Okay this is a test mostly to see if this works, this will be up for a month, its hosted on my blog but in future the discussions will take place on the forums since I'll reset them this month. Even if all you do in express your support for Miku ("Miku is my goddess!", all input (except spam, flames, trolling, and other worthless enteries that add nothing to the discussion) is welcome.
Okay, here's my thoughts on Miku english to get us started, fell free to add your own or comment on my words:
Why do people simply want English versions of the Japanese Vocaloids anyway? Because their popular? Because they have a established fandom? Because people actually sat down and worked with them? Lets go over the facts about Miku English, she will run the same english engine that Sweet Ann, Prima, Megurine Luka, Sonika, Big Al and Tonio run so there will be nothing different about her voicebank we haven't already seen. She will have access to the same 2,500 phonetics that the current "Engloids" have. Basically, aside from the fact she is Miku there is no difference between her and any other Vocaloid we've had in English. And if Crypton slacks on her she will end up poorer quality then they will, whereas Big Al for instance is mostly smooth, messing up on a handful of things that English Vocaloids have yet to perfect anyway from what I've heard so far
What are people expecting? I expect at least better then Luka, but some expect Miku to sing perfect English it almost seen. Take note, any English speaking syn ever made has never been able to recreate english, and in the past Microsoft Sam's popularity was never held back by his flawed English. Mind you, Microsoft Sam never cost a person money to buy. But he gave birth to Internet Meme's, and has dozens of Sam related videos on Youtube. When people come to the English Vocaloids we already have, they speak better English then Microsoft Sam (and to an extent half his series of vocals) yet I constantly hear "Their shit!". Well... Sam's "Shit" too, so why has he become popular and the English Vocaloids not? Aside from the fact that his free, people just seemed to be able to sit down and have fun.
For English itself, you have to sit down and thnk through a lot of things. I had a English vocal on the Atari STE during the 90s built into a game I owned. "This is... your scout Ve-ec-cal (vechicle)" it would say. Couldn't say my brother's name, could say mine because I guess being common it was programed to say certain words. But you went on, the lack of english skills of the syn, only made playing the game more fun becaus eyou never knew what it was going to mess up next. Micorsoft Sam is better then that, Vocaloid is better then Sam. Maybe its because they speak much better then these ancient syn. that means their no longer fun? I don't know.
She will of course have a Japanese accent, like Luka, except in Luka's case it was a bad thing. Though she knows english, her voice provider has more limited phonetics then a native english speaker, resulting in some of the phonetic data being too limited. You can read about Luka's problem on her page because theres a whole host of other problems with Luka. Because of the amount of problems with Luka, she doesn't met the standard of English the full English Vocaloids, though Crypton Future Media have insisted she will be good English. Her voice actress has had to learn English phonetics I do note, because she didn't know them to begin with.
Too negative so far? Well, we do have a new Vocaloid to get English Vocaloids look interesting again. If you look back over Vocaloids history, Engloids were popular with their target audience up until the Indy market they relied on began disappearing. The Indy market used to be on MySpace, where it was easy to get attention if you were a musciain, but since the focus switched over to Youtube with Indy music, where the Engloids have to compete with hundreds of Japanese Vocaloids videos people have uploaded a lot of the time they just can't compete. There are at least 450 English Vocaloid songs on Youtube, yet no one visits them. Miku will likely explode in popularity, though I do suspect because of Pocaloid and other illegal forms of Vocaloid she won't be that bought.
That is a good point! Will she get the 3,000+ purchases she had for her Japanese pre-order? Somehow I doubt it. So who is she being marketed at? Anime fans right now it seems. Most of the Vocaloid fans are pretty much Anome Fans, not actual Vocaloid users. This has always been a problem because the ones putting down the English Vocaloids are have right now are a good chunk of the Anime Fans and even though they don't speak English, making the current Japanese speak "English" seems to get comments like "OMG she speaks better English then Luka and the Engloids", when in reality the Vocaloid doesn't, its just good tuning. In fact I have since labeld that one "Bad Romance" VSQ file as possible the most deciving Vocaloid related Video out there.
I will say I am looking forward to improved English for Miku, she isn't great right now. I am not a fan of Miku anyway, its just high pitched vocals tend to set off my Tinnitus. Sonika does that with her vocal oddites. I own Prima, Tonio, Sonika and Big Al. I might add, that the current crop of English Vocaloids are "not bad". The only disappointing one? Sonika. Sweet Ann or Luka's next on my list, I'm not going to rush to buy Miku and it will take Luka Append to make me consider her over Ann.
I'm going to sign off this with, we have 25 Vocaloid characters right now and something like 39 or so voicebanks... Miku isn't even the highest quality, or the smoothest or the best overall. She is the one that caught attention, her timing was right (Nico nico Douga was "fresh") and got used professsionally by groups like Supercell. English Vocaloid Miriam was used as well by Mike Oldfield and Lola's in Paprika. Don't expect Miku to sing perfect English, or even better English for that matter, then what we've seen so far if she comes out in Vocaloid 2. If she is in Vocaloid 3, well... Its a better engine version, of course she'll be better anyway. Its the same scanrio Sweet Ann had when she was released, and she was praised for being Vocaloid 2 not Vocaloid 1.
But anyway, thats my thoughts:
Now over to you guys!