Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by just typing in lyrics and melody.
Yamaha announced its development in 2003 and on January 15, 2004, Leon and Lola, the first application software product, were launched. It was not released as a Yamaha product, but a software package of Vocaloid Singer Libraries was developed by third party licensees which included Yamaha's Vocaloid software. Leon, Lola, and Miriam (Miriam using the voice of Miriam Stockley) have been released from Zero-G Limited, UK, while Meiko (released on October 5, 2004 and using vocal samples from the Japanese singer Meiko Haigo) and Kaito (released on February 14, 2008 and using vocal samples from the Japanese singer Naoto Fuuga) have been released from Crypton Future Media, Japan.
In January 2007, Yamaha announced a new version of the software engine, Vocaloid2, with various major improvements in usability and synthesis quality. Zero-G and others have announced plans to release products powered by the new software engine in 2007. PowerFX have released the first English package that is powered by Vocaloid2 named Sweet Ann. Crypton has followed and announced a series of character Vocaloid2 packages to be released, the first being Hatsune Miku. The second package Kagamine Rin/Len was released on December 27, 2007 and the updated edition "act2" was released in July 2008. Kamui Gakupo, a vocaloid that utilized the voice of the famous J-rock singer Gackt, was released on July 31, 2008. Prima was introduced at NAMM Show 2008; she was released on January 14, 2008 in the UK and February 22, 2008 in Japan.
Products based on Vocaloid
- Leon: English male
- Lola: English female
- Miriam: English female
- Meiko: Japanese female
- Kaito: Japanese male
- Vocaloid 2
- Prima: English female
- Kamui Gakupo: Japanese male
- Sweet Ann: English female
- Big-Al: English male
- Megpoid Japanese female
- Sonika English female
Character Vocal Series
The Character Vocal Series is a computer music program that synthesizes singing in Japanese. Developed by Crypton Future Media, it utilizes Yamaha's Vocaloid2 technology with specially recorded vocals of voice actors. To create a song, the user must input the melody and lyrics. A piano roll type interface is used to input the melody and the lyrics can be entered on each note. The software can change the stress of the pronunciations, add effects such as vibrato, or change the dynamics and tone of the voice.
The series is intended for professional musicians as well as light computer music users. The programmed vocals are designed to sound like an idol singer from the future. According to Crypton, because professional singers refused to provide singing data, in fear that the software might create their singing voice's clones, Crypton changed their focus from imitating certain singers to creating characteristic vocals. This change of focus led to sampling vocals of voice actors.
Each Japanese Vocaloid is given an anime-type character with specifications on age, height, weight, and musical forte (as in the type of music, range and tempo). The characters of the first two installments of the series are created by illustrator Kei.
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 term 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 term of license with Crypton not to synthesize derogatory or disturbing lyrics. On the other hand, copyrights to the mascot image and name belong to Crypton. Under the term 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.
- ↑ http://www.zero-g.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=803
- ↑ http://www.vocaloid.com/en/index.html
- ↑ http://www.vocaloid.com/en/index.html
- ↑ http://www.kvraudio.com/get/1368.html
- ↑ http://www.crypton.co.jp/mp/do/prod?id=27720
- ↑ http://namm.harmony-central.com/WNAMM08/Content/EastWest/PR/Vocaloid-Prima.html
- ↑ http://rekkerd.org/zero-g-shipping-vocaloid-prima/
- ↑ How Hatsune Miku was born: Interview with Crypton Future Media retrieved on 2008-02-28 (Japanese)
- Official website
- Crypton's official Vocaloid2 website
- PowerFX official website
- Unofficial Vocaloid user website
- A Vocaloid timeline
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