Voctro Labs, S.L. is a company born as an spin-off of the MTG, the group involved in the VOCALOID's development in association with Yamaha. The company's goal is to provide voice synth-related technology such as Voiceful, and they were the first one to release Spanish VOCALOID voicebanks: Bruno and Clara.[1]

About[edit | edit source]

Established on December 2011, Voctro-Labs, S.L. is the third spin-off company born from the Music Technology Group (MTG) in the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). The company was founded by Jordi Janer, Oscar Mayor, Merlijn Blaauw and Jordi Bonada, with the support of the Innovation Unit of the UPF and the second prize of the Valortec 2011.[2]

Around 2009 the MTG started to develop two Spanish voices for Vocaloid that eventually will become the Vocaloids Bruno and Clara. According Voctro Labs, the process wasn't continuous, as they had to adapt the Vocaloid engine to the Spanish language and establish the company first.[3]

Aware the Spanish market is more difficult than the English and Japanese ones (mainly due the piracy and as the software less known), the company has opted to a different business model to said markets. In 2012, they presented a prototype of an English male voice during their press conference on the interest to the synthesized voice. In 2014, a sample of the voice (which is now improved) has resurfaced and is considered a test voice VOCALOID4 software. (growl at the end seems to show) [4]

During an interview in a Spanish radio program, Voctro Labs confirmed that half of their team keeps working on developing VOCALOID via the MTG.[5]

Voctro Labs eventually left VOCALOID to develop their own vocal synthesizing software: Voiceful. Despite this, they are still currently in partnership with YAMAHA, co-developing VOCALOID's regular engine. [6][7]

Key people[edit | edit source]

Xavier Serra.jpg Xavier Serra was born in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) and from a very young age he maintained a dual interest in music and science.

After obtaining the PhD, Xavier Serra was hired by the Japanese company YAMAHA at a research center that the company established in California, Yamaha Music Technologies. There he continued for two years his research on audio processing applied to sound synthesis, working specially with the singing voice.

Jordi Bonada.jpg Jordi Bonada is a researcher of the MTG in the same university while leading several projects funded by public and private institutions. In 2003 he was a visiting researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden), and later in 2010 at the CIRMMT (McGill University) in Montreal (Canada).

Jordi Bonada received an award by Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation due his contribution and patents generated in collaboration with Yamaha, including Vocaloid software[8]

Interviews and presentations[edit | edit source]

  • "Catalunya Ràdio's interview (Generación Digital)" by voctrolabs ft. voctrolabs
    Favicon-yt.pngYouTube
  • "Tinc Una Idea's TV Report" by voctrolabs ft. voctrolabs
    Favicon-yt.pngYouTube
  • "TEDx Interview" by TEDx Talks ft. voctrolabs
    Favicon-yt.pngYouTube
  • "Interview on TV3 (Part 1)" by MusicTechnologyGroup ft. voctrolabs
    Favicon-yt.pngYouTube
  • "Interview on TV3 (Part 2)" by MusicTechnologyGroup ft. voctrolabs
    Favicon-yt.pngYouTube

Voicebanks[edit | edit source]

VOCALOID3[edit | edit source]

Unreleased[edit | edit source]

Main article: Status

ONA is an alternate avatar for MAIKA's voicebank, designed to appeal the western public less familiarized with the VOCALOID phenomena. The mascot and Catalan settings, however, are not commercially released.

Promotional involvement[edit | edit source]

Fanart Contest[edit | edit source]

During the promotions of both Bruno and Clara, a contest was announced on November 10, 2011. Submissions were closed on December 10, and voting (by visitors) was open from December 10 to December 17, 2011. The rules stated that the image depict both Bruno and Clara in a single submission. Both characters should be drawn in a similar style to their debut, that being the overall ‘look’ (clothing, hair/eye color, etc.) of the current characters. However, artistic freedom was allowed.

The winner(s) would earn the prize of having Bruno & Clara voice libraries as direct downloads, while the second prize was a choice between Bruno or Clara voice library (winner’s choice) as direct download.

The contest was spawned from negative messages from those who were disappointed with the art for the voices, as many were expecting a more "manga"-like style that is typically associated with Vocaloid such as Crypton.

The winners were announced on the 19th of December.[9]

Job Plug-ins[edit | edit source]

VoctroLabs have released various Plug-ins to help Bruno & Clara users, like Vocaloid users in general.

Involvement in Plan B[edit | edit source]

VoctroLabs collaborated in the 2nd edition of Plan Balletines (Plan B), a collaborative project sponsored by Ballantine's where the people can help to create the lyrics for a famous artist. In this edition participated the Spanish band, La Oreja de Van Gogh.[10]

VoctroLabs provided the tools that allowed to the participants listen their written lyrics sung by a virtual female voice through the official website using NetVocaloid synthesis. It was revealed this voice was a new Vocaloid that was being developed by the company.[11] Eventually the company announced they're planning on releasing this voice to the public, however they don't have a date for this yet.[12]

The contest ended the December 29, 2012 with the song Otra vez me has sacado a bailar chosen as winner among the 15,000 entries.[13] The song was available for purchase and download at January 22, 2013 and the band officially debut it in the Premios 40 Principales 2013.

La Mercè Concert[edit | edit source]

Voctro Labs, in collaboration with The Lab Barcelona and La Merced (ICUB),[14] was behind the virtual concert display during Mercè Festival at Ciutadella Park on September 20, 2013.[15]

This concert was the debut of ONA, the alternate avatar created for promote the new voicebank developed for Plan B among the western public, less familiarized with the VOCALOID phenomena. The novelty behind the concert was the interaction with the public as the people could either control the movement of the virtual singers and propose the lyrics sang in the concert via Twitter.[16][17]

MAIKA Original Song Contest[edit | edit source]

Main article: MAIKA Original Song Contest

To help promote MAIKA, Voctro Labs organized and set up an original song contest for her on 25th, February 2014.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The company's location is where the Vocaloid was developed between the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and Yamaha Corporations in Japan.[18]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. MTG - MTG creates Voctro Labs, a new spin-off company
  2. Voctro Labs - Company
  3. link
  4. link
  5. http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/fallo-de-sistema/fallo-sistema-365-voz-maquinas-30-06-19/5297039/ - Radio Televisión Española 3, June 30, 2019
  6. https://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/fallo-de-sistema/fallo-sistema-365-voz-maquinas-30-06-19/5297039/ - Radio Televisión Española 3, June 30, 2019 (around 13:19)
  7. https://www.voiceful.io/ - Clients section mentions "Yamaha - Vocaloid" which was created/updated around July 2020
  8. MTG - Award by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII)
  9. Vocaloidism: Bruno and Clara fanart contest winners
  10. Sony Music España - LA OREJA DE VAN GOGH PRESENTA PLAN B, UN PROYECTO REVOLUCIONARIO PARA LA CREACIÓN DE MÚSICA A TRAVÉS DE INTERNET
  11. Bruno & Clara's Facebook: Official Announcement
  12. link
  13. Sony Music España - "Otra Vez Me Has Sacado A Bailar", La Canción De La Oreja De Van Gogh Y El Plan B
  14. VocaloidOtaku - Bilingual VOCALOID By VoctroLabs: ONA
  15. link
  16. Voctro's channel - Concert Cantants Virtuals Ona, Bruno i Clara a la Mercè 2013
  17. link
  18. Wikipedia: Vocaloid

External links[edit | edit source]

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