On this edition of "Anime Talk" I want to discuss the phenomenon known as Vocaloids. Now I first learn of this 4 or 5 years ago, however browsing youtube today I stumbled across a couple videos by the Fine Brothers ( Elders React to Vocaloids and Kids react to Hatsune Miku ) that brought them back to my attention ( I will link to those videos at the end of this article). For those of you who do not know what a Vocaloid is, they are computer generate synthesized singers and apparently a number of Japans top Idols are Vocaloids!
After watching the Fine Brothers videos I did a search on youtube and watch this video:
After watching this I found that I actually like this! Now I didn't like every song, nor did I like every "performer" however as a big anime fan I rather enjoyed watching Animated Singers prancing around on stage with real life musicians. I know if I ever had the opportunity to go to a similar concert I would jump on it as it looks like it would be a real fun time. So what do you guys think of Vocaloids, would you listen to a song you otherwise enjoyed if you found out it was completely computer generated? Would you go to a concert of Live Anime characters ? Let me know in the comments below.
and as promised here are the links to the Elders react, and Kids react videos:
Funny you should cover this, because I’ve been on a huge Vocaloid kick over the last month or so. I have no problem with the whole synthesised vocals thing, it’s no different to the auto-tune that pretty much all pop artists use today (all though the sound is obviously more noticeable for the Vocaloids) and the fact that the songs are almost exclusively in Japanese seems to suit the sound of the vocals. I will agree that I can take or leave some Vocaloids (especially Rin and Len), but if the song is good then I’ll listen to it. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t listen to a song the enjoyed if they found out it was completely done by computer. If you like a song you like a song, and anyway, there isn’t a song on any album made in the last 20 years that hasn’t been touched up by a computer to fix the equalisation, the reverb, other effects, fixing flat notes, taking bits from one take and pasting them into another to get the perfect take, until there’s hardly anything left of what the performer originally did (and this is all genres, Pop, Dance, Rock, Jazz, Classical etc.). Trust me, I’m a doctor (well, actually I did music technology at university, but anyway). You just can’t object to music for being computer generated any more.
As for the whole live performance aspect, that all depends on how it was done. The way the do it in the video above, the 3D effect, looks decent enough. On another note, I love how japanese crowds at gigs just sit politely on theatre seating. Yes they wave glow sticks, but western gigs of this sort of nature would have people dancing and jumping around all over the place.
Actually, I have quite a bit of Vocaloid music on my iPod at the moment. I would have to say that Luka’s my favorite, but given Miku’s general overall popularity, it’s easier to find songs sung by her, and most of my Vocaloid songs feature her.
Of course, the whole thing with Vocaloids in general, and the insane popularity of Hatsune Miku in particular does remind me of Macross Plus. A major story arc involved in the series does involve a computerized idol named Sharon Apple, who appears in concert as a hologram. Sharon’s AI ends up hacking into the SDF computer, and takes control of a VF drone prototype, which then goes on a rampage. While I’m sure that we’re not in any danger of Miku doing the same thing (no AI in her programming for starters), it does amuse me to think of how life is now imitating art.