Vocaloid Wiki

BIG AL VOCALOID2 | Songs Albums Notable Originals

This article is about the VOCALOID2 software known as a voicebank. If you are looking for the VOCALOID character then click here.



Big-Al was originally intended to be released for the VOCALOID engine as the male counterpart of Sweet Ann back in 2006, similar to Zero-G's LEON and LOLA; no demos or vocal tests were released to the public of that particular V1 voicebank and the only known person outside the production team who listened the recordings was Giuseppe, who described the vocal as a "young, pretty voice", though the library was never finished because of the low quality of the recordings and the expensive cost of redoing all the process. However, the exact reasons behind the cancellation of the "RONIE" vocal are unknown overall.[1][2] His production did not begin during "Project Daisy".

It is believed the codename for the vocal was "Ronie" as it was sited alongside "Jodie", Jodie being a reference to Al's counterpart "Sweet Ann". The codenames were used in the VOCALOID2 manuals under "Jodie2" and "Ronie2".[3]


Later Al's second voice bank, planned for the VOCALOID2 engine was recorded by Michael King, a singer/artist and award winning Elvis impersonator.[4][5] An early demo song of MIRIAM and BIG AL was personally requested by Bil Bryant and Alexei Ustinov, who started testing Big-Al in January 2007 with "Help Me Understand You" for the MusikMesse 2007 fair.[6] "Make Me Feel", was made on the spot as part of a demonstration of the software. BIG AL, along with Sweet ANN and Prima were demonstrated in the NAMM 2007 show in March 2007, with ANN seeing a official announcement of release in May. BIG AL's release was pushed back numerous times, though demos of him were available and uploaded in late April.

Second Change of Voice[]

When the VOCALOID was in the editing process PowerFX tried to fix the pronunciation, and even though demos were posted on the net, they felt it was not good enough to be released. When they attempted to re-record King, they found that he was too busy touring. Frank S., a professional voice over artist, studio engineer/owner and former PowerFX employee then did the voice over which was used for the program.

New boxart was done to match the new voice given to him. Because of the initial reaction to SONiKA's noticeable anime influenced look, he was given a look split between anime and a more Western style. The picture was done by artist Ash(Accelagirl), who also illustrated the SONiKA comics. The artist stated that the color scheme (red and white) were chosen by PowerFX, while black was added to avoid looking like ChoiWARU-P's LEON.[7]

On December 11, 2009, a demo of Big-Al's voice was leaked on YouTube. The demo was Al singing small parts of the song "When the Saints Go Marching In", but apparently this demo was beta and not meant to be published. However, PowerFX did give permission to YT uploaders to post the demo.[8] Another demo was released on the day of he was made available for purchase.

Downloading Problem[]

When he was first released, users were unable to download him, leading to complaints from both English and Japanese fans. The problem was corrected by PowerFX switching download providers. The report on his problem was that his file had simply been too large. PowerFX then put up a notice that they will make sure buyers received the program no matter what, even if the company had to post it to them. Those that had pre-ordered him were given a $50 gift certificate for the PowerFX shop as compensation for the downloading problem.[9]

2011 Taiwanese design[]

On the 1st of April, 2011 PowerFX's website went down. When it reopened on the 6th both Sweet ANN and BIG AL were sporting a new look.

On the 8th of April, 2011 a PowerFX employee noted that the designs seen on the PowerFX website of both BIG AL and Sweet ANN were that of a Taiwanese distributor of PowerFX products and were not the official designs for the products.[10]

The Taiwanese designs were removed during May, with BIG AL's boxart returning to his original design during this period, later reverting to the new version. According to PowerFX, they put the Taiwan boxart on their website to try the oblong shape as they preferred it and were thinking about switching to this shape for their VOCALOID products. The boxart's placement was temporary until they could run a Sweet ANN / BIG AL competition, however they noted that the fandom insisted that the official boxart be on the page and switched it back.[11]

A 28 second demo was released for BIG AL, however he was not featured singing. A second 60 second demo was released of the same song, the full "On the Earth" was later released. Later Sweet ANN and BIG AL were featured in the song "at your side 2010".

Final Retirement[]

At the end of 2015, it was announced that on March 31, 2016, VOCALOID2 was being retired and no new serial codes would be issued by Yamaha.[12]

Product Information[]



Help Me Understand You (MIRIAM/BIG AL) (reprint) YouTube VirarTech
Make Me Feel (Sweet ANN/BIG AL beta) (reprint) YouTube JasmineMusic
I Feel Good (reprint) YouTube JasmineMusic
PowerFX (reprint) YouTube JasmineMusic
When the Saints Go Marching In (MMD reprint) YouTube
New York, New York
Demo medley
Help Me understand you (MIRIAM/BIG AL beta) & [Club ver] VirarTech

E-Capsule Demonstrations[]


60 second demo YouTube
On the Earth YouTube
at your side 2010 YouTube


Below is a contrast between LEON, from VOCALOID and BIG AL, from VOCALOID2:

  • "Magnet " by 52Circle ft. BIG AL & LEON

Product Information
  Genre: Electronic / Classic rock, Blues, Country  Optimum Range: G1 ~ D3  Optimum Tempo: 79 ~ 145 BPM
  Total Tempo (min-max): 66 BPM  No. of Keys: W ~ 11, B ~ 8, Total ~ 19
  Trial/Demo Vers?: No
Package details as noted:

BIG AL was designed originally to be "rough and harsh" as a contrasting vocal to LEON.[13] His voice favors singing in the range (in classical music terms) bass to baritone, but also has a good tenor range. His accent is American.[14][15] Sweet ANN is his counterpart. He was not provided by a professional singer and does not produce professional singing results.

Vocal traits as noted:
  • BIG AL is typically geared for early-mid 20th century classic rock, although he has been used in a wide variety of genres such as blues, disco, and pop.
  • He is considered one of the better English VOCALOIDs for clarity and the clearest English VOCALOID2 voicebank. The vocal is among the highest quality since most of the major English VOCALOID2 and VOCALOID2 glitches are not found in the vocal. For example, he does not "pluck" at all compared to Prima or SONiKA.
  • According to some reports, BIG AL is the only VOCALOID2 capable of hitting notes as far as E1 without any troubles, and is also the deepest vocal within the VOCALOID2 era.[16]
  • He had more keys recorded for him than Sweet ANN.
  • It is generally accepted that his voicebank is more suited for the lower-mid octaves as he tends to switch to a more falsetto sound on higher notes.
  • He was the overall "best" male English Vocaloid for some time for deeper masculine tones. In fact, it wasn't until CYBER SONGMAN that another male was released that was able to compete with him in terms of masculine tones.[17]
  • Big Al is an ideal VOCALOID2 vocal for pairing up with voicebanks known for their clarity issues. When blended correctly, he helps other Vocaloids with clarity issues such as Sonika and Tonio.
  • Big Al's vocal results in him able to morph easily to sound different, producing a wide variety of unique tone possibilities compared to other English VOCALOID2 vocals and can fill up all 16 tracks with some tweaking without too much quality loss overall. However, he has issues with loosing his way of speaking and in many cases it is relatively easy to guess he is the one being used originally.
  • It is possible to add echoing effects to Big Al and make his voice "boom" on deeper tones without loosing clarity and he does well with reverb and vibrato tweaks. Big Al benefits highly from such things as he enjoys effects that "lift" his vocal.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • BIG AL has some issues with his R phoneme. He can only roll his words if the R is at the end of the phonetic data. This makes his use of the R the weakest of the English only capable VOCALOIDs with this ability
  • Certain vowels are heavy sounding.[18]
  • He was the only English capable male VOCALOID with breath samples in the VOCALOID2 range, unlike other VOCALOID2 voicebanks with breaths, his samples are not just inhaling sounds.
Software issues as noted:
  • There are 2 major issues with the vocal, these are unique among the VOCALOID2 English vocals;
    • He has been noted for a "croaky" sound on lower notes and is Big Al's biggest flaw. This happens only at the start of words such as "I". This, however, can be fixed with further editing and vocal filters. This is the second of his two major flaws. The croakiness is found in other vocaloids, including even Hatsune Miku and Prima, but is rarely a major issue and Big Al is the worst offender.
      • This issue can be quite problematic for him because Big Al often needs extra reverb or vibrato, but adding them can make the croakiness appear more noticeable.
    • He often sounds more Singspiel style and for that reason also does not hold long notes very well, needing editing to "lift" them or risk sounding flat.
  • A running issue with VOCALOID™ is its habit of struggling to produce good results for bass range vocals. This issue was very much apparent during the VOCALOID2 era, thus some of the issues BIG AL faces lean on the engine itself and not on BIG AL's vocal.[19]
  • At 2.2+ GBs, BIG AL had the second largest Hard Drive consumption of any installed vocal in VOCALOID2, Prima having the largest at 2.4 GBs.
  • BIG AL has issues when mixing his vocal with the other VOCALOID2 English vocals and special attention at times may have to be given on his vocals when used with others.
    • He dominates softer toned vocals SONiKA and Megurine Luka. When he sings with them, there is a risk he'll simply drown them out, especially SONiKA. This can apply even to other Vocaloids with not so soft vocals, with Tonio and Prima just about managing not to be drowned out.
    • He doesn't blend so well with vocals like Prima or Tonio because of his flatter tones, as he can't sing as well as them. Luka also can outsing him, if she is able to break through his vocal. Though Sonika can also, due to her quality issues she doesn't sound better then him overall.
    • When you combine these two issues, it can be hard to "control" him. as he can also have both problems at once, making him easily be picked out in a song against the others.
    • His counterpart Sweet Ann is the only Vocaloid who manages to hold her vocal weight against Big Al's vocal. She tends to manage to not be too drowned out by him as much. In addition although she still is a better singer, she compliments his flatter tone and is the only VOCALOID2 to do this naturally.
  • Some users compare certain ranges to Kermit the Frog and find this range unappealing.
Voicebank sample


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKiYFR1JBp0
  2. PowerFX e-mail; Yes Big Al was originally another voice and we did a few tests but were not satisfied because of the vibrato recorded on the v.1 and was re-recorded with another vocalist.
  3. link
  4. Jasmine Music Tech - BIG AL demos
  5. YouTube - BIG AL demo, "I feel good"
  6. VirarTech - New musical project with Big-Al and Miriam
  7. VocaloidOtaku - Big-Al is near completion (safe link)
  8. YouTube - Big-Al demo, "When the Saints Go Marching In"
  9. Vocaloid Blog - 出た!BIG-AL(ビッグ・アル)のダウンロード販売が開始! BIG AL goes on sale as a download
  10. VocaloidOtaku - PowerFx website is down - post by TipperTorvi
  11. PowerFX e-mail 13/05/2011
  12. link
  13. VirarTech - "A Place In The Sun" A CD Album By Fully Virtual Vocalist
  14. Engloid Blog - Interview: Bil Bryant (Production and CEO of PowerFX)
  15. VocaloidOtaku - American Vocaloids - post by Anders
  16. link
  17. link
  18. link
  19. loink