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I`m sure you`ve seen her somewhere. A strange, cute, eccentric japanese pop idol with blue hair showing up randomly on the television, appearing in some commericals. She`s even had concerts around the world, including America! That`s Hatsune Miku, spreading her popularity from Japan. But who, and what is she? She`s certainly not human.
Hatsune Miku is a software called `Vocaloid`. To be specific, Miku Hatsune was the first japanese vocaloid to be both developed and distrubed by Crytpton Future Media, Inc.. She`s not the only one, either. The first Vocaloids were Leon and Lola, which originated in Europe. There`s many other Vocaloids, such as Kaito and Meiko, developed by Yamaha Corporation (this might be a familiar name to some of you!). But how can they have concerts? With the power of holographic images, my friend! That`s right. MIllions of people line up to see the vocaloid pop idols projected, singing and dancing on stage! They have the accompiment of other instruments as well.
Now let`s get to the heart of what they are. We know who made them, and that they`re software.. but they seem like people, talk, and have voices... are they voice acted? Well, kind of. Vocaloid is actually a product in which you make the software sing. It was designed for artists that did not have a singer to be able to produce music. You could say that Vocaloid is a singing instrument! The only voice acting done are the original sounds recorded for the voice banks. The software takes those noises and will synthesize them. The user puts in music, lyrics, notes, and pitches, and the Vocaloid will sing them! In the right hands, Vocaloid can sound smooth and realistic. I guess that`s the power of the future and technology, right? The first Vocaloids were able to sing english, and now most that are coming out now have bilingual capabilities as well. Each Vocaloid has their own voice, as different instruments have different sounds.
There`s also been similar software to come about ever since Vocaloid got popular. There`s a program called Utau where the user can create their own voice banks from their own voice, or others` voices! It`s like creating your own Vocaloid. There`s also been Vocaloid released for macs, and various other releases. They`ve even gotten idols to make their own voice banks for use! Like Gackpoid, and Yohioloid.
Since the release of Vocaloid, many music producers have been able to share their music and songs easier through the Vocaloid community. It also makes producing music more in reach for a lot of them. Having a cute singer at your fingertips is really handy! Some people have made original stories with their songs, some of which have even become Anime! Such as Black Rock Shooter, and Mekakucity Actors. There is no main personality or plot for Vocaloids, so making them sings songs and creating stories with them can be just as creative as molding dough.
Whether you`re interested in the software, or just interested in the music, you should look up some Vocaloid songs on Youtube or Nico Nico Douga, and listen to the catchy beats that the people create. The software itself runs a high bargain, at anywhere from 160~250 dollars, but if you get enough practice with it, as with any instrument, you could become a master of it and make awesome music as well!
Source link: http://vocaloid.wikia.com/wiki/File:MIKUV3_img1.png