Thursday, March 08, 2012

How Vocaloid Made the Singer Obsolete

For those of you who don’t know, there is a new type of singer surfacing and it’s begun in Japan. Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer now used by pop starts like Britney Spears and Madonna (haven’t you notices how eerily high pitch they were?). After Yamaha Corporation backed up the development, the technology allowed recorded vocals of a voice actor typed up and sung along to an input melody to create a song.  Vocaloid works by splicing and processing fragments of extracted human singing voices and adding vocal expressions: ie vibrato. What you get is a synthesis engine designed just for singing but without the shouts and hoarse voices of metal (sorry guys.)

What’s so amazing about Vocaloid is how it has transformed from just a piece of machine into a sensation. The software was released in Japan as Crypton Future Media’s Hatsune Miku; Hatsune Miku being an animated character debuting with the software. The software became such a hit, that a video sharing website was created in recognition: Nico Nico Douga.  Many users would generate illustrations, animation in 2D and 3D and create remixes of other users. Bringing the 2D Hatsune Miku to life has made her the “Best new virtual singing for the Otaku generation.” (CNN) Check the Video below to see exactly what I mean.

Other characters have also debuted as the sensation in concerts allowed more opportunities in reinventing the Vocaloid experience.  If the future in Japan has gone virtual, can we hope that USA won’t follow suit? Unless geeks rule the capital, it’ll be something we have to fly to the land of the rising sun to see.

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