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MEIKO VOCALOID1 VOCALOID3 | Piapro Studio | Songs Albums Notable Originals


MEIKO (メイコ) is a Japanese VOCALOID originally developed by Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc.. She was one of the 4 known "Project Daisy" vocals.Her VOCALOID3 update was developed and distributed by Crypton Future Media. She was initially released in November 2004 for the first VOCALOID engine. There has since been a second installment developed for the VOCALOID3 engine, dubbed MEIKO V3. Her voice is provided by the Japanese female singer-songwriter, Meiko Haigō (拝郷 メイコ Haigō Meiko).

As of August 31, 2019, there will be no further installments with the VOCALOID program. Instead Crypton is focusing on their own program, Piapro Studio.[1][2]

ConceptEdit

EtymologyEdit

"MEIKO" comes directly from her voice provider's name, "Haigō Meiko."

MEIKO's codename was "HANAKO";[3] it likely came from "Yamada Hanako (山田花子)", a placeholder name for female characters, and the Japanese equivalent to "Jane Smith". "Megumi" was also a name considered during her development.[4]

She is often misnamed Sakine Meiko by fans. The name originates from the eponymous derivative character, depicted as herself in her younger days.

AppearanceEdit

The illustration was done by Shogo Washizu, often called わっしー(Wasshi), a former member of Crypton.[5][6] Crypton placed this product on the market with box art that depicted a female character. This character had nothing to do with the singer's image, but her anime-based appearance appealed to a mainstream audience and the software sold well.

Wat described how different the intention of the CV series was to the concept of KAITO and MEIKO during the development of KAITO V3. Consequently Crypton took a different direction with their updates in comparison to the Appends of Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin & Len, and Megurine Luka.

MEIKO's VOCALOID boxart hid the front of her red sleeveless jacket, making it difficult to tell what the design consists of. Due to this, there are many different designs, even for official artwork.[7] MEIKO has no official given age. In Maker Hikōshiki Hatsune Mix she is usually portrayed as a middle-aged woman, however KEI mentioned in a magazine interview that what he depicts in the comic is not official.[8]

Spurned on by the items held by Hatsune Miku and KAITO, it became popular to feature MEIKO with One Cup Ozeki (sake).

The Microphone in her original V1 boxart is based on a variant of the Sennheiser MD421 model, one of the most widely popular microphones and was first released in 1960.

The microphone in her V3 release is based on the iconic Shure Brothers microphone, the model 55s, Multi-Impedance "Small Unidyne" Dynamic which was first released in 1951. Her mic is based on the modern "55SH Series II" variant which is much more curvier then the original version.

RelationsEdit

For more on VOCALOID relationships, see the FAQ.

  • KAITO - A complementary voice bank with masculine vocals.

HistoryEdit

MarketingEdit

The original release of both KAITO and herself was noted for their lack of marketing. Aside from a DTM MAGAZINE article, both Japanese Vocals went largely under the radar. MEIKO fared better then KAITO despite this, with the reasons being contributed to the majority readership of DTM Magazine being male, she went on to be one of the more successful of the 5 original VOCALOID vocals. The most noted marketing that was done with MEIKO was that a competition was held in 2006, entries submitted original songs. Prizes were given out and 80% of all entries received a special "signed" version of the VOCALOID MEIKO interface.[9][10] Despite her success, the prospect of MEIKO and MEIKO receiving updates being impossible post-VOCALOID and it was expected that Hatsune Miku would take over their roles going into VOCALOID2. There was no plan to update the pair originally.Much of this had to do with the state of the market at the time of VOCALOID.[11]

The overall lack of focus on VOCALOID was still notable. Some focus was given to the older engine, but only after VOCALOID2 had gained popularity, with basics such as tutorials produced where there was once not anything at all.

However, despite this the act of putting a character on the boxart was popular, though the image was not of MEIKO originally. The act of putting a character on the boxart was carried over to following VOCALOIDs to encourage creative activities by individuals, expanding the characters based on each user's individual needs.[12][13][14]

MEIKO's V3 release repeats many aspects of what made the CV series popular, and she was already due a series of "beginners guides" in magazines such as DTM before release.

VoicebanksEdit

MEIKO - Straight
MEIKO's original release was aimed to be a professional and standard vocalist.[15] When MEIKO was updated, the voicebank had to be completely re-done with a similar tone to the original, thus some aspects of the vocal have changed in consequential versions. The vocal was also originally a counter-partner to the KAITO "Straight" vocal.
MEIKO - Power
A more powerful version of the "Straight" vocal. Its conveyed tone is similar to the "Power" voicebanks of Kagamine Rin.
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID3), February 4, 2014
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID NEO)
MEIKO Dark
A more deeper toned vocal with allowance for more mature sounding yet emotional tones. It is a natural tone change for MEIKO.
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID3), February 4, 2014
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID NEO)
MEIKO - Whisper
A soft whisper-like, yet natural sounding tone.
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID3), February 4, 2014
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID NEO)
MEIKO - English
The English version of the vocal.
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID3), February 4, 2014
  • MEIKO V3 (VOCALOID NEO)
Other
It is known there was a "MEIKO Append" intended for VOCALOID2 but was unreleased due to timing of the retirement of VOCALOID2 in light of the VOCALOID3 development change. Details of the Append remain vague.
A MEIKO "Hard" vocal has been mentioned.[16]

Music featuring MEIKOEdit

  • On this wiki, MEIKO is featured in 209 songs , 148 albums , 24 series , 28 events.
Meikologonov3
千秋一夜
Thumb-nn
[nn]
Translation 千秋一夜 (Senshuu Ichiya)
Featuring
MEIKO
Producers
Natsumi-P
Categories Original song
フロイライン=ビブリォチカ
default.jpg
[nn][yt]
Translation Fräulein=Bibiloteca
Featuring
MEIKO V3
Producers
Categories Original song
白い雪のプリンセスは
default.jpg
[nn][yt]
Translation 白い雪のプリンセスは (Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa)
Featuring
MEIKO V3
Producers
cillia
Categories Cover song
Floriography -勿忘草-
Thumb-nn
[nn]
Translation Floriography -勿忘草- (Floriography -Wasurenagusa-)
Featuring
MEIKO
Producers
Categories Original song
Search for music featuring MEIKO [show/hide]

ReputationEdit

Status

Google Trends

MEIKO,メイコ

Sales

MEIKO was positively received and sold well compared to her counterpart KAITO, originally being the most popular of the two. For a long time she was the best selling Crypton Future Media VOCALOID, selling 3,000+ units. This lasted until the release of Hatsune Miku. 3,000+ units was three times the number of sales she needed to sell to be classified as successful.

By 2010, whereas KAITO appeared in the Crypton ranking of their best-selling products, MEIKO had fallen from popularity, receiving the least amount of attention of the Crypton VOCALOIDs. In the same year, MEIKO was ranked as the 7th most popular VOCALOID product they sold and the least popular of Crypton Future Media's own VOCALOIDs.[17] On December 10th, 2011, MEIKO, along with the Kagamines' append, were the only VOCALOID software packages not on the top ten list.

A month after MEIKO V3's release, MEIKO took the number one spot on the charts. This was the first time MEIKO had ever held a spot in the top 10 since the charts began. However, her no.1 spot was short lived, and by April she had dropped to the no.3 spot. This was a much faster fall from no.1 than KAITO V3, who managed to stay in the position for several months after release. Meiko soon fell behind KAITO V3 in popularity, constantly being one or two places behind his package. By August 2014, MEIKO V3 was in 6th spot, while KAITO V3 held the 3rd place position, loosing out only to Hatsune Miku V3 who claimed the no.1 and no.2 spot in the ranking. She also lost out this particular month to the Kagamine Rin & Len VOCALOID2 package, which had temporarily returned to the rankings.

In 2014, Crypton's Sonicwire website reported that MEIKO V3 had been the 3rd most sold VOCALOID product.[18] In 2015 the package came 7th.[19]

Reaction

Despite the lack of media coverage, MEIKO was better received and more successful than Leon, Lola and Miriam. She was overall the most successful of the VOCALOID products when initially released.[20] It was generally believed that the success of MEIKO was attributed to the reader demographic of the DTM magazine, of which 80% were male. It was also thought to be the reason why Kaito failed.[21]

After revived interest began to occur in her counterpart, KAITO, following Miku's release, MEIKO users also attempted to rekindle her popularity. Consequently, the Japanese fandom has taken great measures to push her voice to its limits. This is demonstrated by the fanmade derivative "Sakine Meiko," which was the result of producers testing MEIKO's capabilities to create a much younger sounding voice. Although this involves heavy investment of time to make such a big adjustment to her vocals, it does highlight the overall potential of VOCALOID era voicebanks, as the same techniques have also from time to time been applied to others of the same software with the same level of results.

MEIKO is generally taken as the 6th most popular "Crypton" VOCALOID, making her the least popular overall. This impacts things such as merchandise and she is the least likely of all the Crypton VOCALOIDS to see merchandise.

Impact

MEIKO's success lead to a number of trends that impacted VOCALOID for years to come. This includes style of boxart and favouring of female vocals.

Misc

An independent search on Nico Nico Douga revealed that most VOCALOIDs had less than 1,000 videos uploaded to the site in 2011 between July 1st and December 15th. MEIKO, however, did manage to be the 2nd most popular VOCALOID when a mean count was done, with 423 views and 21 mylists.[22]

In 2015, a survey was made based on the popularity of VOCALOIDs on the website Niconico. For the year 2014, MEIKO was the 9th most popular VOCALOID.[23]

Trivia
  • A Japanese electro-pop artist, Susumu Hirasawa, announced that he used a female VOCALOID in the original soundtrack of "Paprika" by Satoshi Kon on his blog. Since Susumu Hirasawa did not reveal which VOCALOID he used for quite some time, except the fact it was a female, many producers speculated it was MEIKO. However, he later mentioned in a magazine interview that it was LOLA.[24]
  • An old myth within the overseas fandom is that her samples were not from Meiko Haigō, but from a computer that generated samples to sound like her. It is estimated this originates from the fact that the original VOCALOID engine based its results on voice analytic instead of vocal samples.
  • She is the third vocaloid to feature the model 55s microphone in her boxart, the first being Sweet Ann and second being Lily (V2 and V3 releases). This has been one of the most notable models of microphones featured on Vocaloid boxart and is also seen on the boxarts of Cyber Diva and Hiyama Kiyoteru V4 - Rocks.
Achievements
  • First Japanese female vocal ever released
  • First Japanese vocal released for the VOCALOID engine
  • First VOCALOID produced by YAMAHA Corporation
  • First Crypton Future Media VOCALOID released
  • First feminine sounding VOCALOID released by Crypton Future Media
  • First VOCALOID to have an official avatar
  • Being used in the oldest known VOCALOID related song

Polls

Do you like MEIKO?
 
2186
 
125
 
145
 

The poll was created at 00:14 on November 20, 2015, and so far 2456 people voted.
What characteristic of MEIKO do you like?
 
109
 
211
 
77
 
1830
 

The poll was created at 00:14 on November 20, 2015, and so far 2227 people voted.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://blog.crypton.co.jp/l/2019/08/n1908311/
  2. https://twitter.com/labopton/status/1167698329389551616?s=19
  3. 最初のコードネームは、MEIKOはHANAKOで、KAITOはTAROということですね。
  4. 開発段階では「めぐみ」という案もあったそうです
  5. Meiko Haigou's official web site
  6. Morio Morito Blog - MEIKOとKAITOのパケ絵描いた人について+α "Illustrators that illustrated Meiko and Kaito"
  7. Nico Nico Pedia - ワンカップp
  8. P-Tina.net - KEIさんの描き方について聞いてみた (Interview with KEI about drawing style)
  9. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/2006/04/post_18.html
  10. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/2006/06/post_32.html
  11. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/2007/08/vocaloid2_8.html
  12. IT Media News - 異例の売れ行き「初音ミク」「ニコ動」で広がる音楽作りのすそ野 (Extraordinary sales for Hatsune Miku as Nico spreads the music)
  13. Crypton MEDIA phage - [Vocaloid2情報] 出張終了のお知らせ。
  14. G-Search side B - バーチャルアイドル?ボーカロイド?今話題の初音ミクって何? (Virtual Idol? Vocaloid? Hatsune Miku is the new topic now?)
  15. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/software/vocaloid/
  16. https://twitter.com/vocaloid_cv_cfm/status/420865420938067968
  17. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/2010/12/2010-vocaloid-1.html
  18. http://blog.sonicwire.com/2014/12/sonicwire-2014-5.html
  19. http://blog.sonicwire.com/2015/12/sonicwire-2015-4.html
  20. http://sekiseblog.blog51.fc2.com/blog-entry-12.html
  21. http://www.itmedia.co.jp/news/articles/0802/22/news013.html
  22. http://www.vocaloidism.com/2012/01/04/the-harsh-realities-of-vocaloid-on-nico/
  23. http://ch.nicovideo.jp/kadotanimitsuru/blomaga/ar699704
  24. Nico Nico Pedia - 白虎野の娘 (Byakkoya no Musume)

External linksEdit

LanguageDescriptionSite
Japanese Crypton Future Media Inc. official homepage Link
Japanese MEIKO V3 product page Link
English deviantArt , art and media community Link
Japanese Pixiv , art and media community Link
Japanese Piapro , art and media community Link

NavigationEdit

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