[In-Depth Review] Fukai Nekone Act 1.3 CV

Discussion in 'General VB Reviews' started by Miss Aleks, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Miss Aleks

    Miss Aleks Momo's Minion

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    Hello! I am Aleks, and I've decided to start reviewing the banks I use for my covers. I will also be putting them on Tumblr, at Aleksandryekchekov.tumblr.com. This is a review of the UTAU, not the CHARACTER.

    At a Glance

    Fukai Nekone Act 1.3
    [​IMG]Art by EspeonLady
    Author: EspeonLady
    Gender: Female
    Voicebank Type: CV
    Language: Japanese, English/Latin Support, French/Spanish Basic Support
    Voice Type: Soft, Soothing, Breathy

    Usage Examples
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOrc7nJqr4Y
    [soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/aleksandryekchekov/utau-starduster-fukai-nekone[/soundcloud]

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    The Good

    [tt]This bank is amazingly huge for CV, with 936 recordings. It has every Japanese sound imaginable, in Hiragana and Romaji, as well as TONS and TONS of English, Latin, and other sounds. It has almost every sound a CV bank could imagine, plus MORE. In all reality, this bank has almost every possible sound for a full Japanese CV VC bank, and a good portion of English as well. I have no tested out its English capabilities yet, but the Japanese is very well done. [/tt]
    [​IMG]
    [tt]The samples are extremely long, but as one would think it would distort, it actually sounds very realistic and calm. It allows for extremely long notes without that metallic "stretch" most UTAU get. As well, it has almost all of the Japanese VV sounds (for whatever reason, any iV sound was missing.) which allows for very smooth vowel transitions and an extra added real-ness. The recordings are with very little background noise, and have a wonderful breathy-calm tone. The UTAU sounds very natural, as instead of getting 100% perfect noise-free recordings, the soft hums and breaths of natural human voice only adds in favor of this voice. Fukai Nekone has a wonderful soft tone, great for relaxing songs and slower songs. Although this draws back from the use of more exciting or higher pitched covers, it opens a lot more genres that other UTAU simply cannot handle very well.[/tt]

    The Bad

    [tt]The bank has a lot of discrepancies between recordings, such as volume changes and pitch changes. There are quite a few recordings which clip, causing a less-than-desirable sound. The most noticeable were "so" and "wo," but plenty of others showed up as well.  They also released the bank without rendering all the FRQs, and I found myself frequently waiting for them.[/tt]
    [​IMG]
    [tt]The pronunciation of this bank is less than favorable: the Japanese vowels are almost all wrong, for example "e" is pronounced like "tAke", "o" is pronounced like "rOw", et cetera. The English vowels are very jumpy; there isn't one consistent notation, rather the vowels actually randomly change per recording. I suspect actually using English on this bank would be a matter of simply checking every sound to see if it's available or not, and therefore is very unsatisfying to use. Also, many sounds have random clicks or pops on them, causing you have to edit the oto or even use a completely different sound altogether. (For example, I used s + o instead of using the actual so)[/tt]

    The Ugly

    [tt]This bank is INCREDIBLY hard to use! Not only is finding the correct resampler or flags hard enough, but in the mixing it is very fickle and the right EQ truly means everything. I ended up using TIPS.exe, with 15 breathiness, and 150-175 consonant velocity on almost every sound. Now I know what you're thinking, Consonant Velocity? On a CV bank? Yes, instead of going through every single oto and fixing the consonants, I just used a bit of ConVel. Besides t's, k's, p's, etc, every consonant was very slurry and needed SOME fixing. I also used a lot of custom preutterances and overlaps, as the defaults were somewhat messed up. The otoing on this bank is adequate, but there's much room for improvement.

    The English sounds are all very confusingly made. There are plenty of -VC type sounds, such "in" or "ip," but they are completely different than actual CV VC otoing. In reality, it seems as if the author knew what they wanted, and had the same idea as CV VC, but had completely no idea how to record or oto it. Because of this, I'd feel that the English is either very difficult or completely non-existant. When using the VV samples (ai, oe, ou) I had to actually go into the oto and completely fix them myself, or else they did not work correctly. It had a lot of good ideas but the otoing is simply not very well done, and the recordings were awkwardly done.[/tt]

    In the end, I give this bank 6 out of 10 stars.
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