Cantor and its successor Cantor 2 were made by Vir Syn. The interface also saw an overhaul between versions. It was sold for £199.99 including VAT. Though it was the more expensive of the two software titles, since it offered a far greater selection of vocals, it was cheaper for the amount of contents it offered, although reviewers of the software did note that the price made it perhaps too expensive. As with the early version of VOCALOID, Cantor was a victim of change in the way indie music was produced, and by Cantor 2 was being impacted by this change (alongside VOCALOID) as the demand for synthesized voices began to disappear.
The final version of the software, Cantor 2.1 was released on February 6, 2007. Though updates have since ceased, the software remains on sale, and is confirmed compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X 10.5/10.6 versions. A demo is able to still be downloaded from VirSyn's website, although it requires an eLicensed Syncrosoft dongle to be able to download the demo and the full software version itself. The special dongle was included with the boxed version of the software, as well as other software sold by VirSyn. It was not able to be bought with the downloaded versions but could be purchased separately.
Usage for MusicEdit
Unlike VOCALOID, it had 50 voices for use, which was far greater than what VOCALOID had to offer upon its release. It had capabilities for both German and English, and supported both Windows XP and Mac OS X, as opposed to VOCALOID which was restricted to just Windows XP. However, similar to VOCALOID, it worked as either a stand alone or plug-in and supported ReWire.
Cantor was considered at the time of release to be a good engine suitable to stand up to Yamaha's VOCALOID engine (at the time only known in the west by its English version) and was released before the Vocaloid software became famous.
Cantor was not based on singing samples, and its results were reproduced by a morphing additive synthesis engine derived from VirSyn's Cube software synth. It is used to generate the 39 phonemes which VirSyn used to reproduce English speech or singing. Each phoneme is created by passing an additive sound source through a formant filter, which morphs between a start and an end state. These filter responses are fully editable: up to to six peaks and three troughs in the formant filter response can be specified as morph points. Overall, its recreation of the English language was considered flawless. Improvements were made between Cantor and Cantor 2. At the time of its release, Cantor 2 was considered ground breaking technology and a revolution in vocal synthesizing. It had 20 "ready to use" vocals in both German and English, and also had capabilities within its reach of mimicking other languages despite being primarily set up for German/English, since it was not restricted by a pre-recorded vocal sample and could be manipulated in ways VOCALOID could not be. Furthermore, Cantor provided the user with a higher level of fine tuning than VOCALOID, with its interface much easier to use. In short, VOCALOID was designed to act as a replacement for an actual singer, while Cantor was a tool for high levels of sound manipulation and experimentation and had capabilities beyond VOCALOID's realm of control.
Registering also allowed users to receive updates from VirSyn regularly.
Cantors singing results were inferior to VOCALOID, and there were no keyboard shortcuts.
Because of its design, it was more intended to resemble a virtual instrument than a virtual singer. It never claimed to mimic a real singer's voice, and was intended purely for special effects. This was a very different intention than that of VOCALOID, which was intended to produce realistic vocal results. However, both were based on the same concepts and ideas, and shared a number of similar designs.
- Cantor was used alongside Miriam's voice in the album Light + Shade with both used for the song "Tears of an Angel".
- When it was originally released Cantor was praised as "The Future of Music"; by 2010, this was a title being awarded to VOCALOID.
- The main difference between Cantor and VOCALOID is the speech synthesis utilized. Cantor utilized Formant synthesis while VOCALOID utilizes Concatenative synthesis.
- The name "Cantor" likely refers to the term given to someone who leads a group of singers in a church, in short the choir leader. Also, it is the word in some Latin-based languages as Asturian, Portuguese, Spanish and Venetian for singer.