The first sound of the future: Hatsune Miku


Hatsune Miku is a singing synthesizer application with a female character, developed by Crypton Future Media, media company based in Sapporo, Japan. The company develops, imports, and sells products for music, such as sound generator software, sampling CDs and DVDs, and sound effect and background music libraries.

Crypton is best known for production and sales of speech synthesis software for computer music. Its products use the Vocaloid singing synthesis engine developed by Yamaha Corporation

The Vocaloid is a tool that allows to synthetize the voice singing: it just needs the input of the text and the melody of a song. Since the Vocaloid was launched in the early 2000s, Crypton has developed several software applications, with female and male voices which were sampled from human Japanese singers. For each software the company had developed a peculiar character – in the classical manga style – which initially was probably just intended for advertising the product.

But very soon in Japan the phenomenon grew, so that these characters have become virtual, digital pop stars; Hatsune Miku is one of them, maybe the most famous.

The name of the character comes from a fusion of the Japanese for first (初, hatsu), sound (音, ne) and future (Miku (ミク), so it is “First voice of the Future”. Her voice is sampled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita.

The character was designed with great attention and care about details, and she’s so appealing that she got plenty of fans, any kind of merchandise, and she had started her own “virtual life” as a pop star with live concerts in Japan and abroad, spots and TV appearances. Just to have an idea of her popolarity, she was chosen by Google to be the testimonial for the launch of its new browser Chrome in Japan.

Hatsune Miku can sing any song, she has an unreachable vocal range so that she is able to catch any note from the lowest to the highest, she’s always in tune… to strenghten the character and make her interactive, Crypton allows anybody to write a song for Hatsune Miku and her fans submitted to the Crypton website thousands and thousands of original songs. 

But now it is time for Hatsune Miku to retire. Crypton in the last years developed other software and new virtual popstars are taking her place. Like any respectable popstar, Hatsune Miku said goodbye to her fans with a series of completely sold-out live concerts, where she has performed singing and dancing onstage as a projection (hologram) while all her fans where going crazy in the room and in front of the screens – as the concerts were broadcasted not only in Japan but also in other eastern countries of Asia.

Hatsune Miku farewell concert:


Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Tokyo: from Florence with love
In Japan a revolutionary exhibition was recently presented: the most appreciated masterpieces that cannot be moved from Florence were showing in Tokyo, thanks to advanced digital tools.
A new virtual tour at the heart of Museo Egizio in Turin
A new virtual tour is now available on the website of the Museo Egizio in Turin. It allows the public to remotely visit the most iconic sections of the collection, also including those dedicated to the village of Deir el-Medina and to the tomb of Kha. Starting from a series of 360-degree panoramic photos in high definition, the virtual tour reconstructs the rooms dedicated to the finds from the intact tomb of the architect Kha and his wife Merit, and from the village of craftsmen and work...
ARCHES Project - Final event
ARCHES, Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage EcoSystems, is a 3 year European project with the aim to make art and cultural experience accessible for all, through the development of technological solutions that improve access to culture. The project is arriving at the end of its intensive activity and it will present the results of its research at the  final event in Madrid on Thursday 7 November.   The results of the project are guidelines and publications, apps ...
Cultural Heritage Mission in Japan
Between 7 and 15 April 2018, Gábor Sonkoly, the academic coordinator of Minority Heritage Pilot of REACH project, visited eight Japanese universities (Buddhist Postgraduate College, Josai University, Meiji University, Nishogakusha University in Tokyo, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Otani University, Ristumeikan University in Kyoto and Kobe University in Kobe) in order to establish research and educational cooperation in the field of participative cultural heritage scholarship. He was the m...