Monday, December 13, 2010

Vocaloid Animonster (Indonesian Magazine) Translation

Just let me do this, OK?


Most of you guys might be familiar with the term Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid. Unfortunately, Vocaloid isn't the title of anime or manga [despite that a manga was released later which was based on this program]. Vocaloid is a voice synthesizer program made by Yamaha which is very popular worldwide. And Hatsune Miku is one of the characters made for this program. Vocaloid is 'played' not only by inputting words and notes into the program, we could also make these Vocaloids sing. Is it easy or hard? Well, it's more like in the middle...


Vocaloid is a voice synthesizer program developed by Pompeu Fabra University in Spain which is officially sponsored by Yamaha. The program enables the user to make songs from imitated voice data in the program by just inserting lyrics and melodies. The Vocaloid synthetic voices came is recorded from the voices of singers or seiyuus. There are a lot of famous seiyuu and singers whose voice became the base of these Vocaloids, one of them is Gackt, whose Vocaloid's name is Kamui Gakupo [which is an anagram of 'Camui Gackt'], and is called Gackpoid.

Vocaloid Software isn't only available in Japanese, the first Vocaloid series were actually made for English. Yamaha announced Vocaloid the first time in the Musikmesse festival in Germany by March 2003. Leon and Lola were the first Vocaloids to be produced. The program isn't only for professional musicians, but amateurs could also use it. What became the limitations are only the ability of each user.


The simple things to do is to put one syllable for one note, arrange the note where the syllable will be placed, the length of the note, the intervals, and the vibration of the voice. The lyrics and notes will be inserted into an appearance that is similar to a music sheet where the notes and lyrics could be arranged to the liking. The higher it goes, the note would also go higher, the same with the reverse. Each character's voice has a different voice range, some characters with a normal voice range would be falsetto if we put the notes outside the voice range. Or for characters with a high voice, low notes would sound very weird, that also goes for the characters with a low-voiced character, high notes will sound very silly and 'forced'.

The voice accent could also be changed. There are some pressings such as for the sound of 'r', 'p', and some other consonants on one of the modes. For Japanese Vocaloids, you could put Indonesian lyrics to be sung by these Vocaloids, but the pronunciation will sound funny. The sound of 'la' will sound like 'ea', and 'va' would sound like '~a'. But if you put the 'la' syllable without any pressure, it will almost sound like 'la'. It might sound easy, but there's a lot of note variations, length of making a song, and there are also a lot of features to be used. For anyone who is blind with notes and not musically talented, without any instruments to be played to know the desirable note; it will be very, very hard to arrange the notes in the program and make the Vocaloid character sing as the user wanted.



- Leon & Lola
Developer: Zero-G LTD.
Series: Vocaloid
Release Date: March 3 2004
Gender: Male [Leon], Lola [Female]

Leon and Lola are the first series of Vocaloids. They first appeared in the NAMM event on 12 February 12 2004, and were commercially released in March on the same year.

- Meiko
Developer: Crypton Future Media LTD. [CFM]
Series: Vocaloid
Release Date: November 5 2004
Gender: Female
Voice Base: Haigo Meiko

Meiko is the first Vocaloid that is marketed with box ilustrated with an anime styled image. Her voice is taken from Haigo Meiko who is stable and flat, so it could be used for any kind of music. Before Luca appeared, Meiko is the most mature voice of Japanese voicebanks. Because this type of voice has more flow, Meiko has a wide voice range.

Developer: Crypton Future Media LTD. [CFM]
Series: Vocaloid
Release Date: February 17 2006
Gender: Male
Voice Base: Fuga Naoto

Kaito only sold 500 copies and Crypton considered it as a failed product. But after Hatsune Miku is released, Kaito had reproduced and now a large amount of Vocaloid users likes his voice characteristics which is soft but firm.


Developer: Power FX
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: 29 June 29 2007
Gender: Female
Voice Base: Jody

Sweet-Ann is the first Vocaloid to use the upgraded system Vocaloid2, with the voice of an Australian singer named Jody. Vocaloid fans give other names to Sweet-Ann, like Amai Ann, or Amane Ann.

-Hatsune Miku
Developer: Crypton Future Media LTD. [CFM]
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: August 31 2007
Gender: Female
Age: 16
Height/Weight: 158 cm/42 kg
Voice Base: Fujita Saki

Hatsune Miku's name was taken from the word Hatsu [first], Ne [voice], and Miku [from the kanji Mirai, future]. This green-haired girl with pigtails takes the sample from Fujita Saki's voice. Miku and Vocaloid became super popular since a Nico-Nico Douga [a Youtube-like site from Japan] uploaded a video of Hachune Miku [the chibi version of Miku] who sang Levan Polka [a song from Finland]--remixed with super fast notes--while waving a spring onion. Since that time a lot of Vocaloid users make their own songs, upload them, and the song is used by other users to make an animation for the song. Miku also held a concert in Animelo Summer Live in Saitama Super Arena in August 2009, she also showed up in Miku Fest [2009], Anime Festival Asia [2009], Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39's Giving Project [2010]. By April 2010, Hatsune Miku Append was released. Append has voicebanks which is different from the usual version. All of the voices were still provided by Fujita Saki. The Appends voicebanks included are: Soft, Sweet, Dark, Vivid, Solid, Light.

-Kagamine Len + Rin
Developer: Crypton Future Media LTD. [CFM]
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: December 27 2007
Gender: Female [Rin], Male [Len]
Age: 14
Height/Weight: 152 cm/43 kg [Rin], 156 cm/47 kg [Len]
Voice Base: Shimoda Asami

This pair of blond-haired twins took the name from Kagami [mirror], Ne [voice], Rin [might be taken from 'right'], and Len [might be taken from 'left']. This Vocaloid2 software inserted a double voicebank for male and female. Because of that Crypton searched for a voice provider who could imitate the voice of both genders. Even though he's a boy, Len's voice range is almost the same as Rin, just a little bit lower. What made the difference is that Rin's accent is more 'boyish'. Len and Rin's voice are very harmonic so the user could use both of them for duets in a song.

-Kamui Gakupo
Developer: INTERNET Co. LTD
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: July 31 2008
Gender: Male
Age: In his 20s
Voice Base: Camui Gackt

Initially INTERNET Co. wanted to make a Vocaloid character based on the existing singers. Unfortunately it is hard to find a singer who would agree. After consulting with Dwango who in charge of Nico-Nico Douga, they suggested them to use Gackt. Gackt agree to 'lend' his voice and named the Vocaloid, Gacktpoid.

-Megurine Luca
Developer: Crypton Future Media LTD. [CFM]
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: January 30 2009
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Height/Weight: 162 cm/45 kg
Voice Base: Asakawa Yuu

Her name is taken from the word Meguri [around], Ne [voice], and Luca which is taken from the kanji Nagare [flow] and Ka [song]. The Luca program is produced for two languages, Japanese and English. Only a few days after her release, a lot of songs with Luca's voice showed up and were immediately put on the 30 Top Chart in Weekely Vocaloid Ranking [Februari 2009].

Developer: INTERNET Co. LTD
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: June 25 2009
Gender: Female
Voice Base: Nakajima Megumi

This official mascot of Megpoid named Gumi who is voiced by Nakajuma Megumi has the most realistic voice and sings with a soft voice. Between all of the female Vocaloids, only Gumi had the widest voice range.

Developer: INTERNET Co. LTD
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: July 14 2009
Gender: Female
Age: 17
Height/Weight: 1167 cm/58 kg
Voice Base: -

Sonika is the third Vocaloid2 which is based on English. She is the first English Vocaloid product to use a character design and biography printed on the back of the product package. Even though it is marketed in English, Sonika is able to sing a song in other languages' accents, because the voicebank is not limited to any syllable or phonetics.

-SF-A2 Miki
Developer: AH software
Series: Vocaloid 2
Release Date: December 4 2009
Gender: Female
Voice Base: Furukawa Miki

Her voice is frequently compared to the other Vocaloids', because it has similarities with Rin, Luca, and Meiko. This made Miki have a lot of voice variations but users would usually complain because what Miki has is already owned by the previous versions Vocaloid2.

There are more Vocaloid2 that had been released until the end of 2010, like Kaai Yuki, who represents a voice of a little 9-year-old girl. Hiyama Kiyoteru for the softest voice compared with the other male Vocaloid. Big Al, who has a classic rock voice. And there are still many more Vocaloids. Moreover, there already have news about the release of Vocaloid 3 by 2011.


Miku-Miku Dance
This program is separated from the other Vocaloid programs because it uses 3D animation. This freeware can be used to make the Vocaloid characters dance.

Vocaloid Flex
If Vocaloid 1 and Vocaloid 2 are programs specifically to make songs, then Vocaloid Flex is used for 'speaking'. This program has a speech synthesizer which enables the user to edit the phonetic voice system from the Vocaloid characters and make them talk like a person.

Like the usual Vocaloid program, users could make a song online with the program provided by the server. This program is available in English and Japanese.


Even if her name means 'first', Miku isn't actually the first Vocaloid of this second series, even if it's true, Miku is the first Vocaloid 2 in the Japanese version. Before Miku, there is Sweet Ann who first uses the new features in Vocaloid2.

A Vocaloid comic entitled Maker Hikoshiko Hatsune Mix, is serialized in Comic Rush magazine since November 2007. It was illustrated by Kei, the same illustrator as the one who designed Miku, Rin/Len, and Luca. The second comic entitled Hachune Miku ni Nichijo Roipara! is serialized in Comp Ace in December 2007, while the illustrator is Ontama.

As a virtual idol, Hatsune Miku held her first "live" concert on a projection screen during the Animelo Summer Live in Saitama Super Arena on August 22 2009. She also did her first overseas preformance in "MikuFes '09 (Summer)" on August 31 2009, during Anime Festival Asia (AFA) in Singapore. On 9 March 2010, Miku's first live solo preformance entitled "Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39's Giving Day" is opened in Tokyo Zepp in Odaiba, Tokyo. Then, the first Hatsune Miku concert in North America is held in San Franscisco. A playback of the concert was shown in New York in an anime festival on October 8 2010.

1 comment:

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