I’m sure every true nerd out there knows about the ADORABLE Hatsune Miku by now. But I thought I’d rant about my obsession for this futuristic idol and what is VOCALOID. I actually discovered Miku on youtube about two years ago. I’m pretty sure it was one of those nights where you just sit around for hours watching videos, telling yourself you’re only gonna watch one more and then go to bed; but of course you stay up for like five more hours (still watching videos or google-ing useless information) and want to kick yourself when you realize the sun is coming up. My first encounter with Miku was a video of her concert–more specifically her song called “World Is Mine”.
This video literally made my jaw drop. First of all, I’d never seen her character before and I was stunned with that “MOE!!!” feeling you get when you see something cute. But I was also freaking out about how there were hundreds—maybe even thousands—of people there to see a HOLOGRAM CONCERT. I remember thinking, “HOLOGRAMS ARE REAL?!?!?!wtf%#&*$”. I probably watched that video about a hundred times in the week following my discovery of her.
Now if you still have no idea who or what Hatsune Miku is or why the heck people would pay to see a fictional character in concert, I’ll try to explain. Hatsune Miku is one of many Vocaloids. You’re probably thinking “What the heck is a vocaloid?” I was actually wondering the same thing myself so I did a bit of research. VOCALOID is actually a computer program created by Crypton Future Media and Yamaha that synthesizes singing voices. It is made for musicians to use in place of real voices. With this program, you can input a melody and lyrics, and out will come your vocals! You can even tweak the pronunciation and add vibrato to get the full effect you are looking for. VOCALOID 3 offers more than 20 voices now. If you want to learn more about Vocaloid, a simple web search will always do the trick. For those of you who are interested, read about it here.
If you look through their site, you can view all of the vocaloids. They even have sample videos that you can watch to preview their voices. The company wanted to associate the voices with characters so that more people would feel like they could relate to their products. They wanted to market to the public (especially teens—they got me hooked anyways), not just to those bigshot-music-producers.
And that’s where we get the ever so loveable Hatsune Miku. She was one of the first Vocaloids to be turned into an actual character. Miku is portrayed as a 16-year-old “android diva”. Her popularity has spiraled into worldwide fame. Since her creation in 2007, she has been integrated into a lot of different media including a manga and several video games; my favorite is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f. Project Diva f is a rhythm game created by Sega and Crypton Future Media. I suppose you could put it in the category with Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but I think it far surpasses these games. I am quite biased though, since I tend to lean towards anything that is cutesy. Maybe one day soon I’ll do a post on the game itself.
I suppose what I’m getting at is that I really love and appreciate all of the vocaloids. Of course Hatsune Miku is my favorite, but I am so impressed with modern technology and what it can give us these days. So thank you Crypton Future Media and Yamaha for developing such awesome and interesting characters! And I can’t forget to thank Sega for developing such amazing video games. What would I do without technology?! I guess I would be stuck reading books.