The Macne Series (Mac音シリーズ Makune Shirīzu?) is a series of voicebanks designed for Reason 4 and GarageBand. They are the music sequencer softwares for the Macintosh operating system, developed by MI7 Japan and distributed by act2, Inc.
Following the rising popularity of VOCALOID2 and Hatsune Miku, which only worked on Windows operating systems, a voicebank for Macintosh computers was conceptualized by the Japanese voice actress Ikezawa Haruna's regular column Vox Reginae, Vox Dei carried in the magazine Mac Fan by Mainichi Communications. Ikezawa provided her voice for the first Macloid Macne Nana, and other voice actors and actresses later joined the project as Macne gained popularity.
The Macne FamilyEdit
The Macne have the distinction of being a family unit, a concept which was similarly thought of within the Vocaloid series at the time, although it was never established. Though this family status is subject to change with each new release and is not always taken into account, as like with Vocaloid producers can choose to ignore and adapt the Macnes to their own whim.
- Macne Papa - As his name suggests, he is the "father" of the Macne's, the others are his daughters.
- Macne Coco White/Macne Coco Black - The Coco twins are the eldest "daughters" of the Macne family.
- Macne Nana - Macne Nana is currently the third eldest child.
- Macne Petit - The youngest member of the family, originally known as "Macne Nana Petit".
- Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki - A teenage magical girl, she is actually Macne Petit after using a special wand to transform.
List of vocalsEdit
A total of 9 voicebanks have been released between the Macne vocals:
- Macne Nana
- Macne Nana Petit
- Macne Coco/Macne Coco White
- Macne Papa
- Macne Coco Black
- Macne Coco Black ver.2
- Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki
- Macne Nana S2
- Macne Petit S2
- Macne Papa version 2 - Canceled 2012
- Devil-themed vocal (opposite of Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki)
The Macnes are supported by an "open license" agreement, which permits users to use them for a variety of music based software; a contrast to Vocaloid vocals which can only be used for the Vocaloid software. Therefore, certain aspects about them vary with what software they are used for and the results for use with one software will not be identical to another.
The Macne's were originally intended to work with both Reason 4 and GarageBand, although Macne Nana was the only one produced who can handle both softwares naturally. In Reason, Macne Nana is a lot more robotic than she is for UTAU and is used only via a sample import system. Despite the exclusion from later Macne packages, there are still methods of using these packages with this software.
The Macne series has been primarily built for handling with the GarageBand software starting with Macne Nana Petit. They work much the same way as they did with Reason4. Results are heavily robotic and their ability to sound human-like is limited. They rely primarily on the software itself to be able to pitch themselves correctly. Each Macne, initially with the exception of Macne Nana Petit, was released with their vocals in three scales to cover the full Japanese language (this works out to be 50 sounds per pitch) and each sample is 2-4 seconds long.
Starting with Macne Coco White and Coco Black, the Macnes are able to be used on the Apple Loops Utility, allowing them to be used with a variety of plug-ins that support the software. Again, they work primarily as sample plug-ins and must be set to the "vocals" folder. Apple Loops allows the Macnes to be used with all Apple Inc. software expanding their uses into Soundtrack Pro, Logic Express, and Logic Pro.
After methods were discovered to make the Macnes UTAU voicebanks, the support was given by their developers and information on "how" to make them work for UTAU became more well known. Recent updates to the Macnes have even begun to release an UTAU voicebank for sale saving time to import the vocals into UTAU. The advantage this gave was that the Macnes could sound more human-like than in Reason or Garageband and they became more popular for use with UTAU.
The Macnes have become popular amongst UTAU users for their almost "Vocaloid-like" quality. Though still fairly robotic in nature, even as UTAU voicebanks, they are still considered overall some of the most reliable vocals. The reason is that there are literally hundreds of voicebank libraries for UTAU; so finding reliable or trustworthy ones often proves difficult. As well as this, the Macnes also are supported by their developers; another situation many UTAUloids do not have.
However, the difference between them and most UTAUloids is that unlike many other UTAUloids, the Macnes require the producers to purchase their vocals. Though this is not unique to the Macne's, most vocals are usually issued in UTAU for free. The price of each Macne were much cheaper than Vocaloid vocals. The cost of buying their vocals ensured that support and development continued for their products. As with the use of Reason and Garageband, the licensing agreements of the Macnes are clear for them and are relatively easy to look up, though this is not always the case for all UTAU vocals.
Since Whisper☆Angel Sasayaki's release, UTAU voicebanks have been issued with the Macne family and Macne Nana S2 and Macne Petit S2 both included a UTAU vocal bank library with their purchases. This means users do not have to exploit the samples themselves. Macne Coco Black and White, the original Macne Nana and Macne Nana Petit, as well as Macne Papa do not have official UTAU voicebanks.
In 2013, VOCALOID NEO (a version of VOCALOID3 for the Mac) was released. However, though the news was promising, Ikezawa Haruna had no budget for a VOCALOID production. Later, after things were sorted to produce the VOCALOID3 version, teasers were left hinting at Macne Nana being produced for VOCALOID3. This was later confirmed on Macne Nana's Twitter account.
On March 28th, MI7 Japan officially announced that Nana was updating to the VOCALOID4 engine and that Macne Petit would be joining her.
There has been increasing demand for the others to join Nana and Petit, however, there is no money for such a project. However, negotiations with investors are being made. Crowdfunding may also have to take place.
- Their attire are all based on the Macintosh computers themselves. For example, Macne Coco White has USB ports on her back.