All of a sudden, everything is computerized. Banks, School progress reports, Shopping, you name it. There has been a change, not only commerce and education, but in our entertainment industry. More specifically, music. Now, It’s is common place for music artists to fake a back up band. It’s now much easier to be a ‘one man band’. After all on this, It was only a matter of time until we figured out a way to generate vocals. This new musical tool is the Vocaloid Voice Synthesis software.
Vocaloid is a program that was originally made as a toy for the low-resource music freak. It is simple to use. The interface includes a piano where you tap in the pitches, along with the note lengths. Then you type in the lyrics on each note and “Viola!” You have a professional singer singing your song!
The first Vocaloid software to come out, were Leon and Lola. Called ‘virtual soul vocalists’. These were starters for the idea of imitating real singers’ voices. Zero-G studios made them. The next release was Miriam. This voice bank was better and more refined. This product was the first on a pitch to imitate famous singers voices.
But this is the point where the makers of Vocaloid began to reconsider their Goals, The demand for Vocaloid was increasing, but drawback after drawback started to come up. Crypton Future, a Japanese company, released the next Vocaloids. And what comes from Japan? Not, sushi, Origami, or Geishas but ANIME! Yes, their first two Vocaloid Meiko and Kaito were made in the “anime” style. They started the idea of making virtual pop stars that could appeal to the large Anime and Manga audience. Kaito did not fly too well when he first came out, because his voice is very low and choppy, and didn’t initially have much appeal. But Meiko became very popular along with her predecessors, for the flexibility and improved appeal.
But Meiko and Kaito headed up the strain of voice engines that are really what Vocaloid is known for. When the 2.0 version of the engine was developed, along came the most popular Vocaloid singers, Hatsune Miku And Kagamine Rin&Len. These characters were obviously created as a very effective marketing program for this intriguing new software. These voice engines are really the equivalent of pop artists as the program has become more and more popular. That’s what they have become. This is why they are only popular in Japan and the anime-loving populations worldwide.
But where does that leave the 80-dollar software package that I could buy on Ebay? After all, I could very well add my two cents to the Hatsune Miku, or Kaito worldwide effort. That is probably the most phenomenal part about the Vocaloids. They are a community project. Anyone and everyone can make songs, or even videos. This adds a huge aspect of diversity to the music and visual representations of the characters. Any one of the Vocaloids can be found sing anything from pop to metal. Its all over the place.
So if I am to come to any conclusion, I will say that after a period of uncertainty, the Vocaloid software has proven it self to be a new and very able tool of creativity that continues to push on the idea of innovation and creation in the music industry.