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For Crypton Future Media's CV vocals, see Character Vocal Series
"Character Voice", normally shortened to "CV", is a particular trait of some VOCALOID2 and VOCALOID3 products, commonly seen in Japanese VOCALOIDs, although this concept can be applied to any language library.
For more information, see Wikipedia page Voice Acting in Japan
The term "CV" was coined in the 1980's by magazine Animec ("アニメック"), before its company Le Porte (ラポート) went bankrupt, as well as the magazine Newtype. The term was used specifically to refer to the Voice Actor or seiyū ("声優") in that specific role. However, in regards to Vocaloids, "CV" is used in a broader term. The produced vocals using both the VOCALOID engine and the provider's samples can range from realistic, faithful recreations to unrealistic vocals attempting to convey a given characteristic.
When a company creates a CV library based on a voice provider, there are two different concepts that can be used for the development.
The first approach is to present the CV using voice acted recordings, wherein the direction was to convey a specific vocal type rather than creating a faithful representation of human speech. The decision to produce a voice acted VOCALOID was popularized by the Character Vocal Series developed by Crypton Future Media, which was a result of the difficulty for finding willing professional vocalists to provide their vocals to the software. If a company produces a VOCALOID using a seiyū or a voice actor, the provider can also lend their voice to more than one Character Voice role for the software, such as in the case of Kagamine Rin and Len (both voiced by Asami Shimoda), allowing a cheaper production of the Vocaloid libraries and producing very different sounding results.
The second concept of a CV vocal is to release the CV using the real provider's singing voice, focusing more on sounding like the provider then achieving a particular vocal trait. This creates a faithful representation of the provider's voice, and a more accurate performance of real, natural human speech. CV's such as GUMI, SF-A2 miki and Camui Gackpo represent more faithful recreations. This is mostly applied to voicebanks whose voice provider is an actual singer, not a voice actor or seiyū, though that is not a necessary condition.
The difference of both approaches is that using a voice actor gave those libraries more flexibility to approach any musical direction, as well as future developments. But the lack of a natural singing voice style on voice acted CVs usually displays some problems that can create concerns or affect the commercial impact of the product. However, this doesn't represent a decrease on the popularity of the library, with Hatsune Miku being the most famous and popular VOCALOID despite her voice acted direction.
In both cases, it is important to point that the similarity of the VOCALOID with its voice provider will vary, as different studios have different techniques and production methods. When Wat was discussing the difference between KAITO V3 and MEIKO V3 in comparison to the direction of the Character Vocal series, he mentioned there being different techniques being applied to the voicebanks during development, as KAITO and MEIKO were not created via voice acting. Yū Asakawa also reported that she didn't feel that Megurine Luka sounded much like herself at all. VOCALOID™ itself is a product aimed at professional musicians and producers, who are often the intended target audience rather than the fans, regardless of the VOCALOID mascot or vocal design.
Each individual VOCALOID voicebank will lean in either direction, though there may be overlapping between the two concepts. Furthermore, while a VOCALOID's original direction may embody one of the two, further additional vocals for the VOCALOID's character are likely to utilize the other method in order to achieve more disguising results between each voicebank library.
List of VOCALOIDs regarded as "CV"Edit
The following is a list of declared CV VOCALOIDs.
- Hatsune Miku
- Kagamine Rin/Len
- Megurine Luka
- Aoki Lapis
- Ring Suzune
- Utatane Piko 
- Camui Gackpo
- SF-A2 miki
- Hiyama Kiyoteru
- Kaai Yuki
- Nekomura Iroha
- Sweet Ann