A few of you might have been aware back in 2007 of a virtual popstar being launched in Japan. What you may not have realised is that her voice was also synthesized. In the mid 2000s Yamaha backed the development of ‘vocaloid’ software that allowed the typing in of lyrics and melody, which meant that entire vocal tracks could be constructed using a range of pre-recorded vocal samples. Hatsune Miku was that popstar and surprisingly she’s still huge news ten years on, having more than 100,000 songs to her name.
Now Yamaha have launched a new keytar featuring Vocaloid technology that lets you sound just like Miku. One of the more bizarre instruments we’ve seen, this is currently available in the Japanese market only although it has been tested with English and German language software (with some rather strange and indecipherable results). The design is a very sleek rounded body with 37 mini keys and a weight of just 1.5kg. It has all the usual features including USB, line out, headphone out, aux in, a small onboard speaker, expression controls and can be powered via adapter or batteries.
The website and app allow you to download different ‘singers’, although we can only see a limited use for it unless they allow for instrument downloads too. If you’re into collecting strange instruments then you can get the Vocaloid VKB-100 shipped in via Amazon. If you do then let us know.
View the Yamaha introductory video above and a clip from a Hatsune Miku concert below.