Vocaloid 3 (mostly commonly shortened to just "V3" in reference) is the current successor to the Vocaloid 2 engine. The new Vocaloid engine was revealed on June 8th 2011 by YAMAHA via NicoNico Douga live stream. It can be purchased at the official Vocaloid Site.
Vocaloid 3 was first announced mid-2011 at a special invitation only event and was released following the popular Vocaloid 2 engine. The release date was set for September 2011, however it was held back on several occusions and eventually released on the 21st of October 2011. This particular version had much early promotion and there were almost as many new voicebanks for it as there were in the entire Vocaloid 2 range. Yamaha also showed great interest in promoting its well established Japanese Vocaloid producer fanbase while expanding the usage of Vocaloid itself.
New languages were prepared in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese along with the Japanese and English Vocaloid line up.
Vocaloid's first attempt to revive the voice of a dead singer also has been made with Ueki-loid. However, due to the complexicity it is confirmed it will be a while before the same can be attempted for an English speaking vocal.
Impact on Voicebank DevelopmentEdit
Some studios had expansion packs and updates intended for Vocaloid 2 in development. The Vocaloid voicebanks known to have been affected by the release were Crypton's up coming male vocal, Gumi Megpoid's Extend, English Miku Hatsune, English Kaito, Luka Megurine's Append, Kaito Append and Meiko Append. However, after the announcement of Vocaloid 3 these were delayed and released for Vocaloid 3.
SeeU was also intended to have an English voicebank, but was released early so it could meet the Vocaloid 3 initial release date without it; some phonetics for English were included in her Korean voicebank as a consequence.
Also, as of the start of Vocaloid 3 more private vocals have been released, as well as new "exclusive" vocals given out. Although private licensing in this level is new, several private unreleased vocals were made in the Vocaloid 2 era, further more, Vocaloid was not originally considered for commercial release at all. So the concepts behind this are nothing new.
In the past, since the editor and voicebank were sold together to get the latest version of the software, it involved purchase of a newer Vocaloid. As of Vocaloid 3, updates now come directly from Yamaha themselves because the editor and voicebank are sold separate.
- Ver.220.127.116.11: was released 2nd November 2011 and was a general glitch fix update that repaired things that were making the editor crash.
- Ver.18.104.22.168: was released on 21st December 2011 the fix reorganized the libraries of Vocaloids into languages and fixed a few glitches.
- Ver.22.214.171.124; was released 26/01/2012 as an automatic update, simply running the Vocaloid 3 software on a system with an internet connection will allow the software to update itself. A few new features were added such as CTL+R; this will change the order of note from lyric to phoneme, for a more complex phoneme edition directly.
- Ver.126.96.36.199: was released 21/2/2012 to improve various things notably, keyboard shortcuts have been added for note placement and selection, and the ability to export tracks to their own separate sound files has also been added. The Alt key can now be used to bypass quantization settings, and various other improvements have been added as well. For more information check here.
- Ver.188.8.131.52: Was released on 23rd of March 2012
- Ver.184.108.40.206: was released on 10th July 2012.
In March 2013, it was announced that Vocaloid3 and several of the Vocaloid library plug-ins (VY1v3, VY2v3, Tone Rion, Mew, Aoki Lapis) would be retired from sale. A new "SE" (Second Edition) version would be released of these products containing the most up to date version of the software engine. The new versions will contain an additional 3 plug-ins.
Users who already have the previous version of these products will not need to purchase a second version of the products. All new content are found within the Vocaloid shop, and the engine version will be the same as the currently downloadable version of Vocaloid3.
- OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- CPU: Celeron Dual Core 2.1GHz or more
- RAM: 1GB or more
- HDD: 200MB free space or more
- See Upcoming Vocaloids for future releases
List of various known private, exclusive or misc. voicebanks.
Vocaloid-P data packsEdit
As well as the engine, it is also possible to buy the .VSQX files used for songs made by famous producers. The first of the Vocaloid-P Data Series packs was released with the Vocaloid 3 engine and can be purchased separately. Previously, the majority of .VSQ files had been recreated by fans and not the producers themselves.
Vol.2 of the series was released on the 16th of December 2011, a 3rd installment with just Gumi songs was released on the 16th March in conjunction with her update V3 Megpoid - Native.
A new feature in Vocaloid 3 is Triphones, these will instantiate a different sound if a particular set of three phonemes are pieced together, for example, allowing “ka” to sound different in “aka” compared to “ika” improving language quality. Vocaloid 2 voicebanks, even imported into the Vocaloid 3 engine, will not process these sounds. Vocaloids of all languages can use triphones, it is not restricted to one language in particular, these sounds can also be cancelled out using the hidden phonetics if users do not wish them to sound out.
The software will also update itself automatically or manually and takes updates directly from Yamaha itself, updates are free and much easier to gain access to.
There are now some updates to the list of hidden phonetics. Vocaloid 3 introduces the Glottal Stop (written as [?]) and improvements to the vowel-to-vowel connector (written as [-]) increase the smoothness of the actions between vowel carrying. One of the improvements to the Vocaloid 3 engine database was the inclusion of new voiceless sounds for Vocaloids (written as [*_0]), something they did not pocess in Vocaloid 2. When Vocaloid 2 voicebanks are imported into Vocaloid 3, the engine has the capabilities to add these additional sounds to their voicebank libraries, making them from existing samples the Vocaloid had. Some voicebanks in Vocaloid 3 do not assign codes for breaths ([br1] to [br5]) and you can instead import various noises directly into Vocaloid.
The engine itself is now localized so issues from Vocaloid 2 over language problems are absent such as that seen of Megurine Luka, who although had a English voicebank did not have the English interface because she was sold to the Japanese market. Users can select the language upon installation.
Vocaloid 3 saves in the new standard format of ".VSQX" and can save .VSQ files as .VSQX files. .VSQX allows more data to be saved than .VSQ, and allows the newer details of the Vocaloid 3 engine to be more easily saved. UTAU did not support this new file type when Vocaloid 3 was released, though conversation into .VSQ is possible at the cost of some minor data loss, thus it is still possible to transfer Vocaloid songs onto UTAU. .
The engine itself is sold standalone or with additional voicebanks which in turn can also be bought as a stand alone software. This is a departure from Vocaloid and Vocaloid 2 who had the engine sold with the voicebank. This also means updates come directly from Yamaha themselves, whereas with Vocaloid 2 the only way to update the engine to a newer version in some cases was to buy a later Vocaloid 2 voicebank then the one the consumer already owned previously, installing them over their current Vocaloids.
Voicebanks come with a Lite version of the software that has one track and only 17 bars of music. This versions most common usage is as a "demo" version, or for those wishing only to use Vocaloid for samples and not as a full fledged singer. It has no additional features such as Vocaloid 2 voicebank library importation, nor does it allow plug-ins. This also cheapens the price of each voicebank greatly as the consumer is not paying for the engine with every purchase. The addition of a Lite edition with every new vocal as oppose to forcing the consumer to buy the vocal + engine also removes some issues such as those displayed by older Vocaloid 2 versions such as Prima. There is less chance of coming across conflicts between versions as only the bare basics of the software are included.
The Full engine can be bought with additional voices or on its own, unlike the Lite edition which is only released with each Vocaloid vocal. The advantage of releasing it on its own without vocals is that the full version allows the importation of Vocaloid 2 voices and for those who do not wish to purchase any of the new Vocaloid 3 vocals they can buy the engine for this reason alone.
There is a ReWire function in Vocaloid 3, the feature is not supported, however, you can import files into Vocaloid 3 removing the need for the function or alternatively save the vocal file as a .wav and export to a DAW. Also, unlike previous versions of Vocaloid, Vocaloid 3 supports plug-in, although this is a limited support. While the Vocaloid 3 software comes with several plug-ins, additional plug-ins can be bought directly from Yamaha's Vocaloid shop.
The software comes with the following Plug-ins (they can still be purchased from the Yamaha shop despite this);
- AdjustGain; If there is any gap between notes in a whole part, this cuts it off by extending the forward note to the head of the next note.
- InsertRest; This inputs a directed length rest(space) in the position you instructed.
- Staccato; This changes a note which is longer than sixteenth note (120Tick) to sixteenth note and make it staccato by setting the verovity value to its maximum.
- TimingRandomize; This makes a subtle movement to and fro of a note's starting position in a selected area with a random value.
- VibratoTypeConversion; This changes the type of vibrato of all notes in a whole part all together.
Smoothness is more noticable in Vocaloid 3 whereas Vocaloid and Vocaloid 2 both often became choppy or robotic sounding when they met some pronounication issues. Furthermore, when entering into slurry words clarity is more easily maintained then past versions, though this still effected by the vocal type and sample quality more then the engine itself.
Results from Vocaloid 2 vocals will not be the same for Vocaloid 3 and improvements are noticable. However, it does not allow backwards compactiablity with Vocaloid engine voicebanks. Glitches such as the noted "pluck" glitch continue over from Vocaloid and Vocaloid2, however, it is less noticable in this engine even for imported Vocaloid2 vocals and is often rendered as a softer, quieter sound. The audio quality itself has been improved.
Improvements to services offered by the software now tackle some of the issues related to pirated software versions such as Pocaloid. New improvements to the protection of the software make Keygens a lot harder to use and many of the popular ones do not work with Vocaloid 3; although it is still not immune to keygens completely and some have reported to work with it. Plugs-ins and automatic updates (including manual updates) may also create problems for pirated versions of the software. The importation of Vocaloid 2 into pirated versions of Vocaloid 3 has also been known to have handling issues, both from pirated and official versions of the Vocaloid 2 software. None of these issues were present with Vocaloid 2 and all related to new features of the Vocaloid 3 software, so users who do not own legal versions will noticeably miss out on many new developments for the Vocaloid 3 software.
Language handling is still far from perfect, for example, IA and Oliver both will slur their vocals at faster paces if not controlled. This event occurs because of a long-term issue Vocaloid still faces in regards to the Vocaloid's sample database, wherein the software has difficulty fitting all samples into the allocated space set for each word in each beat. This issue has been present in the software since Vocaloid.
Even the highest quality Vocaloid 2 voicebanks when imported into Vocaloid 3 have issues competing with the quality of the average Vocaloid 3 vocals.
Updated versions often do not contain new recordings (such as those of Gumi - Native) as it is possible for studios to re-use the data recorded from Vocaloid2 samples for new voicebanks in Vocaloid3. Therefore, sometimes there is no rush to buy new versions of older voices from the Vocaloid 2 as the vocal is virtually the same.
Vocaloid is not compatible with this engine despite Vocaloid 2 being compatible.
In March 2013, a issue related to Galaco appeared which impact Vocaloid3 when Daylight savings kicked in. The engine would appear to "expire" and a pop-up would appear requesting the user to activate the software. As this issue was only related to Galaco, uninstalling her or turning off daylight savings was the only solution to resolving the problem. Users in countries (e.g. China) which did not use daylight savings, did not experience this problem.
- Gackpoid; Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3
- Megpoid; Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3
- Lily; Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3
- Gachapoid; Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3
- VY1; Differences between VY1, VY1 Vocaloid 3 imported and VY1v3
- Sonika; various comparisons between Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3.
- Leon + Avanna; Comparison between Vocaloid and Vocaloid3 english
To help the development and promotion of Vocaloids within the Vocaloid 3 range, the Vocaloid store was opened up by Yamaha. Furthermore, Yamaha set up their own music publishing site much like Karen-T to promote Vocaloid music. Several events have also been arranged to showcase new vocals, such as the Vocafarre. Yamaha's approach to bring the Vocaloid software back into the professional realm through a more serious promotional tone.
Studios have continued to promote their Vocaloids. Internet Co., Ltd continued the heavier promotion of their Vocaloids with the launch of V3 Gumi Megpoid. AH Software also has begun heavier promotions with Yuzuki Yukari having the widest vocal capabilities offered on sale of any new Vocaloid. Bplats continued to focus on their VY series, by relaunching them under the "VYv3" market with improved vocals. Crypton Future Media, who had established much of the Vocaloid fandom via Hatsune Miku in the Vocaloid 2 era, have opted to enter the Vocaloid 3 era in 2012 with their new line-up. They are still focused on selling their established Vocaloids to America, as well as re-launching the Vocaloid era Vocaloids in a newer engine.
Studio DEEN also focused on the fandom side of Vocaloid by holding a competition for a fan to become the voice of their first Vocaloid, Aoki Lapis, and are also holding a competition for Merli's voice. They have done a number of small promotional ads for Lapis. MoeJapan entered the Vocaloid market with Rion Tone, focusing on their marketing on the Vocaloid Otaku side of the Vocaloid fandom rather then the professionals. 1st PLACE have opted for a more stuble launch of their first Vocaloid and IA has been promoted as a more mysterious Vocaloid.
Yamaha at first did not support the English version of the software and did not launch an English writing version of the Vocaloid website until more towards Oliver's release. Power FX decided to focus its marketing at the now establish English Vocaloid community and most promotions for their first Vocaloid Oliver were done through the forum Vocaloid Otaku. Zero-G are also late enteries, they have decided to continue aiming at professionals and their newest Vocaloid's name is Avanna; a Celtic themed Vocaloid.
SBS Artech managed to gain interest from outside of Japan with their first Vocaloid SeeU. They decided to sell SeeU's Korean voicebank by making a bold language claim on its capablities, claiming that she can do English with it as well as Korean. They also had included a Japanese voicebank so they could sell SeeU to the Japanese producers, although interest in her was more mixed than outside of Japan.
New company Voctro Labs faced a bumpy start because of a backlash at their first two Vocaloids artwork, despite this they were able to gain some ground via an artwork competition.
A CD titled "The Vocaloids" was released in conjunction with the launch of Vocaloid 3. The CD contained 18 songs sung by Japanese Vocaloids and a booklet with information about the Vocaloid characters used. Mew was also featured on the CD.
Offical Guide BookEdit
The offical guidebook for Vocaloid3 was also released in conjuction with the softwares own release.
Run by Yamaha, the Vocaloid shop has been the biggest development for the Vocaloid software and is the outlet from which the Vocaloid 3 software is bought. It offers CDs of various songs, plug-ins and merchandise as well as providing the Vocaloids in the same place for purchase. It replaced the old website for Vocaloid in both Japanese and English, the latter having not been updated since the Vocaloid era, as well as opening up to Chinese and Korean versions. The English version is, however, hosted by Bplats. Currently, it doesn't directly sell English or Spanish Vocaloids, but does contain links of where they are being sold by the developers.
Updates and other information about current and upcoming Vocaloids are also listed on this website. Updates for the Vocaloid 3 software may also be released from here as well. The website is open for world wide purchases.
In previous generations, the Vocaloid website only offered the workings behind the software, it did not host a shop. The Vocaloid shop has been the single biggest factor in marketing for the Vocaloid software in Japan and makes everything you need easier to purchase. However, it only links to the studios which made the Vocaloid 2 voicebanks, therefore there is still some issues with gaining access to older Vocaloid voicebanks.
Vocaloid3 Music ContestEdit
On November 15, 2011, a contest was announced with prizes and ends on March 31, 2012. To enter, you must write an original song, or cover and upload it to Nico Nico Douga by March 31, 2012. The contest is being hosted by Yamaha.
The following Vocaloid 3 voicebanks are allowed entry into the competition.
- V3 Gumi Megpoid
- Tone Rion
To qualify your song must have the tag "VOCALOID3発売記念コンテスト" locked.
Prizes will be determined by Yamaha, Dwango and the studios releasing Vocaloid 3 products allowed in the competition:
- Internet co., Ltd (Gumi Megpoid/CUL/Lily);
- 3 winners will get one Vocaloid product from Internet Co., Ltd
- SBS Artech(SeeU);
- 1 winner will get a ticket for two to Seoul in South Korea for three days and two nights.
- 1 excellence winner will get 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi
- imyss Prize (SeeU);
- Cosmetic Gift Set from imyss for 1 winner.
- Yamaha Prize (VY1V3/Mew);
- Grande Prize: Cubase6 for 1 winner.
- 3 excellence winners of a Vocaloid 3 library of Yamaha of your choice
- Dear Stage Prize (Tone Rion);
- 1 winner is invited to Akihabara (2 tickets)
- 10 winners will get a courtesy ticket for Dear Stage.
- 1 winner, Yamaha's TENORI-ON "TNR-O"
- Dwango Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 5 winners will receive assorted goods related to Nico Nico Douga.
The competition was later extended to the 30th of June 2012 and a new prize (special prize for participation) was added. A prize in the competition is confirmed to be an exclusive voicebank that will be given as a prize to anyone with 3,000+ views, this prize is the voicebank for Galaco. V3 Lily and V3 Gumi Megpoid - Native have been added to the list of Vocaloids allowed in the competition. 
The view count '3,000+' needed for the special prize for participation was lessened to 1,000+ views later.
Aoki Lapis has also been added to those Vocaloids who can be entered in the competition. Since this IA and Yukari have also been added with additional prizes to support these characters from the appropriate supporters of the software. This left Clara, Bruno and Oliver unable to be used to enter the competition.
The list of new prizes:
- i-style Project Prize (Aoki Lapis);
- 1 winner will get Aoki Lapis original silver ring and Cubase starter pack.
- PV category Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 2 winners will get Wacom professional graphics tablet with wireless kit (medium size) Intuos5 touch PTH-650/K0 .
- Rookie Award (any library allowed in the competition);
- 1 winner will be interviewed by the chief editor in a feature article of Gekkayo Magazine, and the score of the winner song will appear in the magazine.
- Lawson Prize (any library allowed in the competition);
- 1 winner: The winner song will be played in Lawson stores for a month.
After the contest was over a further extension was given to allow users a chance to get Galaco. This time, the rules were extended to allow any sold Vocaloid3 voicebank in the competition, including Vocaloid voicebank libraries that had previously been unable to be used in the contest.
Vocaloid itself celebrated its 10th birthday during this version of the software and several project, one of which was ZOLA PROJECT were run in 2013. The anniversary celebrations began 26th of Feb 2013.
This generation is more focused on making Vocaloid its own genre of music. There is also pressure to push into America, with the launch of products like VOCALOID Trans-Pacific.
Compared to Vocaloid 2 the response to new Vocaloid 3 vocals has been mixed. Some Japanese Vocals like Rion Tone and Mew initally failed to match previous Vocaloid 2 popularity growth. The reasons for the lack of popularity for newer Vocals seem to have been mixed. Vocaloids like SeeU have struggled in particular because of Japanese and Korean cultural politics and the differences and feelings between the fans of the two countries. Another effect on the popularity of some of the newer vocals was simply that no popular producer had picked up the vocal and made songs with them, while other producers have held back for particular Vocaloid releases.
Initially, criticism was made by both Spanish and English vocaloid fans as they had been left in the dark. At the beginning of the Vocaloid3 launch, they faced less promotion and coverage than the other 3 languages offered. For instance, the CD released for Vocaloid 3 titled "The Vocaloids", which acted a pre-release promotion for the Vocaloid software, did not include any of the English Vocaloid 2 voicebanks and was solely focused on Japanese Vocaloids. An English version of the Vocaloid Store now exists, it was put up in Beta format in Jan 2012; several months after Vocaloid 3 was launched and a month after the launch of the first English voicebank. Both Spanish and English Vocaloids were absent from the store, though later added in an "overseas" section. The previous incarnation of the English Vocaloid website of which the shop replaced had not been updated since Vocaloid release.
Another criticism came towards the initial reaction to the avatars of Bruno and Clara with a strong reaction from their design unveiling. Voctro Labs responded by hosting a competition with the wining entry having the possibility of becoming the boxart, if the artwork was good enough. The result of the competition was that later Vocaloid Avanna was impacted by this. Yamaha themselves rejected a realistic style of artwork for Avanna in favor of a more anime-esque style with the theory put out was that Yamaha's reaction was owed to Clara and Bruno's artwork. Though Sonika had an eastern appearance, Avanna's style was far different to the one Zero-G had used in previous Vocaloid and Vocaloid 2 vocals.