UTAU Characterization

Discussion in 'UTAU Discussion' started by Kiyoteru, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    How do you feel about characterizing an UTAU?
    Official personalities, official backstories, official relationships, things of that sort?
    Do you think this kind of information is necessary or unnecessary? How much detail should there be?
    How do you think characterization affects using the voicebank itself?


    Here's my opinion: Characterization is meant to inspire, not restrict.

    I absolutely love detailed characterization. It is the very thing that attracted me to Hiyama Kiyoteru- the fact that he had official band members, with official personalities, and official backstories. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have learned to appreciate his voice and music.
    More on the UTAU side of things, characterization can make collaborations a lot more fun. Sure, you could merely use two voices as duet partners, but they could also have some sort of relationship- friendship, romance, enemies, whatever the situation calls for. With personalities and headcanons, you and the other UTAU's creator can imagine the way that these two characters would interact with each other.

    And let's say you're wanting to write a song with a particular UTAU, but have no idea what kind of song you want to make. If that UTAU's character plays a particular instrument, it can inspire the type of music you write. If you have fun facts about the UTAU like "They are an intergalactic criminal on the run" then you'll definitely have fun thinking of lyrics that relate to that!
    But this kind of official information by no means is meant to restrict whatever you choose to do in the end. If you want to cover a song that contradicts the official personality, then there's no harm in that. You could completely ignore it if you want, and simply use the UTAU for its voice. You don't even need to read whatever fun facts the creator decided to include. Official characterization is there for people who want it.

    Honestly, voicebanks don't really stand out to me anymore. There's so many similar vocal types out there that I might as well choose whichever one is popular, or whichever ones my friends have made. There's nothing that attracts me to a new voicebank from a person that I don't know if all I have is a random Soundcloud post. So an interesting personality would be extremely compelling- I might want to know more about the character, I might be so interested that I want to write a character song. So please, UTAU creators, if you have headcanons or anything of the sort... Show them to the world!

    This attitude against characterization is probably an attempt to appear more professional, and avoid the risk of bad writing or "Mary Sues". It's supposed to be about the MUSIC, after all. And surely we all hate the annoying "She loves Len but hates Miku and has magic powers" backstory. The thing is, the characterization section of this forum is now dead quiet. It makes me sad how afraid we are of having OCs. You aren't annoying for creating characterization in the first place. Nor are you detracting from some sort of mission to make vocalsynth more "mainstream" in music. Can't we just have fun?
    GARMuffin, rmL, Melomad and 6 others like this.
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  3. WinterdrivE

    WinterdrivE Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    Meh, I don't really care one way or the other; you do you. But as for me, be it VOCALOID or UTAU, I don't see them as any more than a bunch of data on my harddrive; an instrument. I don't characterize my UTAU or VOCALOIDs any more than I do my clarinet or my flute (i.e., not at all). I don't find backstories and personalities necessary, nor do I generally care about how much detail is in them. If I like the voice, I like the voice and I'm gonna use it for whatever I so please. Especially so in the case of VOCALOIDs. I'm spending $130 on a voice, not a picture.

    I feel the same way about recommended ranges and tempos, for that matter. At least in the sense that they're some kind of hard rule, since I've seen people elsewhere be like "the VOCALOID's recommended range is A3-A5 and this song goes up to B5 so it won't sound good" or "this song is 180BPM so its too fast for this VOCALOID" (this one especially irritates me because if a song is all quarter notes at 200 BPM its the same as a song that's all 16th notes at 50 BPM; the length/speed of the syllables in a song depends on more than just the tempo) Naturally I'm not going to use a Tenor voice in a soprano range, but beyond matching the general range of the voice, what does it matter?
  4. Arissa

    Arissa Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    I think characterization is fun, and makes Utau more interesting, so long aa it's good characterization, pretty sure any Mary-sue characters would be looked down upon anyway. Not every character has those qualities though, so no worries ^=^ Plus characterization can be short and sweet, for example Akemi Kinko is described to have a confident front and is generally polite, but doesn't show her true shyness and worry due to this. So long as a story is gripping and interesting, length may not matter

    When it comes to characterization for my Utau I tend to plan out songs for them to cover that go with their respective personalities, along with genres(like it wouldn't make much sense for a really shy and polite character to be singing loudly about being, well, opposite of that) Plus thinking up character details and personalities in itself is really fun to me
    >=< (writer's side bursts out)

    And I agree with the voicebank type thing, honestly out of the possibly thousands of voicebanks some are bound to sound similar, and if an Utau can't have a really unique voice I'd be interested in a really unique story. And even if an Utau has no precise personality, like Xia Yu Yao for example, it's likely that they'll be given some characterization for whatever song it is they're singing, even if it's temporary.

    Oh, yeah, characterization can also have an influence on design, another feature that when considering the instrument purpose of Utau technically is unimportant, it is very interesting to many. (Gonna bring up Kinko again :3)

    I spoke with her creator to get the idea of where her design came from, and it relates to her personality. When looking at it you see what appears to be magicians inspired, along with rabbit themes, (and Playboy Bunny as I was told hehe) which reflects high confidence, and the rabbit part represents the underlying timidness of Kinko's character. Quite clever, I think ^=^

    Wow this is long but basically if you haven't guessed I love characterization in general, when brought into Utau it opens a window for all kinds of stuff, like art, original music, etc. I know it may be looked down upon but it can reflect just how much care an owner puts into their creations and I think that's a respectable thing
    OngakuCD, GARMuffin, ayatonic and 3 others like this.
  5. Sors

    Sors Meiji Master Tutor Defender of Defoko

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    Ah Klad. And again you manage to change my perception of something. It's really funny; earlier I just thought about characterisation as the bad side, the restrictive side. Like making Mayu a Yandere, thus she mostly has Yandere themed songs.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 16, 2017 ---
    It makes me wanna pop up my headcanons for Sora, and make them official canon, like making each design and vb a unique entity...
  6. ayatonic

    ayatonic emo lord Defender of Defoko

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    i used to think my bad habit of "over-writing" backstories and personalities was an embarrassing thing for a utau creator, haha. in fact, i ended up almost completely stripping my wiki pages of my UTAU' character information because i felt so self conscious.
    it IS sad, to me, and i completely agree that character development is a really great thing!!
    i think the fact that my utau being a "lazy, "emo" vampire" is quite endearing to him and makes him stand out, to me.
    and, for me, just talking about those kind of things (utau headcanons and such) definitely does spark creativity, and as someone who CONSTANTLY lacks it, it's a breath of fresh air.
    i personally do not let personalities limit my work with UTAU, so i must say that the phenomenon of having to ONLY cover songs in that utau's preferred genre is unnecessary. (fr... the first song my "emo" utau ever sang was fukkerita) but i also think that doing such a thing can be really cool !! nowadays i like to have him cover "dark" songs because it fits better with his persona, but it's not a limiter!
    in short, i really LOVE characterization. i do it too much, in fact. ((((if anyone wants to talk to me about it hmu owo)))) i can understand the aspect of retaining the paragraphs to be more professional, but i don't think it should be as looked down upon to give your utau a personality. i really love reading about UTAU i like, i feel like i get to know them better.
    Kiyoteru likes this.
  7. 수연 <Suyeon>

    수연 <Suyeon> Your friendly neighborhood koreaboo trash Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    I actually like to characterize my banks with backstories (usually cause they were already characters for RP before I ever even heard of UTAU). That said, I generally keep their personalities a blank slate - more or less?

    Definitely nothing wrong with some characterization, so long as it doesn't rely on cliche tropes or over simplification (any kind of dere, tragic backstory for the sake of being EDGY-EDGElord-DESUUUU!!!!). Oh, and please don't make it a novella on your wiki/readme x_x.

    My bank's backstory for ex.
    A diamond fell from the Amenonuhoko - Heavenly Jeweled Spear - to Earth as the God and
    Goddess Izanagi and Izanami formed the landmasses of Japan. This diamond fell among one of the first cherry blossom trees erected and resided in that very form until mysteriously changing to the form of a woman in the presence of Sarutahiko Ookami and his wife Ame no Uzume. Seeking answers of her fall from the heavenly realm to Earth and lacking a way to voice these questions, she became one of their devoted disciples, studying in the arts of music and movement. These questions still go unanswered, thus motivating travel across the world in search for individuals seeking the same answers of purpose on this worldly plain.

    That said, I don't need a backstory to derive interest in a voice if I think it sounds nice. It's an instrument like any other at the end of the day. Backstories, likes, dislikes, avatars, etc. are all to make that instrument a little more personal and personable. It'll never replace the human behind the original samples, but it gives a little more essence than "just samples in a HDD."
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  8. RibbonDove

    RibbonDove Momo's Minion

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    It's fine, just the fact UTAU and Vocaloids are usually pretty much whatever you make them to be~
    GARMuffin likes this.
  9. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    I was reading some threads and saw some negativity about characterization. I can't believe I have to say this, but I will. If you're not interested in characterization, you don't have to read the backstory. Just let people have fun, and stop telling them that characterization is making their UTAU worse.
  10. Mougeki Mero

    Mougeki Mero Defoko's Slaves Defender of Defoko

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    I'm gonna say this also applies for a lot of other things on the UTAU community. Lots of conventions we, as a community, have are made for the need of appearing more professional, so there are the "Do"s and "Dont"s in UTAU. For me it was really boring, for example, entering Youtube and seeing the comments like "You can't use pitchbends this way", "You should tune like Kyaami", specially those coming from people who barely know UTAU.

    Drama aside, I think most of us obiviously agree the "Loves Len, hates Miku, is a Yandere/Tsundere/Dere, wathever" thing is not a good way of characterization and writing, but in my opinion, as a person who specially hates edgy characters/stories, I dont care much if the character has bad backstory. It is indeed a down for when choosing a VB, but it is a kind of instrument, so I use it anyway.
    As for having characterization, I think demotivating character writing is not good. It surely doesnt affect voice, but it opress the user's imagination. If you see a bad characterization and want it to change, helps the user rather than demotivating writing...

    Also, for those who seek fame for UTAU, remember Kasane Teto/Sukone Tei/Yokune Ruko/Whatever went a trend also because of their character writing. :wink:

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