The 4 vocals act as "starter" vocals and are acquired upon the purchase of VOCALOID5 regardless of if the user buys "Standard" or "Premium" versions. The package is split between a English and Japanese male/female pair. These vocals act as a new "Standard" for Vocaloid.
Vocal traits as noted:
These are the first "free" vocals provided for any VOCALOID engine, so far the only "free" version of a vocal had been the VOCALOID first app, with VY1 being the voice. VY1 had also been re-used in the Mobile VOCALOID Editor app and a "lite" version had been supplied as a demo for the app.
Potentially, the user does not need to buy any other additional voicebanks as a result to get started with Vocaloid. This is different to past versions of VOCALOID, which the engine came with no additional vocalists resulting in the purchase of further vocals.
As per expected, their quality is high.
Users always have access to both the English and Japanese languages upon installation. This has the added bonus of allowing users to experiment to see which language they feel best working with.
Previously the only way to experiment with both English and Japanese vocals was to buy separate vocalists in both languages or to buy bilinguals.
As noted by the Yamaha VOCALOID5 English tutorial, the Japanese vocalists are both a little more precise when singing Japanese phrases.
The English vocals have on several occasions have been noted for their parallels to the very first Vocaloids released LEON and LOLA for the VOCALOID engine by fans. This is not just in how they sound, but their vocal type and genres of music they cover.
Software issues as noted:
Upon their release there was no guidelines aid a producer using any of the 4 vocalists leaving the user blind and having to find out the vocalists best results through trial and error. This is not a first for Vocaloid, however has not been common practice since VOCALOID2.
Though given free, not all users can work with languages they are not familiar with. This means the user may be left with 2 vocalists they never wanted or can't use beyond basic sound samples.
They are included with the VOCALOID5 engine making them some of the most expensive vocals to purchase.
However, based on past engine prices for VOCALOID3 and VOCALOID4 which were set at a approximent price of $95 if this used as an estimated price for the engine the total cost to buy the Standard version, the 4 are still being sold quite cheap at another approximent estimated price of $220.
This is the second best deal that Vocaloid offers for 4 vocals across two languages with 4 different vocalists behind the release, the best option being buying the full Premium version of VOCALOID5 which includes the VY series for an additional $129 price tag.
Ken is a Japanese speaking male designed to be a "standard" vocal for VOCALOID5.
Vocal traits as noted:
He has a soft tone, but is a little nasally at times.
Ken is the default vocal for VOCALOID5 and the engine will always revert back to his voicebank if a issue occurs, though this can be changed to other vocalists if the user doesn't want him to be the default vocalist.
He is sharp and clear making him ideal for J-pop.