GPS Lady

Mark Owen

Confessions of a faulty in-vehicle GPS system!


The Story

The session singer for this song is "Avanna", a computer programme, specifically: a "Vocaloid".

Vocaloids are virtual singers programmed like speech synthesizers with phonemes or word fragments from which can be constructed sung words and phrases. Vocaloids started out speaking Japanese, which is phonetically simpler and more consistent than English. They quickly acquired fan clubs as do human vocalists. In particular Vocaloids became popular for giving singing voices to anime computer characters. Results are tolerable because anime singing is high pitched, somewhat artificial and often manipulated with audio effects anyway.

Achieving realistic results singing English in a straight folk music style wasn't possible until the English company, Zero-G, produced the Avanna voice for Vocaloid. Avanna is at least reasonably intelligible and at times aspires to sound almost like a real person, though such a result was only achieved after very detailed programming syllable by syllable.

Vocaloids have a way to go yet to achieve a convincingly simulated "human" performance. However, the efforts of Zero-G in producing Avanna give hope that such results will be achievable for a reasonably priced, accessible commercial product in the near future.


If you go quick or slow
Tell me where you want to go

I'm your GPS Lady

I won't pontificate
Random coordinates
Keep on coming out of my mouth
I can't tell my North from my South

I'm your GPS Lady
I will get you there maybe

Listen to my vocal clip
Double up on your trip
I don't know my right from my left
I can't tell my East from my West

I'm your GPS Lady
I will get you there maybe

Turn me off to not get lost