On June 14th, 2016, VOCALOID and UTAU group ASDR (AssembleSynthesizeDirectRelay) released their new album Circuit Breaker, a multi-producer collaboration which aims to benefit befrienders.org, a suicide-prevention non-profit. The futuristic album ranges from punchy and occasionally dark EDM, to hard rock, and even ventures into folk-inspired music with chilling piano melodies. Combined with the unique sound of UTAU voices, Circuit Breaker is a must-listen for those looking for something new.
Celebrating new advancements in English- speaking UTAU, the album stars pioneer voicebank CZloid. Joining her on this album are several voices donated from the community, including Noelle, Kumone Jakuon, Kumi Hitsuboku, Akihana, Mimi Yorune, and Seiun’s own Viki Hopper.
Like many other projects in the world of Vocal Synthesis, Circuit Breaker was an online collaboration between many producers. The project was lead by Mrs. Peach (VocaPeach) and Eyeris, who were joined by several talented producers including GPHZ, DystoP, Manatashin, ArmsleevesP, Mishamoonkun, and Yami no Tasogare-P.
Seiun spoke with DystoP to discuss their story and inspiration to get involved in the VocalSynth Community. “Like a lot of other compilation albums I’ve been on, we mostly worked independently on our songs” DystoP says. “Near the end, though, there was more collaboration involved…lots of hurry but still fun”
The diversity of the VocalSynth community and accessibility of UTAU seems to be the key to the success of Circuit Breaker. “I think I picked up VocalSynth much the way that most other people do–I ran into it on the internet, and decided to look it up.” DystoP shared. “UTAU was free, so it was the first vocalsynth I actually used… Although I took piano lessons when I was younger, I didn’t actually begin to produce music until a few years after getting into UTAU. It was the vocalsynth community that inspired me to do it.“
After her release in May, several producers have included Viki Hopper in their music production toolkit. “I almost always use my own work in progress banks or beta versions of other people’s banks” DystoP says, describing their workflow. “So to use a bank that was more in a finished state was actually incredibly satisfying. [Viki] has a lovely, consistent tone, clear without being too exaggerated, and takes well to expressive tuning. I foresee myself using her more often, just being so much more convenient.” Viki Hopper can be downloaded by visiting her information page.
Moving forward, DystoP plans on expanding Esperanto-language-functionality to the world of Vocal Synthesis. “Mainly UTAU, but things like software translations, reclists, and original songs. There’s not a lot of Esperanto content that I’m personally interested in, which is why I’m making it my mission to create it.” Fans of Welcome ft. Kumi Hitsuboku and Viki Hopper by DystoP can also stay tuned for their UTAU band Time Space and Bass, which will be releasing their debut album in the near future.
“My biggest piece of advice to aspiring vocalsynth producers is to never give up. Just keep writing more music, and keep every scrap of “garbage” you make. If you don’t stop, you’ll gradually learn more and more over time. It’s okay if the first song you release sounds very generic and boring, because it’s important to take those first steps instead of waiting until you get better.”