Techlust: Vocaloid 2 – Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku

Today’s Techlust features a green-haired beauty from the far East that, due to Japan’s odd, hazy copyright laws, has been featured in so many derivative works, Yamaha might as well just copyleft the whole deal and sell regular updates and bonuses via a Steamesque system- and maybe start up an anime to boot.

No, seriously, Yamaha. I’d buy the DVDs of a good, fun, slightly-drama-y anime starring Hatsune Miku.

Hatsune Miku  (“First-Sound Future” if literally translated) is the star of Yamaha’s rerelease of the Vocaloid line of voice synth software- named, rather unimaginatively, Vocaloid2. She is the first of what is now three versions of this new generation of user-friendly songmakers – and can probably now be called NicoTV’s unofficial mascot, given the sheer abundance of amateur works she’s influenced and sung for, and subsequently posted on Japan’s answer to Youtube.

Her siblings, the twins Kagamine Len and Rin, Kamui Gakupo and the bilingual Megurine Luka, are basically the same software tweaked to emulate the voices of two other voice actresses and Gackt (voice of Kamui Gakupo), the venerable J-rock veteran.

Despite the growing popularity of her sibling Vocaloids, however, Miku’s popularity remains strong amongst the amateur songwriters of Japan. Mainly because Len/Rin have the voices of 14 year olds, Gackt is OLD, and Luka specializes in a slow jazz tempo. Her older siblings, Meiko and Kaito of the original Vocaloid1 software, have even greater range than Miku (as she generally specializes in J-pop tunes, with some crossover into rock), but are of inferior sound quality, and arguably of ease of use.

Yamaha did a really interesting thing with the entire Vocaloid line, and especially with V2. Though they remain inferior to having a trained, experienced human singer, the quality and enthusiasm of many of the fan creations has made it clear that they’ve successfully removed many of the technical barriers between an earnest will and a heartfelt song.

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Miku’s just plain hot.

(warning: last two links may be a tad depressing)

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~ by Gonzo Mehum on January 30, 2009.

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