Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ramble: Tweeting MikuPa Singapore 2011

On [11.11.11] Super Pocky Day Miku had a concert in Singapore. I ordered a Nico stream ticket for the even but at 3 AM it was at a really inconvenient time. Luckily NND has a "timeshift" feature so I was able to watch it later in the day with some friends.

We connected a laptop to a 50" plasma, hooked into the surround sound system, ordered some pizza, and invited some friends. This isn't the first time we had done this. Invited everyone that couldn't make it to MikuNoPolis last time.

Anyways I not-so-live tweeted the event. You can find my tweets in their entirity after the jump, embedded with Storify.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rant: Oliver's Greater Design

Once again on VocaRant we are brought to the upcoming Vocaloid 3 Oliver. I did a first impressions article and then took a look at his reception. Today, we will be discussing Oliver as a character and the various design decisions around his artwork.

Probably the best place to begin is his bandages. They were both controversial and expected at the same time. Controversial because when they were revealed people were drawing parallels to VocaTone staffer Sango's UTAU Neko Kanochi . Expected because after his silhouette was revealed the odd outline on his foot drew much speculation.

While there were various theories on what they might be, including a hilarious 'winged feet' theory that drew some amusing fanart, probably the most plausible and one that stuck with me was the idea of bandages. While hindsight is 20/20, for those familiar with PowerFX and their 'horror film' theme it just seemed to make sense.

Speaking PowerFX's monster theme it seems once again it is a point of contention. While not as bad as 'Frankenstein Al' or 'Horror Ann' Oliver's mummy-rific theme drew attacks from the fanbase and sparked confusion from the non-English speaking Vocaloid fanbase who weren't familiar with PowerFX's history and weren't exposed to his design notes.

Looking at some of the Japanese blog comments we find some posts like:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rant: My Love, Hate, and Fear of Oliver

In many ways I have a love-hate relationship with Vocaloid and its fandom.

I loved the Engloids but many times find myself at odds with parts of fandom. With the debut of Oliver the fandom's reaction was diverse. He received a wide range of reactions ranging from for fangasmic gushing to barely considerate shrugs.

That being said some reactions made me RAGE and sometimes I forget how young, and sometimes immature we can be as part of a fandom. I was seriously upset and disappointing in some of the comparisons and extreme reactions people were making with Oliver.

No, I am not talking about comparisons people had with Len, we will get to that later, but rather the parallels people were drawing with VocaTone staffer Sango's UTAU Neko Kanochi. People were saying that Neko wears and eyepatch and Oliver has one too! They must OBVIOUSLY be related amirite? [/sarcasm]

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Opinion: Vocaloid3 Oliver

For those of you not already in the know PowerFX & VocaTone have released the official art and two audio demos of their upcoming Vocaloid 3 Oliver.

Oliver is an enigma in many ways. While not necessarily a "shota" he seems very much like the Engloid equivalent of Kaai Yuki in that both of them have a soft, innocent, and cute voice. Both of the demos seem to be of the 'slower' variety and it would be interesting to see how he performs on something more upbeat or uptempo.

One thing for sure is that the western Vocaloid fandom is really eating him up. His news thread on VO has almost 1,800 post and spans over 120 pages. Some might attribute this to the VocaTone staffers being part of the community but I think the fact that he is an Engloid the only Vocaloid 3 Engloid that we have really solid details (and now demos) has a lot to do with it.

While I, personally, am not super hyped, I am pretty pleased with his demo, particularly Scarborough Fair. Circus Monster left a bit to be desired but it was more the song than Oliver himself. If I had to describe my feelings it would be 'cynically optomistic' in that while I like the character I wonder about his musical application.

With his voicer supposedly being a 13 year old British male I have serious qualms about how exactly he can be applied. Will he be forced into a niche like the Zero-G Opera-loids, will he be limited to cute jungles and the odd horror song like Yuki?

Only time will tell.

Update: Upon further reflection...

His samples are crisp, that alone will make him a desirable voice but for those of us across the pond American English will likely be out of the question. He will have a lot or similar limitations to LEON and his English. The phonemes will just sound weird to those of us across the pond.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Birth of VocaRant

While writing at Engloids.Info I sometimes find myself feeling a bit limited by both its scope, limited to Engloids only, and by my own editorial policies. I find myself second guessing myself and writing in a more formal, less abrasive style, than I normally would. I wanted to blog more, I wanted a departure from Engloids.Info, yet I still wanted it to be Vocaloid.

I had considered a Wordpress but that again was too close to Engloids.Info, I was thinking of becoming a hipster and creating a Tumblr but I wanted a long-form blog and I already have Twitter for my short-form musings. LJ was definitely out since that place went the way of the MySpace and stopped being relevant years ago. In the end it seemed Blogger was my only option.

With my blogging platform chosen all I needed next was a theme and subdomain. I was looking for a synonym for the word "talk" on Meriam-Webster when the word "rant" just stuck to me. I know I often find myself ranting on VO and since I already knew I wanted to talk about Vocaloid I just mashed the two ords together and thus "VocaRant" was born.

What is VocaRant?
VocaRant is my general purpose Vocaloid/UTAU themed blog where I discuss various aspects of the software, voicebanks, artists, themes, and fandom. Sometimes I will rant, other times I will muse, and when I find something I absolutely must share and I can't find anyone to talk to on Skype about it I will probably post it here. I will rant, I will rave, I will review, and I will try my best to be genuine.

Who is Hentai?
Hentai is my new common internet handle. It was originally meant to be a joke, but somewhere along the way it became SRS BZNS and just stuck with me. I am the Executive Editor at Engloids.Info, a moderator on UtaForum, regular at VocaloidOtaku, and all around nice guy.

Why Hentai?
While I am not terribly perverted most of the time the name comes from my time as an admin on HentaiTraders and how I was first introduced to manga scanlation by doing cleaning/typesetting for random hentai doujinshi.

What is Otakune Weeaboo?
Otakune Weeaboo is my UTAU. If you don't know what an UTAU is Wikipedia can probably explain it better than I can. It is a vocal synthesis program much like Vocaloid except it allows you to record and create your own voicebanks.

Otakune Weeaboo for his excellent Japanese he is a private, completed, voicebank and if I blog about UTAU much here I will probably namedrop him from time to time. If you are interested in him then take a look at his wiki entry or my YouTube for more.