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KAITO (カイト) is a Japanese VOCALOID developed originally by Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc.. He was one of the 4 known "Project Daisy" vocals. He was initially released in February 2006 for the first VOCALOID engine.

His voice is provided by the famous Japanese singer, Naoto Fūga (風雅なおと).

KAITO was the first voicebank to be released along side a version of Piapro Studio.

Concept

Etymology

The product's name was invited to be chosen by the public, and "KAITO" was selected from among the applicants, which was Shu-tP's offered idea.[1][2] One of the reasons why his name "KAITO" was selected was because it would be easy for non-Japanese speakers to pronounce, and it looked fitting with the name "MEIKO" when they were put next to one another.[3]

KAITO's codename was "TARO";[4] it likely came from "Yamada Tarō (山田太郎)", a placeholder name for male characters and the Japanese equivalent to "John Smith".

KAITO is often misnamed "Kaito Shion" or "Shion Kaito", particularly by overseas fans. "Shion" was a fan-created term used to refer to him during 2007-2009. Due to its common sighting, it is still incorrectly used by fans as his surname even as of the VOCALOID4 engine's release. Officially, the character is known as "KAITO"; he has no family name or surname.

Appearance

The illustration was done by Takashi Kawasaki. Crypton did not set his character and profile except for his package design. Like MEIKO, he was not made with the aim of giving character or personality to vocal synthesis software.[5][6] This was also emphasized during the development of the V3 vocal banks, with Wat stating how different the intention of the CV series was to the intention of KAITO and MEIKO. This led to the updates taking a totally different course of development in comparison to the Appends of Miku, Len, Rin and Luka.

KAITO has no official given age. In one doujinshi, Maker Hikōshiki Hatsune Mix he is portrayed as a middle aged man by KEI, but it should be noted that what the artist depicts in the comic is not official, as he mentioned in a magazine interview.[7] A common myth within the fandom is that KAITO was intended to be middle aged, which may have generated from this fan comic. KAITO has never been officially depicted as any specific age bracket.

History

Marketing

The original release of both MEIKO and himself was noted for their lack of marketing. Aside from a DTM MAGAZINE article, both Japanese Vocals went largely under the radar. This had dire consequences for KAITO compared to that of MEIKO. Some focus was given to the older engine, but only after VOCALOID2 had gained popularity, with basics such as tutorials produced where there was once not anything at all.

However, despite this placing a character on boxart was popular, though initially the image was not of KAITO. The act of putting a character on the boxart was carried over to following VOCALOIDs to encourage creative activities by individuals, expanding the characters based on each user's individual needs.[8][9][10]

Voicebanks

KAITO had a number of VOCALOID releases, some of which were released also for Piapro Studio versions that used the VOCALOID API.

The Original voicebank is based on a professional singer. It was a male Japanese vocal that leaned towards genres such as jazz, but due to its high compatibility with the original VOCALOID engine, was easily adaptable to many other genres of music. When KAITO was updated, the voicebank had to be completely re-done with a similar tone to the original, thus some aspects of the vocal have changed in consequential versions. The vocal was also a counter-partner to the MEIKO "Straight" vocal originally.

A vocal based on the "Straight" vocal with looser pronunciations, it is a natural sounding tone change.
  • KAITO V3 (Piapro Studio), February 15, 2013

A whisper-like toned voicebank much softer than "Soft" and a natural tone change.
  • KAITO V3 (Piapro Studio), February 15, 2013

The English version of the voice.
  • KAITO V3 (Piapro Studio), February 15, 2013

References

  1. Fuga Naoto Blog - お返事!
  2. Morio Morito Blog - MEIKOとKAITOのパケ絵描いた人について+α "Illustrators that illustrated Meiko and Kaito"
  3. INTERNET Watch - クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア社長 伊藤博之氏(前編) (Crypton Future Media president Hiroyuki Itō (part one))
  4. 最初のコードネームは、MEIKOはHANAKOで、KAITOはTAROということですね。
  5. Nico Nico MUGEN wiki - KAITO
  6. Weekly VOCALOID RANKING - KAITO
  7. P-Tina.net - KEIさんの描き方について聞いてみた (Interview with KEI about drawing style)
  8. IT Media News - 異例の売れ行き「初音ミク」「ニコ動」で広がる音楽作りのすそ野 (Extraordinary sales for Hatsune Miku as Nico spreads the music)
  9. Crypton MEDIA phage - [Vocaloid2情報] 出張終了のお知らせ。
  10. G-Search side B - バーチャルアイドル?ボーカロイド?今話題の初音ミクって何? (Virtual Idol? Vocaloid? Hatsune Miku is the new topic now?)
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