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Merli Added to the iVOCALOID Lineup


The iVOCALOID app series hasn’t seen much activity recently, however, Yamaha recently released i-Style Project’s latest voice bank, Merli, for the engine. The application is currently available on the App Store and costs 2,700 JPY normally but is on sale for 1,000 JPY until April 16th. Previous issues with iOS 7 have reportedly been fixed in this new release.

It seems appropriate that Merli would be the next iVOCALOID release, considering that her sister and fellow i-Style Project VOCALOID, Aoki Lapis, was the last release the series saw before Merli came into the picture.

i-Style Project Running Art and Music Contest for Aoki Lapis Birthday

To celebrate Aoki Lapis’s upcoming birthday on April 6, i-Style Project is running at least two contests until April 20. The first contest is an art contest where fans are invited to draw illustrations of either Aoki by herself or Aoki with her sister Merli. Finished art are to be uploaded to VOCAPIC (account registration required) under the 蒼姫ラピス category, with 蒼姫ラピス生誕祭2014 added as a tag. A second contest running simultaneously is a music contest for songs featuring either the VOCALOID3 version of Aoki Lapis or the iVOCALOID version. Entries are to be uploaded to YouTube and 蒼姫ラピス生誕祭2014 needs to be placed in a comment on the video. After the video is uploaded, the URL must be sent via a submission form for the video to be added to the contest. Unmodified versions of provided video background images may be used for these videos, as usual. One winner from each of these contests will win a VOCALOID Starter Kit (includes external audio interface, Cubase AI license and VOCALOID Editor for Cubase NEO) as well as either Aoki Lapis NEO or Merli NEO. The winning song will also be distributed digitally by i-Style Music. For each contest, three contestants will also be chosen randomly to win Aoki Lapis or Merli character merchandise.

INTERNET Reveals “First Impression” of New VOCALOID3 Sound Library

Yesterday, INTERNET uploaded a small snippet onto niconico demonstrating the capabilities of an upcoming sound library they call “kokone -心響”. The Japanese characters carry the same pronunciation as the romaji before it, and the kanji means sound of the heart. The simple video, made in Niconico Movie Maker, plays back a song called “Moment Notes” and displays the lyrics on screen as they are sung. The description touts kokone as having a natural-sounding (gentle?) voice as well as a very wide vocal range, and the song involves her singing both low notes and very high notes as well. Now this video has also been uploaded to YouTube, and the niconico upload description now contains a link to the VSQX file. The file includes tuning for brightness, dynamics and pitch, but it strangely refers to the singer as “GUMI_English”, which may simply be a filler name since the compID code is simply a string of zeroes. Some comments on the niconico upload noted kokone’s similarity to GUMI, but CEO Murakami stated that it is someone new. Murakami also responded to another question, indicating that kokone will be on sale in February. Information about her character are to be released with the rest of the details in the near future.
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Crypton Releases MEIKO POWER TRIAL and Talks KAITO Mac

In an email newsletter as well as on a blog post, Crypton Future Media has announced that a 14-day trial version for MEIKO POWER, part of the upcoming MEIKO V3, is now available as a free download. It also includes a trial version of VOCALOID editing software Piapro Studio, which now supports AU on the Mac in addition to VSTi. To run the trial, a DAW capable of loading VSTi or AU plugins is required, since the trial bundle doesn’t come with Studio One. Furthermore, they are hoping to release the Mac version of KAITO V3 in February of next year and will be provided free of charge to people who have or who will purchase (the Windows version of) KAITO V3.

French VOCALOID Survey

VoxWave (Twitter) currently has a survey out to gauge user interest in a new French VOCALOID in the works. The survey will help decide whether a secondary English or Japanese voice bank will be included with the software and many other aspects of the new VOCALOID. Questions included in the survey ask the user for their age, gender, VOCALOID use, and preference on Japanese or English voice bank. By working with PowerFX, VoxWave plans to receive the proper permissions to create their VOCALOID from Yamaha.

Survey Link
Press Release

Crypton to Provide Miku V3 VIVID and LIGHT to Users Who Already Own Append

According to a new blog post on Crypton Future Media’s website, Crypton Future Media will be providing Hatsune Miku V3 VIVID and Hatsune Miku V3 LIGHT free of charge to users of Miku Append who buy Miku V3. More specifically, this applies to users who have registered their copies of Hatsune Miku, Hatsune Miku Append and the standard or bundle version of Hatsune Miku V3 with Crypton’s website. The VIVID and LIGHT sound banks were the two remaining sound banks from Append that were not added to the main Hatsune Miku V3 release. Details are expected to be sent out to eligible users by mid October. Plans to distribute these two sound banks for free were previously hinted in solicitation emails sent out to currently registered owners.

VOCALOID Activation Servers Overloaded on Night of Miku V3 Release

According to an official tweet last night and subsequent blog post this morning, Crypton Future Media had received many inquiries from users unable to activate their copies of Hatsune Miku V3, which had just been released yesterday. Yamaha, who runs the activation servers, also reported a similar situation last night. Shortly after noon, Crypton CEO Hiroyuki Itoh talked more in detail about the situation and their morning meeting with Yamaha through a series of tweets [1 2 3 4], stating that Yamaha had confirmed a much higher than normal amount of hits to their activation server(s) and are looking into expanding the capacity of the system. Apparently, activation for all VOCALOID products are done through the same server system, and hence this should be affecting other VOCALOID products as well; Itoh hopes for Yamaha to make a general announcement regarding the issue. He also noted that Hatsune Miku V3 can be used for up to 14 days without activation, and thus it would be possible to activate her later after the online activation problems have been resolved. Finally, he apologized for the inconvenience and promised to keep people informed of any new developments.

UPDATE: Yamaha has posted an update and apology on their website, stating that the servers should now be fixed and that they are looking into addressing the original cause (too many activation requests).

Canon Uses Senbonzakura to Promote New Camera

To promote their upcoming iVIS mini video camera, Canon uploaded a series of videos onto YouTube of various professional musicians performing KurousaP’s hit song Senbonzakura. These videos are embedded on Canon’s website, and include performances from “piano magician” H ZETT M, vocalist group R&B Connection Crew, anime and game music singer Lia (who also provided the voice for the VOCALOID3 sound bank IA) and guitarist Hidehisa Sasaki from VOCALOID producer sasakure.UK’s band UK Rampage. The iVIS mini, also known as the Legria mini outside of Japan, is an upcoming video camera from Canon aimed at enthusiasts who want to take videos of themselves and upload them to websites like YouTube and niconico.
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Crypton Announces Release Details for Hatsune Miku V3

Hatsune Miku V3 English PageDuring a product announcement event streamed live on niconico, Crypton has released more detailed plans regarding the upcoming release of Hatsune Miku V3 and Hatsune Miku English. There will be two packaged (hard copy) releases — Hatsune Miku V3 and Hatsune Miku V3 Bundle. The former will include five Japanese sound banks — Sweet, Dark, Original, Soft and Solid, whereas the latter will also include the English sound bank. Both package versions will be released on September 26. Hatsune Miku V3 will be 16800 JPY and Hatsune Miku V3 Bundle will be 21000 JPY. Furthermore, the English sound bank release will be on August 31 and that release will be download only and worldwide. Pricing is set at 149 USD. The announcement event also revealed the final illustrations for V3 and English as well, which are now reflected on the official home pages.
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Yamaha Posts New Project Demo on galaco Anniversary

Today happens to be the first anniversary of galaco’s release (as well as Shibasaki Ko’s birthday), and Yamaha has posted a video featuring a beta VOCALOID3 sound bank. This sound bank is a collaboration between Yamaha and Stardust Promotion, the talent management firm to which Shibasaki Ko belongs. The video description states that the sound bank is approximately 60% complete. In a related tweet, Yamaha has also stated that although the current serial codes for galaco are set to expire at the end of October, users should keep those serial codes in a safe place and not lose them.