Virtual Vocalist, Hatsune Miku, ‘Announces’ US Tour

hatsune-miku

Like something out of a William Gibson novel, virtual vocalist Hatsune Miku has ‘announced’ plans for a 2016 US concert tour.

Hatsune Miku – whose name translates to ‘sound of the future’ –  is a anime vocalist, with a voice synthesized using Yamaha’s Vocaloid. Vocaloid works by combining text with note and performance information, entered on a piano roll interface.

In performances, Hatsune Miku’s animated image is presented as a hologram-style projection, with its movements synchronized with the synthesized vocal track.

Announced dates:

  • April 23 in Seattle, WaMu Theater
  • April 30 in San Francisco, The Warfield
  • May 6 in Los Angeles, Microsoft Theater
  • May 14 in Dallas, The Bomb Factory
  • May 20 in Toronto, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
  • May 28 in New York, Hammerstein Ballroom

36 thoughts on “Virtual Vocalist, Hatsune Miku, ‘Announces’ US Tour

  1. Oh I’m so happy! I’ll be able to go again!! SF is about 2 hours from me so it will be much cheaper and easier to go than last year’s concert in LA was – and hopefully there will be some more new songs in the setlist this time! Buying my ticket ASAP to the earlier show on the 30th!!

    Miku and other Vocaloids are the best things I’ve ever discovered and it’s changed my life and gotten me into music production and I’ve met so many nice people 🙂 This was my favorite song from last year’s concert, called Glass Wall, one of the two or 3 english songs that were performed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVWqp3DoK7g

    Check out more of the best Vocaloid songs here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLh9BLoJrDvboMOKx_D4DwCrx0J7EIatk1

  2. Chipmunks go auto tune???!!! So let me get this right, everyone is expected to pay to watch this cartoon dance around the stage? I don’t get it. I’m old I guess. 🙁

    Makes Japanese artists like YMO seem so much more talented and serious.

    I’d rather watch sakamoto, hosono, and takahashi (or kraftwerk even) stand behind tables and do nothing.

    Does this mean synthtopia is going Japaname?

    1. You’re not old. Miku has fans of all ages – the oldest I know are in their 80s. You just don’t yet understand what Miku is and how she works. A massively-crowdsourced community-driven collaboratively-constructed digital pop star, is a pretty trippy concept, and it takes a while for most people to really wrap their head around it.

      You can listen to the complete works of most pop stars in an afternoon. With Miku, it would take over four years, and her songs span every style and genre. Miku sings thousands of songs that millions of people love. She encourages creativity and invites participation. She is the voice of the people, and the people adore her for it. Her vast community of artists and creators and fans are what make Miku, and the concerts are a coming-together to celebrate this.

      Fans not only pay to see Miku live, they travel half-way around the world to see her live. And yes I say “live”, because when you have thousands of fans collectively willing Miku to life – she becomes alive. Its magical and its wondrous and I don’t know where else one can experience something like that.

      I hope that helps.

      1. This sounds cult-like. While I don’t want to make fun of anyone who likes this, it just leaves a bad feeling for me. I normally don’t wish to be part of such a collective experience, and more ‘social’ media connectivity doesn’t really interest me. To be perfectly cynical, it has been my experience that people often act dumb in large groups and adopt a herd mentality. I also don’t need a humanized figure to connect attachments to or to respond to me in a way that appeals to me. When I see a humanized figure it just overtly seems more manipulative to me…even if it’s not any more manipulative than my interactions with other programs etc. even though this is probably innocent, I can see a real danger…a moth to a light effect for a lot of people. A digital messiah…I’m glad I was born in a different era.

    1. “She” or “it” or “they” have a large fan base?

      A lot of work goes into this, artists, engineers, production people. I think it’s both interesting and impressive, yet creepy at the same time. I think at some point the sensationalism will die off. Yet it’s new and interesting and flashy, spurs debate, etc, but what happens when it’s not.
      Yes I’m getting old too.

  3. How is this different from the overly fantasized sexualization of young auto-tuned female singers that has been plaguing the pop world for the last few years? Vocaloid pop stars just seem to be the next iteration. A hyper-real version of an Anime lolita fetish gone too far in live form? The fact that Vocaloidsexist [sic] and that people will pay good money to see a virtual puppet imitate an artificial auto-tuned pop-star performance makes me think that simulacrum is becoming the norm. Pop-trends are like the “new Items” on the menu at a fast food chain, some people will eat it up, others will barf.

    1. Excited to see this vocaloid tech evolve. You can currently buy a guitar stompbox which lets you control Miku’s voice, but it’s still very Japanese-centric, and you don’t have a whole lot of control over her voice, other than putting the output through other gear like pitchshifters.

      It’ll be awesome if someday one can synthesize a fully featured, articulate human voice. Despite all the amazing tech we synthtopians have ferreted away in our little music caves, and all the thousands of dollars we spend, the best, most expressive instrument remains the one which cannot be bought.

  4. One way it’s different, is that with Miku no actual human being is being subjected to a damaging lifestyle full of drugs and alcohol, the intense pressure of fame and fan adoration, or crippling levels of media scrutiny. The paparazzi do not follow Miku, and if you look her up on TMZ, you get zero hits. The scandal rags will never make a thin dime off her.

    Miku can never wilt under the spotlight. She’s made for the spotlight. She’s made of spotlight 😀

    The exploitation and destruction of young lives for our amusement is a great sickness in today’s pop culture. Miku offers a better way.

    1. Wow that’s an interesting take. So by that logic we should also be watching hologram sporting events too, due steroid use, pressure, and wear and tear on peoples bodies.

      1. He didn’t say that. That’s a bit of a straw man you’re making there.

        He said it’s a shame that young people are often exploited by the media when they become famous, and Miku is an alternative that can’t be affected by the media in that way. It’s a nice observation.

        Miku is a marvel of technology. I think the young anime girl image instantly turns away a lot of people from understanding how incredible it is that something like this is done. She is an entirely computerized performer. Her voice comes from a synthesizer, and her physical appearance comes from holograms!

        It’s not so much about the music itself to me, it’s about geeking out over the technology involved. I don’t listen to the music for the sake of it. The idea is very tied to the live act for me. I’ll be trying to make it to one of these shows because I feel this is something I’d like to witness while it exists!

        Also, her design is based on the Yamaha DX-7. Pretty neat!

      2. Of course we should. Why pay an athlete millions of dollars when we can just program an athlete for a fraction of that cost.
        Plus, we can make them look like unrealistic sexy anime babes. Would you rather have a poster of Sherman Lynch or Hatsune in football gear?

    2. Did you ever stop to consider how much great art was born out those struggles. Every great rock and roll album ever made was fueled by drugs, booze and self destructive behavior. When did authenticity become so passé? People become rockers because they want that lifestyle. Maybe going down in a blaze of glory isn’t such a bad thing. I personally like my art to come from someone who has gone through some shit, I don’t find it at all relatable otherwise.

  5. Not sure how it’s a straw man argument. There was a point made that one of the benefits here being that none of the ills of being an idol can happen and it spares other real people from being subject to drug addiction, the spot light etc. That in and of itself is a strange reason to like this technology. And, making the sports analogy isn’t that far off or “straw man” as you say. Celebrity professional athletes and celebrity idols / pop starts face pretty similar scrutiny and pressure. So if its good to have hologram performers instead of real ones, for the reasons mentioned, and we should see that as a benefit, why stop there? Why not extend this benefit of avoiding the hazards of being a real human idol (with the seemingly 100% guarantee of drug addiction), to other similar professions as well. Watching a pre-determined / programmed sporting event seems incredibly ludicrous…not many people would argue against that as the event not being programmed is part of the appeal. For me personally that’s the same with music. But obviously, some people like pre-programmed SMPTE synced-big flashy light and laser show EDM DJ sets, so I guess people can like anything. I think Deadmau5 should use this tech. He doesn’t need to stand there and push play, he can have the hologram of his admittedly already branded, gimmicky persona do it for him. He can have some new sounds based on the DX-7 too if that’s so impressive.

    Reminding us all how amazing the technology isn’t really needed. The technologically is pretty interesting and impressive. Seeing people waiving their glows sticks and talking about “her” like an artist is still kind of creepy, to me at least anyway. It’s still a puppet show show after all. More hi tech, yes, but acts in exactly the same way (cue the person that say pop stars are the same-congrats, you connected the dots there).

  6. My daughter (15) loves Miku. Sadly we don’t live in the US, so she has to wait until Miku arrives in europe some day in the distant future. Not my kind of music, but I understand that people can enjoy this.

  7. Does the wait make Miku more interesting? Given that Miku is digital, Miku could be omnipresent and there by even more worshipable. I just realized that this thing has serious religious potential. I wonder…how to sell digital Miku boots and other software Miku relics? Maybe in a crowd funded Miku temple, with Miku lighting with no firehazzard. OMG….I mean OMM this is brilliant.

    1. Count me in on this megabucks opportunity. Look at how many dollars people are willing to give to false profits. Look how much they’ll sink into their latest gadgets. Combine the two and its a goldmine.

    1. @Jim Eshleman
      PowerFx a third party company from Yamaha who makes voice banks for Vocaloid attempted to make an Elvis Presley style voicebank for Vocaloid called Big Al.

      While the “concerts” are interesting, I definitely can see why people would get turned off by it. The vocals aren’t very realistic and the user interface with vocaloid is not friendly at all. Also for some people it is creepy that people are watching a “doll”, I know I tried to show some friends some miku songs, but most said it was to painful for them or that they didn’t get it. I know I like very happy pop techno songs so this stuff is right up my alley. (yes I know I have trash taste in music but shad ap I like it) Vocaloid has a long way to go before it can probably be taken seriously here in the western hemisphere but for now I can dig it.

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