I'm listening to the famous intro of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody but the vocals are coming straight from a keyboard. Every key that's hit produces a new word, following the tune. It's clearly machine made but it's also very impressive.
This is the new Casiotone CT-S1000V keyboard with vocal synthesis. It's a function that allows the keyboard to take any song lyrics or phrases and turn them into song, matching either words or syllables to each note you play. The lyrics are entered using the Casio Lyric Creator app on your phone or tablet and then transferred to the CT-S1000V via USB.
There are 22 vocal types to choose from ranging from Daft Punk-style robots to whispered voices and choirs. You can also change the sex and age of the vocal to fine-tune the voice to exactly how you want it.
With a bit of preparation, you could get it to sing an entire song, or use it to provide a catchy riff for a composition. Casio tells me that the amount of lyrics you can put in is actually unlimited. This has all the power of a voice box, but inside a professional-level keyboard.
Of course, there's more to the Casiotone CT-S1000V than just vocals. This full-size 61-key device has 800 effects to cover a wide range of instruments, 243 built-in rhythms and 50 user-programmable rhythms. There are amp simulators and DSP effects to tweak and you can also sample up to 10 seconds of audio to create more effects and drum beats. There's also an onboard MIDI recorder and the ability to connect up to MIDI software on a computer or mobile device.
For a music creator, the vocal synthesis that this keyboard provides opens up a huge amount of possibilities and saves bringing in extra vocalists to perform on your track. The Casiotone CT-S1000V is priced $449.99 in the US and available in the coming weeks. Global price and availability is still to be confirmed.