Archive for the ‘General News’ Category
Last Friday, Good Smile Company started their “2013 Summer Scale Figure Photo Contest” with figures as prizes for winning photos that feature GSC’s Scale Figure(s) that have or will have been released as of July 7, 2013. The deadline for submissions will be July 7, 2013 as well. Prizes will be determined by both a vetting process as well as public voting, with even a random drawing for lucky voters to get a free figure of their own. Currently the official website is only available in Japanese, but a small note on the top banner indicates that an English version is on its way.
Crypton Future Media’s Sasaki Wataru (wat) has revealed a few little tidbits here and there about the currently-in-production MEIKO V3 sound banks both last week and today on Twitter. Most of the comments were with regards to recording and adjustments to specific parts of the sound bank to improve its quality. However, last week, he also mentioned on the side that it’s not definite that MEIKO V3 would be the next sound bank to be released, hinting at Miku being a contender. This week, he unveiled a new MEIKO Twitter icon, although he specifically states that it’s not a silhouette of the box art.
It appears that VOCALOID producer 40mP has written a song that will be aired on NHK’s music program Minna no Uta in the August to September timeframe. The song, titled “Shounen to Mahou no Robot” (A Boy and a Magical Robot), was specifically written for the show and will be sung by GUMI. Minna no Uta is a well-known show in Japan aimed at youths that introduces songs via its five-minute broadcasts. It was started in 1961 by NHK and has been running ever since, and this will mark the first time the long-running show featured a non-human singer. While on the show, “Shounen to Mahou no Robot” will be accompanied by animation made by illustrator tama, who had made other videos for 40mP songs such as “Do Re Mi Fa Rondo” and “Shiryoku Kensa”. 40mP originally received his monicker from his song uploaded on niconico called “Melody in the sky” in which the background visuals featured a Miku who looked 40 meters tall. He has since then produced many hits including “Torinoko City” and “Time Machine” (in collaboration with 164, with their combo named 1640mP).
On day 2 of Niconico Chokaigi 2, Yamaha held an hour-long panel talking about their latest VOCALOID-related developments. Front and center was ZOLA Project; more background was given about this three-person male VOCALOID sound bank, and voice samples were played as well. Other products featured were DAW plugin VOCALOID Editor for Cubase, VOCALOID3 Job Plugin VocaListener and a series of iVOCALOID iOS apps. Finally, the panel talked about the future of galaco, and PeperonP came up to plug his book.
On the first day of the second ever niconico-oriented festival, Chokaigi, INTERNET Co., Ltd. presented a Megpoid-centered panel giving out the latest information. As this was part of a niconico event, the panel was broadcasted live as well. Amongst other things, the panel demonstrated Megpoid English, hinted at a new GUMI speech synthesis project, and then finally talked about a GUMI music contest.
According to an article at DTM Station, a Japanese news site about desktop music production, Yamaha demonstrated a Mac version of VOCALOID Editor for Cubase, slated for a release this autumn. This new entry, unveiled at a publicity event for upcoming products on April 15, will mark the first Mac-native product using the VOCALOID engine. Like its Windows cousin, the Mac version of VOCALOID Editor for Cubase is a plugin for Cubase 7 (or Cubase Artist 7) that allows the user to directly edit and play back VOCALOID vocals inside Cubase. The product was demonstrated using the VY1V3, VY2V3 and the VY2V3 Falsetto sound banks. Unfortunately, possibly due to complexities with the activation system, sound libraries released for Windows cannot be used directly with this software; the original companies behind the sound banks must release Mac versions in order for them to be support by this software. Furthermore, there are no current plans to release a Mac version of the standalone VOCALOID3 Editor, either. Audio equipment retailer Rock oN Company had also attended the event and posted a video on YouTube showing the Mac version in action. Crypton Future Media added a post on the Piapro Studio website stating that they will be releasing a Mac version of Piapro Studio as well, looking into VST and AU options and hoping to deliver it as fast as possible. CEO Hiroyuki Itoh also stated on Twitter that the decision to use OpenGL for the UI was based in part on future Mac support, and that support for other sound banks will be added step by step.
Yamaha today announced the version 1.0.0 release of their VOCALOID Deactivation Tool, which allows users to deactivate a currently activated piece of VOCALOID software so that the license can be activated on another computer or a different configuration of the same computer, in essence allowing easy transferring of licenses without burning through activations. The tool is aimed at all VOCALOID products with the exception of VOCALOID Editor for Cubase, which is handled by a built-in license manager. It appears that any products that require activation with Yamaha’s servers will eventually be supported. Currently, Yamaha has confirmed proper deactivation support with VOCALOID3 Editor, all flavors of VY1 and VY2, Mew, ToneRion, Lapis and VocaListener. Announcements for products not offered directly through Yamaha are expected to be made in the future.
According to an announcement (PDF) posted on VOCALOID CHINA’s website, the character for their next sound bank will be designed by fans through a contest. Entries received online by April 31 will be vetted and placed on the contest page for other fans to comment and vote. Several winning designs will be chosen based on public comments and public voting as well as input from the project team. Artists behind the winning designs will be designated official VOCALOID CHINA illustrators for this new visual initiative, and the refined artwork will be used commercially. The official contest page has a snippet of the new sound bank singing Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower), a traditional Chinese folk song, along with the character saying “Hey everyone, have you heard me yet? If you have, then we’re friends! *yay* I also like eating xiao long bao~ [small steamed pork buns] I want, I want to sing even better songs. I’m… I’m just different! I’m counting on you to draw a unique me! *wink* ” A gallery of current entires as well as the entry form (a .docx file) are also available on the website, as well as clarification that the character is female and that designs should invoke Chinese characteristics as well as being distinctive enough regardless of wardrobe changes.
A panel titled “Miku: The Open-Source Girl Who Conquered the World” was held at SXSW this year, hosted by Alex Leavitt (social media academic researcher), Hiroyuki Itoh (CEO of Crypton Future Media), Kanae Muraki (US/EU marketing for Crypton) and Tara Knight (creator of Mikumentary). SXSW (South-by-Southwest) is an “annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin.” Being a proper professional conference, registration comes to approximately an order of magnitude higher than those of anime conventions. Live tweets from user @clairwil (1 2 3 4) seem to indicate this was the usual type of presentation given to introduce a general audience to Hatsune Miku and participatory culture. A photo from @bandeapartfm shows still some empty seats at the panel, suggesting that this was not an extremely popular one to attend at the conference. Alex Leavitt had also held a Miku-themed panel titled “The Open-Source Cult(ure) of Hatsune Miku” last year at SXSW, for which he made his slides (20MB PDF) available. In addition to the panel, Crypton Future Media had also held a booth on the exhibition floor, which basketball star Shaquille O’Neal supposedly visited. The official Hatsune Miku YouTube channel also posted a short video report of the booth at the trade show, and they were apparently giving out Miku-themed bags as well.
Volume 10 of the mook VOCALOID wo Tanoshimou came out today, containing information about the upcoming VOCALOID3 sound bank ZOLA. Some people who managed to flip through the pages have posted information about ZOLA on Twitter. Twitter user “You_T_from_BMC” recalled from his hazy memory that ZOLA consists of three males either in their teens or twenties, with one having a boyish voice, one having a specialization in deep voices and one being “bilingual” even though it seems that only Japanese voice will be provided. Later, user “kouhomei01″ chimed in with a lot more details on ZOLA, such as the individual character names and vital stats.
UPDATE: The official ZOLA website has now been updated to include silhouettes of the three characters rendered in a calligraphic style.
UPDATE 2: hatsunemikumiku has posted a photo of the page in question, which shows the character silhouettes, as well as the exact wording for the character descriptions. YUU’s voice is touted as being delicate and melancholic, fit for an adolescent boy. KYO has a bright and positive voice, even though it embodies a strong will. Lastly, WIL is described as having a powerful yet lyrical husky voice befitting a foreigner.