You have to hand it to Japan. While other nations are busy rattling sabres, fretting over same-sex marriage or deifying Justin Bieber, the Asian economic giant gives us the multimedia craziness of Hatsune Miku.
“Hatsoo Nay-wha?” you might say. Understandable. We in the Anthill Watchtower were also unaware of this phenomenon until we found this video — and our collective mandibles hit the floor.
Hatsune Miku isn’t a who, it’s a what — software that creates synthesised singing. In its simplest form, a user types the lyrics, picks a melody and, zing, instant Top 40.
Since the software was launched in 2007, more than 100,000 songs or videos made with the software (which uses Yamaha’s Vocaloid2 technology) have been uploaded to file-sharing sites. The songs have spawned countless mashups and remixes. The manga-style girl depicted on the software box has become a superstar.
In this video, Hatsune Miku — the make-believe girl — hits the big time, performing with a live band before a live audience.
We’re sure this voice-synthesis technology could have practical, somber applications that would benefit numerous nations. That’s a conversation for another time. For now, sit back and enjoy Japan’s stunning ability to turn technology into an artistic earthquake.