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Crypton Future Media, Inc. is an importer of sound devices based in Sapporo, Japan. This company is also known as the developer of the VOCALOIDs Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin & Len, and Megurine Luka. It was the very first of the VOCALOID companies to produce a series.

About[]

Crypton Future Media, Inc. was established in 1995 as an importer and seller of music software.

Vocaloid[]

Crypton joined the project in May 2002, Crypton's handling of the two Japanese Vocaloids were MEIKO (released in 2004) and KAITO (released in 2006), they also were the Japanese distributors for Leon, Lola and Miriam. Meiko and Kaito were developed by Yamaha with Crypton Future Media being used to get the product commercially released, similar to the role of Bplats, Inc. in regards to the releases of VY1 and VY2. They were not acknowledged as "Crypton Vocaloids" at the time since they belonged to Yamaha. According to Crypton themselves, they were also charged with recommending English studios for the English version of the software, these companies were Zero-G and PowerFX.

Crypton's role in the VOCALOID era was public relations, promotion, ditributor and potential recruiter of English companies for production of English voicebanks. They did not produce their own Vocaloids at this stage and would not do until early 2007 when Yamaha announced VOCALOID2. The company was small and mostly unheard of.

Vocaloid2 onwards[]

Crypton Future Media began production on acual voicebanks in early 2007, after the announcement of VOCALOID2, originally planning only the Character Vocal Series with 3 members,which would later produce a trend of using 'avatars' or 'mascots' to represent the VOCALOID program. The success of this commercial strategy made Crypton the leading VOCALOID developer.

It was not until Hatsune Miku was released in August 2007 that Crypton, along with VOCALOID, became popular. The success of Miku lead to the Vocaloid craze in 2007 and 2008, which continued for many years afterwards.

According to Crypton, because professional singers refused to provide singing data (because they feared that the software might create clones of their singing voices), Crypton changed their focus from imitating certain singers to creating characteristic vocals. This goal change led to them sampling the vocals of voice actors.[1]

Yuu Asakawa noted that each recording for an update is a new recording. Pressure from rival companies cause systems and microphones to be updated regularly.[2]

Crypton's VOCALOID terms of use are as follows: Any rights or obligations arising from the vocals created by the software belong to the software user. Just like any music synthesizer, the software is treated as a musical instrument and the vocals as sound. Under the terms of license, the Character Vocal Series software can be used to create vocals for commercial or non-commercial use, as long as the vocals do not offend public policy. In other words, the user is bound under the terms of license with Crypton not to synthesize derogatory or disturbing lyrics. On the other hand, copyright of the mascot image and name belong to Crypton. Under the terms of license, a user cannot commercially distribute a vocal as a song sung by the character, nor use the mascot image on commercial products without Crypton's consent.

Crypton has also produced several voicebanks that are still in the developmental stage, to date only CV-4Cβ and Junger März_PROTOTYPE β are known. These voicebanks are intended for denominational and/or corporate purposes only; it is unknown how many such voicebanks Crypton has recorded, or if these voicebanks will later become commercial VOCALOIDs.

At the 2010 New York Comic-Con, a U.S. store was announced.

Departure from Vocaloid[]

On August 31, 2019, Miku received her first voicebank outside of VOCALOID, that being Piapro Studio with her NT release. While Crypton is focusing on their own program, they are still in collaboration with YAMAHA and will continue to sell VOCALOID products in parallel to the Piapro Studio editions.[3][4][5]

Key people[]

Vocaconfhiroyukiitoh.jpg Hiroyuki Itoh (伊藤博之) is the President of Crypton Future Media.
Wateru-Sasaki-2017.jpg Wataru Sasaki (佐々木渉) is the developer of the Crypton VOCALOIDs. Better known as wat, he is the one responsible behind Hatsune Miku's creation. He often gives insight to the progress of VOCALOIDs in production using Twitter.

Wataru appears as a minor character in Maker Hikoushiki Hatsune Mix.

Voicebanks[]

Developed Voicebanks[]

Voicebanks the company developed

VOCALOID2[]

Character Vocal Series (CV)

Append[]

VOCALOID3[]

VOCALOID4[]

Distributed Voicebanks[]

Voicebanks the company did not develop, but distributed at some point.

VOCALOID[]

VOCALOID2[]

VOCALOID3[]

VOCALOID4[]

VOCALOID5[]

Promotional Involvement[]

Figurines[]

Main article: Figurines

Literature[]

Main article: メーカー非公式 初音みっくす (Maker Hikoushiki Hatsune Mix)

Games[]

Project DIVA Series
Main articles: Hatsune Miku -Project DIVA- (series) and Project mirai

Apps[]

Miku Flick
Main article: Miku Flick
Miscellaneous
Main article: Hatsune Miku Live Stage Producer

Sites[]

Piapro[]

Crypton set up Piapro to clear up some problems related to copyright issues. Under the Japanese law code, which strictly preserves the original creator's right, secondary fan arts may be interpreted as copyright violation. However, the VOCALOID movement owed much to these fan creations, so in response, Crypton approved these productions in the license[6] similar to Creative Commons (Note: Crypton is NOT a member of the association). Users are encouraged to post illustrations, music, and lyrics onto Piapro. The site authorizes the use of these fan-made creations for the non-commercial purposes automatically when posted. This arrangement is for the products distributed by and the derivatives adopted by Crypton only. The Chinese language collaboration website for Crypton's characters, similar to Piapro, is called Poppro.

@Games/Tinier Me[]

Crypton Vocaloids as "Selfies"

The Japanese avatar community @Games has collaborated with Crypton VOCALOIDs, involving a special (virtual) dispenser machine called "Tinier Gacha" [7] which was also transferred to the English dubbed site Tinierme. This machine dispenses random limited edition items for members to equip, not available in the regular shops. The campaign started on July 20, 2010 and ended on November 30, 2010[8] with a full line-up of all Crypton VOCALOIDs. The ones that performed songs on an outdoor stage handed out album covers. Members were encouraged to listen to VOCALOID songs on KarenT,[9] an online entertainment site. The site gives musicians a place to feature their music.

With the success of the first release, additional gacha were released, called Music Festa*(@Games)/Persona Gacha Vol*(Tinierme). These gacha were based upon popular outfits seen in animated PVs and artwork. The promotion for them ended in December 2010 on Tinierme, but is still on-going at @Games.

As of now, the Tinierme site is closed. Items obtained through Tinierme and account details were not transferred to @Games, so the old Tinierme members are required to make a new account if they wish to play on @Games.[10]

HATSUNE MIKU EXPO SONG CONTEST[]

Main article: HATSUNE MIKU EXPO SONG CONTEST

To promote the HATSUNE MIKU EXPO Japan Tour, Crypton Future Media hosted a song contest. The contest ran from August 26 to October 19. For the contest, a two week trial free trial of Hatsune Miku V3 English was released. For MIKUEXPO 2016 and 2018 U.S. and Mexico concerts, the MIKUEXPO Song contest was held again, one for each concert. For the song contest in 2018, Crypton offered a 39 day free trial of Hatsune Miku V4 English.[11][12]

Sponsorships[]

Robot Miku[]

HRP-4C dressed up as Miku

At CEATEC Japan 2009, Boffin (in joint with Yamaha), had the robot model HRP-4C react to VOCALOID software for demonstration purposes. She was dressed up to look like Hatsune Miku for the demo.[13]

Toyota Corolla[]

In May 2011 Toyota used Miku for two online adverts to promote their car, the Corolla. She is also displayed on the official Toyota page. On the May 7th, USAmazon placed a preview of Supercell's hit song "World is Mine" as a single. The entry was presented as "The World is Mine Feat. Hatsune Miku."

Involvement in Super GT Series[]

The VOCALOID series, particularly Miku, has been actively involved in the GT300 class of the Super GT since 2008 Super GT season, with the support of Good Smile Racing (a branch of Good Smile company, mainly in charge of car-related products, especially itasha [which are cars featuring illustrations of anime-styled characters] stickers). Although Good Smile Company was not the first to bring the anime and manga culture to Super GT, it departs from others by featuring itasha directly rather than colorings onto vehicles.

Snow Miku Sky Town[]

Human-sized Snow Miku figurine at Snow Miku Sky Town

In February 2010, Snow Miku and a Miku snow sculpture first appeared at the Sapporo Snow Festival as an official contributor,[14] where Crypton Future Media is located, and a small Miku shop opened in New Chitose Airport temporarily during the festival. The Snow Miku project collaborated with the festival won popularity, so the Miku Shop was set up each winter since 2010. With the fame of Snow Miku in winter Hokkaido, Crypton established Snow Miku Sky Town in the airport on December 20, 2014, and Miku goods are purchasable year-round at this shop.

Trivia[]

  • Crypton Future Media has previously stated they would not be making an anime based on their VOCALOIDs.[15] However, in February 2021, they announced a collaboration with Graphic India and Carlin West Agency to create a new original series that included live-action, animation, music and comics related to Hatsune Miku. [16]
    • This wouldn't be the first time one of their characters have made a non-cameo appearance, as Hatsune Miku appeared as a supporter character on Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion THE ANIMATION written with a different kanji (発音ミク instead of 初音ミク) to differenciate between VOCALOID and Shinkansen character.[17]

References[]

External links[]

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