Here’s where to start! As promised last post, I am here to suggest awesome Vocaloid songs in a varied range of genres. Due to a diverse user community, you can pretty much find whatever song you would like to listen to. As such, to help the new and blossoming Vocaloid fan, below will be suggestions from my personal favorites to share with you! Peruse at will and I hope these suggestions help to introduce you to a whole new world of music!
I figured I would start with pop since that is what most people are familiar with. There are many, many pop Vocaloid songs. These ones tend to be the ones that are featured at the Vocaloid Concerts, but more on that later! Out of the multitude, one of my favorite pop producers would be Deco*27. Their work is polished with excellent music videos and good tuning of their Vocaloids, though lately they’ve started to use human singers for their music. I would start with “Moziak Role” as it gives the best sample of their all around sound.
Another Vocaloid artist that has actually more been used in advertising is livetune. Their music is rich and upbeat, with the robotic voice of Hatsune Miku kept robotic but tuned for listenability. One of their most well known is “Tell Your World” which was used in a Google Chrome add in Japan!
Out of the genres listed, rock is definitely the hardest to find. The rock sound and the Vocaloid sound don’t seem like they would be something to associate, but there are a many that I have found that I liked. One example would be “The Lost One’s Weeping” by Neru. Neru uses great instrumentation coupled with potent lyrics to hit a one-two punch with a beat you want to dance to and lyrics you want to sit down and digest.
Like rock, this genre isn’t immediately thought of when one thinks of the “Vocaloid” sound. However, there is actually a fair amount of jazz and swing music. I would be remiss to add that it’s not technically jazz or swing, which values and builds off of improvisation, but rather electro-jazz and electro-swing. One of the most popular entries in this genre is a song called “Bad∞End∞Night” by Hitoshizuku-P x Yama△. This song is actually the first in a four part series so if you like Bad∞End∞Night check the rest of them out!
Now this is the genre I know the most about, and listen to the most when I listen to Vocaloid music. While Vocaloids do have a very distinct and robotic singing voice, some producers are able to tune the robotics to a minimum and use the strangeness to accent the music. One of my favorite producers in this genre to check out would be koaling. While her tuning is not the best (covers of her songs using the fan-made Vocaloids Lily and Re: are far superior) her song crafting skills and interesting melodies are a pleasure to the ear. I would check out “FREYJA.sys” for an intro into what her music normally sounds like.
However, one of my personal favorites of hers would have to be her piano ballad “Ame no Niwa” with it’s contrast of light instrumentation and deep base. Pull out the good headphones for this one!
Unfortunately, Kaoling’s music is nigh impossible to buy in the United States. She is a doujinshi (self-published artist) from 2012 so her music is very difficult to find legally, though she does have one CD on iTunes.
However, another producer who does similar work is Morrigan on their album Recordare. They primarily use the fan-made Vocaloids Re: and Lily but the tuning is so realistic that more people should listen to them. Check out “Amaterasu System: The Fifth Force” to hear their sound!
Now this genre is the most obvious use of the Vocaloid program. Not only does it tend to be easier to mix the lyrics but the singing also tends to match better than any of the rest. While this section could be as long as my arm is, I’ll try to only put a few of my favorites. One of the best for alternative or experimental EDM is Atols, though his most popular ones are definitely more of a normal sound. One excellent one is “Eden” which has more of a dub-step flavor.
The first song I actually heard from Atols was “Macaron.” This song is tinged with flavors of Electro-House and the lyrics feature a rather interesting double entendre. The one downside to his, and most EDM/Vocaloid creators, songs is that they tend to leave their Vocaloids untuned. This gives a more raw, electronic sounds to the music. I tend to like a more human sound, so I don’t often listen to this genre.
The next article in the Vocaloid saga will be about the hologram concerts. It will feature an interview with someone who has toured with the Vocaloid concert! While I can’t share any trade secrets, his experiences backstage are quite interesting. It should be quite fascinating so keep your eyes peeled!