Vocaloid 5 – Virtual Singers in Your Computer

Yamaha recently released the 5th version of their singing synthesizer software Vocaloid, this is the first update to the software in four years. Being that we love all things music tech we had to reach out and take the software for a ride, and it was incredible! First impressions blew us away and as we dove deeper our jaws stayed on the floor. Vocaloid 5 comes as and can be operated either as a standalone program or as an AU/VST plugin, for this review we ran the VST plugin with Ableton Live 10.


Major overhauls have been made to the workflow in order to improve efficiency for producers. Also, a wider range of singers has been added to the lineup to incorporate more diverse singing styles. The standard pack comes with four voices – Amy, Chris, Ken, and Kaori (we’ll go over those later), and the premium package comes with an additional four voicebanks – VY1, VY2, CYBER SONGMAN II, CYBER DIVA II (we only tinkered with the standard version so these voicebanks will not be featured in this article).

Right away it’s clear how to get started due to the interface looking so intuitive. You’ll be greeted by a zoomed out version of the Musical Editor which looks similar to an arrangement section found in most DAWs. There you can add audio tracks or more Vocaloid layers. Click on a Vocaloid layer and you’ll be taken to a zoomed in view where there are then essentially five sections for inputting pitch, lyrical data, controlling associated parameters and internal mixing.




The Musical Editor section is where you can draw in MIDI data for the singer’s melody. Double clicking on the notes will give you the ability to type in lyrics (you can also right click and select to open a dialog box to type into). There is a bit of a learning curve for getting the cadence of the singing just right but that varies depending on how wild you want to get with your lyrical delivery. While it isn’t immediately obvious how to split words up over notes the development team created a great system that is easy to pick up after using a few times. It’s impressive how intuitive it feels as you learn how to do it. Watch the short video below to learn how to input lyrics!



If you don’t fancy yourself much of a lyricist then you’ll be pleased to find a bank of over 2,000 audio samples and phrases. These each come with their own Attack and Release settings so simply click and drag onto the arrangement!



Once you’ve input the MIDI notes and lyrics for your progression you’ll be able to adjust the tonal qualities of the singing. In the Voice tab, you can select the singer you want. Each voice has a unique timbre, Yamaha provided a handy guide we pasted below to provide some direction.

  • Amy: Expressive English-language female voicebank, ideal for contemporary singing. The versatile voice boasts natural pronunciation and varied vocal tones, suited to genres from R&B to pop music.
  • Chris: Authentic R&B English-language male voicebank. Capable of singing over a wide range from delicate, soft bass to powerful, sustained high tones.
  • Kaori: Japanese-language female voicebank with a soulful vocal quality. Long vocal sustains make it perfect for powerful singing.
  • Ken: Sharp, clear Japanese-language male voicebank, with a light vocal quality ideal for singing J-pop.

Once you’ve decided which you like you can start to shape their singing style in the next tab labeled Style.




The Style tab is where you can really get specific about the qualities of your singer’s voice. It works as a browser where you can choose options and narrow it down based on certain characteristics like Type of singing (lead, background, etc.), then the Color of their voice (bright, cute, chaos, lo-fi, whisper, etc.). Selecting options within those two browsers will then display a few options for presets that contain those characteristics.

If you go back to the Musical Editor you will find the ability to precisely shape your singer’s delivery and expression. Click on the Attack and Release parameters (buttons under the label ‘Control’) to bring up a section where you can choose Pitch, Dynamics, Tone, and Ornamentation of the beginning and end of each lyric. The emotion button (left-most button under ‘Control’) will adjust how much vibrato your singer inserts into each syllable. This section is the most tedious but honestly the most fun. The available controls for expression are addicting to work with and finetune. Vocaloid 5 is designed so you don’t have to put too much time into this feature but the more you do the more precise and nuanced your vocal performance will be.



The singing style you chose earlier may have audio effects activated for the preset, Vocaloid contains 11 internal effects units to further shape the tone and quality of your singer’s voice! Clicking the button in the upper right corner will take you to the mixer section where you can adjust levels, pan tracks, and insert/control audio effects.



The internal audio effects work well enough for getting your vocals to a basic professional level. They have somewhat limited parameters compared to dedicated third-party plugins but sound good despite their limitations. They’ll be most useful to people working with a limited number of their own third-party plugins. Further processing may be required.

Vocaloid 5 is one of the most impressive pieces of software we ever had the pleasure of reviewing. The vocal presets are amazing, to begin with. Once you take advantage of all the tonal and expressive controls available you’ll be able to craft a realistic vocal performance, it is entirely possible to have an upfront vocal lead entirely performed by this plugin. If you’re skeptical try it out. If you still aren’t convinced then perhaps you’ll find more utility in using Vocaloid for backup singers which when tucked into a mix easily fade into their harmonic roles and hold their own weight.

We barely tapped into the creative potential for this plugin, but what we explored was nothing short of amazing. The robotic and SFX style presets for the singers are really really cool and will work seamlessly for producers working in more electronic-leaning genres like hip-hop or any sort of dance music.

Maybe you’re a lead singer looking for some backup singers but what total creative control, maybe you’re not a singer and need something to lead your vocal melody along. Perhaps you are simply looking to create high-quality vocal chops for your song! Whatever your needs are Vocaloid 5 is versatile, and powerful enough to tackle them.

Vocaloid 5 may require some more time to understand its functions than other plugins but dedicating 10 minutes to the instructional videos found on this page will be worth it in the long run. The standard package is available for purchase now at $249 and the premium is available for $398. You can select which one you want at this page here.


1 responses on "Vocaloid 5 - Virtual Singers in Your Computer"

  1. I love this new Vocaloid 5! I can’t stop beeing creative, it’s so easy to work with. It can handle a wide span of styles. Here Vocaloid 5 Amy goes heavy metal! An original Silwerwoulf song. This one shows you how versatile and realistic version 5 is. I’m stunned over how easy it is to work with and how good it sounds! Enjoy Amy performing some serious metal.
    Silwerwoulf – How long feat. Amy (Vocaloid 5):

Leave a Message


© 2020 Beat Lab Academy

About The Lab
Signup for Free Workshops and Ableton Goodies
Enter name and email below and we'll get you lit
Foundation of Music Theory
  • Rhythm Theory
  • Using Semitones and Intervals
  • Diatonic composition
  • Harmonizing and building chords
  • Styling
Learn the language of music to help you make the music you want to make, To communicate with other musicians and reveal the magic behind your favorie songs.
Progremming Beats
  • How Drum Racks work
  • Choosing the right samples
  • How to use Syncopation
  • Layering Techniques
  • Drum Processing methods
Sequence drums in any style using Ableton Live's Drum Racks. Learn tricks and techniques to take your beats to the next level.
Ableton Live 101
  • Why Ableton Live?
  • Session vs. Arrangement
  • Recording & Editing Audio
  • Live's Warp Engine
  • Using & customizing MIDI controllers
Experience the leading software today for modern music production.
Demystify the world of Ableton Live to make any style of music.
Thank you! We'll contact you shortly with more info and discounts.
  • History of Sampling
  • Hardware Samplers
  • Simpler vs. Sampler
  • Sampling your own instruments
  • Slicing Samples
Explore the endless world of sampling.
Add organic texture or make it into an instrument
Everything is possible with sampling
Using MIDI Controllers
  • Which Controller Should I Get?
  • Setting Up
  • Expression Controls
  • Advance MIDI Utilities
  • Playing Live Beats
Choose the right MIDI controller for your production/live needs.
Use MIDI remote scritps to enahce your workflow
Learn tricks and tips to customize your controller
Recording & Warping
  • Choosing the right mic
  • Setting up recording session
  • Working with other musicians
  • Time Stretching
  • Live's editing tools
Learn how to setup and record mics and instruments in Ableton Live.
Master the warp engine for syncronizing audio and sound design
Class Jams
  • Play in a band with your computer
  • Try out different instruments and MIDI controllers
  • Improvise on any given scale
  • Develop your ear for melodies, harmonies & Basslines
Play live with your classmates in the first modern ClassJam environment.
Develop collaboration skills, performance focus and improvisation techniques.
Structure & Styling
  • Active Listening
  • Pre-Determined Arrangement Techniques
  • BPM Ranges
  • Song Segments and how to use them
  • Finishing a full song
Get your own sound from analyzing and deconstrucing modern song structures.
Learn different musical genres to help you achive your own unique sound.
Please provide your name and email
  We hate spam as much as you. You will only get valuble content delievered.
Get Notified About Future Events
Music Theory 202
  • Parallel Harmony
  • Relative Scales
  • Pentatonic & Blues Scales
  • Jazz in Modern Music
  • Voicing Techniques
  • Borrowed Chords
Progress your composition skills by learning advanced music theory methods.
You will get a deeper understanding of how to produce strong harmonies, melodies and arrangements.
Ableton Live 202
  • The Launchbox
  • Modulation Vs. Automation
  • Session View Production Techniques
  • Advance Audio & MIDI Editing
  • Clip Envelopes
Learn advance Ableton techniques to take your production to the next level.
Everything is possible with Ableton Live let your imagination be your guide.
  • Analyzing Electronic vs. Acoustic music
  • Odd Time Signatures
  • Arrangment Styling
  • Sound Selection
  • Deconstructing Methods.
Learn the key characteristic of all popular music styles.
You have a specific style in mind you want to produce? We'll show you all the secrets.
  • Analog vs. Digital
  • Synth Signal Path
  • Oscillators, Filters, Envelopes and LFOs
  • Advance Modulators
  • Reverse Engineering
Take the sounds in your head and create them in the computer using synthesizers.
Demystify the vast world of virtual synths.
Sound Design
  • Advanced Time Stretching
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Fractal Soundscapes
  • Experiments in Sound
  • Field Recordings
  • The Art of Layering
Develop creative thinking by using multiple techniques to create unique and complex sounds.
Become a sonic master.
  • Ableton Link
  • Class Production Sessions
  • Project Managment
  • Real vs. Virtual instruments
  • Live Performance Routines
  • Rewiring
Collaborate with class mates with in-class synchronization.
Develope the skills needed to productevlly work with other musicians.
  • Choosing The Right Song to Remix
  • Flipping a Sample
  • Remixer Tools
  • Stems and Multi-Tracks
  • Preparing your Original Production for Remixing
Learn the art of remixing from top remixers in the industry.
Take your favorite songs and filp them with your own style.
Live Performance
  • DJing in Ableton Live
  • Preparing your Songs for Live Performance
  • Playing with a Band
  • Live Looping
  • DIY Controllers
Use the computer as a live musical performance tool.
DJ or play your own orgianls in any way you can imagine.
Max for Live
  • Max for Live Essentials
  • Modifying Exciting Devices
  • Creating your own Devices
  • Ableton as a Modular Environment
  • Live's API
  • VJing using Jitter
Explore the infinite potenital of Cycling 74's and Ableton's Max for Live.
Control Live in ways that weren't possible before.
Anything is possible with Max for Live
  • Win the Loudness Wars
  • Mastering Song vs. Album
  • Prepering Your Music for Distribution
  • Understanding the importance of Dynamic Range
Master your songs to sound as good as possible on as many playback systems as possible.
Learn the secrets on how to make your songs loud and punchy.
Finger Drumming
  • Choosing the Right Controller
  • Sound Design for Live Performance
  • Building Custom Racks
  • Using DIY Controllers
  • Planning your Controller's Configuration
Humanize your production or impress your audience on stage.
Build your own sound packs and develope your live performace skill with finger drumming.
Live Looping
  • Hardware Looping
  • Using Live's Looper
  • Live Looping in the Session View
  • Automatic Loop Recording using MIDI Scripts
  • Setup and Routing
Master the art of live looping with virtual instruments, conventional instruments and mics.
Come up with quick musical ideas, build your songs live on stage.
Online Presence
  • Social Media
  • How to Reach Out to Labels
  • Booking Shows
  • Getting Signed
  • Getting more Followers
  • Making a Music Video
Develop your artist brand and get your music heard by the right people.
Book shows, tours and festivals.
Find the right label and make music your career.
Entertainment Law
  • Clearing Samples
  • Commercial vs. Indie Distribution
  • Getting your music on TV and Film
  • Working with a Manager
  • Copyright your Music
  • Performance Rights
Understand the legallty behind the music industry.
Get the most out of your shows and releases. Maximize income streams.
Distribute your music the right way.
Production Sessions
  • Class Jams
  • Live Routines Assignments
  • Additive Composition
  • Produce other Classmates
  • Online Collaboration Methods
  • Musical Chairs
Collaborate in class.
Get private mentorship sessions from Beat Lab's instructors
Learn how to add part of yourself creatively to an exciting song.
  • Understanding How Sound Work
  • Gain Staging
  • Controlling the Stereo Field
  • Using Compressor & EQs
  • Using Time Based Effects
  • Bussing and Pre-Mastering
Master the art of sound mixing.
Make your music sound more clear, punchy and loud.
Learn the techniques and tools to help you take your music to the next level.
Mondays-Wednesdays: 4/25/16
Tuesdays-Thursdays: 4/26/16
Now Offering Day Classes
Our certification program is now available during the day. 6 months of intensive, comprehensive music production classes. Fill your email below and we'll send you ALL the details. Dates, scheduling, pricing & payment plans available.
We would never spam or give your email to anyone
Free Class Visits Available
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Your Free Download
we hate spam
We got the exclusives
We would never spam or give your email to anyone
Free Class Visits Available
Free Class Visits Available
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Sing up for the 6 months certification program and get Serum - Wavetable Synthesis class for free.
We would never spam or give your email to anyone
Your Free Download
we hate spam
CONTEST - Accusonus x Beat Lab Giveaway
Win Free Plugins!
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Interested in a free class? Enter your number below to join
Application for 2020 Winter Semester are now open.
Fill Your Email Below or more details
We would never spam or give your email to anyone
Free Class Visits Available
Free Class Visits Available
Your Free Download
we hate spam
Enter your information below for free immediate access to the Masterclass Vault.
Please enjoy streaming 10 online masterclasses taught by Ableton Certified Trainer Yeuda Ben-Atar FREE until August 13th!
You might receive occasional emails from us including free downloads and upcoming classes/workshops