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This is an article about the BIG AL software for the VOCALOID2 engine.



Big-Al was originally intended to be released for the VOCALOID1 engine as the male counterpart of Sweet Ann back in 2006, similar to Zero-G's LEON and LOLA; no demos or vocal tests were released to the public of that particular V1 voicebank and the only known person outside the production team who listened the recordings was Giuseppe, who described the vocal as a "young, pretty voice", though the library was never finished because of the low quality of the recordings and the expensive cost of redoing all the process. However, the release of Big-Al for the VOCALOID1 engine was cancelled for unknown reasons.[1][2]

It is believed the codename for the vocal was "Ronie" as it was sited alongside "Jodie", Jodie being a reference to Al's counterpart "Sweet Ann". The codenames were used in the VOCALOID2 manuals under "Jodie2" and "Ronie2".[3]


Later Al's second voice bank, planned for the VOCALOID2 engine was recorded by Michael King, a singer/artist and award winning Elvis impersonator.[4][5] An early demo song of MIRIAM and BIG AL was personally requested by Bil Bryant and Alexei Ustinov, who started testing Big-Al in January 2007 with "Help Me Understand You" for the MusikMesse 2007 fair.,[6] "Make Me Feel", was made on the spot as part of a demonstration of the software. BIG AL, along with Sweet ANN and Prima were demonstrated in the NAMM 2007 show in March 2007, with ANN seeing a official announcement of release in May. BIG AL's release was pushed back numerous times, though demos of him were available and uploaded in late April.

Second Change of VoiceEdit

When the VOCALOID was in the editing process PowerFX tried to fix the pronunciation, and even though demos were posted on the net, they felt it was not good enough to be released. When they attempted to re-record King, they found that he was too busy touring. Frank S., a professional voice over artist, studio engineer/owner and former PowerFX employee then did the voice over which was used for the program.

New boxart was done to match the new voice given to him. Because of the initial reaction to SONiKA's noticeable anime influenced look, he was given a look split between anime and a more Western style. The picture was done by artist Ash(Accelagirl), who also illustrated the SONiKA comics. The artist stated that the color scheme (red and white) were chosen by PowerFX, while black was added to avoid looking like ChoiWARU-P's LEON.[7]

On December 11, 2009, a demo of Big-Al's voice was leaked on YouTube. The demo was Al singing small parts of the song "When the Saints Go Marching In", but apparently this demo was beta and not meant to be published. However, PowerFX did give permission to YT uploaders to post the demo.[8] Another demo was released on the day of he was made available for purchase.

Downloading ProblemEdit

When he was first released, users were unable to download him, leading to complaints from both English and Japanese fans. The problem was corrected by PowerFX switching download providers. The report on his problem was that his file had simply been too large. PowerFX then put up a notice that they will make sure buyers received the program no matter what, even if the company had to post it to them. Those that had pre-ordered him were given a $50 gift certificate for the PowerFX shop as compensation for the downloading problem.[9]

2011 Taiwanese designEdit

On the 1st of April, 2011 PowerFX's website went down. When it reopened on the 6th both Sweet ANN and BIG AL were sporting a new look.

On the 8th of April, 2011 a PowerFX employee noted that the designs seen on the PowerFx website of both BIG AL and Sweet ANN were that of a Taiwanese distributor of PowerFx products and were not the official designs for the products.[10]

The Taiwanese designs were removed during May, with BIG AL's boxart returning to his original design during this period, later reverting to the new version. According to PowerFX, they put the Taiwan boxart on their website to try the oblong shape as they preferred it and were thinking about switching to this shape for their VOCALOID products. The boxart's placement was temporary until they could run a Sweet ANN / BIG AL competition, however they noted that the fandom insisted that the official boxart be on the page and switched it back.[11]

A 28 second demo was released for BIG AL, however he was not featured singing. A second 60 second demo was released of the same song, the full "On the Earth" was later released. Later Sweet ANN and BIG AL were featured in the song "at your side 2010".

Final RetirementEdit

At the end of 2015, it was announced that on March 31st 2016, VOCALOID2 was being retired and no new serial codes would be issued by Yamaha.[12]

Product InformationEdit



Help me understand you (MIRIAM/BIG AL) YouTube
Make me Feel (Sweet ANN/BIG AL beta) YouTube
I Feel Good YouTube
PowerFX YouTube
When the Saints Go Marching In YouTube
New York, New York YouTube
Demo medley YouTube
Help Me understand you (MIRIAM/BIG AL beta) & [Club ver] YouTube

E-Capsule DemonstrationsEdit


60 second demo YouTube
On the Earth YouTube
at your side 2010 YouTube

Voicebank LibrariesEdit

Product Information
  Genre: Electronic / Classic rock, blues, country  Tempo: 79~145BPM  Range: G1~D3
Package details
BIG AL was designed originally to be "rough and harsh" as a contrasting vocal to LEON.[13] His voice favors singing in the range (in classical music terms) bass to baritone, but also has a good tenor range. His accent is American.[14][15] Sweet ANN is his counterpart. He was not provided by a professional singer and does not produce professional singing results.
Vocal traits as noted:
  • BIG AL is typically geared for early-mid 20th century classic rock, although he has been used in a wide variety of genres such as blues, disco, and pop.
  • He is considered one of the better English VOCALOIDs for clarity and the clearest English Vocaloid2 voicebank.
  • According to some reports, BIG AL is the only VOCALOID2 capable of hitting notes as far as E1 without any troubles, and is also the deepest vocal within the VOCALOID2 era.[16]
  • BIG AL is not known for any major glitches or flaws beyond the typical VOCALOID2 engine restrictions.
  • He had more keys recorded for him than Sweet ANN.
  • It is generally accepted that his voicebank is more suited for the lower octaves as he tends to switch to a more falsetto sound on higher notes
  • He often sounds more Singspiel style and for that reason also does not hold long notes very well, needing editing to "lift" them or risk sounding flat.
Phonetic notes as noted:
  • BIG AL has some issues with his R phoneme. He can only roll his words if the R is at the end of the phonetic data. This makes his use of the R the weakest of the English only capable VOCALOIDs with this ability
  • Certain vowels are heavy sounding.[17]
  • He was the only English capable male VOCALOID with breath samples in the VOCALOID2 range, unlike other VOCALOID2 voicebanks with breaths, his samples are not just inhaling sounds.
Software issues as noted:
  • He has been noted for a "croaky" sound on lower notes. This happens only at the start of words. This, however, can be fixed with further editing and vocal filters.
  • A running issue with VOCALOID™ is its habit of struggling to produce good results for bass range vocals. This issue was very much apparent during the VOCALOID2 era, thus some of the issues BIG AL faces lean on the engine itself and not on BIG AL's vocal.[18]
  • At 2.2+ GBs, BIG AL had the second largest Hard Drive consumption of any installed vocal in VOCALOID2, Prima having the largest at 2.4 GBs.
Voicebank sample


Big Al

BIG AL singing in his raw state



  2. PowerFX e-mail; Yes Big Al was originally another voice and we did a few tests but were not satisfied because of the vibrato recorded on the v.1 and was re-recorded with another vocalist.
  3. link
  4. Jasmine Music Tech - BIG AL demos
  5. YouTube - BIG AL demo, "I feel good"
  6. VirarTech - New musical project with Big-Al and Miriam
  7. VocaloidOtaku - Big-Al is near completion (safe link)
  8. YouTube - Big-Al demo, "When the Saints Go Marching In"
  9. Vocaloid Blog - 出た!BIG-AL(ビッグ・アル)のダウンロード販売が開始! BIG AL goes on sale as a download
  10. VocaloidOtaku - PowerFx website is down - post by TipperTorvi
  11. PowerFX e-mail 13/05/2011
  12. link
  13. VirarTech - "A Place In The Sun" A CD Album By Fully Virtual Vocalist
  14. Engloid Blog - Interview: Bil Bryant (Production and CEO of PowerFX)
  15. VocaloidOtaku - American Vocaloids - post by Anders
  16. link
  17. link
  18. loink


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