Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes #16: Japanese Halloween Vocaloid

Back in 2000, a singing voice synthesizer was created in Barcelona, Spain by a Japanese developer.  It’s called Vocaloid.  The software is unique as it allows users to type in lyrics and the software will retrieve specially recorded vocals of voice actors or singers to match the wording.  Those words are tied to certain notes by the user to the melody that they created, who then can adjust the stress of how the words are pronounced, add vibrato, and even change the tone of the voice.

Vocaloid is basically “a singer in a box” as it allows you to create music without actually having a vocalist.  After the release of Crypton Future Media’s Hatsune Miku Vocaloid 2 software, Vocaloid became extremely popular in Japan.  This produced a wave of creators, evolving Vocaloid from songs to full-scale amateur video and media productions.  Not only were people creating original music, but also directing and animating alongside it.  It’s a very cool use of technology and has spurred a whole other realm of creativity on the internet.

Japanese Halloween Vocaloid

Author Machigerita-P (マチゲリータP) was apart of the Vocaloid movement from the earliest days.  While he has several compositions to his name, and also some excellent song covers, he is most well-known for being awesome at horror music.  Which, of course, is why his music is the highlight of this week’s Tuesday Tunes.  (Hello, one week until Halloween, people.)

Between 2008 and 2016, Machigerita-P would release a video on Halloween, including his series titled “1031” in Romaji, but that reads as “Halloween” in English.  The series contains five songs, released at the end of October each year beginning in 2008 and ending in 2012.  The song we’re going to look at is the second title in the series, “Dream Meltic Halloween”.

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As with the other songs in the 1031 series, “Dream Meltic Halloween” follows a sick dance vibe.  It tells the tale of a group of monsters who, emerging on Halloween, work to trick others into becoming monsters.

“Lulilu Lilala.”
You murmur the spell
With your lips
You wake up just realizing it
Only to find yourself designed just like us

Dream6

Within Vocaloid production, authors are using certain voice tracks from certain voice actors and singers, which they then are able to manipulate to build their own music.

In the case of “Dream Meltic Halloween”, Machigerita-P uses seven different vocals:  MEIKOKAITOHatsune MikuKagamine RinKagamine LenCamui Gackpo, and Megurine Luka, each representing one of the seven different monsters portrayed in the animation.

Dream5

“Dream Meltic Halloween” has gone on to enter the Niconico (basically Japan’s YouTube) VOCALOID Hall of Fame (VOCALOID殿堂, VOCALOID dendou), which is held for all videos that hit 100,000+ views on Niconico.  Videos that reach 1,000,000+ views are VOCALOID Legends (VOCALOID伝説, VOCALOID densetsu).

As you can see, Dream Meltic Halloween” is almost at 500,000 views in the eight years its been uploaded on Niconico, which is pretty darn cool.  Niconico is different from YouTube mostly in its commenting system, which has viewers comments displayed in sync with when they were publish within the video’s time frame, kind of how Facebook Live runs.

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So, in conjunction with “Spooky Scary Skeletons” and “Monster Mash“, you should add a little Japanese Vocaloid to your Halloween playlist–including the excellence that is “Dream Meltic Halloween”.

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