Vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizer developed by a research project led by Kenmochi Hideki at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University in 2000. The team later founded Vectro Labs. Yamaha Corporation funded the project developing the commercial software product, “Vocaloid”. Sony music Entertainment Japan’s Supercell and Toy’s Factory’s Livetune released their songs using Vocaloid vocals and Quake Inc.’s Exit Tunes released Vocaloid compilation albums. Vocaloid hit the mainstream when Crypton future Media’s Hatsune Miku Vocaloid 2 software was released.
The software allows users to synthesize singing by putting in lyrics and a melody. Vocaloid uses synthesizing technology which uses recorded vocals from singers and voice actors. Users make use of a piano roll interface to make a melody and then assign each lyric or syllable is assigned to each note. Different vocal effects such as tone of voice and vibrato can be applied to the voice. Each Vocaloid is designed to act as a replacement for a singer. Vocaloid was originally available in English with the first Vocaloids, Miriam, Lola and Leon and the Japanese Kaito and Meiko. Vocaloid 3 supports the Spanish Bruno, Maika and Clara Vocaloids, the Chinese Luo Tianyi and Yanhe and the Korean SeeU.
Hatsune Miku – Miku (codename CV01) was Crypton Future Media Inc.’s first Japanese Vocaloid. She was released for VOCALOID2 in August 2007. She was the seventh Vocaloid and the second VOCALOID2 voal released for the engine. She is voiced by Fujita Saki, a Japanese actress. She is also in VOCALOID3 with her English vocal release.
Kagamine Rin & Kagamine Len – Rin & Len (codename CV02) are Vocaloids developed by Crypton Future Media Inc. There were released for the VOCALOID2 engine in December 2007. They also have an English vocal released for VOCALOID3. They are voiced by Shimoda Asami, a Japanese voice actress.
Megurine Luka – Luka (codename CV03) is a Japanese VOCALOID developed by Crypton Future Media Inc. and was released for the VOCALOID2 engine in January 2009. She is voiced by Yu Asakawa in both Japanese and English.
Kamui Gakupo – Gakupo is a VOCALOID developed by Internet Co., Ltd and known as Gackpoid. Gakupo was released for the VOCALOID2 engine in July 2008 and is voiced by GACKT, the Japanese male singer.