July 11, 2013

Singing Androids

I made a playlist of Vocaloid rock songs that I like over on 8tracks and you should listen to it.

Track listing:
(English song title- producer/vocaloid)
1. Two Breaths Walking - DECO*27/Hatsune Miku
2. Rolling Girl (Meiko Cover) - wowaka
3. Candy Psychologist - Chouchou-P/Kagamine Rin
4. The Lying Hare & The Silver Cage - Kotsuban-P/Gumi
5. Rotten Heresy & Chocolate - Pinnochio-P/Hatsune Miku
6. Tokyo Teddy Bear - Neru/Kagamine Rin
7. Panda Hero - Hachi/Gumi
8. I Died To Someone's Song - 36g/Yuzuki Yukari
9. -ERROR - niki/Lily
10. Eye Sensor - BuzzG/Gumi
I've linked the PVs on the song title if there is one.

If you know what Vocaloid is, that is awesome and you do not need to read anymore. However, if you're looking at this and thinking "what the fuck?" allow me to explain a bit.

Vocaloid is a voice synthesizer software. It uses samples from a real human singer and pitch-shifts, combines, and otherwise manipulates them to "sing" anything. Most vocaloids are Japanese, but there are also a few English vocaloids (also called Engloids), a couple Spanish vocaloids, a Chinese vocaloid, and a Korean vocaloid. (The only ones on this mix are Japanese.) There are a good amount of vocaloids- 44 by my count- and this playlist only has a few of them. The most popular by far is Hatsune Miku, who's basically a virtual idol in Japan. There's also a free program called UTAU out there that does the same thing as Vocaloid. Anyone can record their own samples and make an UTAUloid in Japanese or English or Spanish or whatever, so there are a billion of them out there. The most popular is Kasane Teto. There aren't any UTAUloids on this playlist, although there is a killer UTAU cover of -ERROR that I seriously considered using.

The reason I like Vocaloid/UTAUloid is the creativity it inspires. A lot of people hear the words "synthesized singing" and think "ugh, how fake!" right away. But there's nothing fake about the songs. They're still written and produced by people, and the thing about vocaloids is that anyone who can buy them (or, in the case of UTAUloids, anyone with a computer) can use them. There's nothing defined about them except the name and the voice- everything else is up to you. So people all over the world write songs for them in every genre. They also remix each other's songs and cover each other's songs with different voices. The Meiko song in the playlist is a perfect example of this- wowaka originally made Rolling Girl with Hatsune Miku and the rap that comes in on the second verse was a fan-made addition to the song. If the songs people write for the vocaloids become popular enough they can be in video games or even performed in concert. But it's not just the people who write songs who make the scene awesome. There are also very talented people who make art of the characters for PVs or just for the hell of it, people who animate CG videos, people who choreograph and cover dances to the songs, and people who are good at singing who make amazing human covers of songs they like. It's just really cool and I hope you like it too.

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