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GENERAL USAGE

Product Information
Versions
  Trial/Demo Vers?: Yes  Starter Available?: "VOCALOID5 Plus" promotion only[1]
Package details as noted:

This is an improved version of the previous VOCALOID2 version of Megurine Luka. The software is designed to work with Piapro's new function, which favours professional vocals rather than voice acted. These work with the Japanese HARD/SOFT vocals to allow access to addition samples from voicebanks; POWER 1, POWER 2, NATIVE, WHISPER, CUTE, SOFT, DARK, HUSKY and FALSETTO which are included in the E.V.E.C plug-in.

The inclusion of two English vocals, extra vocals for XSY and EVEC made Luka V4X one of the most extensive packages for sale at the time of the release, if not the most. This is notable as while single aspects may be easier to use for beginners, the complexity of the overall package when used as a whole is more suited to professional or expert Vocaloid-users.

Also in addition to this, unlike the VOCALOID2 release, Yū Asakawa felt Luka sounded like her real voice.[2] The Package itself is based upon "Breath".[3]

This package comes with Piapro Studio plug-in version. It was announced in August 2017 with the release of Hatsune Miku V4 Chinese that this vocal would have its own version of the Standalone Piapro Studio software. However, as of 1st Jan 2019 this version of Piapro Studio has failed to be released.[4]

The software comes with a Piapro Studio version of Cryptons DAW "Studio One ARTIST", which includes various vocal effects and other tools. This includes also a resource pack with 200 virtual instruments. The complete package of Piapro Studio and Studio One ARTIST means that anyone buying this release can get started in music straight away with no need to purpose any further software, and all will work together with each other without any problems. This bundle is included in both the normal and English bundled versions of the software.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • The tempo range has greatly increased, allowing Luka to not only cover more genres of music, but its expansion in particular allows for far faster songs than what previously had been able to be achieved comfortably with the VOCALOID2 version. The range of tempo is the same for both vocals, meaning both cover the same genres of music.
  • This was the only V4x product which offered both the Japanese and English voicebacks as standard. In the case of Kagamine Rin & Len V4 English and Hatsune Miku V4 English, both packages were either sold separately or bundled with their V4x packages.
  • This is the cheapest "complete" V4x package as includes both Vocaloid Japanese and English vocals where Miku and the Kagamines packages sell the English vocals as a complete bundle at higher price.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Triphones Added
Software issues as noted:
  • While certain aspects alone are easier to use than others, when taken as a whole the Luka V4X is not a beginner friendly package and is more suited to a professional or advanced level of producers. This is due to its complexity or variety of vocals and functions within the package, particularly in regards to EVEC.
  • Several quality issues regarding to the technology behind Luka V4X were noted, the most notorious being the lack of smoothness in both Japanese and English libraries and the constant glitches and warp audio noise at certain points of her performance, forcing users to handle the voicebank on a higher complexity level.
  • Like the VOCALOID3 Crypton Future Media, Inc. VOCALOID vocals, as it does not come with VOCALOID4 itself and has Piapro Studio supplied instead.
  • More concerns came with the handling of the package pre and post release;
    • When released, there was little help provided on how to use her software: particularly, coverage of E.V.E.C. was low. Magazines covering the Luka V4X package couldn't or didn't necessarily cover every aspect of the product due to its size. With almost no tutorials covering every single aspect of the feature, this means most support at the time came from the Vocaloid community, or from End User trial and error.
    • While more a criticism on the package handling than an issue with the software, compared to past releases, there were very few demos of Luka V4x as a whole. Most coverage of the package in regards to its promotion focused on E.V.E.C. and not on the VOCALOID vocals, with its main promotion relying on the "Hard" trial release. This created its own problems as users had few examples to gather ideas from.
  • This software does not come with the full VOCALOID4 editor.
  • As of VOCALOID5, the Megurine Luka V4x has taken a hit due to its heavily reliance on E.V.E.C., as Piapro Studio currently has a mixture of issues with VOCALOID5 despite still working with the engine. Users should be aware of this when purchasing the package due to its current state.
    • Cyrpton Future Media, however, have noted Piapro Studio is being updated and supported still making this possibly only a temporary issue.
    • The current easiest usage of Luka is just via her 6 voicebanks alone, and ignoring both E.V.E.C.(unless the user is adapt at inserting its functions manually) and XSY (which is not a function of VOCALOID5 at all). Though this gives limited function compared to the other V4x packages.
Cross-Synthesis as noted:
  • Without the full version of the VOCALOID4 engine XSY cannot be used - limiting the user to E.V.E.C. only.

JAPANESE DB

Product Information
Vocal traits as noted:
  • Improved quality compared to the V2 library.
  • The issue with her throat sounding tight on higher pitches has been addressed, so she handles this range better.
  • Maintains the same feminine timbre as the original V2 package.
  • Adjustments made to the tension in the vocal to improve its realism. Luka's voice provider also confirmed that this particular voicebank is intended to sound more realistic than the VOCALOID2 version.[5]
  • The "core" Luka vocal was worked upon to make it more expressive, allowing for extreme pitches.
  • The vocal has also has more flexibility added to it.
  • Just as with Hatsune Miku V3, the overall range of Luka's voice has been lowered. She no longer reaches the high notes she did in VOCALOID2. She has a slight vocal range increase compared to her previous release.
  • In contrast to the Kagamine Rin & Len V4X and Hatsune Miku V4X vocals that followed how Luka V4x works is reversed. Instead of having multiple tones and are coloured to a certain expression, Luka has two expressions to begin with and they are coloured different tones.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Triphones Added
Software issues as noted:
  • Overall;
    • Users noted that she has several phonetic glitches, especially when using the E.V.E.C. voice colors.
    • Both VOCALOID4 and E.V.E.C. voicebanks have issues related with choppiness between the transitions.
    • Neither "HARD" nor "SOFT" are true recreations of her original V2 Japanese voicebank. This means that those wanting a faithful recreation of the original V2 vocal using only VOCALOID4's software alone will not be able to achieve this in either Voice's unedited state. Even with use of XSY, it is not possible to get the same results V2 Japanese Luka created. Using E.V.E.C. "Native" is the only way to achieve results somewhat close to the old V2 voice, as Native is based on the original vocal's qualities and traits, but is still quite different.
  • Upon release of her trial, users reported distortion on her high notes.
  • Some users found her VOCALOID voicebank to contain Noise background.
Cross-Synthesis as noted:

  • All 4 vocals can use XSY.
    • Because of the fact "SOFT" and "SOFT_EVEC" are identical, as well as "HARD" and "HARD_EVEC" being identical, discountinging E.V.E.C. the vocal variations offered by the package are the equivalent to 2 additional voicebanks and a total of 4 theoretical voicebnks are offered in total within the package.
    • Without the use of XSY, there are 18 variations offered via E.V.E.C. colours using SOFT_EVEC and HARD_EVEC. Once XSY is applied, 108 variations can be achieved, a total of 126 varitions are on offer from E.V.E.C. alone.
  • "HARD/HARD_EVEC", "HARD_EVEC/HARD", "SOFT_EVEC/SOFT" and "SOFT/SOFT_EVEC" weren't really designed for XSY together and produce only subtle results at best. So this lowers the amount of variation with the overall vocal. Such combines rely on the Voice colours; this can hve almost no impact on the voice, if any at all. Without colouring the voice, there is no noticeable difference at all.
  • SOFT EVEC and HARD EVEC present the most potential problematic XSY combination of the package. Depending on which colour is used depends on the impact of both vocals. At their worst, both vocals produce metallic sounds, which result in a low quality XSY result with a great deal of undesired faults.

  • From Ver.4.3.0 of the Vocaloid engine onwards, a XSY group "Megurine Luka V4x" was added to Vocaloid. All vocals within the "Megurine Luka V4x" group can XSY with each other. This vocal release is part of this group. If a User owns one or more vocal releases within the "Megurine Luka V4x" group, XSY between them will open up.[6][7]
    • Currently only one release is found within this group Megurine Luka V4X, making it limited in XSY choices.
    • The group has 4 unique voicebanks; "Hard", "Soft", "Hard_EVEC" and "Soft_EVEC".

E.V.E.C. as noted:
  • The biggest issue of the package was focused mostly on the new EVEC system; it received much criticism and negativity. The criticism generally were complaints such as (but not limited to); unsatisfactory and low quality results, difficulty when using it, lack of significant difference between Voice Colours, and several glitches. Much of the complaints are due to EVEC being relatively new as a function both for its developers themselves and for the producers using it.
  • The voice of E.V.E.C "DARK" is reported as much harder to balance.[8]
  • Some users were dissatisfied with the strength of her overall "Power" colours. The impact on the vocal for the most point only tends to make it louder and not strengthen specs of the vocals, such as add tension or impact of treble/bass ranges. As a result, they do not mimic the effect of true "Power"-esque Vocals for VOCALOID. Most notable of all, there is not much difference between the two, to the point sometimes its hard to tell which was even used and at times they barely make an impact at all.
  • Despite the number of colours offered by Voice Colour, there was not actually a great deal of expression offered overall as most were too subtle to notice. The Kagamine Rin & Len V4X and Hatsune Miku V4X packages that followed actually had more expression because they switched the roles voicebank and colours as seen in Luka from expression being coloured with tones to tones being coloured with expression.
  • The lack of variation becomes more noticable when XSY is brought into use. Some of the differences between colours become so subtle they barely make an impact on the results. This is particular notable when E.V.E.C. was designed to expand on the capabilities of XSY, making the use of E.V.E.C. with XSY sometimes not worth it depending what voicebank and colours are in use. This is because while "Soft" is looser in its pronunciations then "Hard", overall they aren't too different with each other to begin with, with even some EVEC combinations once again not sounding greatly different between either voicebank.
  • One of the additional functions of EVEC was "Consonant extension" feature. This should have allowed more expression by extending the consonant and depending on which voicebank was used for Luka. The result was a feature that should have worked well with GWL to give more expression and would allow effects such as "shouting". Instead, the feature was barely noticeable enough to impact the vocal enough and was reworked in later V4x releases and replaced with the "Pronunciation extension" feature.


Individual JAPANESE DB

Product Information
Optimum
  Optimum Range: E2 ~ F4  Optimum Tempo: 50 ~ 170 BPM
  Total Tempo (min-max): 120 BPM  No. of Keys: W ~ 16, B ~ 10, Total ~ 26
Package details as noted:

"Japanese DB HARD" is characterized by a powerful voice that increases in strength as the pitch gets higher. It can be switched with "HARD_EVEC" to turn off the effect of EVEC.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • It’s possible to set accents in the voice such as adding intensity of mouth closure and partially creating a cuter voice tone.
Software issues as noted:
  • Some users stated that outside of her mid range, she sounds completely different compared to the original V2 package.
  • She can sound muffled if not edited correctly.
  • HARD and HARD EVEC at their core are the same vocal, with only the EVEC function separating them. Mixing HARD and HARD EVEC therefore can have the least impact on each other.
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X Hard

Luka V4X JPN Hard
Cross-Synthesis as noted:
  • When used for XSY as a secondary vocal, this vocal will sharpen the sounds further for SOFT, HARD EVEC and SOFT EVEC.
  • The most natural XSY result for this vocal is produced between HARD and HARD EVEC.
  • Mixing "Hard" and "soft" are the most controllable XSY combination of the package since there are only standard VOCALOID voicebank variables between them and they don't factor any additional variables from EVEC. On the other hand, this is the least experimental combination.

Product Information
Optimum
  Optimum Range: E2 ~ F4  Optimum Tempo: 50 ~ 170 BPM
  Total Tempo (min-max): 120 BPM  No. of Keys: W ~ 16, B ~ 10, Total ~ 26
Package details as noted:

"Japanese DB SOFT" is characterized by a soft and gentle voice. It can be switched with SOFT_EVEC to turn off the EVEC effect.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • This DB is considered the closest to her original V2 package, though is still notoriously different.
  • This DB is also considered the easier one to use out of the Japanese voicebanks.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • More to come
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X Soft

Luka V4X JPN Soft
Cross-Synthesis as noted:
  • When used for XSY as a secondary vocal, this vocal will loosen the sounds further for HARD, HARD EVEC and SOFT EVEC.
  • XSY between SOFT and SOFT EVEC produces little variation as at its core, "SOFT EVEC" is the same vocal as SOFT.

Product Information
Package details as noted:

"Japanese DB HARD_EVEC" allows access to EVEC within Piapro Studio. It can be switched out in place "HARD" to allow access to EVEC within a song.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • According to her site, it's suitable for expressing sharpness and precision in the voice when combined with the Voice Color control of E.V.E.C.
  • All 9 "colours" have hard-pronunciations and offer more dramatic contrasts between them than "Japanese DB SOFT_EVEC".
  • Allows for a range of accurately controlled tones.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Allows for delicate editing per phonetic.
Software issues as noted:
  • Can be difficult to balance some of the "HARD EVEC" sounds.
  • Can be difficult for new producers to master.
  • Constantly produces metallic results if not handled properly.
  • XSY related;
    • SOFT EVEC and HARD EVEC present the most potential problematic XSY combination of the package. Depending on which colour is used depends on the impact of both vocals. At their worst, both vocals produce metallic sounds, which result in a low quality XSY result with a great deal of metallic noise.
    • HARD and HARD EVEC are at their core the same vocal, depending on the colour used the vocals make produce little impact on XSY.
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X HARD singing "Sarishonohara" with E.V.E.C.

Luka hard evec sample
Cross-Synthesis as noted:

XSY related;

    • Depending on which EVEC colour was used, the impact of XSY on this vocal is effected.
    • The most natural XSY result for this vocal is produced between HARD and HARD EVEC.
    • The most variations between two vocals for XSY within this package are caused by mixing certain HARD EVEC and SOFT EVEC colours.

Product Information
Package details as noted:

"Japanese DB SOFT_EVEC allows access to EVEC within Piapro Studio. It can be switched out in place "SOFT" to allow access to EVEC within a song.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • According to Crypton, by combining the Voice Color function of E.V.E.C together, it’s possible to express the fragile sound of breathing that is suited for singing a ballad.
  • All 9 "colours" have loose or soft pronunciation.
  • Allows for an array of tones full of expression.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Allows for delicate editing of phonetics
Software issues as noted:
  • Compared to "HARD EVEC", "SOFT EVEC" tends to have much less differences between each tone.
  • Can be difficult for new producers to master.
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X Soft singing "Sarishonohara" with E.V.E.C.

Luka soft evec sample
Cross-Synthesis as noted:
  • XSY related;
    • The most natural XSY result is between SOFT and SOFT EVEC.
    • The most variations between two vocals for XSY within this package are caused by mixing certain HARD EVEC and SOFT EVEC colours.
    • XSY between SOFT and SOFT EVEC are at their core the same vocal and produces very little differences between them at times. Compared to HARD and HARD EVEC, SOFT and SOFT EVEC have even less variation between them, making XSY between the two at times so subtle that it may not even be worth XSY the pair.

ENGLISH DB

Product Information
Vocal traits as noted:
  • Improved English qualities compared to her VOCALOID2 version.
  • The overall voice range has been lowered so she no longer reaches the same high notes as before. In addition, there is a noticeable shrinkage within the overall range itself.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Triphones Added
Software issues as noted:
  • Is not set up to work with "E.V.E.C" like the Japanese vocals are.
  • The overall voicebank still has a notorious Japanese accent.
  • Both voices find "growl" (GWL) limited as a feature in terms of usefulness.
  • The English package is a completely re-edited voicebank as it is not a direct update of her original V2 vocal, making it different compared to the first release.
  • Due to the difference in the vocal range, while she covers the same genres of music, her English vocals are not a match for her Japanese vocals' vocal range. This makes it harder to hide changes of voicebank between the two languages.
Cross-Synthesis as noted:

  • "Straight" and English "Soft" can be cross synthesized (XSY) together, offering the first example of cross synthesized English vocals for the software.
    • the package offers the equivalent of 2 additional voicebanks achievable via XSY. The total tone variation offered by the package comes to a theoretical 4 voicebanks in total.

  • From Ver.4.3.0 of the Vocaloid engine onwards, a XSY group "Megurine Luka V4x English" was added to Vocaloid. All vocals within the "Megurine Luka V4x English" group can XSY with each other. This vocal release is part of this group. If a User owns one or more vocal releases within the "Megurine Luka V4x English" group, XSY between them will open up.[9][10]
    • Currently only one release is found within this group Megurine Luka V4X, making it limited in XSY choices.
    • The group has 2 unique voicebanks; "Native" and "Soft".


Individual ENGLISH DB

Product Information
Optimum
  Optimum Range: G#2 ~ C4  Optimum Tempo: 50 ~ 170 BPM
  Total Tempo (min-max): 120 BPM  No. of Keys: W ~ 10, B ~ 7, Total ~ 17
Package details as noted:

"English DB STRAIGHT" is characterized by its "smooth voice quality with a natural pronunciation", according to her site. This vocal has the tone of the VOCALOID2 original English vocal.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • This vocal has been greatly improved over the VOCALOID2 version.
  • On higher notes, produces a slight metallic sound.
  • Is intended to maintain the same timbre as the original V2 voicebank, with much better English accuracy.
  • Improved English.
  • Despite being based on the previous VOCALOID2 version, the overall vocal range is different to the original, and she now covers a different range.
  • Has a larger tempo range than the original VOCALOID2 version, allowing her to cover more genres of music.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Tends to produce "r" sounds strongly.
  • Issues with her notorious Japanese accent can notably leave her sounding "strange" to native English speakers. Though this is common in non-native vocals, this is a notorious problem compared to previous voicebanks of the same kind.
  • Wrong pronunciation of [@r], [I] and [@U] sound; V2 Luka does not have this issue.
Software issues as noted:
  • Contains several audio warp noises due to the way recordings were created.
  • Unlike the previous VOCALOID2 version, the vocal range does not match the Japanese vocal range. This makes switching languages mid-song more noticeable as tones may not match. This also means that the voice does not cover the same music genres as the Japanese voicebanks, forcing producers to edit more delicately when trying to combine both languages in the same song.
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X ENGLISH Straight

Luka V4X ENG Straight


Product Information
Optimum
  Optimum Range: G#2 ~ C4  Optimum Tempo: 50 ~ 170 BPM
  Total Tempo (min-max): 120 BPM  No. of Keys: W ~ 10, B ~ 7, Total ~ 17
Package details as noted:

"English DB SOFT" is characterized by its "soft and gentle voice", according to her site.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • Is a more expressive voice compared to the "Straight" vocal.
  • This is the first released variant English vocal for Vocaloid.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • Tends to pronounce "r" sounds strongly.
  • Just as with the "Straight" vocal, Luka's accent can leave her sounding "strange" to native speakers. Though this is a common trait of non-native vocals, this is a noticeable problem with this vocal in particular.
  • Wrong pronunciation of [@r], [I] and [@U] sound; V2 Luka does not have this issue.
Software issues as noted:
  • Soft has limited English capabilities compared to Straight.
  • This voicebank also suffers the same problem of having no matching Japanese voicebank, so switching languages mid-song can be noticeable at times.
Voicebank sample

MEGURINE LUKA V4X ENGLISH Soft

Luka V4X Eng Soft
Cross-Synthesis as noted:
  • Even though both voicebanks are intended to be different, some users noted that Soft is pretty similar to Straight with few differences between them, thus limiting the capabilities of the cross synthesis function in the process. [11]


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