translate, there is also an application for this technology in music. Musicians can now add vocal textures to their compositions, experiment with harmonies and collaborate with virtual artists. But what exactly is this, and how do I use this technology as an artist?

The combination of voice clones, voice swaps and synthetic voices is called vocal synthesis. The difference between these three technologies is as follows:

1. Voice clones

A voice clone is a virtual copy of an existing voice. In order to make a voice clone, it is necessary to have audio material of the voice you want to recreate, such as voice messages or music. By teaching an algorithm the characteristics of these voices, such as timbre, tone and pronunciation, this voice can be imitated.

2. Voice swaps

Voice swap technology allows you to change a voice in an audio recording or during a live conversation. It is mainly used to change or replace one person's voice with another's while preserving the original content of the speech. Voice swap technology is currently used, for example, to dub voices in films, for virtual assistants or to make anonymous conversations.

3. Synthetic voices

Synthetic voices are completely computer-generated voices, in which text is automatically converted into spoken words. These voices are often used in digital assistants, GPS navigation systems or audiobooks and can be easily customized and personalized.

How do I use vocal synthesis as an artist?

There are 1001 possibilities when it comes to using vocal synthesis in music. It can offer good solutions for artists who cannot sing well but want to make full tracks, or for artists who are looking to expand their own voice. Vocal synthesis software can be used to generate harmonies and backing vocals that can complement your live performances or recordings. This allows you to add additional voices to your music without additional vocalists. You could do this, for example, by cloning your own voice or by adding a synthetic voice as a second voice. Below are some examples you can experiment with:

1. Vocaloid: synthetic singing voices

Vocaloid is a synthetic voice creation tool that allows musicians to create customizable virtual singing voices. The tool synthesizes vocals using pre-recorded voice banks, allowing users to enter lyrics and melodies and then drag them across a staff to create their own compositions. The software includes a variety of voice banks with different tones and styles.

Although Vocaloid is easy to use, it is very difficult to get a good sounding output. The software requires quite a bit of adjustment and subsequent trial or editing. Musicians can experiment with different vocal timbres and languages, which is an essential tool for creating distinctive vocal textures. New versions of the software also offer the ability to sing in different languages.

2. iZotope VocalSynth: Vocal morphing

iZotope VocalSynth is a voice processing plugin that allows artists to manipulate their voices in real time. By combining live singing with altered vocal elements, musicians can bring depth and character to their music.

An experimental feature is VocalSynth's ability to transform voices into robotic, alien or alien textures, perfect for artists venturing into electronic, experimental or sci-fi genres. It also facilitates the creation of harmonies, vocal effects and subtle enhancements.

3. Alter/Ego: creating voices

Another option is Alter/Ego, which may not be the vocal synth you're used to, but can certainly be used to create voices. It offers a simple interface and a wide selection of vocal libraries, allowing users to easily create different singing voices. The system is compatible with various DAWs, making it easy to integrate into your production workflow.

Alter/Ego may lack the advanced features and customization options that some other vocal synthesis software offers. Musicians who require very complicated and customized vocal effects may find this somewhat limiting compared to more complex solutions.


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