Vocaloid, is the phenomenon that swept the world with its digital divas and catchy tunes. If you were lucky enough to grow up in the era of Vocaloid, then you know the struggle of choosing which virtual singer to stan. From the OG, Hatsune Miku to the sultry voice of Megurine Luka, these synthetic singers had us hooked with their addictive melodies and mesmerizing dance moves. And let’s not forget the cosplay scene, where fans dressed up as their favorite Vocaloid.
Vocaloid remains alive up to this day, and if you’re interested in discovering what happened with Vocaloid, read on to find out! We can all agree that Vocaloid is a cultural phenomenon that left a lasting impact on the music industry. So if you find yourself humming the tunes of “World is Mine” or “Just Be Friends,” just know that you’re not alone in your nostalgia for the virtual singers that stole our hearts.
What Is Vocaloid?
Vocaloid is a piece of computer software that can synthesize human-like sounding vocals. Combining these elements allows users to create lyrics, set melodies, and generate music. This Japanese technology came about with one goal: making music. Vocaloid is a music-making program with an anime-style avatar representing the voice heard in the piece. Hatsune Miku, the most famous Vocaloid produced and released by Crypton Future Media, Inc., still attracts millions of listeners courtesy of her instantly recognizable pigtailed appearance.
History of Vocaloid
From Roseboro, Yamaha first introduced their Vocaloid voice synthesizer software in 2004, and since then, they have issued multiple upgrades. Before this, the initially acknowledged Vocaloid-related project was a Yamaha-funded effort from two years earlier. The name “Elvis” was assigned to it. Still, production was halted since the existing technology could not support the voice range necessary for just one track.
Notwithstanding the fact that the venture was ultimately unsuccessful, it served as the foundation for several of the first concepts and prototypes of a Vocaloid. In 2004, Vocaloid shook up the world of digital music by allowing users to create songs by only feeding in lyrical and melodic ideas in the software. In response, music with a lifelike or mechanical sound will play. As a result, tracks, notably “Rolling Girl” and “Senbonzakura,” went global and became among the last decade’s most influential digital music trends.
Furthermore, a notably widely recognized Vocaloid avatar is undoubtedly Hatsune Miku, who has thus been elevated into a symbol of Japan’s Vocaloid culture. In this vein, the original Vocaloid was launched on March 3, 2004, under Leon and Lola. Realizing that its Vocaloid voices and design were not enticing to the masses, Yamaha partnered with a new media operation called Crypton Future Media to bring out the Meiko and Kaito variants.
Despite the improved audio quality, refined user interfaces, and illustrated characters, the product failed to succeed in the marketplace. It was not until 2007 that Hatsune Miku led the charge into the uncharted territory of digital music technology, changing the course of Vocaloid indefinitely. Since then, the Vocaloids avatar has appeared in video games, cartoons, artwork, and live events as holographic images singing and performing on stages. This popularity led to the vast development of Vocaloids like Kagamine Rin and Megurine Luka.
Vocaloids are not just a technological marvel but also an inspiration to numerous people worldwide. Using this program, musicians can write and record songs about serious issues, including the strains and failures of educational institutions and abuse at home. Even after 19 years, many individuals still do not appreciate Vocaloid. Still, there is no denying that this phenomenon is fascinating and has had a lasting impact on the work of many different artists worldwide. Renowned JPOP musicians such as Yonezu Kenshi and YOASOBI began releasing songs created with Vocaloid software.
On top of that, Vocaloid has helped spread a subgenre of JPOP known as “Vocalo” across the globe. This suggests that the prospects of Japanese popular culture are promising as it continues to evolve in its distinctive form. Since Vocaloid is designed to be used by musicians, the day it ceases to be vibrant appears extremely unlikely. With the advent of voice-synthesizing software and digital representations of pop singers, the potential growth of the entertainment sector and thereafter is a vast unknown.
5 Nostalgic Vocaloid Songs That We Recommend
Vocaloid music isn’t your average pop-culture earworm that’s only good for getting stuck in your head – it’s got a narrative backbone! With Vocaloid, each song tells a unique story, so you can have a full-on emotional experience with each tune. If you’re a fan of virtual vocalists or just looking to broaden your musical horizons, we’ve got you covered with our top 5 Vocaloid song picks that are guaranteed to hit all the right notes. Just don’t forget to bring along a box of tissues, because most of these are tear-jerkers that will have you weeping like a broken-hearted teenager at prom.
- Please Don’t Have Laid Down Your Life
- Servant of Evil
- Feathers Across the Seasons
- The Madness of Duke Venomania
- World Domination
Please Don’t Have Laid Down Your Life by Lefty Monster P
The song is a mix of a love ballad and an anti-war anthem, telling the story of a world in jubilation after a war has ended. Nevertheless, Gumi, the Vocaloid singer, sings the song as a message to her deceased lover who died during the war. The ending of the war might have made the world a safer place, but it certainly didn’t make things easier for the girl, who feels the impact of the loss of her loved one. The song is particularly touching for those who have experienced the pain of being separated from their loved ones in the military.
Servant of Evil by Aku No Meshitsukai
This tragic song is part of a larger story with its own lore. It tells the tale of two siblings who were separated; one of them became a princess, while the other became a servant. The servant, named Allen Avadonia, was finally reunited with his sister, Princess Riliane Lucifen d’Autriche, in the kingdom of Lucifenia. Allen revealed to her that he was her twin brother and vowed to always protect her. However, one day, Allen fell in love with a girl named Michaela, a girl of which Riliane is jealous — Riliane desired Michaela’s death, and as Allen only wanted his sister to be happy, he followed her wishes to put death upon his beloved.
During the Lucifenian Revolution, when Riliane’s life was at risk, Allen came up with an idea to swap clothes with his twin sister since they were identical. By doing this, Allen disguised himself as the princess and was taken into custody, ultimately leading to his execution in front of Riliane. Despite the tragedy, Allen faced his fate with a smile on his face.
“Servant of Evil” is just one song in the “Story of Evil” series, which includes several other Vocaloid tracks that are interconnected. These songs delve into the perspectives of different characters and highlight how their choices and actions impacted one another. For instance, “The Daughter of Evil,” “Twiright Prank,” and “The Daughter of White,” to name a few.
Feathers Across the Seasons by Hitoshizuku X Yamadan
“Feathers Across the Seasons” is based on old Japanese folklore known as the Crane Maiden. The Vocaloid version of the story follows a man who rescues a crane and then falls in love with her when she visits him in human form. The two of them eventually get married.
However, the man falls ill, and the couple cannot afford the necessary medicine. The crane decides to weave clothes made from her own feathers to sell for money. It seems that their efforts to get the medicine were unsuccessful, and the crane ended up overworking herself beyond her limits, leaving her exhausted and weak, the two tragically died in the end.
The Madness of Duke Venomania by Akuno-P
Another Vocaloid song from the Seven Deadly Sins series, created by Akuno-P, that’s got more lore than a Game of Thrones season. This song is about Duke Sateriasis Venomania, a man who sold his soul to a demon for some killer charm. He starts collecting ladies like they’re rare stamps, and it turns out that his obsession is rooted in childhood bullying. Things take a turn for the worse when the Duke is stabbed by a man who’s looking for his lost love.
With the charm spell broken, the Duke realizes that he should’ve just told his childhood friend, Gumina, how he felt about her instead of building a creepy basement harem. The moral of the story is pretty clear: don’t make deals with demons, don’t kidnap women, and always confess your feelings before it’s too late.
The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku by Cosmo
One of the most iconic songs of Hatsune Miku, but its lyrics are quite dark. The song emphasizes the fact that Hatsune Miku is nothing more than a program designed to entertain people and that her existence is forever bound to this role. The glitch effects used in the song create a sense of chaos and confusion, interrupting any potential message that Miku may want to convey.