The official website for the VOCALOID-themed mobile game VOCADOL is now open, revealing a cast of eight characters—Lily, Merli, Aoki Lapis, Anon, Kanon, CUL, kokone and MIZKI. The freemium game is billed as a combination of idol raising game and mystery adventure, and it is expected to be available on both iOS 7+ and Android 4+ platforms sometime in 2015. People who register their email address beforehand will supposedly receive a special in-game item when the game formally launches. Author Kuroda Kenji, known for his mystery novels as well as Gyakuten Saiban novelizations, will be establishing the background and writing the script, and Yoshitaka Ushiki of Yumekui Merry and “Advent Cirno” fame will be responsible for the main visuals.
Yamaha has announced at the NAMM 2015 tradeshow the upcoming release of a female American English VOCALOID4 library called CYBER DIVA. Being Yamaha’s first direct release of an English VOCALOID sound bank, CYBER DIVA is touted as being able to reproduce the natural pronunciation of a native English speaker, and it is expected to be available as a download to customers in the US during the first quarter of this year for 149.99 USD. A packaged version is also expected to be released in Japan in early February as well. There are currently five demo songs available on YouTube (1,2,3,4,5), with two songs created by UtataP and three songs made by a collaboration between CircusP and CrusherP. The recommended pitch range is from G2 to C4, and the recommended tempo goes from 60 to 180 beats per minute. The library will have only a single voice bank (and thus is not cross-synthesizable) but is touted to be able reproduce “rough” as well as “harsh” vocals through VOCALOID4’s growl feature. The official website also posted an interview detailing the development process, showing the many problems that were encountered in the nearly two years of development.
During Yamaha’s product announcement live stream, AH-Software announced VOCALOID4 versions of their VOCALOID2 catalog—Kaai Yuki, Kiyoteru, SFA2 Miki and Nekomura Iroha. Furthermore, a VOCALOID4 version of Yuzuki Yukari is also in progress, featuring a new whisper voice. According to the latest blog post, the VOCALOID4 version of Yuzuki Yukari will have two voice banks—the normal one and a whisper one. The normal bank will essentially be the same as the VOCALOID3 version, but with growl added. The whisper bank is named “On” (“穏”, which means calm in Japanese). A demo snippet as well as a high resolution image are included in that blog post.
During Yamaha’s new product announcement live stream, Crypton Future Media’s Sasaki Wataru revealed that the new Luka library will be called “Megurine Luka V4X“, where the X stands for eXpression, eXtended as well as venturing out into the unknown. As expected, the new Luka library will be using the VOCALOID4 engine, and hence will be growl-capable. The software will come with Hard and Soft voice banks in Japanese as well as Straight and Soft voice banks in English. For the Japanese voice banks, the user can also apply a “voice color”—Power, Whisper, Cute, Soft, Husky or Falsetto—using Crypton’s E.V.E.C. feature. The software will be released at the end of February 2015 for 17280 JPY (12960 JPY for registered owners of Luka (V2), Miku V3, Miku V3 Bundle, KAITO V3 or MEIKO V3). New information will be released every weekend starting with November 28. An official upload of the demo movie is now available on YouTube.
During a product announcement live stream, Yamaha has revealed that VOCALOID4 is coming this winter. More specifically, VOCALOID4 Editor and VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase, along with VY1V4, are scheduled to be released late December, “in time for Christmas.” The hardcopy version of VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase will also come with a complementary license to Cubase AI so that users can immediately use the software. VOCALOID4 will bring a few new features, including growl (the amount of growling/raspiness can be adjusted as a time-varying parameter), cross-synthesis (the singing of the same singer in the same language can be blended smoothly between two different voices (e.g. between normal and power) using a time-varying parameter, as long as a special “voice” has been prepared beforehand with the two voices), pitch rendering (displays the effective pitch curve on the UI) and real-time input (using a MIDI keyboard, fixed syllable).
Cross-synthesis, pitch rendering and real-time input are supported for VOCALOID3 banks as well, and VOCALOID2 banks can support pitch rendering and real-time input as long as they have been imported into VOCALOID3. DTM Station’s writeup also indicates some other features such as pitch-snap mode (remove natural portamento, etc.) as well ways to bake the portamento and vibrato effects into the PIT curve. The press release from Yamaha indicates that VY1V4 will have four voices—Normal, Soft, Power and Natural. As for upgrade pricing, customers who bought any version of VOCALOID3 Editor, VOCALOID Editor for Cubase or VY1V3 are eligible for an upgrade pricing of 5400 JPY for the new products. Those who bought the editor software after November 10 are also eligible for a free upgrade until end of June, 2015. Starting on November 21, there will also be a song contest on VOCALOID NET with a VY1V4-Editor set as the grand prize.
UPDATE: According to a tweet from Kenmochi, VOCALOID3 Editor and VOCALOID Editor for Cubase will be receiving updates in the future to read .vsqx files created by their VOCALOID4 analogues.
Crypton’s upcoming revamp of Megurine Luka, tentatively called Megurine Luka V3, comes not only with newly recorded sound banks, but also several new capabilities. One of the new capabilities is apparently called Enhanced Voice Expression Control (E.V.E.C.), which allows for finer per-note adjustment of the voice synthesis process. A demo of the feature has been uploaded to SoundCloud. While E.V.E.C. is only applicable to Japanese singing, another new capability, this time with respect to Luka’s English, is slated to be revealed late November. Lastly, from the screenshots on the page, it appears that “Whisper”, “Soft”, “Power”, “Cute” and “Closed” will be among the voices available in the upcoming software package.
According to a news item on the hide official web site, the vocals for the title track on the upcoming album “Co GAL” were created with the help of Yamaha’s VOCALOID engine. A former member of X Japan as well as a solo artist, hide passed away at the age of 33, with his death officially ruled a suicide. At the time, only a demo track with rough vocals was available for “Co Gal”, unfit for release on the then upcoming posthumous studio album “Ja, Zoo”. Fellow musician I.N.A., along with Yamaha’s VOCALOID synthesis engine, have now recreated the song, which will be released on an album commemorating hide’s 50th birthday. This album will also include remastered versions of 15 other popular songs of hide’s. Finally, the first press limited edition version of the album will include the original demo track as well. Both versions will be available starting December 10 at a price point of 3000 JPY/3800 JPY for the standard and limited editions respectively.
At the NYCC panel, in addition to playing an English version of Just Be Friends, Crypton announced that Megurine Luka V3 will have a projected release date sometime in the first quarter of 2015 and teased the audience with her silhouette. Furthermore, Kagamine Rin/Len V3 will have a scheduled release in the third quarter of 2015 as well. Based on various tweets from attendees, other highlights of the panel include summarizing previous Miku collaboration projects and showing concert footage from Indonesia. Crypton also said that the reason for Miku Expo being held in Jakarta and the US was that the former was the city with the most votes on the Help Us Find You! campaign and the latter was the country with the most votes. Furthermore, according to some tweets from @crypton_wat, the experimental “extra functionality” they had been working on for Luka V3 will be mainly for the Japanese sound bank(s)—Wataru Sasaki and Hideki Kenmochi were recently interviewed regarding this and details will be revealed in stages from now through November.
With the Los Angeles and New York Hatsune Miku Expo fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of the relevant information, and we’ll be adding more and updating as needed. The schedule summarizes the events (NY events in blue and EDT, LA events in pink at PDT), and the following sections contain more detailed information on the events.
Update: Added IA event(s) (in NYC, EDT) due to popular demand.
According to an official blog post, the download version of Hatsune Miku V3 will be available through Crypton Future Media’s SONICWIRE online store at a price point of 17280 JPY (taxes included). The bundle version, which additionally includes Hatsune Miku V3 English, will also be available at 21600 JPY; previously, only a download version of Hatsune Miku V3 English was available. Lastly, the VIVID and LIGHT sound banks, previously only available as a free download to previous owners of all of Hatsune Miku’s software packages, will now be offered at 8640 JPY each. These two sound banks are add-on VOCALOID3 sound banks and do not include Piapro Studio or Studio One.