VOCALOID3 Music Contest Winner Announcement Live Stream

A broadcast was shown on July 29 at 8PM JST on Nico Nico Live to announce winners out of the 2,251 entries for the VOCALOID3 Release Commemoration Music Contest, which was held from November 15, 2011 to June 30, 2012. A demo of the galaco sound bank was also played and downloads for the galaco sound bank start on August 5. This sound bank is a participation prize awarded to anyone who managed to reach one thousand views for a legitimate submission before the deadline. Furthermore, during the show, the YAMAHA and Nico representatives announced that the deadline for reaching 1000 views to obtain galaco has been extended to the end of October in order to promote VOCALOID3 and give more people a chance, especially for those who didn’t know about the contest or those who were very close.

UPDATE: The official website is now updated with winners and extension information.
UPDATE 2: An update from August 2 states that all VOCALOID3 databanks currently being sold are eligible for the galaco competition.

The award session started a few minutes late while the staff prepared the stage. The main MC for the event was Yoshida Hisanori, who is an announcer with Nippon Broadcasting who had previously appeared in Nico Nico Choparty doing a rakugo skit about Madoka Magica. He was wearing a galaco-themed long sleeve zip-up hooded shirt, much like the character. After introducing himself, he introduced his fellow MCs, starting with two people who run VOCALOID-related Nico Nico Live broadcasts — Fuchigami Mai (who is also a voice actress) and Sano Kyohei. The two remaining guests were Seto Yuki from YAMAHA and Nakano Makoto from Nico Nico Douga.

The show started with an overview of the contest held from November 15 2011 to June 30 2012, how it was originally supposed to be a contest commemorating the release of VOCALOID3 and it somehow dragged on for more than half a year. According to Nakano, they had on their hands a sound bank that they wasn’t planned to be sold and decided that it would be a neat idea to use it to liven things up a bit. Finally, Yoshida mentioned that this broadcast was done without notifying the winners first, so it would be as much as a surprise for them as the other viewers. They also asked that their pronunciation be corrected in case they misread the titles and/or artist names.

First up on the award ceremony were the winners of the Dwango Award. The Dwango Award went out to five videos, and the creators would receive a grab bag of Nico Nico Douga goods, include TV-chan and NicoMoba-chan plushies as well as towels, various other stationery, a mug and a tea cup:

The first video shown was said to have required 500,000 yen worth of VOCALOID software, and Nakano felt that the creator really deserved to get galaco, a VOCALOID that’s not available for sale. However, when the video reached 1000 views and automatically qualified to get galaco, then he decided that their feelings for the video should be expressed in another form and decided on a Dwango Prize for the creator.

Next up were the YAMAHA prizes for using VY1V3 or Mew. The top video creator in this category would receive the top of the line version of Cubase (and according to Yoshida, not to be confused with QB, since it isn’t trying to bind you into a contract for your soul), whereas the other three winners would be receiving a YAMAHA-produced VOCALOID3 library of their choosing:

After Aster Selene’s song went up, many people commented that this was someone from outside of Japan, and MCs remarked that they received a lot of entries from outside Japan, including ones from China, the United States and even one from Zimbabwe (or at least the registered email address was from a .zw domain). At this point, Fuchigami realized that Japan’s TLD .jp stood for Japan.

According to comments from YAMAHA, Kagerou Nikki not only had a lot of views, but was also a very good song, and thus it landed the grand prize. For Hanemegami, the comments said that they were totally taken in by the taiko and strings intro first and then by the VOCALOID parts. Both the music and the lyrics were very original and beautiful, and YAMAHA wanted more people to listen to the song. The staff described NEKOTOTORI as a great work about the forbidden love between a bird and a cat and wished to see more. As for RainWords, it had very polished music and an impressive video that expressed Mew’s qualities very well.

After the YAMAHA awards came the Dear Stage awards for use of Tone Rion. The top prize was one where the winner would get invited to Akihabara with all expenses paid. Another prize showcased was a Yamaha TENORI-ON “TNR-O”. Lastly, there were another 10 winning videos whose creators would receive complimentary Dear Stage tickets, which cover the entrance fee, a drink and the meal of the day.

Minority_World was described as quite cute by the audience and the MCs, whereas Yoshida remarked that Folia was very Kajiura-esque. According to the sponsors of the prize, Minority_World was a catchy and refreshing pop song that brought out Rion’s cuteness, whereas the creator’s love could be felt in Folia as it presented an epic and detailed setting, easily eliciting a story.

Following Dear Stage was i-style Project with two awards for users of Aoki Lapis. One winner would receive an Aoki Lapis original design silver ring and a Cubase starter pack. The other was would receive the Eguchi Nako (voice provider for Aoki Lapis) award, which consists of an alarm clock that comes with messages in her voice.

According to comments about the judgement criteria for this category, the awards in this category went to videos that easily brought to mind Aoki Lapis’s setting. Hoshifuru Yoru ni left a deep impression with the story of an adolescent girl and her feelings, with great expression of sadness pinging at the heart of the listener. Her youthful voice, the theme and the illustration of Lapis in a school outfit really meshed well. For Eguchi Nako, 1+1=Zero no Sekai had a very distinct feel that made her go “WAA”, and the imagery in the video also brought a “WAA” to her. She also said Lapis playing the guitar was cute.

Next came the SeeU related awards. SBS Artech put up a trip for two to Seoul for 3 days and 2 nights for the grand prize and a New iPad Wi-Fi 32GB (originally an iPad2 but changed due to the next product coming out) for first place. Furthermore, the most popular uploads netted their creators a SeeU grab bag, even if they won one of the other prizes. Lastly, imyss put up a cosmetics gift set to one individual.

Upon discussion of the Seoul trip prize, the MCs wondered about how expensive it would be. It would’ve been really cheap for someone already living in Seoul, but it would’ve been really expensive to fly someone in from Zimbabwe. Turns out TokuP racked up his second award for ASTEROiD with this trip. Nakano explained that all the different companies chose their winners separately and that it wasn’t a situation where everyone got together and decided which songs went to which prizes. As for the cosmetics set, the MCs wondered whether it would actually go to a girl. Seto suggested that it could be gifted to the winner’s girlfriend or the winner’s mom, the latter which Nakano thought was a great addition.

After the SeeU prizes were the INTERNET prizes to users of Megpoid, CUL and Lily. Ten lucky winners would get to download one of INTERNET’s software synthesizers (including VOCALOID) of their choosing.

The awards wrapped up with several more prizes. Gekkayo, a music-related magazine, offered to add a feature about the winning song in an issue along with an interview by the editor and sheet music for the song. Lawson offered to play their winning song for a month in their convenience stores. Finally, Vocaloplus gave a Wacom M-size Intuos5 touch PTH650/K0 each to the two winning PV makers (not the song creators) in the PV category.

For the PV, the judges said that the PV set to Suneo’s energetic song Bye Bye Bye really captivated them and Baku to Issho was a wonderful animation with gentle movements and expressions.

After the awards, the focus went on to galaco. Although galaco will be download-only, Seto went ahead on his own and borrowed his work-place printer to print out a mockup DVD case for the sound bank:

He personally thought it would be neat to eventually sell an append version, but currently there are no plans for selling galaco at all. According to one of Seto’s tweets (note: his Twitter profile indicates that his tweets are not in an official capacity), they received permission to make the galaco sound bank with the stipulation that it would not be sold. In response to someone wondering if people will start selling galaco on auction sites, he stated that, as will be evident in the notification emails and on the download website, first time activation for galaco can only be done before the end of January in order to prevent reselling. However, there is an optional user registration process that would enable activation resets, etc.

Out of the uploaders for the 2251 videos submitted to the contest, 697 people managed to reach 1000 views and score galaco as a participation prize. They had originally wanted to give it to everyone who participated but used this system to weed out people who weren’t really using the voice banks. Originally the bar was set at 3000 views but they wanted to get more people to participate and lowered it to 1000 views. Interestingly, Seto said that the voice provider for galaco will “officially not be public information”, while commenters on Nico picked out the two instances of “kou” in that phrase.

Winners will be notified via email and they will be able to download the sound bank starting on August 5, which coincidentally also happens to be Shibasaki Ko’s birthday. The show then played the galaco beta version of ANOTHER WORLD.

YAMAHA and Nico talked and decided that in order to further promote VOCALOID3 (which came out on October 21 of last year) and allow more people access to galaco, they’ve decided to extend the deadline for reaching 1000 views to the end of October 2012. At the end of July, August, September and October, more winners would be notified.

The Nico Nico Info writeup also highlighted three winning entries which used Western VOCALOID3 voice banks:

  • Aster Selene

    Aw, man, I missed the live show. Ah, thanks to Vocaloidism for covering —–


    …WAIT WHAT IS MY SONG DOING THERE

    • hohos

      Congrats!

  • I can’t believe they didn’t say in the contest rules that we could use western vocals like Oliver, Bruno and Clara.
    Stay classy Yamaha.

    • Penguinlogik

      They didn’t say you couldn’t either. A Vocaloid 3 is a Vocaloid 3.

      • True, but they should have at least specified it more. Even if Powerfx or Vocotro labs weren’t giving away prizes, the info should have mentioned more about using all types of Vocaloid 3. From most of the translations, it was assumed that you could only use Japanese vocals.

        • hightrancesea

          They probably weren’t expecting entries for those, but I guess some people entered anyway and did manage to pull in enough views, so they must have decided at the end to allow those.

  • Ri

    I’m just curious, if you win Galaco but then say something happens to your computer and you have to get a new one? Can you re-download her? If not, that just seems a bit unfair…

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