For the past 15 years Plogue has been developing effects, synthesizers and sound libraries for use in the many genres of electronic music, from IDM to chipmusic.
As such, we really didn’t know what the reaction to chipspeech would be, as it was neither an effect, nor a typical synthesizer. It was a shot in the dark, a product we made because we felt we had to. Something that was a logical followup/companion to chipsounds, since it required the same sort of hardware archaeology and research.
It also felt logical to have chipmusic artists beta testing and submitting original compositions for what became the great chipspeech AUTOMATE SONGS .01 album. And to my knowledge, no one in there had ever made a song with a virtual singer before. The launch was a success, and the reaction from our target audience completely blew our expectations.
But then something unexpected happened.
Most call it the “Vocaloid/UTAU fandom”, (in reality it also includes CeVIO, aquestone and various other vocal libraries), and it centers around the creation and appreciation of original compositions (though sometimes covers as well) along with their PVs – short for Promotional Videos.
PV gets uploaded first to Nico Nico Douga (the main Japanese video sharing site), then to Youtube, with a coded emphasis on exactly which technology and character/voice bank was used. Fans can thus search for songs featuring their favorite virtual singer or producer using special 【TAGS】.
Their reaction to chipspeech was far from unanimous, (well nothing ever is). While some of them ridiculed chipspeech for being unrealistic and robotic, others immediately understood what we were trying to accomplish, and they welcomed these new characters into their productions, along with their own textures and personality.
One of them was the much respected original song producer Crusher-P (Cien Miller). In just a few years Crusher-P has gathered a loyal fan base and nearly every video they upload usually break the You-tube counter (301+ views). In early February we sent them an early version of “Lady Parsec HD” (a more detailed variant of the original chipspeech character), and we have been quite fortunate to receive their suggestions and comments so that we could further tweak her prior to her release. To our surprise, they even used “Lady Parsec HD” on their new track OBEY.