Having been present at Anime Expo since 2009, Mirai no Neiro – The Sound of the Future is a series of panels organized by Masa, who makes it from Japan to Anime Expo each year to introduce the audience to VOCALOID through presentations, music videos and messages from producers. This year, Mirai no Neiro brought several guests and introduced many music videos over three panel slots. The first and third panels were primarily focused on music videos, whereas the second panel brought in famous producers to talk about their works. Let us now take a closer look at the music video-oriented panels.
The first panel was squeezed into the early evening hours on the first day of the convention, due to a scheduling gaffe. Mirai no Neiro was originally only allocated one panel slot on the second day, and room had to be made to add the other half of the panel into the schedule. However, this other half was only allocated one hour (including seating time) and hence wasn’t long enough. Thus, the original time slot for the YAMAHA VOCALOID demonstration workshop (this was also scheduled wrongly but wasn’t removed in the final schedule) was also appropriated, making it the second of the PV panels.
Upon arriving in the panel room for the first panel, attendees were handed a circular MIKUBOOK sticker as well as a questionnaire to be turned in at the end of the panel. The questionnaire asked the audience many things, including how they learned about VOCALOID, what their favorite songs and producers were and what they thought of the panel.
With the audience seated, the MCs, dressed up as Rin and Len, introduced the first video, which was an opening video made specifically for Mirai no Neiro 2012, with music by KagomeP and video editing by Masataka. It started with Rin pushing Miku off stage and then a festive song accompanied footage of various VOCALOID fans enjoying themselves, whether it was dancing, cosplay or even wotagei.
After the opening movie, the focus of the presentation moved onto the giant fly screen set up in the panel room. It started with Miku holding a Tako Luka, saying how she was able to meet everyone via a Japanese communications satellite. She then commented about how she liked the weather in LA and the bacon-wrapped hot dogs and would really like to do a concert again. With the introduction done, she made way for (Tda) Append Miku, who performed Mitchie M’s Freely Tomorrow. Then she made way for a Miku with a Les Paul, singing doriko’s Paradise Cage. This was followed by a Rin in a schoolgirl outfit and glasses performing Junky’s Sadistic Love. Finally, the acts concluded with Defoko, Miku, Teto and Rin dancing to YuchaP’s Poker Face, with GUMI finally popping in after the song was done.
After the performances, AmidoP (literally flyscreenP) was introduced as the inventor of this setup, where a projector on the floor aimed up at roughly a 45 degree incline creates an image both on the ceiling and on the fly screen. With the lights out, it looks as if there is a floating image in the middle of the room, a kind of hacked-up version of the projection used in the SEGA and Mikupa concerts. VocalektVisions and AniMiku have also used this setup in their performances before. AmidoP is actually an Associate Professor in the Department of Literary Arts from the Nihon University College of Art. He is a fervent VOCALOID/Miku fan and promotes his fly screen concerts in his spare time.
At this point, there wasn’t much time left for the first panel, so it concluded by playing the PV for KurousaP’s Senbonzakura. The second PV panel (i.e. the third Mirai no Neiro panel) continued where the first panel left off, although it also replayed the opening movie as well as the fly screen performances.
In addition to playing PVs, the third Mirai no Neiro panel also brought messages from creators, etc. who weren’t able to make it to Anime Expo. Most importantly, the panel brought a message from Crypton CEO Hiroyuki Itoh after the fly screen performances:
Many things have happened over the past year. There was a concert in Hatsune Miku’s hometown, Sapporo, in August, and in November, there was a performance in Singapore. This March, there was a two-day concert. Finally, this coming October, there will be concerts in Hong Kong and Taiwan. These will be the first concerts in the China area, and will surely attract many excited fans.
We also created a collaborative video with Google. Have any of you seen it? The number of views on the video has exceeded most of Google’s other collaborative videos around the world (while it hasn’t exceeded Lady Gaga, we have beaten Justin Bieber).
This August 31 will mark five years since Hatsune Miku was released by Crypton. August 31 is called Miku’s “birthday” in Japan, and fan events are held across the country celebrating it. Five years is a nice, round number, so I’m sure that many of these events will be held. Why don’t you hold one in your own town? Please think about celebrating!
In addition to celebrating Hatsune Miku’s birthday, this date is also a chance to think about the act of creating. On that day, why don’t you create something in your own way and upload it to the internet? Finally, also think about how wonderful the act of creation is, as well as the importance of respecting creators. August 31 will be a great opportunity to do all of this.
In order to continue Hatsune Miku’s evolution, Crypton is continuing to develop software. As we promised, we are working on developing an English Hatsune Miku, and will probably be releasing it soon.
We hope it will provide more opportunities for American creators to create new music using Hatsune Miku, and to increase the international exchange between creators. We created MIKUBOOK.com (http://mikubook.com/) as a place for fans and creators to easily encounter Vocaloid songs.
We will be renewing the site on July 1 with its first anniversary, and we will also be holding an event on the site. It will be a fun event, so please take a look at the site.
Crypton will continue to back the global expansion of works made with Hatsune Miku and other Vocaloids. I hope that one day, an evolved Hatsune Miku will be able to return to the then-sacred stage of the Nokia Theatre. Thank you very much.
Crypton Future Media, Inc.
CEO Hiroyuki ITOH
After the fly screen was put away, the panel reverted to PVs on the normal screen, starting with Senbonzakura again and continued with Love Philosophia and a message from KurousaP:
I love being able to see international cosplay photos, too! I truly value these kinds of connections, and will keep working hard in the future while keeping them in mind.
I hope you all continue to listen to my new songs!
Next up was the world premiere of a PV for TokuP’s ASTEROiD followed by a demonstration of VOCALOID opera with MiRONP’s Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. The audience was then treated to a song with a very long and very odd title — IenoUradeManbougaShinderuP’s I Time-Slipped When I Karate Chopped My Stag Beetle, along with a message from Manbou and his sister:
Hello, this is Ie no Ura de Manbou ga Shinderu-P’s older sister, Tsukasa Ryugu! I’m always uploading strange pictures and videos, but I always have a great time drawing them. I hope that all of you from abroad enjoy them, too!
Next was Kikuo’s Deliver me a Happy Death; the grittier dubstep song was accompanied by some words from its creator as well:
In my regular life, I’m a professional composer who creates music every day for a variety of mediums, including games and videos.
However, my alter ego is an eccentric Vocaloid producer who does what he wants, taking the young-voiced Hatsune Miku, who will sing about anything you want her to, and making her sing melodies and striking, intense, and fetishistic lyrics that no regular performer would sing.
This song is my latest, and is written in a genre that’s uncommon on Nico Nico Douga. I hope you enjoyed it!
After Kikuo’s message came a message from the creator of MikuMikuDance:
MikuMikuDance is a tool for creating 3d movies. Since it’s being released as freeware, anyone who wants can use it for no cost.
With MikuMikuDance, people who create models, backgrounds, motion data, background effects, and so on all use their individual strengths to create something and share it on the Internet. The many wonderful 3d movies created by the software aren’t the product of just one person’s hard work, but are created thanks to the abilities of a huge number of people.
While some parts of the software are still underdeveloped or difficult to use compared to commercial 3D tools, MikuMikuDance is free, so why don’t you at least give it a try?
I hope to see your works online some day!
As some may recall from earlier this year, MikuMikuDance and a video created using it was showcased at a Windows developers conference in Japan. Thus it was no surprise that Masataka’s Through the Window was also played at the panel.
Of course, not all of the videos shown at the panel were actually music videos. The panel also highlighted the MMD work of PAC Office Head in a series of comedic shorts.
The song that the video is for, “Ai Dee,” is really a great song, and I made this video while hoping that all of you today would enjoy it, too.
I love motion graphics, so I often watch videos from outside of Japan on the web, too. I hope that all of you in LA today will create your own videos and songs and share them online, too!
Mitchie M had a message for the audience regarding Freely Tomorrow as well, but unfortunately we weren’t fast enough to grab the entire message. Here’s what we managed to grab Mitchie M also had a message for the audience regarding Freely Tomorrow, and we’d like to thank the Mirai no Neiro staff for filling us in on the parts we missed:
Did you like the Freely Tomorrow video? I’d like to give some small notes explaining about this song.
For a long time, most Hatsune Miku songs were highlighted by her mechanical-sounding song voice. There was also the problem of Japanese lyrics sung by Miku being hard to make out. When you can’t make out the lyrics of a song, that song loses a lot of its appeal, so I thought that I’d try to solve this problem while also seeing how human-like I could make Hatsune Miku’s voice sound, and the result was this song.
Because of this, I received a lot of messages telling me that “I used to not like Vocaloids’ mechanical-sounding song voice, but I really enjoyed this song.”
I think that there are also a lot of people who believe that no matter how close Hatsune Miku’s voice gets to sounding like a human voice, that she will never be able to have the same expressive power as a human.
However, I believe that the value and essence of Hatsune Miku isn’t in her voice or her songs, but that it is in the concept of her as a virtual singer. That’s why if even one new person learns about Hatsune Miku and Vocaloids through this song and grows to like them, it makes me happy.
I’d like to continue to pursue Hatsune Miku’s expressive powers by writing new songs, so thank you all for your support.
Finally, I’d like to thank G-tama, who used the brand-new Tda-shiki Append Miku model to create a wonderful video for this song. Thank you very much!
The session closed with a video and song from tamachang called Twinkle, Twinkle ☆ VOCALOID, which featured VOCALOID3 Editor and the song creation process, as well as a message from the creator (thanks to isshyisshy for filling in a missing screenful of text):
Vocaloids are musical instruments where the performer plays a voice. If you input musical notation, the software will sing it with a precise tone and rhythm. This may make it sound like these voices are flat and mechanical.
However, in reality, Vocaloids can sing the same melody in many different ways. By tuning Vocaloid data, they can be made to sound like jazz singers, rock singers, or even opera singers.
Additionally, they can do more than imitate human voices. Vocaloids can very easily sing things that regular humans can’t, such as high or low notes, fast phrases, melodies with no pauses for breath, or complex harmonies.
Many different vocaloid songs in all sorts of genres have already spread across Japan. This is all because Vocaloids are “blank notes,” able to chagne into any shape depending on the creator.
These “blank notes” can depict all sorts of culture from around the world, not just Japanese pop culture. When Vocaloids go out and come in contact with the various cultures of the world, these “blank notes” will surely be used to depict every kind of different culture, and color and connect the world.
My dear Americans, next is your turn!
Your friend, tamachang
VOCALOID: YAMAHA VY1V3