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Yamaha Corporation is a Japanese leading musical instrument manufacturer based in Hamamatsu. This company covers a wide range of business in motorcycles, power sports equipment, and electronics.


Yamaha was established as early as 1887, about 20 years after the Tokugawa governing ended, by Torakusu Yamaha (山葉 寅楠 / Yamaha Torakusu) as a reed organ manufacturer. In 1900 Torakusu began the piano production and his organ and piano were awarded an Honorary Grand Prize at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. This event has established the company's fame to this day.

In 1921 Yamaha began to produce propellers and internal combustion engines for warplanes, which became the foundation of its motorcycle and motorboat production. Soon the Second World War stalled the musical instrument production completely and the factories were attacked and damaged by the British naval gunfire.

After the war, Yamaha started to produce organs and pianos again. In 1959, it released a electric organ Electone and this model soon became the leading brand of electric organ worldwide, used in music halls, churches, and so on.

During 1970s and 80s Yamaha stretched its business to electronics feedbacking the technology of Electone. With five other companies it set the MIDI standard in 1981.

Key people[]

Kenmochi Hideki Kenmochi (剣持秀紀), known as "the father of VOCALOID", is the SA Group Team leader of Yamaha Sound Technology Development Center. In 2000 he began the first developments with a team at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain. VOCALOID was not originally intended to be a commercial product. He continued to be an important figure with the development of the VOCALOID software up until the announcement of his retirement on January 30th, 2015.[1][2][3]
KatsumiIshikawa Katsumi Ishikawa (石川克己) became the new head of the Vocaloid Project after Kenmochi retired in early 2015.[4]


Yamaha started the development of the VOCALOID engine in March 2000 and formally announced it in 2003. This is the sampling and re-editing of the real singing voice. Users set parameters such as clearness and vibrato as they like so they can create "a virtual singer of their own". The first VOCALOID products were LEON, LOLA, and MIRIAM released in 2004 by Zero-G. Yamaha produced their own VOCALOIDs: MEIKO, who was also released in 2004 and KAITO, who was released in 2006 after some adjustments were made to the VOCALOID engine, which delayed his release by a year and a half. The two products' commercial preparation and release were handled by Crypton Future Media, Inc..

This first generation of VOCALOID had artificial sound and did not become popular. In August 31, 2007, Hatsune Miku, using the second generation VOCALOID2 platform, was released by Crypton Future Media, Miku was the first VOCALOID made by Crypton Future Media themselves. This product was supported widely with its natural singing and sparked the VOCALOID trend.

Main articles: VOCALOID and See Bplats' Voicebanks section

In 2010, Yamaha once again began to develop their own voicebanks for the VOCALOID2 program, starting with a co-involvement on Lily. Then, they began their VY series with VY1. To date, Yamaha has the largest group of vocals released using it either as co-developer or as a distributor (such as was the case of the original Macne Nana release on VOCALOID3). It has also recommended studios to potential Vocaloid voicebanks and has led to Yuzuki Yukari's creation at least being confirmed. It has also been known to invest into some studios in contribution towards developing Vocaloid as mentioned in YANHE's development.

"Yamaha" releases are releases that use Yamaha as a distributor, as a result the group is a mix of different approaches compared to other "groups" of Vocaloid within the franchise. They are often very miscellaneous to each other and the rest of the frenchise, therefore often vary in approach between the vocal releases. Macne Nana have also left the group and is now classified under the AH-Software Co. Ltd. Vocaloids.










Promotional involvement[]


Main article: iVocaloid,
Main article: VOCALOID first,
Main article: Vocalodama,
Main article: VocaloWitter,
Main article: Mobile VOCALOID Editor

Fan involvement[]

During the promotions of VY1, a Youtube account called VOCALOID Store uploaded VY1's demos. The account states that it is a "Japan-based eCommerce store specialized for VOCALOID and related items. The store is operated by Bplats, Inc. under licensed by Yamaha Corporation."

Because of VY2 having been created, and officially released, VOCALOID Store has also uploaded demos of his voice.

VocaFes Competition[]

At VocaFes 2011, two winners were announced whose images will be used for VY1 and VY2. However VY1's redefined version was not presented alongside the original artwork like VY2's was because of an error. Previously, it was announced they would host a competition for everyone to design mascots for the characters as a method of perceiving what the fandom thought of VY1 and VY2.

Yamaha Corporation x nana Music Co., Ltd. Voice Provider Audition[]

On February 15, 2022, Yamaha Corporation announced an audition for a new VOCALOID voicebank, which would be made in collaboration with nana Music Co., Ltd., and would run until February 28. Participants were to sing along with an instrumental of their favorite song and post it to nana's app along with the tag "#ボカロオーディション" (Vocaloid Audition). There was no set age limit, but it was required that minors needed parental consent. Participants with management contracts with other music agencies were ineligible to apply. The examination results would be announced on the app around March 15.[5] The grand winner would record a VOCALOID5 voicebank and receive a copy of the VOCALOID5 editor with Amy, Chris, Kaori, & Ken. The VOCALOID5 Standard set would also be rewarded to the semifinalist (1 participant), nana's special prize winner (1 participant), and those granted the excellence award (7 participants). Recording for the voicebank was scheduled for Summer 2022, though the release date was undecided.[6]


External links[]