Monday, 26 Mar, 2012 Technology
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Latest Invention: Vocaloid - Keyboard that Plays and Sings

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Yamaha's Vocaloid is a new type of keyboard that represents the outcome of a research project initiated back in 2000 and led by Kenmochi Hideki at Spain's Pompeu Fabra University.

The invention represents a singing synthesizer that allows the user to play melody and lyrics by pressing simultaneously. Although the current commercial model, called Vocaloid 3, needs the user to pre-install lyrics and melody of a certain song on a PC, before using the device, the new synthesizer allows these inputs to be generated in real time.

Currently the device is optimized only for Japanese users, being equipped with 16 buttons so the user could input consonants, vowels, as well as 2 types of voicing marks that are used in the Japanese language with the help of their left hand, while the right hand "plays" the voice.

Above the keys there a LED display that shows the text entered by the user. It also displays the pronounced text in katakana. With the help of three buttons found on the left of the display, the user is able to adjust the vocal sound.

The company said that it does not plan to launch its new Vocaloid onto the market. However, it did mention that the device's sound chip could be offered to other firms that could find it useful.

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