VOCALOID3 (commonly shortened to just "V3" in reference) was the successor to VOCALOID2 by YAMAHA Corporation. The new VOCALOID engine was officially revealed on June 8, 2011 by YAMAHA via NicoNico Douga live stream. It can be purchased at the official VOCALOID site.
- 1 History
- 2 Requirements
- 3 Releases
- 4 Additional notes
- 5 Marketing
- 6 Cultural impact
- 7 Criticism
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
- 10 Navigation
History[edit | edit source]
VOCALOID3 was first mentioned in September 2010 by Crypton Future Media, Inc. during a screening of Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39's Giving Day. In December 2010, the new engine's existence was brought up again by Wat, who questioned if Hatsune Miku's English voicebank would be V2 or V3.
VOCALOID3 was formally announced mid-2011 at a special invitation only event. The release date was set for September 2011, however it was held back on several occasions until it was eventually released on October 21, 2011. This particular version had a large amount of early promotion, and there was almost as many new voicebanks revealed as there were in the entire VOCALOID2 range. YAMAHA also showed great interest in promoting its well established Japanese VOCALOID producer fanbase while expanding the usage of VOCALOID itself.
New languages were prepared in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese along with the Japanese and English VOCALOID line up.
YAMAHA's first attempt to revive the voice of a dead singer was realised with Ueki-loid. Due to its complexity they confirmed that it will be a while before the same can be attempted with an English speaking voice.
Additional versions of the software were also released, including VOCALOID Editor for Cubase (including a "NEO" version), an updated "SE" (second edition) version and VOCALOID NEO. The SE version includes a larger number of Job Plug-ins than the original, all of which were previously downloadable from the YAMAHA website for free. Users who owned the original editor did not have to buy the SE edition, as all new content was supplied free of charge from YAMAHA in the VOCALOID STORE. Likewise, users who owned the Cubase version of the software did not need to buy the regular version of VOCALOID3 or the SE version.
The Cubase version used any available vocal for the current VOCALOID2 and VOCALOID3 compatible versions. In the case of "NEO" and "SE", some of the previously released VOCALOID3 vocals were re-released with new versions of the 'VOCALOID3 Lite version to match the engine updates.
Around April 2012, YAMAHA showcased a "Metro"-based user interface for VOCALOID3 in a Windows Developer Days keynote. This included a fullscreen view of the editor and a full showcase of the available banks at the time with information such as demos using NetVOCALOID (unreleased at the time) and vocal ranges/recommended tempo and official links to purchase the banks.
In August 2014, a service called VOCALOID NET was released. For the first time this allowed users to exchange information between this version of VOCALOID™ to both the VOCALOID Editor for Cubase and iVOCALOID.
The engine introduced a version called the "VOCALOID3 API", which acted as a insert-engine into other software and allowed that software to build on top of a basic VOCALOID3 engine build. The engine was adapted for the game "Daigasso! Band Brothers P" for use with the game. This version allowed manipulation of the player's own voice into a rudimentary VOCALOID. Though results are low in quality, this is the first time a user has been able to use a version of the VOCALOID™ software to make a "VOCALOID". Piapro Studio also took advantage of the VOCALOID3 API and was released with the VOCALOID3 range of Crypton Future Media releases instead of the full VOCALOID3 engine.
In addition the engine became used as the basis for VOCALOID:AI, although this technology would not be seen in a completed development until 2019.
Impact on voicebank development[edit | edit source]
Some studios had expansion packs and updates intended for VOCALOID2 in development. The VOCALOID voicebanks known to have been affected by the release were GUMI's Extend, English Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka's Append, KAITO's Append and MEIKO's Append. After the announcement of VOCALOID3 these, excluding Megurine Luka's Append, were delayed and released for VOCALOID3.
SeeU was also intended to have an English voicebank, but was released early so it could meet the VOCALOID3 initial release without it. Consequently some phonetics for English were included in her Korean voicebank, but not enough for full English capability. A full version of a SeeU English voicebank began production in 2012, but has since been put on hiatus.
As of the start of VOCALOID3 more private voicebanks have been produced, as well as new "exclusive" vocals given limited release. Although private licensing at this level is new, several unreleased vocals were made in the VOCALOID2 era. Further more, VOCALOID was not originally considered for commercial release at all, making the concept older than the engine.
MEIKO V3's "Power" vocal was confirmed to have only been made possible with the new VOCALOID3 engine, and Wat commented that the original Kagamine package could be re-examined. This was owed to the engine improved wavelength capabilities.
Updates[edit | edit source]
In the past, the editor and voicebank were sold together. This meant that to get the latest version of the software users were required to purchase a newer voicebank. As of VOCALOID3, updates now come directly from YAMAHA themselves because the editor and voicebank are sold separately.
- Ver.126.96.36.199: Was released 2 November 2011 and was a general glitch fix update that repaired things that were making the editor crash.
- Ver.188.8.131.52: Was released on 21 December 2011, the fix reorganized the libraries of VOCALOIDs into languages and resolved a few glitches.
- Ver.184.108.40.206: Was released 26/01/2012 as an automatic update, simply running the VOCALOID3 software on a system with an internet connection will allow the software to update itself. A few new features were added such as CTL+R; this will change the order of note from lyric to phoneme.
- Ver.220.127.116.11: Was released 21/2/2012 to improve various things, notably, keyboard shortcuts have been added for note placement and selection, and the ability to export tracks to their own separate sound files has also been added. The Alt key can now be used to bypass quantization settings, and various other improvements have been added. For more information check here.
- Ver.18.104.22.168: Was released on 23 March 2012
- Ver.22.214.171.124: Was released on 10 July 2012.
- Ver.126.96.36.199: Was released on 4 August 2014.
- Ver.188.8.131.52: Was released on 9 December 2014, which supported the loading of VOCALOID4 VSQX files and general improvements to stability.
Unreleased voicebanks[edit | edit source]
As VOCALOID4 was announced it was revealed that Megurine Luka V4X was going to be released for the newer engine, rather than the originally planned V3. A temporary product page was added to the Crypton Future Media website before the announcement, listing several voicebanks for Megurine Luka V3, these vocals were Japanese/Power/Soft/Cute/Whisper/Closed and English. Many of the previously listed voicebanks were moved into the new Piapro Studio E.V.E.C. functions capabilities and were not released for VOCALOID™ at all.
Windows 7 Support End[edit | edit source]
On the 1st Jan 2020, Yamaha announced Windows 7 support would end. This impacts users with that version of the Windows OS.
Requirements[edit | edit source]
- OS: Windows 7/Windows 8/Vista/XP
- CPU: Celeron Dual Core 2.1 GHz or more
- RAM: 1GB or more
- HDD: 200MB free space or more
Note these requirements only apply to the VOCALOID3 engine itself. Users need to check each VOCALOID package and its requirements before installation as some variation may occur between releases.
If you own VOCALOID Editor for Cubase, you do not also have to purchase the full version of the VOCALOID3 software.
Releases[edit | edit source]
Starter packs[edit | edit source]
Starter packs are VOCALOID2 or, more commonly, VOCALOID3 releases that are sold with the VOCALOID3 software included. The idea is this cheapens the first voicebank a producer buys for the engine. Not all normal releases for VOCALOID3 have been given starter packs. Below is a list of voicebanks that have been sold as "starter" vocals. A number of the starter packages have been retired, and can no longer be purchased.
Starter Kit[edit | edit source]
In December 2013, a starter kit was introduced for both Windows and Mac users. This contained all the essentials to begin VOCALOID production. Included inside the box is VOCALOID Editor for Cubase and Cubase7.
Note: VOCALOID vocals are sold separately and do not come with this version.
VOCALOID-P data packs[edit | edit source]
As well as the engine, it is also possible to buy the .VSQX files used for songs made by famous producers. The first of the VOCALOID-P data series packs was released with the VOCALOID3 engine and can be purchased separately. Previously, the majority of .VSQ files had been recreated by fans and not the producers themselves.
Vol.2 of the series was released on the December 16, 2011, and a 3rd instalment with just GUMI songs was released on March 16, 2012 in conjunction with her update V3 Megpoid - Native.
Additional notes[edit | edit source]
Examples of usage[edit | edit source]
To contribute an example- see this blog entry to download the VSQx.
|V3 Megpoid - Native||Aoki Lapis|
|V3 Lily (Native)||Luo Tianyi|
|V3 Gackpoid (Native)||VY2v3 (Standard)|
|KAITO V3 (Straight)||YUU|
|Hatsune Miku V3 (ORG)||MAIKA|
|Merli||Macne Nana (JPN)|
|MEIKO V3 (Straight)||kokone|
|v flower||Tohoku Zunko|
|galaco NEO (Red)||Rana|
|Xin Hua||Yuezheng Ling|
Features[edit | edit source]
For a list of VOCALOIDs parameters see Parameters
A new feature in VOCALOID3 is Triphone, these will instantiate a different sound if a particular set of three phonemes are pieced together, for example, allowing “ka” to sound different in “aka” compared to “ika” improving language quality. VOCALOID2 voicebanks, even when imported into the VOCALOID3 engine, will not process these sounds. VOCALOIDs of all languages can use triphones, it is not restricted to one language in particular, these sounds can also be cancelled out using the hidden phonetics if users do not wish to use them.
The software will also update itself automatically or manually, updates are received directly from YAMAHA itself. Compared to previous support, updates are free and much easier to gain access to.
There are now some updates to the list of hidden phonetics. VOCALOID3 introduces the Glottal stop (written as [?]) and improvements to the vowel-to-vowel connector (written as [-]) to increase the smoothness of the actions between vowel carrying. One of the improvements to the VOCALOID3 engine database was the inclusion of new voiceless sounds for VOCALOIDs (written as [*_0]), something they did not possess in VOCALOID2. When VOCALOID2 voicebanks are imported into VOCALOID3, the engine has the capabilities to add these additional sounds to their voicebank libraries, making them from existing samples the VOCALOID had. Some voicebanks in VOCALOID3 do not assign codes for breaths ([br1] to [br5]) and you can instead import various noises directly into VOCALOID.
The engine itself is now localized, so issues from VOCALOID2 over language problems are absent, such as those present in Megurine Luka. Although she had an English voicebank, she did not have the English interface because she was sold to the Japanese market. Users can now select the interface language upon installation.
VOCALOID3 saves in the new standard format of ".VSQX" and can save .VSQ files as .VSQX files. .VSQX allows more data to be saved than .VSQ, and lets the newer details of the VOCALOID3 engine be more easily saved. UTAU did not support this new file type when VOCALOID3 was released, though conversation into .VSQ is possible at the cost of some minor data loss. Therefore, it is still possible to transfer VOCALOID songs onto UTAU.
The engine itself is sold standalone or with additional voicebanks, which in turn can be bought as stand alone software. This is a departure from VOCALOID and VOCALOID2 who had the engine sold with the voicebank.
In late April 2014 VOCALOID NET was announced, which had the ability to interact with the VOCALOID3 software directly.
Software versions[edit | edit source]
Voicebanks come with a Lite version of the software that has one track and only 17 bars of music. This version's most common usage is as a "demo" version, or for those wishing only to use VOCALOID for samples and not as a fully fledged singer. It has no additional features, such as VOCALOID2 voicebank library importation, nor does it allow plug-ins. This also cheapens the price of each voicebank greatly as the consumer is not paying for the engine with every purchase.The addition of a Lite edition with every new vocal, as opposed to forcing the consumer to buy both the vocal and engine, also removes some issues such as those displayed by older VOCALOID2 products such as Prima. There is less chance of coming across conflicts between versions as only the bare basics of the software is included.
The full engine can be bought with additional voices or on its own, unlike the Lite edition which is only released with each VOCALOID vocal. The advantage of releasing it on its own without voicebanks is that the full version allows the importation of VOCALOID2 voices. For those who do not wish to purchase any of the new VOCALOID3 vocals, they can buy the engine for this reason alone.
The ReWire function is not supported in VOCALOID3, however you can import files into VOCALOID3 removing the need for the tool. Alternatively, you can save the vocal file as a .wav and export to a DAW. Unlike previous versions of VOCALOID, VOCALOID3 supports plug-in, although it is limited. While the VOCALOID3 software comes with several plug-ins, additional plug-ins can be bought directly from YAMAHA's VOCALOID STORE.
The software comes with the following plug-ins, which can be purchased from the YAMAHA store at no extra cost:
- AdjustGain: If there is any gap between notes in a whole part, this cuts it off by extending the forward note to the head of the next note.
- InsertRest: This inputs a directed length rest(space) in the position you instructed.
- Staccato: This changes a note which is longer than sixteenth note (120Tick) to sixteenth note and make it staccato by setting the velocity value to its maximum.
- TimingRandomize: This makes a subtle movement to and fro on a note's starting position in a selected area with a random value.
- VibratoTypeConversion: This changes the type of vibrato of all notes in a whole part all together.
"SE" editions of VOCALOID come with more plug-ins. Once again you can download these from the VOCALOID store at no extra cost, though some were only listed on the Japanese plug-in shop:
- IdolStyle: Tunes the selected notes in a manner similar to the style of an 80's Japanese idol singer, by tuning pitch bend up at the end of the note. Made by YAMAHA.
- MasterTune: Master Tune is a simple plug-in designed to finely adjust musical scale in a whole part to such as 442 Hz. Changeable range is 412.0 - 455.0 Hz. It was designed by YAMAHA.
- MetronomeJPNPiPo: A Japanese-only plug-in (will not work with voicebank libraries of any other language). Fills up the selected portion with metronomic "pi" and "po" syllables.
- NyanNote: This is a plug-in that inputs the sound "miao" in the song position. You can choose the length of sound(note) to input from 2 types, that is, "short" and "long". This plug-in is made by YAMAHA.
- PitchRandomize: Rewrites a value of pitch bend in a selected portion with a random value. The random level is 「1(small)」～「5(large)」. This is made by YAMAHA.
- QuantizeNoteLength: This changes a length of notes in a selected area in one time. It will be the length of dotted note with checking Dotted Note.
- SineVibrato: Adds vibrato to all the notes in the selected portion, using dynamics and pitch bend instead of the built-in vibrato feature. Developed by YAMAHA.
- StaccatoSelected: Makes the notes staccato by changing the length of notes and the value of velocity in a selected portion. Furthermore, adjustment of the decay time and accent of expression note property is possible here. Developed by YAMAHA.
- Transposition: Shifts the key of all notes up or down according to the value you put in. Developed by YAMAHA.
- TrimPartLeftSide: Deletes the extra part on the left side from an imported sequence. Developed by YAMAHA.
- V3KeroPitch: This changes rise and fall of a note to a value of pitch bend and makes the sound "kero sound" (frog sound) that is like effected as giving a vocal pitch revise. This plug-in is made by YAMAHA.
Refinements[edit | edit source]
Smoothness is more noticeable in VOCALOID3 whereas VOCALOID and VOCALOID2 both became choppy or robotic sounding when they met some pronunciation issues. Furthermore, when entering into slurry words clarity is more easily maintained than past versions, though this is still effected by the vocal type and sample quality more than the engine itself. Other improvements include using the VEL to control the length of consonants much more significantly.
Results from VOCALOID2 vocals will not be the same for VOCALOID3 and improvements are noticeable with phonetic data translations being much smoother. However, it does not allow backwards compatibility with VOCALOID engine voicebanks. Glitches such as the noted "pluck" glitch continue over from VOCALOID and VOCALOID2, however, it is less noticeable in this engine even for imported VOCALOID2 vocals, and is often rendered as a softer, quieter sound. The audio quality itself has been improved.
The importation of VOCALOID2 into pirated versions of VOCALOID3 has also been known to have handling issues, both from pirated and official versions of the VOCALOID2 software. None of these issues were present with VOCALOID2 and all related to new features of the VOCALOID3 software. Users who do not own legal versions will miss out on many of the new features for VOCALOID3.
Wat, who was working on VOCALOID2 versions of vocals that eventually became VOCALOID3 products, also mentioned that VOCALOID3 allowed for voicebanks that had previously not been possible for some singers. This increased exploration of vocal types in VOCALOID.
Noboru mentioned that he believed also that V3 added new sounds to English vocals. In addition, a new dictionary was added with improvements, making larger difference between VOCALOID2 and VOCALOID3 vocals.
Known issues[edit | edit source]
Language handling still faces issues, for example, IA and OLIVER both slur their vocals at faster paces if not controlled. This event occurs because of a long-term problem VOCALOID still suffers from in regards to the VOCALOID's sample database, wherein the software has difficulty fitting all samples into the allocated space set for each word in each beat. This issue has been present in the software since VOCALOID.
Even the highest quality VOCALOID2 voicebanks when imported into VOCALOID3 have issues competing with the quality of the average VOCALOID3 vocals.
Updated versions often do not contain new recordings (such as those of GUMI - Native) as it is possible for studios to re-use the data recorded from VOCALOID2 samples for new voicebanks in VOCALOID3. Therefore, sometimes there is no rush to buy new versions of older voices from the VOCALOID2 as the voice is virtually the same.
Although VOCALOID2 is supported, VOCALOID is not compatible with this engine.
NeutrinoP also discussed some of the continued engine flaws duringthe pre-released of Megpoid English. Noting "its engine still uses some "obsolete" algorithms (like having the same set of samples for a specific range of notes), but that can be adjusted now in DAW". They also mentioned there were glitches in the engine which impacted all V3 English vocals.
In March 2013, an issue related to galaco appeared which impacted VOCALOID3 when daylight savings kicked in. The engine would appear to "expire" and a pop-up would appear requesting the user to activate the software. As this issue was only related to galaco, uninstalling her or turning off daylight savings was the only solution to resolving the problem. Users in countries (e.g. China) which did not use daylight savings, did not experience the issue.
Comparison examples[edit | edit source]
- "Demo" by SSW ft. Lily
- "Demo" by SSW ft. Camui Gackpo (Gackpoid)
- "Demo" by SSW ft. Ryuto (Gachapoid)
- "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by tan.j ft. SONiKA, rendered in VOCALOID2 and VOCALOID3 engine
- "Rose + Thorn" by EmpathP ft. AVANNA and LEON, a comparison between VOCALOID1 and VOCALOID3 engine
Marketing[edit | edit source]
To help the development and promotion of VOCALOIDs within the VOCALOID3 range, the VOCALOID STORE was opened up by YAMAHA. Furthermore, YAMAHA set up their own music publishing site much like Karen-T to promote Vocaloid music. Several events have also been arranged to showcase new products, such as the Vocafarre. YAMAHA's approach was to bring the VOCALOID software back into the professional realm through a more serious promotional tone.
Studios have continued to promote their VOCALOIDs. Internet Co., Ltd heavily promoted their VOCALOIDs with the launch of V3 GUMI Megpoid. AH Software also began heavier promotion, with Yuzuki Yukari having the widest vocal capabilities offered on sale of any new VOCALOID at the time. Bplats continued to focus on their VY series by relaunching them under the "VYv3" title with improved vocals. Crypton Future Media, who had established much of the VOCALOID fandom via Hatsune Miku in the VOCALOID2 era, have opted to enter the VOCALOID3 era in 2013 with updates and new additions to previous voices. They are still focused on selling their established VOCALOIDs to America, as well as re-launching the VOCALOID era VOCALOIDs in the newer engine with the releases of KAITO V3 and MEIKO V3.
Studio DEEN focused on the fandom side of VOCALOID by holding a competition for a fan to become the voice of their first VOCALOID, Aoki Lapis, and her successor, Merli. They have done a number of small promotional ads for Lapis. MoeJapan entered the VOCALOID market with Tone Rion, focusing their marketing on the Otaku side of the VOCALOID community, rather than professionals. 1st PLACE opted for a subtler launch of their first voicebank, IA being promoted as a more mysterious VOCALOID.
YAMAHA did not support the English version of the software at first, and did not launch an English language version of the VOCALOID website until close to OLIVER's release. PowerFX decided to focus its marketing at the now established English VOCALOID community and most promotions for OLIVER were done through the forum VOCALOID Otaku. Zero-G also entered the engine later, and decided to continue aiming at professionals with their newest VOCALOID AVANNA, a Celtic themed voice.
SBS Artech managed to gain interest from outside of Japan with their first VOCALOID SeeU, primarily a Korean vocal. They also promoted SeeU with the claim that she could achieve English as well as Korean, and included a Japanese voicebank. However, interest in her was more mixed among Japanese producers.
New company Voctro Labs faced a bumpy start due to the a backlash against the artwork of their first two VOCALOIDs. However, despite this they were able to gain some ground via a replacement artwork contest.
Promotional CD[edit | edit source]
A CD titled "The VOCALOID" was released in conjunction with the launch of VOCALOID3. The CD contained 18 songs sung by Japanese VOCALOIDs and a booklet with information about the VOCALOID characters used. Mew was also featured on the CD for the first time.
Official Guide Book[edit | edit source]
The official guidebook for VOCALOID3 was also released in conjunction with the software.
VOCALOID STORE[edit | edit source]
Run by YAMAHA, the VOCALOID STORE was one of the biggest new developments for VOCALOID. As well as an outlet for buying the software, it offered CDs of various songs, plug-ins and merchandise. It replaced the old website for VOCALOID in both Japanese and English, the latter having not been updated since the VOCALOID era, as well as adding Chinese and Korean versions. The English version is, however, hosted by Bplats. Originally, it did not directly sell English or Spanish VOCALOIDs, but did contain links to where they are being sold by the developers.
Updates and other information about current and upcoming VOCALOIDs were also listed on this website. Updates for the VOCALOID3 software were sometimes released here as well. The website was open for world wide purchases.
In previous generations, the VOCALOID website only offered the workings behind the software, and did not host a store. The VOCALOID STORE played a significant part in marketing the VOCALOID software in Japan, and made many products easier to purchase. However, it previously only linked to the studios which made VOCALOID2 voicebanks, therefore there were ongoing issues with gaining access to older VOCALOID products.
On 8 May 2015, it was announced that the Japanese VOCALOID STORE would be shutting down on the 26th. They apologised for the sudden announcement, and thanked users for their support.
VOCALOID3 Music Contest[edit | edit source]
On November 15, 2011, a music contest was announced. It ended on March 31, 2012 and offered prizes. To enter, users had to write an original song or cover and upload it to Nico Nico Douga by March 31, 2012. The contest was hosted by YAMAHA.
Producers are allowed to enter with the following VOCALOID3 voicebanks:
- V3 Megpoid
- Tone Rion
To qualify, your song must have the tag "VOCALOID3発売記念コンテスト" locked.
Prizes were determined by YAMAHA, Dwango and the studios releasing VOCALOID3 products allowed in the competition:
- Internet co., Ltd (Megpoid/CUL);
- 3 winners will get one VOCALOID product from Internet Co., Ltd
- SBS Artech(SeeU);
- 1 winner will get a ticket for two to Seoul in South Korea for three days and two nights.
- 1 excellence winner will get 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi
- imyss Prize (SeeU);
- Cosmetic Gift Set from imyss for 1 winner.
- YAMAHA Prize (VY1V3/Mew);
- Grande Prize: Cubase6 for 1 winner.
- 3 excellence winners of a VOCALOID3 library of YAMAHA of your choice
- MoeJapan/Dear Stage Prize (Tone Rion);
- 1 winner is invited to Akihabara (2 tickets)
- 10 winners will get a courtesy ticket for Dear Stage.
- 1 winner, YAMAHA's TENORI-ON "TNR-O"
- Dwango Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 5 winners will receive assorted goods related to Nico Nico Douga.
Extension[edit | edit source]
The competition was later extended to the June 30, 2012 and a new prize (special prize for participation) was added. The prize in the competition is confirmed to be an exclusive voicebank that will be given to anyone with 3,000+ views, this prize is the voicebank for galaco. V3 Lily and V3 Megpoid - Native have been added to the list of VOCALOIDs allowed in the competition.
The view count of '3,000+' needed for the special prize for participation was later lessened to 1,000+ views.
Aoki Lapis has also been added to those VOCALOIDs who can be entered in the competition. Since then IA and Yukari have also been added with additional prizes from the appropriate supporters of the software. This left Clara, Bruno and OLIVER unable to be used to enter the competition.
The list of new prizes:
- i-style Project Prize (Aoki Lapis);
- 1 winner will get Aoki Lapis original silver ring and Cubase starter pack.
- PV category Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 2 winners will get Wacom professional graphics tablet with wireless kit (medium size) Intuos5 touch PTH-650/K0 .
- Rookie Award (any library allowed in the competition);
- 1 winner will be interviewed by the chief editor in a feature article of Gekkayo Magazine, and the score of the winning song will appear in the magazine.
- Lawson Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 1 winner: The winning song will be played in Lawson stores for a month.
After the contest was over a further extension was given to allow more users the chance to get Galaco. This time, the rules were extended to allow any sold VOCALOID3 voicebank in the competition, including VOCALOID voicebank libraries that had previously been unable to be used in the contest.
10th Anniversary[edit | edit source]
VOCALOID itself celebrated its 10th birthday during this version of the software, and several projects, one of which was ZOLA PROJECT, were run in 2013 to commemorate the event. The anniversary celebrations began on February 26, 2013.
Cultural impact[edit | edit source]
This generation was more focused on making VOCALOID its own genre of music. There was also pressure to push into America, with the launch of projects like VOCALOID Trans-Pacific.
Compared to VOCALOID2, the response to new VOCALOID3 vocals has been mixed. Some Japanese voicebanks like Tone Rion and Mew initially failed to match the previous VOCALOID2s in popularity growth. The reasons for lack of popularity in newer products appears to be varied. VOCALOIDs like SeeU have struggled in particular due to Japanese and Korean cultural politics and differences of feeling between the fans of the two countries. Popularity was also affected when no popular producer picked up the voice and made songs with them, some producers holding back for particular VOCALOID releases.
Criticism[edit | edit source]
Initially, criticism was made by both Spanish and English VOCALOID fans as they had been left in the dark regarding the new software. At the beginning of the VOCALOID3 launch, they faced less promotion and coverage than the other 3 languages offered. For instance, the CD released for VOCALOID3 titled "The VOCALOIDs", which acted a pre-release promotion for the VOCALOID software, was solely focused on Japanese products. An English version of the VOCALOID STORE was later added, it was put up in beta format in Jan 2012; several months after VOCALOID3 was launched and a month after the launch of the first English voicebank. Both Spanish and English VOCALOIDs were absent from the store, though later added in an "overseas" section. The previous incarnation of the English VOCALOID website which the store replaced had not been updated since the release of VOCALOID.
More criticism came in the form of the initial reaction to the avatars of Bruno and Clara. Voctro Labs responded by hosting a competition with the wining entry having the possibility of becoming the boxart, if the artwork was deemed good enough. It is speculated that the poor reception impacted VOCALOID AVANNA, who required artwork changes during her development phase. YAMAHA themselves rejected a realistic style of artwork for Avanna in favor of a more anime-esque approach. Though SONiKA had an Eastern-influenced appearance, Avanna's style was very different to the one Zero-G had used in previous VOCALOID and VOCALOID2 vocals.
One of the issues surrounding the standard Vocaloids (note, this is mostly regarding the "Yamaha" group which are considered the standard vocals) up until this point and through out VOCALOID was how close in nature many vocals ended up being. This would lead to a change of approach for VOCALOID4 to make vocals more unique. Vocals at this point were fixed on being easy to use for music and the various vocals had the same processes worked upon them, resulting in vocals with very similar traits and few had "unique" qualities that reflected the character of their vocal.
Though generally the 3 new languages were well received, they were not always welcomed. There was some reported negative reactions to SeeU based on politics between Japan and Korea at the time of VOCALOID3 and resistance towards Chinese Vocaloids and in China criticism towards Vocaloid due to it being regarded as Japanese software.
Generally the engine is notable for its vast improvements over VOCALOID2, with it offering the largest variety of voicebanks overall with many new VOCALOIDs being introduced, offering more then the VOCALOID2 amount by far. The engine saw voicebanks both for new VOCALOIDs and updates of old ones. However, one thing that did become apparent was that too many voicebanks were released at some stages at once, particularly early on. This caused very few to reach VOCALOID2 levels of popularity with Yuzuki Yukari and IA being the only two to get a great deal attention for this era overall, with Yukari getting more attention over time then when she was first released.
It was not acknowledged by studios until VOCALOID4 that, perhaps due to the large number of female VOCALOIDs, many of these new releases sounded like previous releases. Common vocal types were beginning to form and this was putting off users buying a new VOCALOID and generally some had trouble standing out. Chika marked the start of this issue being fixed, but as she was among one of the last VOCALOID3 releases, there was little impact on voicebank development at the time. Though Chika sounded like GUMI, the new recording technique allowed to behave very differently to Megpoid and it would not react to changes the same way nor generally behave. It was a significant development for Internet co with more triphones n her voicebank their past releases. CHIKA's recording methods would be implemented in VOCALOID4 to many of the new voicebanks.
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