Major News & Events for 2013—A New Era For Miku ♥♥♥ (◕ω◕) kawaii
Should you bypass the news section for now?
There’s a lot of information here, and for new people, you might just want to skip down to the next section, because making songs, music, and even dancing Vocaloids should be fun, rather than confusing. Click here if you want to go to the traditional introduction to this subject and bypass all the news.
What the news section presents to you: is a new era for the Vocaloids (& others such as UTAU, and CeVio), as the new characters can sing in several languages, and making a dancing Vocaloid is becoming easier than it ever was before.
Yes you do have to go to the companies and check out what they sell; often through websites that are in Japanese, or distributors that use your own language. You then have to choose from the most up to date products (which might not always be easy to find, or may simply not be mentioned)–and lot of new products have in fact become available. This article will get updated eventually to discuss those products in more detail. For the enthusiast, who has little money, and just wants to try the Vocaloids, UTAU, or CeVio out: this article will certainly give them some chance to download free stuff, and think about things they might want to buy. There is also a large community of producers, and fans out there you can chat with on the internet, so take your time in getting to know the Vocaloids, UTAU, & CeVio.
You should also realize that some of the software–especially the older stuff, might be in Japanese, and you will need to watch video tutorials, or have personal tutorials to figure out how they work should you be unable to read Japanese words, or speak the language. Some of those tutorials are mentioned below.
Miku English & other languages November 2013
Some producers are admitting that Miku V3 English is not easy to use, and that may be the case for other versions of Miku or the Vocaloids that can sing in other languages. The author will be investigating how such problems and barriers can be overcome.
Avanna can certainly sing well in English, and there seems to be no reason why Miku V3 English can’t also sing equally well–and there’s some excellent English songs from Miku already out there.
Miku’s voice has a smaller range then some of the other Vocaloids, and that is why she sound quite unique. Producer have mentioned that if they stay in ranges that Miku likes to sing in–she sound quite good.
Some new producers, and mixers of music may be having problems in understanding how to use instruments, or singing voices that have a limited range. Solutions to this problem will be investigated if the material is available, and is able to explain this issue to new producers of music.
Experienced producers are most likely struggling to making songs in English–in this case, it will probably only be a matter of time till some amazing songs, and music come from this quarter; so just be patient… and there are some amazing English songs by Miku out there right now.
Dances for Miku English don’t seem numerous; but the dance craze seems to currently be moving over to robotic like moves–they call the current variation “Dub Step Dancing” and it looks very cool. It’s difficult to say how strong the dance movement is; but no matter how popular it is: it seems to becoming stronger on a world wide scale as groups like JKT48, and other groups expand across the globe. It’s hard to imagine dancers not wanting to dance to the Vocaloids music; but it does need dance choreographers and/or 3D Vocaloid Models producers to make such dances for the music videos. Again will be taking notice of how the dance videos progress for Miku V3 English. There is a lot of software producers out there that are working on making dancing easier, and it will be interesting to see what software products the international producers of dancing Vocaloids decide on.
The Extremely Exciting News for 2013, includes: Miku can now sing in English!!!
A number of Vocaloids now support the English language, and other languages also. The biggest news breaker on this is that Hatsune Miku can now sing in English. Many of us (including the author) have fallen in love with this Vocaloid character’s sweet Japanese singing voice, and we might well wonder what she will actually sound like in English—or other languages. Advances in voice technology, has in fact made the Vocaloids sound very realistic, and most of us will not be disappointed; although for the author: several Japanese songs by Hatsune Miku, will always be a must in any collection; even if she can sing in other languages, such as English now!
Rather then spoil the surprise of what Hatsune Miku might sound like in English, and to keep you in suspense here is Avanna, to show you just how good the Vocaloids can be at singing in the English language:
☆ Avanna — My Immortal (Cover) [song/music]: http://youtu.be/y7__D7dKSE0 #Vocaloid
Avanna is one of the many new Vocaloid characters that are out there, so there is sure to be one that you will fall in love with, or become a fan of.
Here, for example, is some Latin singers that might make a big impact in the Vocaloid music scene:
☆ Giuseppe [Clara & Bruno] — “Máxima presión” // High Pressure (original) [Vocaloid 3][song/music]: http://youtu.be/RGTItCcoeAE
The major companies, that are listed in another article, have also come out with new innovations—and some of them are free, such as CeVIO! CeVio (like UTAU) are not Vocaloids, but they are close enough to make them very enjoyable to listen to.
The most important innovations (apart from the Vocaloids being able to sing in other languages, such as English) are in the field of 3D Vocaloid dancers. The major companies (that are listed in another article) are producing 3D Vocaloid dance software that is much easier to use then the free MMD (Miku Miku Dance) software. The easiest to use of these: simply follows the mouse movements, to make the Vocaloid character dance:
☆ Halfne Miku — motto☆hade ni ne! [song/music]: http://youtu.be/1szQ7YDGdXw via @neutrino006 #☆‿☆ #vocaloid
There is new software that makes it easier and faster to make your Vocaloid characters dance. This means that producers of music and songs (using the Vocaloids) can now have Vocaloid (or Vocaloids) dancing in their videos much sooner than was previously possible. It also makes it possible for less experienced free-lance Vocaloid dance choreographers (designers of dance movements to music) to produce dances for professional music producers—and the professional music producers need all the help they can get, and you get a chance to show off your Vocaloid-Dance-Moves in a major way
The following is an experiment by an actual producer of Vocaloid music, using a Vocaloid character called Gumi (also known as Megpoid). The new software makes it much easier for him to produce dance videos to compliment his music and videos—but he would not mind delegating this dance creativity to someone else, so he can focus on creating music:
★ [Charamin-PV] [GUMI] You I ☯ // わたしのあなた [VOCALOID3][dance/song/music]: http://youtu.be/zIh4RsIzJZ4 #Vocaloid #Megpoid via ☆ @neutrino006
Because Vocaloid fans miss the live shows, the Vocaloid companies and producers are keen to get life-size Vocaloids on stage, to perform with live bands. 3D cameras have been around for some time, so this is certainly achievable if you add some video magic—like exchanging Joe for a Vocaloid in this video for example!
Making a whole band from one or more people—video magic!
☆ One Man Band – Joe Penna : http://youtu.be/-Lnw6NhY6j0
Placing an actor (inside a studio) into a live scene—video magic!
☆ Slo-Mo World – Behind the Glasses : http://youtu.be/khLJEt9E5NM
The screen technology used on many of Miku’s live shows
Individuals have also been working on how to bring the live screen technology that was placed within a live band, to mimic the Miku shows done around the world. Here is a scaled down version of this, and yes the producer of this video has provided full-sized screens for actual Vocaloid shows.
(◕ω◕) Miku ☆ MMD LIVE – 17. Clover♣Club [dance]: http://youtu.be/KKNyJAS5r-o ❤❤❤ : D (⋟ ^ω^ ⋞)/ #Hatsune #vocaloid
This is my other article—that is related to this one and may be of interest to you: Buying your very own Vocaloid [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-Su. It includes information about the free stuff you can find on the internet and communities that might be of help.
【踊ってみた】 フェイ子＆初音ミク Our Steady Boy シンクロ率向上版 [song, music, dance]
Shortened link to video: 【踊ってみた】 フェイ子＆初音ミク Our Steady Boy シンクロ率向上版 [song, music, dance]: http://youtu.be/BfLwBc5x5mA
According to the comments, this video was made using DancexMixer. Information and tutorial videos on this subject have been included here.
To the purist of the Vocaloid voice producing software, the above video shows a dancing 3D “cartoon” Miku character, and the human dancer wearing Miku’s clothing; these two things would be total fiction to the purist and has nothing to do with a Vocaloid.
The Vocaloid industry, advertisers, and the vocaloid fans all over the world however would not agree with Purist: They associate the vocaloid’s “mascot” character–such as Hatsune Miku–with a real 3D character and a “Pop Idol.” That is: Miku is the vocaloid not the vocaloid song making software. On the other hand the vocaloid called Miku is known for her signing voice so there is a strong link there.
Quote 2012: “HATSUNE MIKU is not merely music software anymore:” via http://www.crypton.co.jp/miku_eng
Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) triggers massive chain reaction of creativity.
Shortened link to this video: “Hatsune Miku triggered chain reaction of creativity,” she belongs to us all, sings 4 us, has fans all over the world: http://youtu.be/MGt25mv4-2Q
As a musician, dance creator, and/or song maker: you will have to deal with a ready-made fan-base that the vocaloid characters have already gained. You will not get any answers to creating your entertainment from simply thinking of the Vocaloid as software that creates a machine generated voice because they have become much, much more than that to the fan.
Some people don’t want to feel restricted in what they do by existing vocaloids or their fans perceptions of them. Those people might be interested in making their very own character.
If you want to create your very own Vocaloid character and try to get your very own fan base; then this article is dedicated to you. The advantages of creating your own character are that your Vocaloid can become known for performing to your own style of music, song, and dances.
Your very own Vocaloid dancer and singer
One of the advantages of owning your own Vocaloid character that sings and dances is that it can be used throughout your entire lifetime as it remains more or less the same unless you choose to slowly change the character to perhaps represent age or changing fashions and values.
There is no reason that you or your friends can not jump in and perform with your vocaloid. So if your into entertaining people why not make an appearance in one of your vocaloids performances.
Nami Tamaki *Shining Star* DANCE x Miku Hatsune
Buying your very own vocaloid
After reading this article some people have asked: “How do I buy a vocaloid?”
Some people say “vocaloid 3 is simply a song making software program.” This is not really correct as a lot of vocaloid videos make use of a 3D model that dances and sings. Also a lot of people that use vocaloids also create their own music. The problem is: how do you add up these seemingly separate pieces to give the fans a video performance about what they think is a vocaloid.
Don’t worry, getting your own vocaloid is possible–an entire article has been dedicated to telling where you can get all the stuff (a lot of it is free or almost free).
Your vocaloid is a combination of a number of things–some of them being free. The link directly below shows you how to get all the stuff you need to get to have your very own vocaloid.
Buying your own vocaloid [article]: http://wp.me/p10Tww-Su
The controversy in making your own dancing 3D vocaloid model
There’s a lot of people who have been asking about how to design their very own vocaloid. So here is an article on this very topic.
This article is not meant to be a history lesson. It is meant to simply say that the perceived home of the vocaloids has been Japan, but there has been a growing fan base all over the world, and it’s time the vocaloids left Japan and became world-wide stars–even if the Japanese fans will feel disappointed at having to share these wonderful entertainers with the rest of us.
If you are a music, song, and/or dance creator, you might have to deal with fans from Japan as they have a lot of real cool vocaloid stages, characters, songs, dances, software tricks and so on. You may find a lot of it is in Japanese and not everyone feels they should help you. Rather then feeling lost, it’s hoped that you will understand what the other artists are thinking and feeling–there will be someone out there that will help you.
At the beginning, the Vocaloid song producing software was obscure and mostly unknown. Japan has a habit of attaching characters to nearly everything–just check out the railway cat for one–and did so with the Vocaloid song making software and it really took off when certain young lady-chan won a lot of people’s hearts. Her name… well… first we might talk about that cat:
The tabby Tama (cat), who is a super-station-master saves the companies train line: http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2008-05-26-tama-trainstation_N.htm
The vocaloid song making software was mostly unknown before the Vocaloid Japanese singer and “Pop Idol” Hatsune Miku came along. What followed was several vocaloid characters designed by Japan; and the many dances, songs and music that came to be associated with them–this is a fan based view and does not represent possible business discussions that might have gone on between Yamaha and Crypton (who may have been strongly influenced by the fans and entertainment creators on Nico Nico Douga).
Just for interests sake: Nico Nico Douga once used YouTube, but were blocked because of high use and so had to create their own video server–bet YouTube regretted that decision in the long run. [ref: Wikipedia accessed 2012]
Historic vocaloids like Leon, and Lola–who came before Miku–should not be ignored however as they eventually gained a strong fan base in the later horror based themes that became popular in Japan for a while.
Japan in today’s world has been continuing to reach out to interact with the world and is encouraging the use English as part of its business language. Possibly the effect of this was that vocaloids (that already had western characters) were now being made to sing English and possibly other languages as well. The popular Japanese vocaloid characters were also finding homes and fans outside Japan. Most upsetting according to some Japanese fans.
Further newer vocaloid software (such as VY1, VY2 and vocaloid 3) did not come with a mascot character. This was also controversial for some fans.
Finally fans had made their own vocaloids in the past and even do so right now. People have taken these models that belong to these owners and either distributed without the owner’s permission or used the character outside the limits of the performances it was designed for (the idea that a vocaloid has a sort of personality and preference for certain types of music, clothes and dance types).
All this has caused many problems with vocaloid character creators and the people who supply the software to make these 3D vocaloid characters for example.
Purists of the “Vocaloid” may tell you lots of different things, but facts are that the vocaloids have a history of being famous in Japan and a lot of useful material can be found in that country and the related web-based content that is often in Japanese.
Designing your own dancing 3D vocaloid model
The principal part of making a vocaloid dance is by the use of what is called bones. Bones allow you to move the model only a few times and frames are then added automatically by the software to make the movement look smooth for a film animation.
The author would suggest not sharing your 3D vocaloid character as it seems that once the community gets a hold of it they think it’s public property and that anyone can do what they want with your vocaloid model.
However others may feel differently about sharing vocaloids; especially your friends if they don’t have their own vocaloid.
There are competitions held where the winner gets their own custom-made vocaloid 3D character also. So if you designed your own vocaloid 3D character, it should be considered quite valuable.
The skills of dancing, singing (even though machines can turn your voice into a very nice singing voice) and making music are not something that’s easy to learn. However your vocaloid if used fully is capable of singing and dancing to the music you make.
Here is some information on making your own vocaloid model. It should be noted that hair and clothes have their own physics.
Also during a dance you can alter clothes and hair’s movement (and even the length and shape) so they appear to move naturally with the dancer.
make a MMD Model!!! [Pmd How to]
Shortened link to video: make a MMD Model!!! [Pmd How to] : http://youtu.be/vw4G9EZBZC8 [make your own vocaloid]
News from Dance X Mixer: Source http://dancemixer.jp/news.html [ accessed Jan 2012, Message News Dated 1 May 2012 ]
“Thank you for your continued patronage is patronizing Dance × Mixer. We ended yesterday [30 April 2012] the support of Dance × Mixer… As for copyright, etc., such as consultation and commercial use, please contact us inquiry form as usual…”
Older programs often have allow for free downloads, but it’s uncertain if Dance X Mixer will do this or allow it to happen. So possibly second-hand programs, and equipment might be the way to go (if this is allowed in the software agreement) if you should want to get a hold of this product. Otherwise you might have wait–and hope–to see if free downloads will be available some time in the future…
Some people out in the vocaloid community have been using a thing called DancexMixer. Here is some videos about that subject. It seems much easier to create a new character and to make them dance using this software.
Here is the official website for DancexMixer [website]: http://dancemixer.jp/
Making a vocaloid character, Dance×Mixerをやってみたシリーズ 今井麻美 前編
Shortened link to video: Making a vocaloid character using DancexMixer : http://youtu.be/EbIkXTfAbSc
How to make your vocaloid dance is covered below. However since DancexMixer seems to make this much more easier to do, I have included it here.
Making character dance using DancexMixer, Dance×Mixer チュートリアル ダンスエディット編
Shortened link to video: Making vocaloid character dance using DancexMixer : http://youtu.be/fopiLUImq5U
How to make your vocaloid dance
Now, the author is not sure that the MMD will work with vocaloid 3 or not. However the techniques shown here would be common to most 3D model programs that make these models seem to move on a video. So regardless of if this program is compatible with vocaloid 3, the methods used here are very useful in understanding how to make your 3D vocaloid character dance.
VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 1/2 with English translation
Shortened link to this video: VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 1/2 with English translation [how to make your vocaloid dance]: http://youtu.be/Jx1qLlbtCQI
VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 2/2 with English translation
Shortened link to this video: VPVP MikuMikuDance Tutorial 2/2 with English translation[MMD how to make your vocaloid dance]: http://youtu.be/sCnX0EflenE
Some people have been asking about making the Vocaloids dance in a more realistic way: this is called motion capture, and uses a real human dancer whose moves are captured by the Vocaloid (such as the ones in MMD). Here is a demonstration of capturing motion:
Tutorial: MikuMikuDance + Kinect + VHMulticam + Grand VJ (motion capture to MMD) : http://youtu.be/qeF-QX7eZcQ
Official VOCALOID3 introductory movie (w/ Japanese subtitle)
Shortened link to video: Official VOCALOID3 introductory movie (w/ Japanese subtitle) : http://youtu.be/DHXz-CUD4ec
New vocaloids (such as vocaloid 3) may take some time to become established with 3D dancing characters and music you might happen to like. Most of the older versions of vocaloids have lots of song out. Not all vocaloid owners bother to animate their character, preferring to use static 2D characters or simply a background without a character. The author is not surprised as mastering so many skills can be difficult and animating a character takes time–but it’s worth it. Here is example of a 2D scene:
Demo Song Vocaloid 3 – Gumi Sweet – It’s raining [song/music]:
Shortened link to this video: Demo Song Vocaloid 3 – Gumi Sweet – It’s raining [song/music]: http://youtu.be/w8bmza3dKUA
Here is some tutorials on how to use your vocaloid character–in English. It also cover some of the controversies that have occurred when people created their own vocaloid characters: http://vocaloid.wikia.com/wiki/MikuMikuDance
This site has instruction of making your own vocaloid. So far the author has found this website hard to read and prefers video tutorials where possible: http://sites.google.com/site/mikumikubeat/tutorials/makemodel
Well, good luck with creating your very own vocaloid character. Also look forward to seeing what music, dance and songs you produce.
Remember your video may get banned if you simply copy songs, music and dances to make your videos. If you are into using other people’s stuff then at least modify the music, song and dances by 10% or more to make it your very own creation–it may still get banned, but you at least should be able to get your video back on air once you explain that it your own work! Of course each country might have different copyright laws and there are many ways to modify something by 10% or more so it is left to you to consider what must be modified to make it your own version or creation. People who do covers of music and/or songs is another story, but the author is not totally sure how that works.
Other 3D animation Software
There are probably heaps of software out there, and it would have liked to have discussed some products from Japan that might take into account the Vocaloid communities needs. 3D animation software can cost a lot of money, but some might be free to download–so search around and see what’s available… but for the moment we are going to discuss digital actors as you might be interested in something like that!
It’s probably a good idea to stay with software that the Vocaloid community likes to use, because if you find yourself outside the community, it may reduce your chances to join discussions of advanced methods of using 3D Vocaloids and their voices.
This software might not be accepted by the Vocaloid community, so keep that in mind. It does however gives come clues as to what MMD and other Vocaloid software should be capable in today’s world.
Quote from website:
“iClone5 is real-time 3D animation with quick design & production tools for digital actors, environments, visual effects & in-house motion capturing. Use the power of drag & drop editing with access to the largest library of real-time ready 3D content, and a powerful physics engine for smooth subject interactions. Be amazed with this fully featured 3D animation studio that has revolutionized the art of 3D animation.”
This has a free download option: http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/iclone_trial.aspx so you can try it out before buying it.
Interesting features of this product are
- Motion Puppet
- There are multiple body types for human & non human types that allow you to create characters on the fly.
- Natural Prop Physics for really cool stage effects.
- Premade components to make amazing stages and backgrounds!
- Models Lip Sync to your .WAV file!!!: http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/iclone_feature_animation.asp
- Camera & Lighting Control: http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/iclone_feature_camera-lighting.aspx
Motion capture video
So I can’t use MMD, or get DanceXMixer, so what about iClone? Party People [dance]: http://youtu.be/p1T2luHZ1ks
Mocap Animation for Everyone: iClone5 Mocap System using Microsoft Kinect SDK [motion capture video]: http://youtu.be/CF8C2A1tKtg
- http://iclone.reallusion.com/ Digital Actors
Shortened link to article: Making your own 3D dancing vocaloid: http://bit.ly/v4WF5s includes MMD, DanceMixer, & Vocaloid 3.
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