It’s unquestionable that the Vocaloid scene is dominated by Hatsune Miku. A group of other voicebanks, like GUMI, Rin, and IA, also make up a huge amount of the music. I love these popular voices as much as the next person, so I’m not here to complain about how much they’re used. But there are always a handful of songs in my library that skillfully utilize less common voicebanks in their own way. These voices are sometimes less versatile than their popular counterparts, but I’m always drawn to their unique sounds and the interesting way producers choose to use them. So here’s a list of a few voicebanks that I think are underused and some of my favorite songs by them. Keep in mind that this is a highly subjective list, so you might think that these voices don’t need to be used more based on your listening habits. There’s also a TON of voicebanks out there, so I’ve only selected ones that have stood out to me in good songs that make me wanna hear more of that voice.
She may be a well-known character, but I noticed that MAYU isn’t represented as much for her voice as she is for her appearance and personality. Some artists will make a MAYU song or two, but few use her regularly. Perhaps her soft voice is not as handy as other voices, but artists like SEDO Sounder make the best use of it. I particularly like his song “I Don’t Wanna Know”:
This voicebank was created to be a more professional side for the Vocaloid software, having no set avatar or characteristics. While this makes VY1 more difficult for the Vocaloid fanbase to grab onto (intentionally so), its dynamic capacities have gripped me in a number of songs. One that a lot of you probably know is “Cyber Thunder Cider” by EZFG, which is a favorite of mine. I really think its professional quality stands out in YZYX’s song, “COSMONAUTS,” simply because of how smooth and lifelike it sounds in the verses. Another for your listening pleasure is a funk hip-hop song, “ベイビーメイカーを黙らせろ” by iNat, from Miku-Hop LP2 (which I would also recommend checking out).
Made to work with Macintosh software (hence the name), Macne Nana doesn’t seem to see a ton of use, even though her soothing voice can match some of the best. I first realized how much I like her in Task’s “On Your Mark,” where she sometimes sounds very close to GUMI, who is also featured in the song. She also works well in some heavier songs by Scythe of Luna like “In Bloom,” which showcases her English voicebank. One of the best uses of Nana that I’ve heard recently is “Heal Me” by *Luna and cillia. Besides being an overall great mellow jam, the smooth tuning leaves me wanting more Macne Nana:
Iroha, like many popular Vocaloids, has great range and versatility; it’s no wonder, since her voice provider is a professional singer (Yoshitate Kyounosuke). There’s not really a specific sound I like to hear from her, as with some of the others on this list, but hearing a good quality voice that isn’t used much is always refreshing. A few good songs to showcase her include “Revelation Dance” by Bassdrum RendaP, “Die Gänsemagd” by XenonP, and Tweet-A-Holic by KagomeP.
A few more that I don’t have as much to say about include ONE, SF-A2 codename miki, and CUL, who are just pleasantly fresh voices to hear in the scene. I would also include flower and Otomachi Una, but I have seen much more flower recently and Una is still rather new, but she’s being utilized very well so far!
As I said, “underused” is pretty subjective, so I’d like to know what you think: what voices do you think are underused? What are some quality songs I may not know from uncommon voicebanks? Am I a criminal for not considering any Utau voices?
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your suggestions and opinions!
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