The Macne Series (Mac音シリーズ/ Macne Shiriizu) is a series of voice banks designed for Reason and GarageBand, music sequencer software for the Macintosh operating system, developed by MI7 Japan Inc. and distributed by Act2.
- For more details see the Macne Series Wiki
The idea of releasing a voicebank for Macintosh computers was conceptualized in the Japanese voice actress Haruna Ikezawa's regular column 天声姫語 Vox Reginae, Vox Dei ("voice of princess, voice of god," a spoof of Asahi Shimbun's editorial article 天声人語 Vox Populi, Vox Dei or voice of the people, voice of god) carried in the magazine Mac Fan by Mainichi Communications.
Since then a number of vocals for the Macne series has been produced and there are currently 6 characters in the series. Each new character is created to become a part of the "Macne family" and so some have relationships with each other such as the twins "Macne Coco White" and "Macne Coco Black" and the Macnes' 'father' "Macne Papa". Some vocals have also been updated to new versions and older versions have been retired from sale.
Usage for MusicEdit
At the time of release, VOCALOID and UTAU were both released for the PC, leaving Macintosh computers with no such software for music users in Japan. The Macne series would serve to fill that void. For Mac users, the Macne series is one of the best options for vocal music creation as at the time of their first release there were few alternatives. This made them popular with Japanese software users of Reason and GarageBand. The characters are used in Reason or GarageBand by selecting one of them as an instrument and altering pitches and lengths of sound files.
They can also work normally on UTAU by converting their samples and providing a tuned oto.ini file, although the new files will not work with Reason or GarageBand. Users interested in using them for UTAU conversions must simply purchase the original versions and they will be allowed to then transfer the samples into UTAU. The reason for this allowance for the vocals to be converted is because they are sold under a open-source license unlike VOCALOID. So long as the user uses them as their intended purpose (as sound samples), there is no issue with what software they use it for, with UTAU being compactable with the license and terms of usage as it counts as using them as "sound samples" still.
The fact they were able to be used with UTAU has resulted in an increased popularity, offering a "VOCALOID quality" voicebank for use in UTAU. This is notable considering there are hundreds of voicebanks for UTAU and their quality varied per creator. Out of the main releases like Kasane Teto, Macne series are considered as some of the most reliable voicebanks. They may also be seen as easier to use for UTAU than their intended software releases.
Since the release of the Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki vocal, the Macnes have begun to contain already converted UTAU voicebanks.
The voicebanks in their original form are considered difficult to use or noted for being time consuming to use as there is no quick input method like with VOCALOID and UTAU. Results are usually heavily robotic when used outside of UTAU and they have almost no capabilities to sound human-like.
As UTAU they are not always the best quality in terms of language handling due to the fact they draw their samples from a limited pool of sounds. So even though the quality is good, the Macnes only contain just over 100 sounds in their vocal libraries, Macne Nana Petit's original vocal has the least amount of sounds, though was brought up to 104 sounds to match Macne Nana, while Macne Papa, at 118 sounds, has the largest amount of them.
Using them for Reason or GarageBand does not produce the same results when used for UTAU and the vocals can be a bit deeper in UTAU. This was later reflected when Nana and Petit became Vocaloids themselves in VOCALOID3 and VOCALOID4 and their Vocaloid voicebanks are intended to reflect a closer match to the original vocals in Reason and Garage Band.
Upon the release of Nana as a Vocaloid, all the past Voicebanks for Reason, Garage Band and UTAU have been retired. Some of the voice providers have moved on, with the Coco Twins's provider Kikuko Inoue voiced an entirely new Vocaloid, Haruno Sora, meaning that going forward the series is currently in limbo.
- Due to being commonly used in the UTAU software, they are often mistaken as UTAU voicebanks.
- They are also referred to as "Macloids", a pun on "VOCALOID".
- Their attire alludes to the Macintosh computer and various associated devices.
- The majority of western UTAU users who manage secure the UTAU voicebank for their own usage do not own the original voicebank and it is estimated that the number of users who own it illegally is quite high. Part of the problem was that because other UTAU voicebanks are shared freely, they presume the same for the Macne Series even though this is not the case. Especially during the VOCALOID2 era, their vocals were often shared among western communities.
- Part of the blame fell on a misinterpretation of "Open License" wherein users thought this meant they didn't have to own the original vocal.
- While sometimes the files were simply shared freely, MikuMikuDance models and UTAU voicebanks often were exchanged to gain access to further contents for both software, with the Macne series falling victim to this practice.