SONiKA (/ˈsɑnɪkæ/) is an English VOCALOID developed and distributed by Zero-G Limited, and was released in July 2009 for the VOCALOID2 engine. SONiKA is advertised as a "virtual vocalist modeled on the voice of a young girl pop singer"; her voice provider has never been revealed.
She is the first native English speaking VOCALOID to use a character design and profile as part of the product. SONiKA was released with profile/biographical information on the back cover of the software package, similar to the other VOCALOID2 products. Her personality also shows in her tweets.
The name "Sonika" is Hindi, a girl's name based on the Hindi word for "golden beauty", and was likely chosen due to a resemblance to "sonic" (relating to sound).
According to her twitter messages, SONiKA's hair color is able to change color (e.g. from green to red). She also has freckles that show in the summer heat.
The tattoo on her left side is her name in katakana as " ソニカ ".
For more on VOCALOID relationships, see the FAQ.
SONiKA is the first VOCALOID to coin the concept of "The VOCALOID Family". This was previously a fan concept that accepts all VOCALOIDs as a form of undefined "family". SONiKA, however, became more definite on how she was related to certain VOCALOIDs.
- SONiKA regards LEON, LOLA and MIRIAM as her older siblings.
- Prima as her "auntie" and Tonio as her "uncle."
- She referred to BIG AL as her "best friend" when asked about which VOCALOID she talked to the most.
- All other VOCALOIDs are referred to as her cousins.
In regards to the introduction of VOCALOID3, SONiKA was glad to be getting more siblings, and she stated she was looking forward to meeting her new friends and singing alongside them.
Prior to SONiKA, Zero-G did not do much to market their VOCALOIDs, since they sold based on reputation of their products to a strictly professional market and most marketing was done via traditional means (such as software reviews). Unlike past VOCALOIDs, SONiKA was a more fandom driven VOCALOID. Rather than target professionals, Zero-G focused on selling SONiKA to the VOCALOID fans. This produced in both positive and negative results, with the most important advantage being that Zero-G was able to create links with the VOCALOID English fandom that never existed previously. The downside was that any disappointments around SONiKA were more felt than with previous VOCALOIDs they had made since they were talking to the fans of VOCALOID software directly.
Her official website has since been defunct, but an archive snapshot is avalible.
On August 21, 2021, illustrator PerroneLia and producer ODDEEO released concept artwork for a potential VOCALOID4 update project for SONiKA that was in production in 2018. Aki Glancy confirmed the production of the the update, despite having only some involvement in the project and noted that the project did not go past beginning recording and concept design stages due to the release of VOCALOID5. She noted in a comment further down that contact with Zero-G Limited was lost after the project fell through. The concept design was then repurposed for usage in the VOCAMERICA English VOCALOID concert. A 3D model by modeler HeeyeonX2 based on the design was made for use in the concert.
- SONiKA was the first VOCALOID by Zero-G to have editing done to samples, as normally they allow their voicebanks to sound natural to keep realism. As such, SONiKA copied popular techniques that Japanese VOCALOIDs were using in VOCALOID2, with mixed results. SONiKA is a young, female vocal with a sweet, soft sounding, youthful voice.
Music featuring SONiKA
A part of the Album, "So What"
|Translation||Bi☣hazard — UTAU Lyrics Wiki|
She was reported as having sold much better than past VOCALOIDs designed only for the English language. According to a flyer in 2011, SONiKA was the 13th most popular Zero-G product in 2011.
In 2012, she was in 19th place.
She was absent from the rankings in 2013, but returned to hold the no.35 spot in 2014.
All 3 Zero-G VOCALOID2 vocals have not appeared in the rankings since 2016. SONiKA was the second most successful of the VOCALOID2 vocals and while much more prone to short bursts of success and on occasion would be more successful than Prima, these were short lived. She was, by far more popular than Tonio overall.
SONiKA's vocal was overall more appealing then other VOCALOID2 vocals and appealed to fans of the VOCALOID fandom itself. She had more popularity than the other 4 native English VOCALOID2 vocals. While Prima and Tonio appealed more to the professional EDM producer, SONiKa found more support from amateur and VOCALOID fans that were interested in the Japanese side of VOCALOID2. But the impact of her quality on the vocal led to a reputation among these fans. She was often ridiculed by these same fans for her quality.
An independent search on Nico Nico Douga revealed that most VOCALOIDs had less than 1,000 videos uploaded to Nico Nico Douga in 2011 between July 1st and December 15th, a category which SONiKA fell into.
In 2013 a poll on E-Capsule's website showed that SONiKA got the most votes of interest out of the Zero-G VOCALOIDs.
|English||Zero-G Limited official homepage||Link|
|English||VOCALOID2 SONIKA product page||Link|
|English||Sonika Vocaloid The unofficial 'snapshot' website for VOCALOID SONiKA (Extant 2019 April)||Link|
|English||Sonika @SonikaVocaloid The official Twitter account for VOCALOID SONiKA||Link|
|English||deviantArt , art and media community||Link|
|Japanese||Pixiv , art and media community||Link|