Vocaloidism Exclusive Info: you’ve all been waiting for it, VOCALOID3 is coming this year at the end of September! The Secret Party held on June 8 is over, and they’ve finally announced VOCALOID3, and then given us a lot more delicious information on all things Vocaloid.
… wait, you already know about that? Then, are you sure you know about YAMAHA’s special plans for building an army of VocaloP’s, the bright future of the Vocaloid culture, the range of price for VOCALOID3 Editor, the VocaListener Job Plugin, and the survey about the Vocaloid fandom? Hm… you know that too? Well then, one thing’s for sure: you don’t know what I ate yesterday, so read on for more Exclusive Info!
Update: demo song of the Korean Vocaloid voiced by Kim Tahi.
First, if you’re wondering why it took so long… I managed to write a very messy article just before going on a trip, but I just didn’t have the time to add the finishing touch — as in, it really couldn’t be published as is. Well, I’m back, and here’s the article five days later. ^^; Thanks to Krystal for helping getting it done!
Anyway, back to VOCALOID3; hopefully you’ll learn a few bits of additional info. Some of it may be outdated or incorrect, so feel free to let us know in the comment section!
At the secret party there were video messages from many company representatives. From Crypton was Hiroyuki Itoh, representing Zero-G was Dom Keefe, and for Power FX was Bil Bryant. Many other people important to the Vocaloid scene were also present at the event, including Internet’s Noboru Murakami, VocaloRevolution’s HirotoP, Ring Suzune’s voice provider MiKA, and famous anime singer Lia of Tori no Uta fame.
Features of VOCALOID3:
Here is a list of the features of VOCALOID3:
- It will have better quality audio: longer samples will be used (probably similar to UTAU VCV voicebanks), sibilants such as /s/ will be less “metallic-sounding”, better /w/ sounds, smoother pronunciation including for fast-talking. The transition between different voice registers (low/high) will be smoother.
- It will be easier to use: there is an improved interface, with a new display of the different tracks similar to what can be seen on DAW‘s, audio files (for off-vocal tracks for instance) can now be imported, and it will now work as a VST host (it will be possible to add reverb and other effects).
- It will be possible to undo or redo any previous action in the Editor.
- It will be compatible with VOCALOID2 voicebanks. However, it won’t be compatible with every one of them, and there may be a price to import some of them.
- It will support these new languages: Korean, Chinese and Spanish (pinyin input for Chinese and hangul input for Korean possible). The Editor will also be localized.
- It will work on Windows XP/Vista/7.
Although VOCALOID3 only works on Windows, Kenmochi said they want to release a Mac version “as soon as possible” because it’s “very important to [them]“. He also said that they could confirm it would work well, since they have already developed VocaloWitter (previously iVOCALOID-VY1t), which runs on the iPad and iPhone’s iOS (which is derived from Mac OS X).
VOCALOID 3 also features the VOCALOID Job Plugin. This is a function that will allow exterior plugins to control the Editor’s parameters and notes. At the moment YAMAHA is developing a VOCALOID Job Plugin version of Vocalistener, and will most likely sell it separately. They’re also considering making it compatible with English lyrics input, but they’re not sure they will make it on time. The price for Vocalistener hasn’t been announced yet.
The API of VOCALOID3 will be made public to licensed companies, whilst the technical details about the VOCALOID Job Plugin feature will be made public so that users can develop their own plugins compatible with VOCALOID3 and sell them on the VOCALOID STORE. YAMAHA will also start granting licences for the synthesis engine itself so that it can be used in things such as PC games for instance.
However, this awesome new VOCALOID3 Editor will actually be sold separately from the voicebanks, contrary to the previous versions. It will be sold on VOCALOID STORE; there is currently no price for it editor yet, but they think it will be around 10,000 yen (125 USD). A trial version of the Editor with limited features, called the “Tiny VOCALOID3 Editor”, will instead be shipped with the different voicebanks.
Here are the differences between the different Editors (VOCALOID3/Tiny VOCALOID3):
- Number of tracks: 16/1.
- Maximum number of bars: 999/17.
- Effects: any effect available through the VTS Host/Reverb.
- VOCALOID Job Plugin: Yes/No.
- VOCALOID2 Library Import Tool: Yes/No.
New and old voices for VOCALOID3:
With the VOCALOID3 engine coming up, the many companies who are currently releasing voicebanks have begun making plans on how to use the new engine. Here is what you can expect from your favourite companies.
- AH Software:
- AH Software is planning on making VB’s based on many singers. They also want to use Vocaloid to produce “different types of sounds”, not limiting them to only simulating singing. AHS plans to make Vocaloid “evolve”.
- Crypton Future Media:
- Crypton has enjoyed success so far with their current VB, and are planning on keeping their existing VB’s on VOCALOID2. There are no plans to re-release them on V3, but converting them to V3 will be free.
- Internet Co., Ltd:
- Internet Co., Ltd will be releasing a VB for VocaloRevolution’s CUL, who was voiced by VY1 until now. She will be voiced by famous seiyuu Eri Kitamura.
- Gakupo, Gumi, Lily and Gachapoid will have a V3 update.
- Internet is also releasing Megpoid Extend (tentative). Megpoid will have added four different types of voices: Power, Whisper, Adult and Sweet. It will be released on VOCALOID2, but will also have a VOCALOID3 version.
- Power FX:
- For VOCALOID3, they plan to release one new English-speaking Vocaloid.
- The VY series will be updating to VOCALOID3: Yamaha will sell VY1 for V3 and VY2 for V3. Both of them will be sold together with the full Editor.
- YAMAHA will also be releasing a new voicebank based on Miu Sakamoto (坂本美雨, the daughter of legendary electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra‘s Ryuuichi Sakamoto).
- Zero-G has plans to release two new English-speaking Vocaloids.
The Korean company SBS Artech will release a Korean voicebank; the voice provider will be artist Kim Tahi (17 year old, part of the K-pop girl band “Glam”). She will have both a Japanese and a Korean voicebank, and English pronunciation will be possible by using the Korean one. The character will be based on Tahi (or “Dahi” depending on the romanization system used), and will be “light-hearted and cute”. The voicebank is planned to be released this Fall.
Here’s the sample song, “I=Fantasy”, with Korean and English subtitles:
You can also watch it here as presented by SBS Artech during an earlier press conference.
The company 1st PLACE will be releasing its first Vocaloid, based on the singer Lia.
Ring Suzune and Lui Hibiki will also be released on VOCALOID3.
The Future of Vocaloid Culture:
YAMAHA conducted a street survey with males and females from age 14 to 50; it was conducted in late April 2011 in different districts of Tokyo. According to the survey, 68.4% of peoples up to 20 years old, 61.1% in their twenties, 41.5% in their thirties, and 35.2% in their forties know about Vocaloid. About 1/4 of the girls in their teens often listen to Vocaloid music; 8.4% of them only listen to Vocaloid music, and 15.6% of them listen to it a lot (it constitutes more than 30% of what they listen to).
- 5 million casual Vocaloid listeners
- 100,000 core Vocaloid listeners
- 10,000 Vocaloid producers (100,000 DTM [non-Vocaloid] producers, 10,000 on a professional level)
- 8,000 creators of derivative works (manga, cosplay, goodies)
YAMAHA wants to promote the Vocaloid culture and help it grow by:
- helping aspiring P’s by providing “P training” classes
- creating a record label, VOCALOID MUSIC PUBLISHING, that will also deal with copyrights among other things and will be “flexible” to match the users’ need, and will serve as an intermediate with JASRAC for instance for partial registration. It will also help doujin circles to exchange information
- encouraging the creation of new characters (through the Everyone’s Vocaloid Project for instance)
- being more present in the entertainment world (e.g concerts, games)
- supporting musical projects (CD’s)
- maintaining VOCALOID STORE (distribution of softwares, CD’s and goodies; direct contact with the customers)
A compilation album titled “the VOCALOIDs”, featuring all the Vocaloids released so far as well as the new VOCALOID3 voicebanks will be released in September. It will have 18 tracks, and will be sold at a price of 2,300 yen (29 USD). VocaloP’s will deal with the vocal tracks, which will use VocaListener. The album comes with a “magnificent” booklet which will introduce the characters. A demo of the album was revealed during VOCALOID MIX on June 11.
Studio Deen and Surfers’ Paradise will jointly organise the “i-style project” with doujin artist Carnelian doing the illustrations. It isn’t clear what this project will be yet, but Studio Deen’s managing director Noguchi talked about proposing a “new lifestyle with Vocaloid”.
MOEJAPAN has introduced the concept of a “Vocaloid you can meet”, the “fusion of a 2D Vocaloid and a 3D idol”: Vocaloidol. “Real” idols from two agencies, MOGRA and Dear Stage, will provide their voices to several Vocaloids, and they will meet their fans.
With more news coming in just a few days, it’s a great year to be a Vocaloid fan, wouldn’t you agree?
Also, I ate pizza yesterday.