Virtual Vocalist Hatsune Miku ‘performed’ on Late night with David Letterman earlier this week – taking the show on a detour into a William Gibson world, where millions of people worship virtual popstars.
If you’re not familiar with Hatsune Miku, ‘she’ is a virtual popstar, worshipped by millions.
Her vocals are created using Yamaha’s Vocaloid vocal synthesizer, a technology that lets you create virtual vocals, based on phonemes and pitches. The original samples are from a human vocalist, but the actual vocal is completely synthesized.
As a ‘virtual idol’, Miku ‘performs’ as a projected anime character, with live accompaniment.
According to Miku’s developers, her name translates roughly to “first sound from the future”.
As Letterman notes, it’s ‘like being on Willy Nelson’s bus…”