is a singing
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm. One who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music known as songs that can be sung either with or without accompaniment by musical instruments...

A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 application, with its signal processing part developed through a joint research project between the Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University is a university in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain and in Europe, and was ranked 1st in scientific productivity in Spain in 2009. Founded in 1990, it is named after the Catalan philologist Pompeu Fabra...

 in Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

's Yamaha Corporation, who backed the development financially—and later developed the software into the commercial product "Vocaloid". The software enables users to synthesize singing by typing in lyrics
Lyrics are a set of words that make up a song. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist or lyrist. The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of...

 and melody
A melody , also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity...

. It uses synthesizing technology with specially recorded vocals of voice actors or singers. To create a song, the user must input the melody and lyrics. A piano roll
Piano roll
A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it. The peforations represent note control data...

 type interface is used to input the melody and the lyrics can be entered on each note. The software can change the stress of the pronunciations, add effects such as vibrato, or change the dynamics and tone of the voice. Each Vocaloid is sold as "a singer in a box" designed to act as a replacement for an actual singer. The software was originally only available in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

, but as of Vocaloid 3, Spanish, Chinese and Korean will be added.

The software is intended for professional musicians as well as light computer music users and has so far sold on the idea that the only limits are the users' own skills. Japanese musical groups Livetune
Livetune is a Japanese music group which formed in 2007 as a dōjin music group. The band originally consisted of two members, Kz and Kajuki P, but Kajuki P left the group in March 2009. Livetune started out by making use of the Hatsune Miku singing synthesizer to produce vocals for songs submitted...

 of Victor Entertainment
Victor Entertainment
is a subsidiary of Japan Victor Company that produces and distributes music, movies and other entertainment products such as anime and television shows in Japan. It was formerly known as...

 and Supercell
Supercell (band)
Supercell is a Japanese 11-member music group led by composer and lyricist Ryo which formed in 2007 as a dōjin music group. Supercell started out by making use of the Hatsune Miku singing synthesizer to produce vocals for songs submitted to the Nico Nico Douga video sharing website...

 of Sony Music Entertainment Japan
Sony Music Entertainment Japan
is Sony's music arm in Japan. SMEJ is directly owned by Sony Corporation and independent from the United States-based Sony Music Entertainment due to its strength in the Japanese music industry....

 have released their songs featuring
Featuring, often abbreviated to ft., feat. or f/ is a term used in the music industry to credit a musician who is not the main artist for their performance on a song or, on occasion, an album...

 Vocaloid as vocals. Japanese record label Exit Tunes of Quake Inc.
Quake Inc.
Quake Inc. is a Japanese media company for the purposes as the music publisher. The company was originally founded as a printer company in 2001 but it became a music company Quake Records in 2003. In 2005, the company was renamed to Quake Holdings. The company became a subsidiary of Pony Canyon in...

 also have released compilation album
Compilation album
A compilation album is an album featuring tracks from one or more performers, often culled from a variety of sources The tracks are usually collected according to a common characteristic, such as popularity, genre, source or subject matter...

s featuring Vocaloids. Artists such as Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature...

 have also used Vocaloids within their work for back up singer vocals and sound samples.


The Vocaloid singing synthesizer technology is categorized as concatenative synthesis
Concatenative synthesis
Concatenative synthesis is a technique for synthesising sounds by concatenating short samples of recorded sound . The duration of the units is not strictly defined and may vary according to the implementation, roughly in the range of 10 milliseconds up to 1 second...

, which splices and processes vocal fragments extracted from human singing voices in the frequency domain
Frequency domain
In electronics, control systems engineering, and statistics, frequency domain is a term used to describe the domain for analysis of mathematical functions or signals with respect to frequency, rather than time....

. In singing synthesis, the system produces realistic voices by adding information of vocal expressions like vibrato
Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of two factors: the amount of pitch variation and the speed with which the pitch is varied .-Vibrato and...

 to score information. The Vocaloid synthesis technology was initially called , although Yamaha no longer uses this name on its websites. "Singing Articulation
Articulation (music)
In music, articulation refers to the musical direction performance technique which affects the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds.- Types of articulations :...

" is explained as "vocal expressions" such as vibrato and vocal fragments necessary for singing. The Vocaloid and Vocaloid 2 synthesis engines are designed for singing, not reading text aloud. They cannot naturally replicate singing expressions like hoarse voices or shouts, either.

System architecture

The main parts of the Vocaloid 2 system are the Score Editor (Vocaloid 2 Editor), the Singer Library, and the Synthesis Engine. The Synthesis Engine receives score information from the Score Editor, selects appropriate samples from the Singer Library, and concatenates them to output synthesized voices. There is basically no difference in the Score Editor and the Synthesis Engine provided by Yamaha among different Vocaloid 2 products. If a Vocaloid 2 product is already installed, the user can enable another Vocaloid 2 product by adding its library. The system supports two languages, Japanese and English, although other languages may be optional in the future. It works standalone
A standalone entity is something that has no dependencies; it can "stand alone". Standalone may also refer to the following topics:*Standalone software*the standalone attribute in XML*a standalone expansion pack for games...

 (playback and export to WAV
Waveform Audio File Format , is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing an audio bitstream on PCs...

) and as a ReWire
ReWire is a software protocol, jointly developed by Propellerhead and Steinberg, allowing remote control and data transfer among digital audio editing and related software...

 application or VSTi accessible from DAW
Digital audio workstation
A digital audio workstation is an electronic system designed solely or primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio. DAWs were originally tape-less, microprocessor-based systems such as the Synclavier and Fairlight CMI...


Score Editor

The Score Editor is a piano roll
Piano roll
A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it. The peforations represent note control data...

 style editor to input notes, lyrics, and some expressions. For a Japanese Singer Library, the user can input gojūon
The is a Japanese ordering of kana.It is named for the 5×10 grid in which the characters are displayed, but the grid is not completely filled, and, further, there is an extra character added outside the grid at the end: with 5 gaps and 1 extra character, the current number of distinct kana in a...

 lyrics in hiragana
is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and the Latin alphabet . Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems, in which each character represents one mora...

, katakana
is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet . The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana scripts are derived from components of more complex kanji. Each kana represents one mora...

 or romaji writing. For an English library, the Editor automatically converts the lyrics into the IPA phonetic symbols using the built-in pronunciation dictionary. The user can directly edit the phonetic symbols of unregistered words. A Japanese library and an English library differ in the lyrics input method, but share the same platform. Therefore, the Japanese editor can load an English library and vice versa. As mentioned above, the lyrics input method is library-dependent, and so the Japanese and English editors differ only in the menus. The Score Editor offers various parameters to add expressions to singing voices. The user is supposed to optimize these parameters that best fit the synthesized tune when creating voices. This editor supports ReWire and can be synchronized with DAW. Real-time "playback" of songs with predefined lyrics using a MIDI keyboard
MIDI keyboard
A MIDI keyboard is typically a piano-style user interface keyboard device used for sending signals or commands over a USB or MIDI cable to other devices connected and operating on the same MIDI protocol interface...

 is also supported.

Singer Library

Each Vocaloid licensee develops the Singer Library, or a database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 of vocal fragments sampled from real people. The database must have all possible combinations of phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

s of the target language, including diphone
In phonetics, a diphone is an adjacent pair of phones. It is usually used to refer to a recording of the transition between two phones.In the following diagram, a stream of phones are represented by P1, P2, etc., and the corresponding diphones are represented by D1-2, D2-3, etc:...

s (a chain of two different phonemes) and sustained vowels, as well as polyphones with more than two phonemes if necessary. For example, the voice corresponding to the word "sing" ([sIN]) can be synthesized by concatenating the sequence of diphones "#-s, s-I, I-N, N-#" (# indicating a voiceless phoneme) with the sustained vowel ī. The Vocaloid system changes the pitch
Pitch (music)
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

 of these fragments so that it fits the melody. In order to get more natural sounds, three or four different pitch ranges are required to be stored into the library. Japanese requires 500 diphones per pitch, whereas English requires 2,500. Japanese has fewer diphones because it has fewer phonemes and most syllabic sounds are open syllables ending in a vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

. In Japanese, there are basically three patterns of diphones containing a consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

: voiceless-consonant, vowel-consonant, and consonant-vowel. On the other hand, English has many closed syllables ending in a consonant, and consonant-consonant and consonant-voiceless diphones as well. Thus, more diphones need to be recorded into an English library than into a Japanese one. Due to this linguistic difference, a Japanese library is not suitable for singing in English.

Synthesis Engine

The Synthesis Engine receives score information contained in dedicated MIDI messages called Vocaloid MIDI sent by the Score Editor, adjusts pitch and timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

 of the selected samples in frequency domain, and splices them to synthesize singing voices. When Vocaloid runs as VSTi accessible from DAW, the bundled VST plug-in bypasses the Score Editor and directly sends these messages to the Synthesis Engine.

Timing adjustment
In singing voices, the consonant onset
Onset (audio)
Onset refers to the beginning of a musical note or other sound, in which the amplitude rises from zero to an initial peak. It is related to the concept of a transient: all musical notes have an onset, but do not necessarily include an initial transient.In phonetics the term is used differently -...

 of a syllable is uttered before the vowel onset is uttered. The starting position of a note called "Note-On" must be the same as that of the vowel onset, not the start of the syllable. Vocaloid keeps the "synthesized score" in memory to adjust sample timing so that the vowel onset should be strictly on the "Note-On" position. No timing adjustment would result in delay.

Pitch conversion
Since the samples are recorded in different pitches, pitch conversion is required when concatenating the samples. The engine calculates a desired pitch from the notes and attack and vibrato parameters, and then selects the necessary samples from the library.

Timbre manipulation
The engine smooths the timbre around the junction of the samples. The timbre of a sustained vowel is generated by interpolating spectral envelopes of the surrounding samples. For example, when concatenating a sequence of diphones "s-e, e, e-t" of the English word "set", the spectral envelope of a sustained ē at each frame is generated by interpolating ē in the end of "s-e" and ē in the beginning of "e-t".

After pitch conversion and timbre manipulation, the engine does transforms such as Inverse Fast Fourier transform
Fast Fourier transform
A fast Fourier transform is an efficient algorithm to compute the discrete Fourier transform and its inverse. "The FFT has been called the most important numerical algorithm of our lifetime ." There are many distinct FFT algorithms involving a wide range of mathematics, from simple...

 (IFFT) to output synthesized voices.

Software history


Yamaha started development of Vocaloid in March 2000 and announced it for the first time at the German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 fair Musikmesse
Musikmesse Frankfurt is a music fair held at the Frankfurt Trade Fair in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the world's largest music fair and it has been held annually for over 25 years.The Frankfurter Musikpreis award is also handed out during the fair....

 on March 5–9, 2003. The first Vocaloids, Leon and Lola, were released by the studio Zero-G
Zero-G Ltd
Zero-G is a company developing sound libraries, sound effects and loops. The company also develops singing synthesizers using the Vocaloid 2 engine developed by Yamaha Corporation.- Vocaloid products :...

 on March 3, 2004, both of which were sold as a "Virtual Soul Vocalist
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

". Leon and Lola made their first appearance at the NAMM Show
The NAMM Show is one of the largest music product trade shows in the world, founded in 1901. It is held every January in Anaheim, California, USA, at the Anaheim Convention Center...

 on January 15, 2004. Leon and Lola were also demonstrated at the Zero-G Limited booth during Wired Nextfest and won the 2005 Electronic Musician Editor's Choice Award. Zero-G later released Miriam, with her voice provided by Miriam Stockley
Miriam Stockley
Miriam Stockley is a British singer. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and her work is influenced by the African music in her home country. Her unique vocalese style gained international acclaim when Karl Jenkins' launched the "Adiemus" project with "Songs of Sanctuary", featuring...

, in July 2004. Later that year, Crypton Future Media
Crypton Future Media
, or Crypton, is a media company based in Sapporo, Japan. It develops, imports, and sells products for music, such as sound generator software, sampling CDs and DVDs, and sound effect and background music libraries...

 also released their first Vocaloid Meiko. In June 2005, Yamaha upgraded the engine version to 1.1. A patch was later released to update all Vocaloid engines to Vocaloid 1.1.2, adding new features to the software, although there were differences between the output results of the engine. A total of five Vocaloid products were released from 2004 to 2006. Vocaloid had no previous rival technology to contend with at the time of its release, with the English version only having to face the later release of VirSyn's Cantor
Cantor (music software)
Cantor was a Vocal singing synthesizer software released 4 months after the original release of Vocaloid by the company VirSyn, and was based on the same idea of synethesizing the human voice. VirSyn released both English and German versions of this software...

 software during its original run. As of 2011, this version of the software is no longer supported by Yamaha and will no longer be updated.

Vocaloid 2

Vocaloid 2 was announced in 2007. The synthesis engine and the user interface were completely revamped. New features such as note auditioning, transparent control track, toggling between playback and rendering, and expression control were implemented. One's breath noise and husky voice can be recorded into the library to make realistic sounds. This version is not backward compatible and its editor cannot load a library built for the previous version. Aside from the PC software. NetVocaloid services are offered.

Yamaha announced a version of the Vocaloid 2 software for the iPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 and iPad
The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. The iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010 by Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs. Its size and...

, which exhibited at the Y2 Autumn 2010 Digital Content Expo in Japan. Later, this version of the software was released using the voice of Yamaha's own Vocaloid called VY1.

As of 2011, there are seven studios involved with the production and distribution of Vocaloids with two involved solely in English, four solely in Japanese and one in both languages for which the software is developed.

Vocaloid 3

Vocaloid 3 launched on October 21, 2011, along with several products in Japanese and a Korean product, the first of its kind. Several studios are providing updates to allow Vocaloid 2 vocal libraries to come over to Vocaloid 3. It will also include the software "Vocalistener", which adjusts parameters iteratively from a user's singing to create natural synthesized singing. It will support additional languages including Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

, and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

. It is also able to use plug-ins for the software itself and switch between normal and "classic" mode for less realistic vocal results. Unlike previous versions, the vocal libraries and main editing software are sold as two separate items. The vocal libraries themselves only contain a "tiny" version of the Vocaloid 3 editing software. Yamaha will also be granting the licensing of plug-ins and use of the Vocaloid software for additional mediums such as video games.


Yamaha developed Vocaloid-flex, a singing software application based on the Vocaloid engine, which contains a speech synthesizer
Speech synthesis
Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware...

. According to the official announcement, users can edit its phonological system more delicately than those of other Vocaloid series to get closer to the actual speech language; for example, it enables final devoicing, unvoicing vowel sounds or weakening/strengthening consonant sounds. It was used in a video game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
is a video game produced by Konami and Kojima Productions that was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2010. Peace Walker is the fourth Metal Gear title for the PSP, although it is only the second to be considered part of the series' main canon, following Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops...

released on April 28, 2010. It is still a corporate product and a consumer version has not been announced. This software was also used for the robot model HRP-4C
The HRP-4C is a female humanoid robot, created by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology - a Japanese research facility. An in-public demonstration was put on March 16, 2009. It measures 158 centimetres tall, and weighs 43 kilos - including a battery pack...

Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies is an annual trade show in Japan. It is regarded as the Japanese equivalent of Consumer Electronics Show...

 Japan 2009. Gachapoid has access to this engine and it is used through the software V-Talk.

Another Vocaloid tool that was developed was VocaListener, a software package that allows for realistic Vocaloid songs to be produced.

Miku Miku Dance
To aid in the production of 3D animations, the program MikuMikuDance
, commonly abbreviated to MMD, is a freeware animation program that lets users animate and create 3D animation movies, originally produced for the movies of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku. The MikuMikuDance program itself was programmed by Yu Higuchi and has gone through significant upgrades since its...

 was developed as an independent program. The freeware
Freeware is computer software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee, but usually with one or more restricted usage rights. Freeware is in contrast to commercial software, which is typically sold for profit, but might be distributed for a business or commercial purpose in the...

 software allowed a boom in fan-made and derivative characters to be developed, as well as acted in a boost for the promoting of the Vocaloid songs themselves. As of May 2011, no more updates to Miku Miku Dance are being released.

NetVocaloid is an online vocal synthesis service. Users can synthesize singing voices on a device connected to the Internet by executing the Vocaloid engine on the server. This service can be used even if the user does not actually own the Vocaloid software. The service is available in both English and Japanese.

MMDAgent is a software developed by the International Voice Engineering Institute in the Nagoya Institute of Technology
Nagoya Institute of Technology
The , or less commonly Nitech, is a public highest-level educational institution of science and technology located in Nagoya, Japan.Nagoya Institute of Technology was founded on 1905 as Nagoya Higher Technical School, renamed Nagoya College of Technology in 1944 then merged under the new...

, and the Alpha version was released on December 25, 2010. This particular software allows users to interact with 3D models of the Vocaloid mascots. The software is made from 3D models and sound files that have already been made available on the internet and will be disputed as freeware for that reason.

NetVocalis is a software being developed by Bplats, makers of the VY series, and is similar to VocaListener.


Though developed by Yamaha, the marketing of each Vocaloid is left to the respective studios. Yamaha themselves do maintain a degree of promotional efforts in the actual Vocaloid software, as seen when the humanoid robot
Humanoid robot
A humanoid robot or an anthropomorphic robot is a robot with its overall appearance, based on that of the human body, allowing interaction with made-for-human tools or environments. In general humanoid robots have a torso with a head, two arms and two legs, although some forms of humanoid robots...

 model HRP-4C of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
The , or AIST, is a Japanese research facility headquartered in Tokyo, and most of the workforce is located in Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki, and in several cities throughout Japan. The institute is managed to integrate scientific and engineering knowledge to address socio-economic needs...

 (AIST) was set up to react to three Vocaloids—Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku
is a singing synthesizer application with a female persona, developed by Crypton Future Media. It uses Yamaha Corporation's Vocaloid 2 synthesizing technology. The name of the character comes from a fusion of the Japanese for , and future , referring to her position as the first of Crypton's...

, Megpoid and Crypton's noncommercial Vocaloid software "CV-4Cβ"—as part of promotions for both Yamaha and AIST at CEATEC in 2009. The prototype voice CV-4Cβ was created by sampling a Japanese voice actress, Eriko Nakamura.

Japanese magazines such as DTM magazine are responsible for the promotion and introduction for many of the Japanese Vocaloids to Japanese Vocaloid fans. It has featured Vocaloids such as Miku, Kagamine Rin and Len, and Lily, printing some of the sketches by artist Kei and reporting the latest news on the Vocaloids. Thirty-day trial versions
Evaluation is systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance of something or someone using criteria against a set of standards.Evaluation often is used to characterize and appraise subjects of interest in a wide range of human enterprises, including the arts, criminal justice,...

 of Miriam, Lily and Iroha have also contributed to the marketing success of those particular voices. After the success of A2-SF Miki's CD album, other Vocaloids such as VY1 and Iroha have also used promotional CDs as a marketing approach to selling their software. When Amazon MP3
Amazon MP3
Amazon MP3 is an online music store owned and operated by Amazon.com. Launched in public beta on September 25, 2007, in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management from the four major music labels , as well as many independents...

 in Japan opened on November 9, 2010, Vocaloid albums were featured as its free-of-charge
Gratis is the process of providing goods or services without compensation. It is often referred to in English as "free of charge" or "complimentary"...


Crypton has been involved with the marketing of their Character Vocal Series, particularly Hatsune Miku, has been actively involved in the GT300 class of the Super GT
Super GT
The Super GT series, formerly known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship or JGTC , is a grand touring car race series promoted by the GT-Association...

 since 2008
2008 Super GT season
The 2008 Autobacs Super GT Series was the 15th season of the GT Championship in Japan including the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship era, and the 4th season as the Super GT series. It is a series for Grand Touring race cars divided into two categories: GT500 and GT300...

 with the support of Good Smile Racing (a branch of Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products, such as scale figures and the Nendoroid and figma product lines. In addition to manufacturing, its business includes figure design and marketing...

, mainly in charge of car-related products, especially itasha
, literally "painmobile", is a Japanese term for an otaku fad of individuals decorating the bodies of their cars with fictional characters of anime, manga, or video games . These characters are predominately "cute" female. The decorations usually involve paint schemes and stickers...

 (cars featuring illustrations of anime-styled characters) stickers). Although Good Smile Company was not the first to bring the anime and manga culture to Super GT, it departs from others by featuring itasha directly rather than colorings onto vehicles.

Since the 2008 season, three different teams received their sponsorship under Good Smile Racing, and turned their cars to Vocaloid-related artwork:
  • Studie
    Studie is a Japanese tuning company of BMW and a Super GT racing team which participates in GT300 class.-History:Studie was established in 1995 in Yokohama as a BMW parts dealer and developer.They currently having 4 branches in Japan...

    , which participated in the 2008
    2008 Super GT season
    The 2008 Autobacs Super GT Series was the 15th season of the GT Championship in Japan including the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship era, and the 4th season as the Super GT series. It is a series for Grand Touring race cars divided into two categories: GT500 and GT300...

     and 2009 seasons
    2009 Super GT season
    The 2009 Super GT season was the 16th season of the Japan Automobile Federation Super GT Championship. The season opener on March 22, was moved to Okayama, due to the continued renovation of Suzuka in preparation for the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix...

     with BMW Z4 E86, and BMW Z4 GT3 in the 2011 season
    2011 Super GT season
    The 2011 Autobacs Super GT Series is the 18th season of the Japan Automobile Federation Super GT Championship.-Schedule:The provisional calendar was released on 8th, August, 2010. The Autopolis round which was absent last season was added to the calender while the Suzuka race was reduced to a...

    . Their car was painted in official Hatsune Miku art in 2008 season, but started using fan-derivative versions of Hatsune Miku in some races since the 2009 season. The team was crowned as 2011 Super GT season
    2011 Super GT season
    The 2011 Autobacs Super GT Series is the 18th season of the Japan Automobile Federation Super GT Championship.-Schedule:The provisional calendar was released on 8th, August, 2010. The Autopolis round which was absent last season was added to the calender while the Suzuka race was reduced to a...

     GT300 Champion by winning in three out of eight rounds (Sepang, Fuji 250km
    Fuji Speedway
    is a race track standing in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was built in the early 1960s and hosted the first Formula One race in Japan in 1976. In the 1980s, Fuji Speedway was used for the FIA World Sportscar Championship and national racing...

    , as well as Motegi
    Twin Ring Motegi
    is an automobile racing track located at Motegi, Japan. Its name comes from the facility having two race tracks: a oval and a road course. It was built in 1997 by Honda, as part of Honda's effort to bring the IndyCar Series to Japan, helping to increase their knowledge of American open-wheel...

    ), which are all from pole
    Pole position
    The term "pole position", as used in motorsports, comes from the horse racing term where the number one starter starts on the inside next to the inside pole. The term made its way, along with several other customs, to auto racing. In circuit motorsports, a driver has pole position when he or she...

     to checkered flag
    Checkered flag
    Checkered Flag or Chequered Flag may refer to:* Checkered flag, a type of racing flag* Checkered Flag , a 1963 album by Dick Dale and his Del-Tones* Chequered Flag , a 1983 game by Sinclair Research Ltd....


  • Team MOLA, using a Nissan 350Z
    Nissan 350Z
    The Nissan 350Z is a two seat sports car that was manufactured by Nissan from 2002 to 2009 and marks the fifth generation of Nissan's Z-car line. The 350Z entered production in late 2002 and was sold and marketed as a 2003 model. The first year there was only a coupe, as the roadster did not debut...

    , and they received sponsors on the final race in Fuji
    Fuji Speedway
    is a race track standing in the foothills of Mount Fuji, in Oyama, Suntō District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was built in the early 1960s and hosted the first Formula One race in Japan in 1976. In the 1980s, Fuji Speedway was used for the FIA World Sportscar Championship and national racing...

     in the 2008 season. Images of Kagamine Rin and Len was added on their original colorings. The Fuji round, in fact, is the first FIA
    Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
    The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is a non-profit association established as the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users...

     race to feature two unique itasha cars competing in a single race.

  • Team COX, participating in the 2010 season
    2010 Super GT season
    The 2010 Super GT season was the 17th season of the Japan Automobile Federation Super GT Championship....

    , which used a Porsche 996 GT3 RSR
    Porsche 911 GT3
    The Porsche 911 GT3 is a higher performance version of the Porsche 911 sports car. It is the latest in a line of high performance models, beginning with the 1973 911 RS...

     and a Porsche 997 GT3-R. Their car used Racing Miku (an official Hatsune Miku derivative, wearing an orange race queen
    Race queen
    is a Japanese term for a type of promotional model found as part of a pit crew in certain kinds of motor racing, such as F1 races. The equivalent British term is "Pit babe".-History:...

     suit) as their image.

As well as involvements with the GT series, Crypton also established the website Piapro. A number of games starting from Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
is a rhythm game created by Sega and Crypton Future Media for the PlayStation Portable featuring the virtual-diva vocaloid Hatsune Miku.-Gameplay:...

were produced by Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

 under license using Hatsune Miku and other Crypton Vocaloids, as well as "fan made" Vocaloids. Later, a mobile phone game called Hatsune Miku Vocalo x Live was produced by Japanese mobile social gaming website Gree. TinierMe Gacha also made attire that looks like Miku for their services, allowing users to make their avatar resemble the Crypton Vocaloids.

Two unofficial manga were also produced for the series, Maker Unofficial: Hatsune Mix
Maker Hikoshiki Hatsune Mix
is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Japanese artist Kei. The manga was originally based on the Vocaloid 2 character Hatsune Miku, but came to feature other Vocaloid 1 and 2 characters as the series progressed. The manga was serialized in Jive's shōnen manga magazine Comic Rush between...

being the most well known of the two, which was released by Jive
Jive (publisher)
is a Japanese publishing company in Shinjuku, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan and was established on May 12, 2003. In 2004, the company sold its stock to Poplar Publishing and now Jive is an affiliate of that company....

 in their Comic Rush
Comic Rush
is a Japanese shōnen manga magazine, published by Jive. The first issue was published on January 26, 2004; the magazine is sold monthly on the twenty-sixth.-List of serialized titles:*Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative NEO*Casshern Sins*Clannad...

magazine; this series is drawn by Vocaloid artist Kei. The series features the Crypton Vocaloids in various scenarios, a different one each week. The series focuses on the Crypton Vocaloids, although Internet Co., Ltd.'s Gackpoid Vocaloid makes a guest appearance in two chapters. The series also saw guest cameos of Vocaloid variants such as Hachune Miku, Yowane Haku, Akita Neru and the Utauloid Kasane Teto. The series comprises the original 28 chapters serialized in Comic Rush and a collection of the first 10 chapters in a single tankōbon
, with a literal meaning close to "independently appearing book", is the Japanese term for a book that is complete in itself and is not part of a series , though the manga industry uses it for volumes which may be in a series...

volume. A manga was produced for Lily by Kei, who also drew the mascot. An anime music video
Anime music video
An anime music video is a music video consisting of clips from one or more animations set to an audio track ; the term usually refers to fan-made unofficial videos. An AMV can also be a set of video game footage put together with music which is known as a GMV...

 titled "Schwarzgazer", which shows the world where Lily is, was produced and it was released with the album anim.o.v.e 02, however the song is sung by Move, not by Vocaloids. A yonkoma
thumb|right|150px|Traditional Yonkoma layout, a comic-strip format, generally consists of gag comic strips within four panels of equal size ordered from top to bottom...

 manga based on Hatsune Miku and drawn by Kentaro Hayashi, Shūkan Hajimete no Hatsune Miku!, began serialization in Weekly Young Jump
Weekly Young Jump
, launched in 1979, is a weekly Japanese magazine that publishes various seinen manga in each issue. It is published by Shueisha under the Jump line of magazines.- History :...

on September 2, 2010. Hatsune Miku appeared in Weekly Playboy
Weekly Playboy
also known as or WPB is a Japanese weekly magazine published by Shueisha since 1966.This magazine is not a regional edition of the American Playboy magazine; the Japanese edition of that magazine was published as Monthly Playboy by Shueisha until its cancellation in January 2009.-People in...

magazine. However, Crypton Future Media confirmed they will not be producing an anime based based on their Vocaloids as it would limit the creativity of their user base, preferring to let their user base to have freedom to create PV's without restrictions.

Initially, Crypton Future Media were the only studio that was allowed the license of figurines to be produced for their Vocaloids. A number of figurines and plush dolls were also released under license to Max Factory and the Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products, such as scale figures and the Nendoroid and figma product lines. In addition to manufacturing, its business includes figure design and marketing...

 of Crypton's Vocaloids. Among these figures were also Figma
is a Japanese action figure line produced by Max Factory and distributed by Good Smile Company. A large number of the figures are based on bishōjo anime characters, and are available with various accessories, such as exchangeable faces...

 models of the entire "Character Vocal Series" mascots as well as Nendoroid
is a brand of small plastic figures, created by the Japanese Good Smile Company. Nendoroid figures are usually replicas of an anime or manga character and are commonly used as collectors items or toys. They are roughly 10 cm in height, depending on the character they were made to look like...

 figures of various Crypton Vocaloids and variants. Pullip
Pullip is a collectible fashion doll created by Cheonsang Cheonha of South Korea in 2003. Pullip has an oversized head on a jointed plastic body, with eyes that can change positions and wink. Pullip was first marketed by Jun Planning of Japan, but since early 2009, it has been marketed by Groove of...

 versions of Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Len and Rin have also been produced for release in April 2011; other Vocaloid dolls have since been announced from the Pullip doll line. As part of promotions for Vocaloid Lily, license for a figurine was given to Phat Company and Lily became the first non-Crypton Vocaloid to receive a figurine.

In regards to the English Vocaloid studios, Power FX's Sweet Ann was given her own MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

 page and Sonika her own Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 account. In comparison to Japanese studios, Zero-G and PowerFX maintain a high level of contact with their fans. Zero-G in particular encourages fan feed back and, after adopting Sonika as a mascot for their studio, has run two competitions related to her. There was also talk from PowerFX of redoing their Sweet Ann box art and a competition would be included as part of the redesign. The Vocaloid Lily also had a competition held during her trial period. English Vocaloids have not sold enough to warrant extras, such as seen with Crypton's Miku Append. However, it has been confirmed if the English Vocaloids become more popular, then Appends would be an option in the future. Crypton plans to start an electronic magazine for English readers at the end of 2010 in order to encourage the growth of the English Vocaloid fanbase. Extracts of PowerFX's Sweet Ann and Big Al were included in Soundation Studio in their Christmas loops and sound release with a competition included.

Crypton and Toyota began working together to promote the launch of the 2011 Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact and compact cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, with over 35 million...

 using Hatsune Miku to promote the car. The launch of the car also marked the start of Miku's debut in the US alongside it. Crypton had always sold Hatsune Miku as a virtual instrument, but they decided to ask their own fanbase in Japan if it was okay with them to market her to the United States as a virtual singer instead.

Promotional events

The largest promotional event for Vocaloids is "The Voc@loid M@ster" (Vom@s) convention held four times a year in Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 or the neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...

. The event brings producers and illustrators involved with the production of Vocaloid art and music together so they can sell their work to others. The original event was held in 2007 with 48 groups, or "circles", given permission to host stalls at the event for the selling of their goods. The event soon gained popularity and at the 14th event, nearly 500 groups had been chosen to have stalls. Additionally, Japanese companies involved with production of the software also have stalls at the events.

Vocaloids have also been promoted at events such as the NAMM show and the Musikmesse fair. In fact, it was the promotion of Zero-G's Lola and Leon at the NAMM trade show that would later introduce PowerFX to the Vocaloid program. These events have also become an opportunity for announcing new Vocaloids with Prima being announced at the NAMM event in 2007 and Tonio having been announced at the NAMM event in 2009. A customized, Chinese version of Sonika was released at the Fancy Frontier Develop Animation Festival, as well as with promotional versions with stickers and posters. Sanrio held a booth at Comiket
, otherwise known as the , is the world's largest self-published comic book fair, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan. The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees. Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people....

 78 featuring the voice of an unreleased Vocaloid. AH Software in cooperation with Sanrio shared a booth and the event was used to advertise both the a Hello Kitty game and AH Software's new Vocaloid. At the Nico Nico Douga Daikaigi 2010 Summer: Egao no Chikara event, Internet Co., Ltd. announced their latest Vocaloid "Gachapoid" based on popular children's character Gachapin.

Originally, Hiroyuki Ito—President of Crypton Future Media—claimed that Hatsune Miku was not a virtual idol but a kind of the Virtual Studio Technology
Virtual Studio Technology
Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology is an interface for integrating software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and hard-disk recording systems. VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware with software...

 instrument. However, Hatsune Miku performed her first "live" concert like a virtual idol on a projection screen during Animelo Summer Live
Animelo Summer Live
Animelo Summer Live is the biggest annual anime songs concert in Japan managed by Animelo Mix. Animelo Summer Live has been held every summer since 2005.-Description:...

 at the Saitama Super Arena
Saitama Super Arena
is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Chūō-ku, Saitama City, Saitama, Japan. Its spectator capacity is 37,000 at maximum settings.This main arena capacity is between 19,000-22,500 when events such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, ice hockey, gymnastics, boxing, mixed martial arts and...

 on August 22, 2009. At the "MikuFes '09 (Summer)" event on August 31, 2009, her image was screened by rear projection
Rear projection effect
Rear projection is part of many in-camera effects cinematic techniquesin film production for combining foreground performances with pre-filmed backgrounds. It was widely used for many years in driving scenes, or to show other forms of "distant" background motion...

 on a mostly-transparent screen. Miku also performed her first overseas live concert on November 21, 2009, during Anime Festival Asia
Anime Festival Asia
Anime Festival Asia is an anime convention that is organized by Sozo and Dentsu. It was first organized in 2008, during which singers Ichirou Mizuki and May'n were invited as the star highlights...

 (AFA) in Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. On March 9, 2010, Miku's first solo live performance titled "Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39's Giving Day" was opened at the Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba
is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It was initially built for defensive purposes in the 1850s, dramatically expanded during the late 20th century as a seaport district, and has developed since the 1990s as a major commercial, residential...

, Tokyo. The tour was run as part of promotions for Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva video game in March 2010. The success and possibility of these tours is owed to the popularity of Hatsune Miku and so far Crypton is the only studio to have established a world tour of their Vocaloids.

Later, the CEO of Crypton Future Media appeared in San Francisco at the start of the San Francisco tour where the first Hatsune Miku concert was hosted in North America on September 18, 2010, featuring songs provided by the Miku software voice. A second screening of the concert was on October 11, 2010 in the San Francisco Viz Cinema. A screening of the concert was also shown in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in the city's anime festival
New York Anime Festival
The New York Anime Festival is an anime and manga convention held annually since 2007 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City...

. Hiroyuki Ito, and planner/producer, Wataru Sasaki, who were responsible for Miku's creation, attended an event on October 8, 2010 at the festival. Videos of her performance are due to be released worldwide. Megpoid and Gackpoid were also featured in the 2010 King Run Anison Red and White concert. This event also used the same projector method to display Megpoid and Gackpoid on a large screen. Their appearance at the concert was done as a one-time event and both Vocaloids were featured singing a song originally sung by their respective voice provider.

The next live concert was set for Tokyo on March 9, 2011. Other events included the Vocarock Festival 2011 on January 11, 2011 and the Vocaloid Festa which was held on February 12, 2011. The Vocaloid Festa had also hosted a competition officially endorsed by Pixiv
Pixiv is a Japanese online community for artists. It was first launched as a beta test on September 10, 2007 by Takahiro Kamitani. Pixiv Inc. is headquartered in Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. As of May 2010, the site consists of over 2 million members, over 11 million submissions, and receives...

, with the winner seeing their creation unveiled at Vocafes2 on May 29, 2011. Miku will also be giving a "live" performance in Los Angeles on July 2, 2011 at the Nokia Theater during Anime Expo
Anime Expo
Anime Expo, abbreviated AX, is an American anime convention held in Los Angeles, California and organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation . With rare exceptions, the convention is traditionally held on the July 4th weekend and lasts for four days...

; the concert will be identical to the March 9, 2010 event except for a few improvements. Hatsune Miku had her first concert in Germany on November 9, 2011 in Dusslendorf at Anime Expo. Hatsune Miku had a concert in Singapore on November 11, 2011. Another concert will occur on March 8 and 9, 2012 in Tokyo called "Special Thanks 39's Part 2".

Cultural impact

The software became very popular in Japan upon the release of Crypton Future Media's Hatsune Miku Vocaloid 2 software and her success has led to the popularity of the Vocaloid software in general. Inside of Japan, the software has proven to be popular overall, with thousands of original songs by artists across Japan. Japanese video sharing website
Video hosting service
A video hosting service allows individuals to upload video clips to an Internet website. The video host will then store the video on its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view this video...

 Nico Nico Douga
Nico Nico Douga
is a popular video sharing website in Japan managed by Niwango, a subsidiary of Dwango. Its nickname is "Niconico" or "Nico-dō", where "nikoniko" is the Japanese ideophone for smiling. Nico Nico Douga is the thirteenth most visited website in Japan...

 played a fundamental role in the recognition and popularity of the software. A user of Hatsune Miku and an illustrator released a much-viewed video, in which "Hachune Miku", a super deformed
Super deformed
Super deformed or SD is a specific style of Japanese caricature where characters are drawn in an exaggerated way, typically small and chubby, with stubby limbs and oversized heads, to make them resemble small children...

 Miku, held a Welsh onion
Welsh onion
Allium fistulosum L. is a perennial onion. Other names that may be applied to this plant include green onion, spring onion, escallion, and salad onion...

 (Negi in Japanese) and sang the Finnish song
Music of Finland
The music of Finland can be roughly divided in the following three categories.Folk music is typically influenced by Karelian traditional tunes and lyrics of the Kalevala metre. Karelian heritage has traditionally been perceived as the purest expression of Finnic myths and beliefs, thought to be...

 "Ievan Polkka
Ievan Polkka
"Ievan Polkka" or "Ievan Polokka" is a popular Finnish song with lyrics written in the early 1930s by Eino Kettunen to a traditional Finnish polka tune. The name is commonly misspelled Levan polkka, due to the similarity of lower-case L and upper-case i in sans-serif fonts...

" like the flash animation "Loituma Girl
Loituma Girl
Loituma Girl is a Flash animation set to a scat singing section of the traditional Finnish folk song "Ievan Polkka," sung by the Finnish quartet Loituma on their 1996 debut album Things of Beauty. It appeared on the Internet in late April 2006 and quickly became popular...

", on Nico Nico Douga. According to Crypton, they knew that users of Nico Nico Douga had started posting videos with songs created by the software before Hatsune Miku, but the video presented multifarious possibilities of applying the software in multimedia content creation—notably the dōjin
, often romanized as doujin, is a general Japanese term for a group of people or friends who share an interest, activity, hobbies, or achievement...

culture. As the recognition and popularity of the software grew, Nico Nico Douga became a place for collaborative content creation. Popular original songs written by a user would generate illustrations, animation in 2D
2D computer graphics
2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models and by techniques specific to them...

 and 3D
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

, and remixes by other users. Other creators would show their unfinished work and ask for ideas. The software has also been used to tell stories using song and verse and the Story of Evil
Story of Evil
The Story of Evil , or more commonly known as the Daughter of Evil series is a series of music videos using Yamaha's Vocaloid vocal synthesizer software. It is a collection of 5 songs and one potentially with loose connections to the story, they were all made by Mothy, also known as Akuno-P...

series has become so popular that a manga, a book, and two theatre works were produced by the series creator. Another theater production based on "Cantarella", a song sung by Kaito and produced by Kurousa-P, was also set to hit the stage and will run Shibuya's Space Zero theater in Tokyo from August 3 to August 7, 2011. The website has become so influential that studios often post demos on Nico Nico Douga, as well as other websites such as YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, as part of the promotional effort of their Vocaloid products. The important role Nico Nico Douga has played in promoting the Vocaloids also sparked interest in the software and Kentaro Miura
Kentaro Miura
is a Japanese manga artist best known for his popular dark fantasy manga, Berserk.-Life and notable works:Kentarou Miura was born in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, in 1966. He is left-handed. In 1976, at the early age of 10, Miura made his first manga, entitled Miuranger, that was published...

, the artist of Gakupo's mascot design, had offered his services for free because of his love for the website.

In September 2009, three figurines based on the derivative character "Hachune Miku" were launched in a rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

's Black Rock Desert
Black Rock Desert
The Black Rock Desert is an arid region in the northern Nevada section of the Great Basin with a lakebed that is a dry remnant of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan...

, though it did not reach outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

. In late November 2009, a petition was launched in order to get a custom made Hatsune Miku aluminum plate (8 cm x 12 cm, 3.1" x 4.7") made that would be used as a balancing weight for the Japanese Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

 space probe
Space probe
A robotic spacecraft is a spacecraft with no humans on board, that is usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft designed to make scientific research measurements is often called a space probe. Many space missions are more suited to telerobotic rather than crewed operation, due to...

 Akatsuki. Started by Hatsune Miku fan Sumio Morioka that goes by chodenzi-P, this project received the backing of Dr. Seiichi Sakamoto of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
The , or JAXA, is Japan's national aerospace agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on October 1, 2003, as an Independent Administrative Institution administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the...

 (JAXA). The website of the petition written in Japanese was translated into other languages such as English, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, Chinese and Korean, and, the petition exceeded the needed 10,000 signatures necessary to have the plates made on December 22, 2009. On May 21, 2010 at 06:58:22 (JST
Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone of Japan, and is 9 hours ahead of UTC. For example, when it is midnight in UTC, it is 09:00 in Japan Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. Japan Standard Time is the same as...

), Akatsuki was launched on the rocket H-IIA
H-IIA is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency . The liquid-fueled H-IIA rockets have been used to launch satellites into geostationary orbit, to launch a lunar orbiting spacecraft, and to launch an interplanetary...

 202 Flight 17 from the Japanese spaceport
A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. The word spaceport, and even more so cosmodrome, has traditionally been used for sites capable of launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth or on interplanetary trajectories...

 Tanegashima Space Center
Tanegashima Space Center
The is one of Japan's space development facilities. It is located on Tanegashima, an island located 115 km south of Kyūshū. It was established in 1969 when the National Space Development Agency of Japan was formed...

, having three plates depicting Hatsune Miku.

The Vocaloid software has also had a great influence on the character Black Rock Shooter
Black Rock Shooter
is a 2010 Japanese original video animation produced by Yutaka Yamamoto's studio Ordet, written by Nagaru Tanigawa and Shinobu Yoshioka, and directed by Shinobu Yoshioka. The 50-minute OVA is based on the song of the same name by Supercell and its accompanying music video with illustrations by...

, which looks like Hatsune Miku but is not linked to her by design. The character was made famous by the song "Black Rock Shooter", and a number of figurines have been made. An original video animation
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

 made by Ordet
Ordet (company)
is a Japanese animation studio, founded in 2007 by ex-Kyoto Animation director Yutaka Yamamoto and other staff. The company initially served as a subcontractor before producing their first hit television series, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens in collaboration with A-1 Pictures in 2008...

 was streamed for free as part of a promotional campaign running from June 25 to August 31, 2010. The virtual idols "Meaw" have also been released aimed at the Vocaloid culture. The twin Taiwanese virtual idols released two singles, "Meaw Left ver." and "Meaw Right ver.", sung in Japanese.

A cafe for one day only was opened in Tokyo based on Hatsune Miku on August 31, 2010. A second event was arranged for all Japanese Vocaloids. "Snow Miku" was also featured on an event as a part of the 62nd Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Snow Festival
The is a famous festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan over seven days in February. Currently, Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome are the main sites of the festival. The 2012 Yuki-matsuri dates are February 6 to 12.-Overview:...

 in February 2011. A Vocaloid-themed TV show on the Japanese Vocaloids called Vocalo Revolution began airing on Kyoto Broadcasting System
Kyoto Broadcasting System
is a commercial broadcasting station headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It is doing business in Kyoto Prefecture as and in Shiga Prefecture as Its radio station serves Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures and is a member of National Radio Network . Its television station serves Kyoto Prefecture and is a...

 on January 3, 2011. The show is part of a bid to make the Vocaloid culture more widely accepted and features a mascot known as "Cul", also mascot of the "Cul project". The show's first success story is a joint collaboration between Vocalo Revolution and the school fashion line "Cecil McBee" Music x Fashion x Dance. Piapro also held a competition with famous fashion brands with the winners seeing their Lolita
Lolita fashion
is a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is based on Victorian-era clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period, but the style has expanded greatly beyond these two. The Lolita look began primarily as one of modesty with a focus on quality in both material and manufacture of garments...

-based designs reproduced for sale by the company Putumayo. A radio station set up a 1 hour program containing nothing but Vocaloid-based music.

The Vocaloid software had a great influence on the development of the freeware software Utau
Utau is a Japanese singing synthesizer application created by Ameya/Ayame. This program is similar to the Vocaloid software, with the difference that it is freeware instead of being released under third party licensing.-Overview:In March 2008, Ameya/Ayame released UTAU, a free, advanced support...

. Several products were produced for the for intended use for the programs Reason 4 and GarageBand
GarageBand is a software application for Mac OS X and iOS that allows users to create music or podcasts. It is developed by Apple Inc. as a part of the iLife software package on Mac OS X.-Audio recording:...

. These products were sold by Act2 and by converting their file format, were able to also work with the Utau program. The program Maidloid, developed for the character , was also developed, which works in a similar way to Vocaloid, except produces erotic sounds rather than an actual singing voice. Other than Vocaloid, AH Software also developed Tsukuyomi Ai and Shouta for the software Voiceroid
Voiceroid is a speech synthesizer application developed by AH Software and is designed for speech. It is only available in the Japanese language. Its name comes from the singing software Vocaloid, for which Ah Software also develops voicebanks...

, and the sale of their Vocaloids gave AH software the chance to promote Voiceroid at the same time. The software is aimed for speaking rather than singing. Both AH Software's Vocaloids and Voiceroids went on sale on December 4, 2009. Crypton Future Media has been reported to openly welcome these additional software developments as it expands the market for synthesized voices.

During the events of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

, a number of Vocaloid related donation drives were produced. Crypton Future Media joined several other companies in a donation drive, with money spent on the sales of music from Crypton Future Media's KarenT label being donated to the Japanese Red Cross
Japanese Red Cross
The ' is the Japanese affiliate of the International Red Cross.The Imperial Family of Japan traditionally has supported the society, with Empress as Honorary President and other royal family members as vice-presidents. Its headquarters is located in Tokyo and local chapters are set up in all 47...

. In addition, a special Nendoroid
is a brand of small plastic figures, created by the Japanese Good Smile Company. Nendoroid figures are usually replicas of an anime or manga character and are commonly used as collectors items or toys. They are roughly 10 cm in height, depending on the character they were made to look like...

 of Hatsune Miku, Nendoroid Hatsune Miku: Support ver., was announced with a donation of 1,000 yen per sale to the Japanese Red Cross.

Featured music

It is difficult to know how many songs and albums are using the Vocaloid software since song writers must ask permission before being allowed to state specifically they are using a Vocaloid in their songs. However, the albums mentioned here only represent a fraction of the albums produced using the software and many more are found on Crypton's KarenT label website. The earliest use of Vocaloid related software used prototypes of Kaito and Meiko and were featured on the album History of Logic System by Hideki Matsutake
Hideki Matsutake
Hideki Matsutake is a Japanese composer, arranger, and computer programmer. He is known for his pioneering work in electronic music and particularly music programming, as the assistant of Isao Tomita during the early 1970s and as the "fourth member" of the band Yellow Magic Orchestra during the...

 released on July 24, 2003, and sang the song "Ano Subarashii Ai o Mō Ichido". The first album to be released using a full commercial Vocaloid was A Place in the Sun, which used Leon's voice for the vocals singing in both Russian and English. Miriam has also been featured in two albums, Light + Shade and Continua. Japanese electropop-artist Susumu Hirasawa
Susumu Hirasawa
is a Japanese electropop artist and composer.In 1972, he enrolled at . From 1972 to 1978, he performed in his first band Mandrake, a progressive rock group influenced by King Crimson and Yes. In 1979 he formed a New Wave synth-rock & techno-pop band called P-Model, along with two former members of...

 used Vocaloid Lola in the original soundtrack of Paprika by Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon
was a Japanese anime director and manga artist from Kushiro, Hokkaidō and a member of the Japanese Animation Creators Association . He was a graduate of the Graphic Design department of the Musashino Art University. He is sometimes credited as in the credits of Paranoia Agent...

. The software's biggest asset is its ability to see continued usage even long after its initial release date. Leon was featured in the album 32bit Love by Muzehack and Lola in Operator's Manual by anaROBIK; both were featured in these albums six years after they were released. Even early on in the software's history, the music making progress proved to be a valuable asset to the Vocaloid development as it not only opened up the possibilities of how the software may be applied in practice, but led to the creation of further Vocaloids to fill in the missing roles the software had yet to cover. The album A Place in the Sun was noted to have songs that were designed for a male voice with a rougher timbre than the Vocaloid Leon could provide; this later led to the development of Big Al to fulfill this particular role.

Some of the most popular albums are a part of the Exit Tunes series, featuring the works of Vocaloid producers in Japan. One of the Vocaloid compilations, Exit Tunes Presents Vocalogenesis feat. Hatsune Miku, debuted at No. 1 on the Japanese weekly Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

 albums chart in May 2010, becoming the first Vocaloid album ever to top the charts. The album sold 23,000 copies in its first week and eventually sold 86,000 copies. The following released album, Exit Tunes Presents Vocalonexus feat. Hatsune Miku, became the second Vocaloid album to top the weekly charts in January 2011. Another album, Supercell
Supercell (album)
Supercell is the eponymous debut studio album of Japanese J-pop band Supercell, released on March 4, 2009, by Sony Music. Supercell had originally released a dōjin version at Comiket 74 on August 16, 2008, before the band signed a record deal with Sony Music...

, by the group Supercell also features a number of songs using Vocaloids. Upon its release in North America, it became ranked as the second highest album on Amazon's bestselling MP3 album in the international category in the United States and topped the store's bestselling chart for world music on iTunes. Other albums, such as 19's Sound Factory's First Sound Story and Livetune
Livetune is a Japanese music group which formed in 2007 as a dōjin music group. The band originally consisted of two members, Kz and Kajuki P, but Kajuki P left the group in March 2009. Livetune started out by making use of the Hatsune Miku singing synthesizer to produce vocals for songs submitted...

's Re:Repackage, and Re:Mikus also feature Miku's voice. Other uses of Miku include the albums by Absorb and by OSTER-project. Kagamine Len and Rin's songs were covered
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 by Asami Shimoda
Asami Shimoda
is a Japanese voice actress and actor, born on 30 January 1986 in Tottori Prefecture. Her better known roles include the Futami twins in The Idolmaster, and the Kagamine twins Rin and Len in the Vocaloid 2 Crypton Future Media's Character Vocal Series. She is also known as "Asapon" by her fans...

 in the album Prism credited to "Kagamine Rin/Len feat. Asami Shimoda". The compilation album Vocarock Collection 2 feat. Hatsune Miku was released by Farm Records on December 15, 2010, and was later featured on the Cool Japan Music iPhone app
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 in February 2011. The record label Balloom became the first label to focus solely on Vocaloid-related works and their first release was Unhappy Refrain by the Vocaloid producer Wowaka. Hatsune Miku's North American debut song "World is Mine" ranked at No. 7 in the iTunes world singles ranking in the week of its release. Singer Gackt also challenged Gackpoid users to create a song, with the prize being 10 million yen, stating if the song was to his liking he would sing and include it in his next album. The winning song "Episode 0" and runner up song "Paranoid Doll" were later released by Gackt on July 13, 2011. In relation to the Good Smiling racing promotions that Crypton Future Media Vocaloids had played part in, the album Hatsune Miku GT Project Theme Song Collection was released in August 2011 as part of a collaboration.

In the month prior to her release, SF-A2 Miki was featured in the album Vocaloids X'mas: Shiroi Yoru wa Seijaku o Mamotteru as part of her promotion. The album featured the Vocaloid singing Christmas songs
Christmas music
Christmas music comprises a variety of genres of music normally performed or heard around the Christmas season, which tends to begin in the months leading up the actual holiday and end in the weeks shortly thereafter.-Early:...

. Miki was also featured singing the introduction of the game Hello Kitty to Issho! Block Crash 123!!. A young female prototype used for the "project if..." series was used in Sound Horizon
Sound Horizon
Sound Horizon, abbreviated by fans as Sanhora , is a Japanese musical group with composer Revo as the leader. They call themselves the "fantasy band" and have released their works that closely resemble suites.-History:...

's musical work "Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido", labeled as the "prologue maxi". The prototype sang alongside Miku for their music and is known only by the name "Junger März_Prototype β". For Yamaha's VY1 Vocaloid, an album featuring VY1 was created. The album was released with the deluxe version of the program. It includes various well known producers from Nico Nico Douga and YouTube and includes covers of various popular and well known Vocaloid songs using the VY1 product. The first press edition of Nekomura Iroha was released with a CD containing her two sample songs "Tsubasa" and "Abbey Fly", and the install disc
Installation (computer programs)
Installation of a program is the act of putting the program onto a computer system so that it can be executed....

 also contained VSQ files of the two songs for use with her program. A number of Vocaloid related music, including songs starring Hatsune Miku, were featured in the arcade game Music Gun Gun! 2. One of the rare singles with the English speaking Sonika, "Suburban Taxi", was released by Alexander Stein and the German label Volume0dB on March 11, 2010.

To celebrate the release of the Vocaloid 3 software, a compilation album titled The Vocaloids will be released. The CD contains 18 songs sung by Vocaloids released in Japan, and will contain a booklet with information about the Vocaloid characters.

Legal implications

According to Crypton, because professional female singers refused to provide voice samples, in fear that the software might create their singing voice's clones
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

, Crypton changed their focus from imitating certain singers to creating characteristic vocals. This change of focus led to sampling
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 vocals of voice actors and the Japanese voice actor agency Arts Vision
Arts Vision
Arts Vision Incorporated is a Japanese talent agency that employs a large number of high-profile voice actors...

 supported the development. Similar concerns are expressed throughout the other studios using Vocaloid, with Zero-G refusing to release the names of their providers and Miriam Stockley (who provided the voice for Miriam) remains the only known Zero-G voice provider. PowerFX only hinted at Sweet Ann's voice provider and only Big Al's is known. AH Software named Miki's voice provider, but for legal reasons cannot name Kaai Yuki's as minors were the subject of the recordings.

Any rights or obligations arising from the vocals created by the software belong to the software user. Just like any music synthesizer, the software is treated as a musical instrument and the vocals as sound. Under the term of license, the mascots for the software can be used to create vocals for commercial or non-commercial use as long as the vocals do not offend public policy. In other words, the user is bound under the term of license of the software not to synthesize derogatory or disturbing lyrics. On the other hand, copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

s to the mascot image and name belong to their respective studios. Under the term of license, a user cannot commercially distribute a vocal as a song sung by the character, nor use the mascot image on commercial products, without the consent of the studio who owns them.

One of the most controversial uses of the legal agreements of any Vocaloid producing studio was from the Democratic Party of Japan
Democratic Party of Japan
The is a political party in Japan founded in 1998 by the merger of several opposition parties. Its socially liberal platform is generally considered center-left in the Japanese political spectrum...

, whose running candidate, Kenzo Fujisue
Kenzo Fujisue
is a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet . A native of Kumamoto, Kumamoto, he graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology and received master's degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in the United...

, attempted to secure the use of Miku's image in the Japanese House of Councillors election of July 11, 2010
Japanese House of Councillors election, 2010
The for the upper house of the legislature of Japan were held on July 11, 2010. In the last election in 2007, the Liberal Democratic Party lost its majority to the Democratic Party of Japan , which managed to gain the largest margin since its formation in 1996. The House of Councillors is...

. The hope was that the party could use her image to appeal to younger voters. Although Crypton Future Media rejected the party's use of her image or name for political purposes, Fujisue released the song "We Are the One" using her voice but not credited to her on YouTube, by replacing her image with the party's character in the music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...


Employees working within the studios are bound by legal implications not to repeat any details given to them from Yamaha on Vocaloid development without Yamaha's permission. They are also not allowed to disclose details of upcoming Vocaloids without permission of the Vocaloid studio nor reveal the identity of the singer if the studio does not make it public.

On November 29, 2010, Crypton started an independent music publication for seeking copyright royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 if songs are used for commercial purposes such as karaoke
is a form of interactive entertainment or video game in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song minus the lead vocal. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol,...

, because Vocaloid users hardly used the copyright collective
Copyright collective
A copyright collective is a body created by copyright law or private agreement which engages in collective rights management...

 Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers
Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers
, often referred to as the is a Japanese copyright collection society. It was founded in 1939 as a non-profit making organization, and is the largest musical copyright administration society in Japan....

 (JASRAC). Due to the fact songs using the software are made by independent users, the act of plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous...

 has remained a highly controversial issue among Vocaloid users and their published works. This has been a heated issue on both illustrative and musical levels with songs and their publishers being targeted by allegations of stealing the works of others. In January 2011, Japanese boyband KAT-TUN
KAT-TUN is a Japanese boy band formed by Johnny & Associates in 2001. The group's name is an acronym based on the first letter of each member's family name until the departure of Jin Akanishi in 2010. As of 2010, KAT-TUN stands for Kazuya KAmenashi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda,...

 were forced to admit plagiarism against their song "Never×Over~「-」Is Your Part~
Change Ur World
"Change Ur World" is the thirteenth single by Japanese boy band KAT-TUN. It was released on November 17, 2010 by their record label J-One Records...

", after the producer of the song admitted it was influenced by the Vocaloid song "Dye" produced by AVTechNO, after fans expressed their outrage over the similarities of the two songs. However, AVTechNO also released a statement explaining that the members of the band were not to blame for this incident.


Despite the success of the software in Japan, overseas customers have been reluctant on the software overall. In contrast to the reaction overseas, reviewers such as Michael Stipe
Michael Stipe
John Michael Stipe is an American singer and lyricist. He was the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band R.E.M.Stipe is noted and occasionally parodied for the "mumbling" style of his early career as well as his social and political activism. He was in charge of R.E.M.'s visual image; often...

 of R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

 praised when it was first announced in 2003. Stipe noted that one of the more useful aspects of the software was that is gave singers a method of preserving their voice for future use should they lose their own, but as the technology progressed it could also be used to bring back the voices of singers whose voices have already been lost. However, while the provider of "Miriam", Miriam Stockley, had accepted that there was little point in fighting progress, she had noted there was little control over how her voice was used once the software was in the hands of others. Reception to Vocaloid 2 was generally better. When Sweet Ann was first released, John Walden of Sound on Sound
Sound on Sound
Sound on Sound is an independently-owned monthly music technology magazine published by SOS Publications Group, based in Cambridge, UK. The magazine includes product tests of electronic musical performance and recording devices, and interviews with industry professionals...

had reviewed Leon, Lola and Miriam and noted that Vocaloid itself had no previous rival technology to contend with, and praised Yamaha for their efforts as Vocaloid was an ambitious project to undertake, considering the human voice was more complex to synthesize than instruments such as the violin. In reviewing Vocaloid 2, he referred to the original software engine in a passing comment stating, "Undoubtedly a remarkable and innovative product and, with experience and patience, was capable of producing results that could be frighteningly realistic." While he congratulated the improvements made in Vocaloid 2, he noted the software was still far from being regarded as a top rate singer.

When interviewed by the Vocaloid producing company Zero-G, music producer Robert Hedin described how the software offered a creative freedom. He compared it to auto-tuning software, stating the Vocaloid software itself has enough imperfections to present itself as a singer who does not sound human. However, he states that Vocaloid also does not "snap into tune" like auto-tuning software, which the music industry seems to favor these days. Giuseppe, who had produced demo songs for both Zero-G and PowerFX Vocaloids, and is now aiding in the production of Spanish based Vocaloids, had noted that each Vocaloid package worked the same way. However, each vocal has its own unique personality to it, so choosing one vocal over another is not easy. He hoped that the Vocaloid software will continue to progress forward so long as its userbase continues to push it forward. He also noted that the software's slow start and its early bad reputation was the hardest part for the software to overcome in regards to its success, and like any commercial product, a decrease in sales would result in a decrease in development.

The CEO of Crypton Future Media
Crypton Future Media
, or Crypton, is a media company based in Sapporo, Japan. It develops, imports, and sells products for music, such as sound generator software, sampling CDs and DVDs, and sound effect and background music libraries...

 noted the lack of interest in Vocaloids overall was put down to the lack of response in the initial Vocaloid software. In regards to the development of the English version of the software specifically, many studios when approached by Crypton Future Media for recommendations towards developing the English Vocaloids had no interest in the software initially, with one particular company representative calling it a "toy". A level of failure was put on Leon and Lola for lack of sales in the United States, putting the blame on their British accents
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

. Crypton praised the value of the English Vocaloids and what they offered to the Japanese users for their capability of offering the English language to them, when it would otherwise be off limits. As Hatsune Miku was responsible for making the software famous, her voice has become the most commonly associated with the Vocaloid software and divides opinions of critics both overseas and within Japan on their opinions towards her and the software. Crypton blamed a fear of robots on part of the lack of response on the sale of the software overseas and expressed that there was also a general "anti-Vocaloid" point of view amongst some cultures and communities, although he also noted that he hoped in the future this would change as the software continued to be developed.

Even with the lack of success for the English version of the software in the United States, Crypton Future Media reported that about half of music download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

s at the iTunes Store
ITunes Store
The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, with over 200,000 items to purchase, it is, as of April 2008, the number-one music vendor in the United States...

 for songs of Crypton's label KarenT, published by Japanese producers, have been from overseas purchases, with sales from American consumers making up the majority of percentages of overseas sales. Despite experiencing good sales in Europe, it was reported the software is over failing to attract a satisfactory level of attention, and software developers are now setting their sights on trying to overturn the lack of interest in the software in Europe.

Hatsune Miku picked up second place in a 2010 Japanese Yahoo!
Yahoo! Japan
is a Japanese internet company formed as a joint venture between the American internet company Yahoo! and the Japanese internet company SoftBank. It is headquartered at Midtown Tower in the Tokyo Midtown complex in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo.-History:...

 poll on Japanese gamers' favorite characters, owed to her starring role in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA
is a rhythm game created by Sega and Crypton Future Media for the PlayStation Portable featuring the virtual-diva vocaloid Hatsune Miku.-Gameplay:...

Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

's website CNNGo declared Hatsune Miku as one of Japan's best in their "Tokyo best and worst of 2010", listing her as the "Best new virtual singer for the otaku generation". Clash
Clash (magazine)
Clash is a popular music and fashion magazine based in the United Kingdom. Its magazine title is published 12 times a year. It has a circulation of around 40,000....

magazine labeled Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloid software as the future of music.

See also

  • Cantor
    Cantor (music software)
    Cantor was a Vocal singing synthesizer software released 4 months after the original release of Vocaloid by the company VirSyn, and was based on the same idea of synethesizing the human voice. VirSyn released both English and German versions of this software...

  • Computer music
    Computer music
    Computer music is a term that was originally used within academia to describe a field of study relating to the applications of computing technology in music composition; particularly that stemming from the Western art music tradition...

  • Dōjin music
    Dojin music
    , also called in Japan, is a sub-category of dōjin activity. Dōjin are basically non-official self-published Japanese works which can be based on official products or completely original creations...

  • Hatsune Miku
    Hatsune Miku
    is a singing synthesizer application with a female persona, developed by Crypton Future Media. It uses Yamaha Corporation's Vocaloid 2 synthesizing technology. The name of the character comes from a fusion of the Japanese for , and future , referring to her position as the first of Crypton's...

  • List of Vocaloid products
  • Macne series
    Macne series
    The is a series of voice banks designed for Reason4 and GarageBand, music sequencer softwares for the Macintosh operating system, developed by MI7 Japan and distributed by Act2...

  • Software synthesizer
    Software synthesizer
    A software synthesizer, also known as a softsynth is a computer program or plug-in for digital audio generation. Computer software which can create sounds or music is not new, but advances in processing speed are allowing softsynths to accomplish the same tasks that previously required dedicated...

  • Speech synthesis
    Speech synthesis
    Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware...

  • Utau
    Utau is a Japanese singing synthesizer application created by Ameya/Ayame. This program is similar to the Vocaloid software, with the difference that it is freeware instead of being released under third party licensing.-Overview:In March 2008, Ameya/Ayame released UTAU, a free, advanced support...

  • Voiceroid
    Voiceroid is a speech synthesizer application developed by AH Software and is designed for speech. It is only available in the Japanese language. Its name comes from the singing software Vocaloid, for which Ah Software also develops voicebanks...

External links

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