Tommie Nakano’s robot voices: music computing research with Mass Appeal!
Among all the researchers I personally know, maybe Tommie generates the most mass interest – with his VocaListener technology. While I have to be happy if a couple of hundred people watch my videos, Tommie’s research attracts tens of thousands! This is because his specialty is to make the synthesised Vocaloid voices – already very popular in Japan – sound more natural. The video that accompanies this post features one of my favourite examples of his technology, the rendition of a traditional-style Japanese song. This is actually rather quirky because Vocaloid is more often employed in the bubbly J-Pop genre. For a poppier example (if you’re not afraid of decisively female robots) take a look at this one (video) with English commentary: HRP-4C sings with Tommie-technology. And gets two-hundred-and-seventy-thousand views on YouTube! Not bad, not bad, Tommie!
More information on the VocaListener webpage.