In a world were technology is a wildly growing area made to make life easier, its only natural that we would think to even digitize singing. Millions of computer programs are used every day too create music that is pleasing to the ears using recordings of instruments playing notes, but none have used vocals because of the complexity of human speech. Well, all but one know as "Vocaloid Editor" software, produced by Yamaha. The software is designed to work in cooperation with voice banks. These voice banks are directly represented by Android characters and are called Vocaloids or "virtual divas". They're a big hit in Japan and in the U.S.A they're popularity is growing.
The Vocaloid software is intended to make songs by stringing together consents and vowels. The first version of Vocloid editor was release on January 15, 2004. Upon the newly released version (Vocaloid 4 [V4 for short]) there are over 60 voice banks for Vocaloid (including every append and reboot). Sadly the 1st version of Vocaloid and the voice banks released on the engine are all retired and soon the V2 (Vocaloid 2) engine will meat its end, too. However the V4 engine has 2 voice banks out, 4 coming soon, and 4 more to be announced. More Vocaliods are to come, but the real question is how has the Vocaloid franchise grown?
The Vocaloid 1 and it's vocals could be considered a test to see what the software could do. The fist Vocaloid voice banks to be produced were Leon and Lola, made by Zero-G Ltd, on January 15, 2004. They were English Vocaloids that complemented each other to sing "soul music". They were far from good. They were never updated to the new engine. Miriam was the third Vocaloid to be released. Mariam was also made by Zero-G. She again was not the best, but had advantages over Leon and Lola. She to was English and was never updated. That makes three Vocaloids so far all made by the company Zero-G Ltd, but when Yamaha and Crypton Future Media came along, their vocaloids didn't stand a chance. With Yamaha, Crypton had the experts who had made the Vocaloid software and had the upper hand. Crypton's Vocaloids had their own cartoon character to accompany the voice banks to make them seem more lively. The two were named Kaito and Meiko. They could sing in Japanese. Kaito and Meiko made descent enough sales to make it into later engines. Crypton went on to be one of, if not, the most popular Vocaloid producer on the market when they released their third Vocaloid, Miku Hatsune, on the V2 engine. Miku was so popular primarily because of her character design, but Crypton did good with her voice bank. It was clear and smooth. She also had her own rhythm video game and freeware named after her. She was a big hit and is probably the source of the Vocaloid popularity.
The Vocaloid software comes with tons of instruments and sounds to accompany the vocal sets you buy separately. Vocaloid music is quite unique. The vocal sound produced by these synthetic singers sounds like a robot or android, therefor not an antiquate tool for professionals, Some voice banks however are privet and are perfected for the use of professional musicians. To use privet voice banks you have to be extremely good at using the Vocaloid software and be recognized in the community of Vocaloid music producers. You don't have to be looking into becoming a song artist to use Vocaloids. Anyone can buy and use Vocaloid editor and it's fun to use. With over 60 voice banks their is an endless number of ideas for songs. Hear are a couple songs that utilize Vocaloid editor.
It sound silly to think that some day this may be all that we will listen to, but their are all ready live concerts featuring Vocaloids. In fact, Vocaloid Hatsune Miku opened for Lady Gaga. Yes pop idols and vocaloids are preforming side by side. Vocaloid is making it's way towards becoming something people use in their every day life with a portable version that you can download on your phone or tablet. I see the Vocaloid franchise as a new face for pop stars. Fun Fact: the name Hatsune Miku means "first sound of the future". So this is the future. The future of our music.