Yamaha Intros Vocaloid VKB-100 Singing Keytar Thing

Yamaha Japan has introduced the Vocaloid VKB-100 keyboard, a singing keytar thing based on their Vocaloid virtual vocalist technology.

The VKB-100 site is in Japanese and doesn’t have much information on it yet, but it looks like the keytar will allow you to play notes with one hand while articulating vocalization with the other. 

The site does note:

The singing voice library of singer “VY 1” is loaded in “VKB – 100” beforehand. In addition, you can add singers up to 4 people (“Hatsune Miku” “Megpoid” “IA” “Yukari Yuzuki”) from a dedicated application for smartphones and tablets.

Here’s an unofficial demo:

Here’s an example of Vocaloid software in action, virtual vocalist Hatsune Miku ‘singing’ Coming Together:

22 thoughts on “Yamaha Intros Vocaloid VKB-100 Singing Keytar Thing

  1. I have nothing to express musically that would be well-served by digital Japanese school girls. It sounds like a mutant 5-pound mouse. Make a Janis Joplin model and a Meat Loaf model. Then we’ll talk.

      1. Just give me that Meat Loaf vocal model and I’ll show you some “more troubling future” PDQ. That idea is so grotesque, it could have some potential. Maybe as the lead for a glitch band…? I already feel disturbed, just by imagining it. Turn it off! Turn it off!

      2. exactly! think positive, more horrific and wonderful things shall keep coming. i love the weirdness of it personally ha.. and that sculpt is great and sleek. would prefer the look of that way more than the other keytars on the market, plus the Yamaha quality. maybe it will keep some basic midi outs or wireless midi potential ?? or perhaps just a toy, tho then if so, perhaps very cheap thus amazing and good for a laugh lol? i’m intrigued either way and hope the prie is like maybe 200-300 max… dont know who’d dump more than that on a gadget-ish (if fun) toy.

      1. That may be, but I’m interested in his operatic voice as a model to tweedle, not his character. If every musician who was a human car wreck was taken out of the mix, it’d be a real loss. Many a scum has created something lasting and gorgeous. I don’t have to smell them! I just like the tunes.

        Anyway, I should step back one notch from being snarky. Its not as if the Vocaloid world isn’t clever and sci-fi-type interesting. Its just so hyper-cute that I’m still waiting for someone to use it in a more sober setting than school-girl pop.

  2. Hmmm…a singer that won’t get drunk and start a fight at a gig, won’t try to steal someone’s girlfriend (see previous point) and can be turned off between sets. What’s not to like?

  3. If it has MIDI out, it would make a very compact/light keytar that could drive some other (non-vocaloid) sounds. If priced right, could be compelling.

  4. If this has MIDI out and sends all its controllers, I’m in. Most keytars look like you’re stealing a piano. My singer (a 5′ something) ended up using a DX100. This reminds me of my KX-5, only lighter.

  5. Speech synthesis isn’t exactly that new, it’s just improved over the years and now in a keytar?.
    I like the tip of the speech synthesis hat to Bell Labs in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Why else would HAL sing Daisy?
    IBM hit that one out of the park in the 60’s and didn’t need some pervy Lolita fetish to do it…Hastune Miku is supposedly 16…and is filling stadiums…
    In terms of this article, the way Vocaloid products are branded makes me cringe. “Do you come with the car?…Oh you hehehehe”

    I want these versions: HAL9000, Johnny 5, DATA, WALL-E & EVE, and of course Barry White

  6. I don’t understand why there’s so much hate for vocaloid here. Yes, it sounds robotic, Yes, it’s not going to be able to replace your singer, but if you want a realistic singer, don’t try and create it with a synth!

  7. What can be done with the Yamaha VKB-100 that can’t be done with a decent sampler like E-Mu Emulator X3? I could sample any singer in history, interpolate it any way I like, and assign it across any keyboard. You want Janis Joplin? Meat Loaf? Freddy Mercury? Sting? Annie Haslam? Vocaloid is kind of like modular synthesis. You don’t notice it’s a drug until you are hooked. I would stay away from either of them.

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