Vocaloid

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

Music class can be pretty hit or miss. Some people really enjoy it and find a life-long passion–other fumble hopelessly with the drumsticks and just wish it were time to start math class. Either way, we all had to sit through it, right?

But as important as learning an instrument may be, it kind of seems like music class is still stuck in the 20th century–or even the 19th century. After all, the music industry today relies as much on Pro Tools as it does on an expert bass player. So while we’ll always need skilled musicians, it does seem prudent to introduce the more technologically advanced aspects of music to the classroom, doesn’t it?

Well, one Japanese school did just that by offering a vocaloid composition trial lesson to their curriculum!

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Vocaloid’s fandom evolves beyond the music and becomes the face of young Japanese otaku

Vocaloid’s fandom evolves beyond the music and becomes the face of young Japanese otaku

Last month, we posted an article capturing the changes in anime art style over time. These adjustments in overall style can come on so slowly, but when laid out side-by-side, they become so blatantly apparent, it’s amazing that such a large breadth of drawing styles could all come under the umbrella of Japanese anime. It would seem that with every passing decade there comes an attraction to a different art style.

In the special interest magazine, Febri volume 19, there is an interesting report called Portrait of a Modern Otaku, which classifies these trends in popular Japanese anime according to “generations,” starting with Space Battleship Yamato and all of its fans falling into generation one. Generation two is represented by Gundam, while fans born of Evangelion and erotic dating simulators belong to generation three. Today’s twenty-somethings likely identify with the fourth generation of fans frontlined by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And finally, the youngest bunch, teenagers and below are classified together with none other than Kagerou Project.

But wait. How could it be that an offshoot of Vocaloid, the computer voice simulator, is the poster child for this most recent generation of otaku? The development of Vocaloid fandom itself, holds the answers.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f coming to a PlayStation Vita near you

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f coming to a PlayStation Vita near you

Heads up, Vocaloid fans, the fifth entry in the “DIVA” rhythm music game series is heading to Sony’s sexy portable. More info and in-game footage after the jump.

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Vocaloid’s new automated composer set to simplify songwriting

Vocaloid’s new automated composer set to simplify songwriting

Yamaha Corporation, creator of audio equipment, instruments, and synthesizers including the immensely popular voice synthesizer series known as Vocaloid, announced yesterday that it is developing an automated song generator called VOCALODUCER, which will automatically compose a song, given lyrics and a few basic parameters. It sounds like pretty soon anyone can be a Vocaloid song producer in no time!

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Rocking out with the Wagakki Band: Giving vocaloids a human voice

Rocking out with the Wagakki Band: Giving vocaloids a human voice

While vocaloids like Hatsune Miku are still relatively unknown in the West, they have quite the following in Japan and can be found taking part in everything from live concerts to limited edition smartphones. Though some may worry that the digital singers mean the end of “human” music, so far that’s hardly been the case. In fact, it’s nothing strange to find regular bands performing cover songs of vocaloid originals!

One band has taken the concept a step further by introducing some unique, traditional elements and are garnering quite a bit of attention among Japanese Internet users. Meet the Wagakki Band with Yuko Suzuhana and get ready to rock!

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Wanna sleep next to Hatsune Miku? There’s an app for that!

Wanna sleep next to Hatsune Miku? There’s an app for that!

Up until now, lonely otaku wishing to tuck in with their favorite anime character had to rely on the cotton-blend comfort of their beloved dakimakura, aka “love pillows.” I’m sure it’s nice to wrap around the 2-D image of one’s imaginary lover, but it must be a bit of a letdown considering that a pillow only satisfies two of the major senses: sight and touch. Just think how far these fan’s crazy fantasies could carry them if sound and scent also came into play.

Well, Vocaloid fans rejoice, because a member of Nico Nico Douga’s engineering department has put together an application which allows the user to not only see and interact with a 3-D virtual model of Hatsune Miku in her bed, they can also hear, touch, and even smell her! Talk about dreams come true!

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Marionette Miku brought to life on Niconico Douga 【Video】

Marionette Miku brought to life on Niconico Douga 【Video】

In a video recently uploaded to Japan’s Niconico Douga, Hatsune Miku appears as a marionette from the Edo period. The video is a period-style tribute to videos created with MikuMikuDance, a free 3-D animation program often used in the creation of Vocaloid music videos and other fan videos. This particular clip doesn’t actually feature any synthesizers or computer animations but brings Miku to life with true Edo flair.

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Internet meme sensation Nyan Cat surpasses 100 million views!

Internet meme sensation Nyan Cat surpasses 100 million views!

It’s the tale of the little Pop Tart space cat that could: YouTube video Nyan Cat has now been watched more than 100 million times online! In recognition of this momentous feat, we take a quick look back at where the perpetually smiling pastry pussy came from and how he stole our hearts, minds and computer screens.

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Docomo and Sony team up to produce limited edition Hatsune Miku Xperia smart phone

Docomo and Sony team up to produce limited edition Hatsune Miku Xperia smart phone

On July 4, Japanese cell phone provider Docomo announced that it will soon release a smart phone in collaboration with Hatsune Miku. Known as the Xperia feat. HATSUNE MIKU, the device is slated for release in late September, making it the first ever collaboration between Hatsune Miku and Sony’s Xperia brand, a name some of our readers might remember, after the company unveiled its mammoth Xperia Z Ultra. This new piece is mainly a nod to Miku’s many fans, but all of the special features and promotions are sure to satisfy anyone with even a passing interest.

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Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs creates high fashion Hatsune Miku

Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs creates high fashion Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku, the virtual pop singer, has been selling out entire theatres for her most recent performance in The End, the world’s first (and possibly only) vocaloid opera. As would be expected from an opera that replaces humans with digital singers, The End is full of surprises. But the most surprising of all is their choice of Marc Jacobs as digital wardrobe designer. Miku’s new outfit was recently revealed at the premiere of The End in Shibuya.

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Hatsune Miku + Rika-chan Collaboration Coming Soon!

Hatsune Miku + Rika-chan Collaboration Coming Soon!

Exciting news for both Vocaloid fans and doll collectors – the first details of a collaboration between Japan’s version of Barbie, Rika-chan, and otaku idol Hatsune Miku have been leaked online. Read More

This 7-Year-Old Japanese Girl Can Dance Better Than You

This 7-Year-Old Japanese Girl Can Dance Better Than You

Well it looks like the end of the world theory based on the prophecy of civilization that couldn’t predict its own demise turned out to be bunk. What better way to celebrate than with adorable videos of a 7-year-old Japanese girl dancing in public?

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Hatsune Miku Stars in Humanless Opera “THE END”, It Ain’t Over ‘Till the Incredibly Skinny Vocaloid Sings

Hatsune Miku Stars in Humanless Opera “THE END”, It Ain’t Over ‘Till the Incredibly Skinny Vocaloid Sings

Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media is about to add a new twist to a classical performance.  At the beginning of December they are set to hold probably the first ever Vocaloid opera, titled THE END.

The opera is supported by a strong production team but was recently announced to have gotten some brand name backing from the fashion industry.  Fashion world titan Marc Jacobs and a team from Louis Vuitton are lending their talents to costume the lead Hatsune Miku.

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Japanese Man Makes Bizarre Program That Lets You Raise Skirts With Your Voice

Japanese Man Makes Bizarre Program That Lets You Raise Skirts With Your Voice

All Niconico user Naota wanted to do was see some panties.

“No matter how many pictures I look at in books or on screens, I can’t get my feelings through…”, laments Naota as he flips through the pages  of a suggestive anime magazine.

Even after going so far as to project a dancing life size image of virtual idol Hatsune Miku onto a screen, Naota found that his desire for digital panties went unnoticed and his efforts unrewarded.

As Naota learned, reality is a harsh mistress. Sometimes things don’t go the way you’d like them to, and while you can kick and scream all you want, it won’t change anything.

But what if it did? What if, by screaming at the top of your lungs, you could blow reality’s skirt right up in the air, allowing you to gaze at her panties in triumph?

This is the possibility that inspired Naota to take matters into his own hands…

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New Vocaloid Mayu Gets December 5 Release Date, Bundled with 2-disk CD Compilation

New Vocaloid Mayu Gets December 5 Release Date, Bundled with 2-disk CD Compilation

Vocaloid producer Exit Tunes announced today that the newest Vocaloid, Mayu, will make her debut on December 5 along with the release of VOCALOID3 Library MAYU, a special package containing the Vocaloid3 software with Mayu’s voice library installed and a 2-CD compilation of Mayu tracks produced by over 30 different artists.

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Hatsune Miku Should not be Made Into Yakisoba and Here’s Why

Hatsune Miku Should not be Made Into Yakisoba and Here’s Why

Remember those Hatsune Miku steamed buns? Those were pretty cute, even if they didn’t hold up in the heat too well. But most of the time, the virtual idol’s turquoise/grey color palette doesn’t make for the most appetizing themed dishes. Yakisoba is no exception.

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Hatsune Miku 7-Eleven Parody Video Will Give You Nightmares

Hatsune Miku 7-Eleven Parody Video Will Give You Nightmares

If you weren’t in the know (and by the know we mean Japan), Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart and Hatsune Miku are running a promotional campaign from August 14 to September 10 to celebrate the Vocaloid’s 5th birthday.

To spread word of the campaign, Family Mart created a 15-second television commercial featuring Miku singing the store’s signature jingle and posted it to YouTube on August 17, though a ripped version had been posted to Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga a few days earlier.

One group of enterprising viewers saw the video and immediately got the idea for a parody, which he posted to Nico Nico and YouTube on August 19. The parody, titled “Miku LOVES Seven Campaign [Fiction]“. features a super deformed Hatsune Miku singing the Japanese 7-Eleven jingle and is absolutely terrifying.

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New Hatsune Miku Music Video “ODDS&ENDS” Leaves the World in Tears 【Updated】

New Hatsune Miku Music Video “ODDS&ENDS” Leaves the World in Tears 【Updated】

There are literally tens of thousands of songs out there that use the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid software for vocals, but few can inspire and touch people’s hearts like the work of Japanese 11-member music group Supercell.

On August 14, Supercell released the music video for their new single “ODDS&ENDS,” their first song to feature Hatsune Miku in over a year and the opening theme for the upcoming Playstation Vita game “Hatsune Miku Project DIVA-f.”

Check out the video below and be sure to grab a box of tissues because Supercell has once again managed to pour more emotion into this virtual singer than can be found in most pop songs today.

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New Goth-Loli Vocaloid Ready to Take the Stage, Maybe Some Heads Too…

New Goth-Loli Vocaloid Ready to Take the Stage, Maybe Some Heads Too…

A new Vocaloid character named Mayu was announced by Exit Tunes, a Japanese record label that produces Vocaloid albums, during their live event at Saitama Super Arena on May 6.

Mayu dresses in goth-loli style, wearing a black dress with red ribbons and a beret that with a speaker attached. She holds a plush rabbit with a microphone at the top its head and pictures on the official site suggest she uses the doll when performing.

While red ribbons and plush bunnies sound adorable enough, Japanese netizens have noticed one slightly discomforting detail: Mayu is gripping an axe with her right hand.

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Hatsune Miku ‘Hijacks’ Convenience Store Family Mart During March Concert Event

Hatsune Miku ‘Hijacks’ Convenience Store Family Mart During March Concert Event

Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart announced that Vocaloid idol Hatsune Miku will “hijack” four stores around Tokyo Dome City as a part of the Miku no Hi Kanshasai concert event that will take place on March 8-9.

The promotion will run 8 days from March 3-10 and each participating store will be decorated with glass decals and life-sized posters of Hatsune Miku, as well as offer a selection of limited-edition Hatsune Miku goods.

Furthermore, during the event days of March 8-9, each store will be giving away a different original Hatsune Miku clear plastic file, limited to the first 8000 customers who make a purchase of at least 390 yen (US $4.80). Each store will have only 1,000 files per day to give away, and quantities will be limited to one per person.

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