So I've never shyed away from saying how much I don't like Miku's vocal, because I don't like it at all... Maybe the "dark" Append sound made me little her a pinch, but the rest of the vocals for her so far don't impress me.
Yet I've always had this rule that I adore the Vocaloid software and while I complain about others' bias I must not confirmed to bias to the point of blindness. Therefore I find myself defending Miku as much as disliking her, even though she is on my 10 least favourite Vocaloid vocals. :-/
So today I just want o focus on defending Miku English.
Firstly... English is one of the most widespread languages in the world and outside of chinese and Arabic, there isn't many more languages that are able to beat it in overall speakers, be it second or first language. There are certainly many more English speakers then Japanese and its ranked as one of the easiest languages to learn, speaking-wise (Written literature is another matter, since its sometimes hard even for native speakers to get the hang of it).
It has always made sense that in order to broaden the market that CFM can sell Miku to, they had to eventually jump into other languages. English made sense at the time because of several reasons. Firstly, there was only English and Japanese Vocaloids and English vocaloid was lagging behind.
Ramming Miku into a slot in the English Vocaloid meant people were going to buy her since they have less chance of hearing about Oliver or Avanna then Miku. Even if the English vocals made by other companies ends up better, once establish Miku will have a hold on a share of the english Vocaloid market and this means CFM can ram more English vocals for her and other Vocaloids later. This is the same reason why Sony makes Handheld consoles still, despite the fact its loosing to the 3DS/2DS and general mobile market. Because once you have a share of a market, loosing it or backing out of it is far more costly then maintaining it.
Secondly by putting Miku out, people become aware of English Vocaloid. Full stop. I've seen it already, people buying Miku ans through her discovering other Vocaloids. We've seen with Puppcat from bee Puppycat, that people cane identify a Vocaloid, but don't necessary know which one is singing and presume its Miku or Luka until you tell them its Oliver because they've never heard of Oliver. This strengthens the English Vocaloid market and helps bring in more producers willing to buy into Miku and the other English vocals.
Still, there is a risk, and has already occurred, of Miku English dong more damage then good. "why buy Sweet Ann when you can have the voice of Miku" was one of the old quotes I encountered in my early days within the fandom. And its true, and already there are people not buying into Oliver because Kagamine English is on the horizon, and they are waiting for Len. Luka V3 will likely impact Ruby and our male vocal due out next year as Miku already impacted YOHIOloid.
And then there is the pure bias crowd.
This is the thing that bothers me right now, especially as Miku appeared on TV. With it brings out the usual slop of issues and beefs I've seen in this fandom. "Vocaloid shouldn't come to America"... Its been in America since 2004... "Vocaloid should remain a Japanese thing!"... Even though its made in Spain and the first 3 vocals were English. The list goes on. This is stuff from 2009. Still there, either spoken by trolls or people not doing their research.
Yet overall despite everything wrong with the Miku English vocal, I've always supported every English vocal made because it strengths the engine version and adds variety. It in turn puts pressure on Yamaha to get their act together and focus on giving English Vocaloid attention instead of ignoring it like they did when Oliver was released. It took them 2 years to even mention English Vocaloid, often they just passed onto the Japanese Vocaloids getting English in the process to make matters even worst and has been my big crib with the way V3 was marketed. I'm not saying "get us more attention", I'm just saying "why are you ignoring a chunk of the engine?".
I prefer language jumps to Appends. Someone tried to argue with me over which is more useful to me, language is. If I want a rock based vocal, I'm not going to buy Ia Rocks. Even thought he vocal was made for Rock, there are better vocaloids released then Ia. This is my issue with Appends overall, that you can only get so many vocals out of the providers and that a vocal won't necessary be as good as someone whose specialty is Rock music to begin with. Its like taking Miku and doing opera with her, she sounds off, Prima and IA do this better. Language on the other hand takes that Vocaloid's vocal and gives it out to a new audience, increasing the number of producers for that Vocaloid. :-/
It peeves me off... Like the fans did when they reacted to Bruno ad Clara image 1. Their good vocals! Don't run them down because of the bloody art, your surely not that pitiful fandom??? ¬_¬
This look at the Miku vocal itself.
Its confirmed that its a "standard" vocal, on par with Sweet Ann. Ann was NOT a bad vocaloid. She isn't Avanna. But she was the best of the Engloids in her day and was not as bad as Luka overall. So this was a big thing to take in, Miku is on par with existing V2 vocaloids.
What holds the vocal fro being great is the same things that the Japanese Vocal faces. Its voice acted, producing singspiel and unrealistic results - issues Big Al also faced. It works for Japanese, in English, which requires smooth blended vocals, its more apparent. There is a tone change, which I don't believe for a second is a result of "cultural approach" and I put down to "non-native speaker can't make her voice match the original" or general issues they faced making her. But here is the thing, despite the voice acting, Big Al was smooth.
Every English Vocaloid has faced a accent and come off better or worst for it. Ann gets a sassy tone, yet comes off funny sounding... Big Al gets overpowering vowel sounds, Oliver has soft tones on certain constants and Avanna has strong ones. In the case of Miku the accentr works against her since its non-native. Some sounds are too strong - others too weak. A native can adjust things to make this sound more correct - a non-native doesn't know better. Her development team is in the same boat. They don't know better either!
At the end of the day, people were asking for English vocal in 2009, they got it finally and now they don't want it. They asked for English vocals with Japanese voicebanks, they got Yohioloid too and ran him down, saying that. The reality is the fandom knows what dreams of getting but doesn't like what it gets. And when it does get it, it tends to push aside reality for delusion. A combination of both is what prevents some of the acceptance of Miku English and its not an issue going to go away.
Anyway, this is issue 1 off my back.
Sometimes these blogs end up being about topics I've discussed before, but sometimes the issue just isn't let go of and comes up again. Or new things and spin on old topics arise...