Happy 4th Birthday, Defoko/Utane Uta!
4 years already since Utane Uta, the first UTAUloid, made her first appearance; this year too, her fans have prepared special projects to celebrate her birthday!
UTAU, the singing synthesis shareware created by Ameya/Ayame (aka Ameya-P), was released on March 6th, 2008. It came with a then nameless voicebank that would later be known as Defoko (デフォ子, from “default” and ko, “girl”, from her being the default voice) or more formally as Utane Uta (唄音ウタ from uta, “song”, and ne, “sound”). While one of the main features of UTAU is to allow users to record the voice of their choice and create their own voicebanks (“UTAUloids”), Defoko’s voice was sampled from AquesTalk, a text-to-speech middleware created by AQUEST. Contrary to VOCALOID voicebanks that are sampled from real singers, AquesTalk is purely synthetic. It should be noted that an improved, less airy, and noisy version of her voicebank has been provided with UTAU starting from Ver0.2.60 (January 11st, 2010).
So. Uta was released at the same time as UTAU. On March 6th. And today is… February 5th. P-Please calm down, I can explain everything! While he would release his software one month later, Ameya used Defoko (who he refered to as a “prototype”) for the first time in a video (see below) he uploaded to Nico Nico Douga on February 5th 2008. While this is generally considered to be her birth date, a one month-long “Birthday Festival” has been held since 2010 between February 5th and March 6th. According to the Utane Uta Project’s site (part of the UTAU/UTAU-synth official site), Ameya doesn’t have a preference in terms of birth date.
Her first original song (and the first original UTAU song) is “Kenka Wakare,” uploaded by nwp8861 (aka Mimirobo-P of “Mimi no aru Robotto” fame) on May 10th, 2008, and May 13th for the revised version. She was named “Defoko” for the first time on June 15th, 2008 in a non-musical video by Wanai-P. “Defoko no Uta – A Song of Default Girl,” which can be considered her “theme song,” was uploaded by Ameya himself on November 14th, 2008.
“Kenka Wakare” by Mimirobo-P
“Defoko no Uta – A Song of Default Girl (long version)” by Ameya-P
According to fanon, she is 155cm tall (5’1), likes rice, is a nice and cool person albeit a little sadistic, and her item is a rocket-propelled grenade. She is part of the “Three UTAU Girls” along with Teto and Momo. She has a little sister, Defo-imouto (デフォ妹, from imouto, “little sister”), also known as Utane Oto (オト, “sound”) or Utane Koe (コエ, “voice”. This name was tentatively suggested by Ameya); she was introduced by Ameya in a video he uploaded on April 21st, 2008. She is based on a modified version of Defoko’s voice.
Defoko’s basic design was created by Inuhebi-P who used it in this June 4th 2008 video. On February 18th, 2011, fans started to submit pictures for the “UTAU Utane Uta Official Illustration Contest;” while Inuhebi-P’s basic design was used as a reference for most Defoko illustrations until then, significant differences still could be found among the different depictions of her, which the contest aimed at remedying. Due to the March earthquake and tsunami, the closing date for submissions was postponed until May 19th; you can view the 498 works submitted to Nico Nico Seiga here. A popularity vote was then held until May 30th (the 30 top pictures can be seen here), after which the contest was put on hold until January 14th 2012, when Ameya announced that Hoke, the manager of the official Defoko community Defokomyu, would be heading the contest thereafter. He asked fans to file “final screening reports” and submit them until February 11st; he will use them as a reference when choosing the winner of the contest. No further date has been announced.
“Defoko’s Birthday Festival 2012” will be comprised of two parts. For both of them, users can upload videos celebrating Defoko’s birthday on Nico Nico Douga, and have to lock the tag “デフォ子誕生祭2012” in order to participate. The first part will be held from February 5th to 19th; a tour (that is, videos linked to one another with an NND script, basically forming a playlist) is taking place, which you can watch here. A NicoLive will be broadcast on the 19th, and will be accessible from the Defokomyu. Fans will be also be able to upload videos on March 6th (and only on March 6th) for the second part; a second NicoLive will be broadcast on March 10th.
Let’s now watch some of the most popular videos featuring Defoko as well as ones uploaded for her birthday!
“Sekihi” by inaphon (YT mirror)
“Highlight” by nakano4
“Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” cover (band rehearsal) by Billiard-P (original by supercell) (YT mirror)
“Cyber Thunder Cider” cover by Kamaya-P(2) (original by EZFG)
“síː” cover by Hoke (original by hollow.esc) (YT mirror)
“Boukyaku Requiem” by akari-A (YT mirror)
You can watch more videos uploaded for her birthday here.
And now let us take a look at some pictures!
More Defoko pictures on Nico Nico Seiga and pixiv.
Defoko comes with UTAU (Windows) and UTAU-synth (Mac), which you can download on the official site.
And that’s it for Defoko’s 4th birthday! We hope you enjoyed celebrating it with us, and make sure to join us again for her 5th birthday!
3 thoughts on “Happy 4th Birthday, Defoko/Utane Uta!”
Happy birthday, Defoko!
I was pretty sure that last pic was of Momo, but the pixiv artist says Defoko. Long hair, why…
But happy birthday Defoko! And (as I have said every year) good luck with your plans for WORLD DOMINATION – I mean, general popularity.
Happy Birthday I love you Defoko