Vocaloid is done, now we need the main bulk, the Vocaloid2 era that really made Vocaloid popular. This time I’m not going to cover the first, named Sweet Ann, because she never really left the ground unfortunately. So, we will start with the girl known as number “01”.
If you know Vocaloid, you know Hatsune Miku, the second release of Vocaloid2, and the mascot of Vocaloid. She’s also known as “The World’s Virtual Diva”, despite only singing in Japanese (though it looks like she’ll be getting English software soon). She was released on 31st August 2007, and later her voice split into 6 “Appends”, each with a slightly different tone, and marked with the symbol “01”. This means she really is the jack-of-all-songs. However, she really doesn’t excel in anything, and her childish voice can be a major put off. Her voice works well with Luka’s, Rin’s, and Kaito, but tends to fail if done poorly with Len or Gakupo, and occasionally Meiko. Odds are, if another Vocaloid has sung it, she has too. The only exception I can think of is Meiko’s “Honey”. Also, she’s a serious flamewar magnet, since she finds a way to be shipped with almost every Vocaloid (I’ve seen Miku/Kaito, Miku/Luka, Miku/Len, Miku/Teto… The list goes on). Her original voice (a.k.a. Default Append) can be heard here.
Of course, what animesque thing is complete without a resident pair of siblings? Actually, it’s debatable whether the high voiced 14-year-old Japanese singers Kagamine Rin and Len are related or not, but it’s generally agreed they’re either twins or mirror imaged (“Kagamine” means “Mirrored Sound”). They’re both marked “02” , the female Rin on Right and male Len on Left (ignore the image) come from the same provider, so they work together brilliantly. They were released on 27th December 2007, and later had an update called “Act 2” released due to pronunciation problems. Since then, they’ve been announced to have individual “Appends” in the works, like Miku, though they only have 3 confirmed types so far. Len’s Append is set for release December this year! They’re generally paired together, though some use them to tie up the looser ends. Both Rin and Len are markedly more difficult to use than Miku, and Len is considered to be one of the most difficult Vocaloids to work with, since his voice is already modified slightly. They can be heard singing together here.
Next is Japanese singer Kamui Gakupo. Released on 31st July 2008, he’s known for having the softest male voice of the Japanese vocaloids (Which is only Len and Kaito, mind you). It was based off the international singer Gackt, and also included a program for vocal accompaniment and synthesizing phenom data. He can fit in almost anywhere Kaito can, and has what can be called the best voice quality of the Vocaloids. He can be heard singing here.
And, I’ll finish off on a Bilingual Vocaloid released on 30th January 2009, Megurine Luka. A lower female voicebank suited to moodier genres like Jazz and Opera. She works well with most Vocaloids, both English and Japanese. Her Japanese is nigh-perfect, but she’s a touch lacking in her English dictionary, and has a strong Japanese accent at all times (Not that I dislike it). There’s surprisingly and unfortunately little to say about her, since she’s technically still breaking into mainstream Vocaloids. But she’s having more luck that the brand new LILY, luckily. She can be heard singing in higher Japanese here, and lower Japanese with hints of English here.
And for the art:
And just for flavor: