Archive for the ‘General News’ Category
During a recent episode of Dream Creator, invited guest and head of the VOCALOID project team Kenmochi Hideki talked about the history of VOCALOID and then revealed details about an upcoming project they’ve planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of VOCALOID. The project will allow the user to create the effect of three male singers singing together and is intended as a nod to the early days of VOCALOID, when it was still a project going by the code name “DAISY”. Although VOCALOID was announced to the world on February 26, 2003, development had already started around March of 2000. Back then, one of the main uses imagined for this technology was to provide backing vocals and placeholder vocals with realistic singing. Thus, with the 10th anniversary looming, the project team thought about what backing vocals really entailed, with this project as the result. As part of the project, they are working on developing a plugin that would be able to subtly shift and offset a vocal track so that multiple vocal lines singing in unison would not suffer from phase distortion artifacts that made it sound unnatural, as is the case with the current version of VOCALOID.
According to a tweet from INTERNET’s Noboru Murakami, the official Megpoid English website will reveal an all-new character illustration specifically for Megpoid English on February 28, when the sound bank is scheduled to be released. A followup tweet states that this new illustration will be very different from the illustrations up until now and suggests that different images be used based on how they fit the mood of the song. It’s possible that the silhouette revealed previously on the official Facebook page for GUMI is the silhouette for the new character design.
On his official Twitter account, Swedish singer YOHIO has confirmed that he will be voicing an upcoming English-Japanese bilingual voice bank for music software company PowerFX, the company behind English VOCALOID voice banks Sweet Ann, Big Al and Oliver. PowerFX CEO Bil Bryant also confirmed with us the news, stating that recording had already begun, although pricing and other details have not been set yet. The effeminate-looking YOHIO, currently 17, has been featured on Japanese music news site BARKS and was influenced by visual kei culture. He had already released a mini album in Japan last April and is set to release a full album this April 24 through Universal Japan. Rumors about PowerFX making a bilingual voice bank with a Swedish singer (as well as subsequent plans to make an American sound bank) were sparked by an email from Bil Bryant to a customer that was posted online before the parties involved were ready to properly announce the project. The posted email also stated that PowerFX was two months away from a release.
Round1 on its official Facebook page has announced the start of a playtest run of Project DIVA Arcade machines at their Puente Hills location after many photos of the machines had started popping up on social networks. This confirms previous rumors of the presence of these arcade cabinets at Round1, although instead of being permanent parts of the arcade, these cabinets will simply be part of a playtest run designed to gather feedback for use in the consideration of future deployments. It appears that each play will be for four credits each, and the playtest will be held between 12:00PM February 14 and 2:00AM March 18. Furthermore, Round1 will give out one IC card to each player who fills out a survey. This is the first time a proper playtest is being held in the US for Project DIVA. Such playtests have been held before in Hong Kong (early Sept. 2010), Singapore (late Sept. 2010) and Taiwan (late Oct. 2010) a few months before permanent deployment of these arcade machines in those countries (early Jan./late Feb. 2011). Should Project DIVA Arcade launch in the US officially, it would give fans an alternative to importing the console version of the game, although gameplay is slightly different between the two.
According to a new post on the official Hatsune Miku Facebook page, the official Hatsune Miku channel, now dubbed “39ch” or “MIKU channel”, will start syndicating weekly content. A teaser video (featuring the song Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!) shows off the various types of content that will appear on the channel, including art, music, live performances and interviews, etc., stating it will be “everything about Hatsune Miku… and creators”. At the end of the video, Miku asks the viewer to subscribe to the channel in both Japanese and English.
As was noted in a pamphlet being passed out at NAMM, INTERNET is making available a demo version of their upcoming Megpoid English sound bank. As of now, people interested in trying out the new VOCALOID3 sound bank for 14 days can register to obtain a download link via email, with an unique user identification number. However, since INTERNET’s server doesn’t have enough bandwidth to serve everyone a 1.5GB file directly, it appears that downloads are only open for specific identification numbers. Anyone visiting the download link with those numbers get access to the download while everyone else seems to get shown a blank white page with a broken/incomplete HTML form.
UPDATE: The emailed link is now a standard HTTP download that everyone is able to access.
The official Mikupa website has now announced that MAGES. in cooperation with WOWOW will be holding a concert in Wakayama on March 9, 2013. The event, titled “Hatsune Miku Live Party 2013 in Kansai (Mikupa♪) -39′s Spring the 3rd Synthesis-” will be held at the Wakayama Big Whale and is expected to start at 2PM and last three hours. Tickets are 6800 JPY with assigned seating, and students who bring their student identification will receive 1000 JPY back at the door. The official pre-orders will be held starting at 3PM on January 19 and last through the end of January 27. As this is a collaboration with WOWOW, the show will also be broadcast live over WOWOW’s satellite channel. This is the first time an official Miku concert has been held in the Kansai region of Japan; previous concerts have been held in Tokyo (which is in the Kantou region of Japan) and Sapporo (which is in Hokkaido).
Production group Vocalekt Visions, who have written several VOCALOID songs and previously held a few concerts in the United States, has just put up a KickStarter campaign to raise money in an attempt to improve the quality of their concerts. They hope to raise 50,000 USD in two months, with most of the money going towards projectors and screens as well as a new sound system. The pledge perks include CDs, concert DVDs and even custom songs written for pledgers. As of writing, they currently have two pledgers, one at 39.39 USD and one at 10 USD.
As many companies get back to business in Japan after the New Years break, company staff often post greetings for a new year. The VOCALOID team at Yamaha was no exception. What is interesting, however, is that this year marks 10 years of VOCALOID, and the team wanted to kick off projects to celebrate this anniversary. Their New Years greeting states that as the first of such projects, they will bring to market a new VOCALOID sound library in order to present people with a never-done-before way of enjoying VOCALOID.
INTERNET Co., Ltd. has now unveiled a website for the upcoming Megpoid (GUMI) English VOCALOID3 library release as well as a full version of the demo song “You Are the Reason”. A snippet of the song was previously posted as the first demo of the English soundbank, and the full version even includes a portion of GUMI talking. According to the website, online preorders open on January 15 via the VOCALOID STORE, and the library is priced at 10800 JPY (before taxes). The release also comes with the FormantShift VST plugin from the same company (although registered users of software packages from INTERNET also get access to this plugin for free). The Japanese website indicates that people who register their software before the end of March (and have a Japanese address) also are eligible to receive an A4 plastic sheet protector with a Megpoid English illustration on it mailed to them. Lastly, there is now a page detailing English character usage guidelines for INTERNET’s VOCALOID characters.
UPDATE 2: The library-only package version is now available via the English VOCALOID STORE for preorders; it is 135 USD for the software and 32 USD for shipping.