After some preliminary training tests on the Lyrebird AI voice synthesizer, I set up a nice mic and trained it properly with 50 sentences performed (20 more than their minimum). It was an interesting experiment with trying to make a voice synthesizer both expressive and musically useful, using what appears to be the best available voice synthesizer that you can train yourself. While the track feels ironcially comedic and certainly feels a bit sci-fi, I do hear some amount of effective, emotive longing to the lead vocal when put to this song.
I looped a D piano note in my headphones while reading the training sentences into the microphone, monotonously performing in unison all the words without natural English language pitch inflections. Ironically, I had to read as robotically as possible so that the output synthesis would be musically usefully. In the future I'd like to perform more Lyrebird trainings to build out an arsenal of different notes with this workaround technique so that I can reimagine new songs with more dynamic lead vocal melodies.
I think the classic Prince song takes on an interesting recontextualization here. In the original, Prince offers to make the ultimate sacrifice for his lover, invoking religious and cryptic poetics throughout. Here, those lines blend with the uncanny valley of AI generated vocals and my synthesized TTS lead vocal offers perhaps a more nuanced sacrifice - relinquished immortality.
What first came up in Lyrebird conversations with friends Patrick Presto and Alejandro Matamala was the ability to "cryogenically freezing" a loved ones voice before they passed away. We imagined capturing an ill grandparent's voice via Lyrebird so that their vocal essence would remain (theoretically immortal), perhaps to read future grandkids bedtime stories or recount family stories at holiday gatherings. The TTS implications of this are potentially wonderful, a nice thought to offset all the negative possibilities of identity forgery and bad actors in this space.
Training set was performed using a Rode K2 through a Universal Audio Apollo interface, edited in Ableton for arrangement of stanzas and rythmic expressiveness. Downloaded a Prince Karaoke track. Otherwise all audio essentially straight from Lyrebird's voice synthesizer.