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Kagamine Rin & Len (鏡音リン・レン), codenamed CV02, were originally Japanese VOCALOIDs developed and distributed by Crypton Future Media, Inc., and were initially released in December 2007 for the VOCALOID2 engine. They are the second set of vocals for Crypton's Character Vocal Series and were both Character Voice VOCALOIDs. There has since been numerous instalments for VOCALOID.

Their voices are provided by the Japanese voice actress, stage actress, and singer Asami Shimoda (下田麻美 Shimoda Asami). According to Asami, Len's voice was achieved by singing within her chest, while Rin's was achieved by singing at the top of her head.

As of August 31st, 2019 they will be moving over to Piapro Studio. They previously appeared on an older version of the Software.

Concept

The development of the Kagamines began when Crypton formulated the concept of making a pair of female and male voicebanks. The first idea was for two voices of a girl and an identical male of the opposite gender, just like twins.[1]

Crypton originally had the intention of distributing them as twins, but this was not adopted. Crypton stated that they approved of the many different interpretations of Rin and Len's relationship that they saw in different works. Crypton's final announcement was that the Kagamines were neither siblings nor lovers.[2][3] During their Append's production, Wataru Sasaki (aka. Wat) described them as two bodies with one soul.[4] Wat also said that the Append boxart makes the pair seem like twins,[5] due to the foetal position they were in.[6]

Etymology

When the Kagamines were being recorded in 2007, their names were not yet decided. Their given names of Rin and Len were said to be based on "right" and "left" according to Asami Shimoda. She later confirmed in an interview after the Append release that the names were based on Ken and Rin from Hokuto no Ken, derived from a discussion about names that were familiar from her childhood.

Their surname was derived from the developing code combining Kagami (鏡, mirror) and Ne (音, sound). This refers to an "echo", which is a sound being bounced back to the user from a different direction caused by soundwaves hitting a surface at a direction that reflects it back the way it came.[7]

Their codename of "CV02" means "Character Voice 02".

Appearance

KEI was given a concept by Crypton that included Rin and Len's approximate ages as well as the idea of them being 'mirror images' and, like Hatsune Miku, androids. KEI was not given any further direction as he had already drawn the art for Miku, the first release in the Character Vocal Series.

Rin was the first of the Kagamines to be illustrated and, following Crypton's concept, Len was made to match her. Their leg features were designed to mimic speakers.[8][9] The keytar Len is often featured holding in merchandise is a YAMAHA KX5. Their main design, of which is most noticeable on their boots, uses the YAMAHA EOS as a design base.

Also, each Kagamine has a particular musical clef symbol associated to their design. Rin has a G-clef (Treble-clef) on her shirt and Len has a F-clef (Bass-clef) on his. In their Append redesigns, they are found on chokers rather than their shirts.

History

Marketing

The Kagamines were marketed as "2 vocals for the price of 1" and were aimed to catch the interest of the growing VOCALOID fandom. Unlike Hatsune Miku, they were not an immediate hit, failing to meet marketing expectations despite receiving the same level of promotion Miku received at the time of their release. After the release of their "Act2" voicebanks, sales picked up steadily and the Kagamines eventually became one of the more heavily marketed VOCALOIDs though have never met the marketing strength Miku gained before them.

Crypton Future Media registered both "Kagamine Rin" and "Kagamine Len" as a trademark on January 29, 2015.[10][11]

Voicebanks

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

Kagamine Rin was designed to be a deeper tone teenage vocal compared to Hatsune Miku. She was meant to have tension to her vocal and was a "power" type vocal. The Kagamine Rin vocal, now known as "Power", has undergone dramatic overhauls over time due to quality issues and consequential versions have sounded different to past versions. The voice is voice acted and is an amateur singer.

Designed to fit a more acoustic sounding song, this is a version of the voice with more warmth, focusing on the lower tones of the vocal range resulting in duller highs but more depth in lows.
  • Kagamine Rin & Len Append (VOCALOID2), December 27, 2010
  • Kagamine Rin & Len V4X (Piapro Studio2), December 24, 2015

A more cute sounding version of the voice of Rin with a sweeter tone.
  • Kagamine Rin & Len Append (VOCALOID2), December 27, 2010
  • Kagamine Rin & Len V4X (Piapro Studio2), December 24, 2015

The English version of the Kagamine Rin vocal.

Similar to Kagamine Rin "Power", the vocal is a "power" type vocal and is meant to have tension in the vocal. The vocal is meant to sound boyish, like a young masculine vocal. The vocal has undergone dramatic overhauls over time due to quality issues and some consequential versions are quite different to others, even compared to the Kagamaine Rin "Power" vocal. The voice is of a voice acted result and represents an amateur singer.

The Kagamine Cold vocal is the opposite of the Kagamine Rin vocal and is designed to sound moodier, more focus is on the highs. The result is fuller high sounds but the lower sounds are less attractive.
  • Kagamine Rin & Len Append (VOCALOID2), December 27, 2010
  • Kagamine Rin & Len V4X (Piapro Studio2), December 24, 2015

Serious is a vocal that is designed to be the opposite of Kagamine Rin's "Sweet" voicebank. It is quite emotional sounding compared to "cold".
  • Kagamine Rin & Len Append (VOCALOID2), December 27, 2010
  • Kagamine Rin & Len V4X (Piapro Studio2), December 24, 2015

The English version of the Kagamine Len vocal.
  • Kagamine Rin & Len V4X (Piapro Studio2), December 24, 2015

References

  1. CloseUp NetTube - 鏡音リン・レン特集1・発売元インタビュー (Interview with Crypton "How Rin and Len Kagamine were created")
  2. Nikkei Electronics (973) Mar.10,2008,126-127, ISSN 0385-1680
  3. "VOCALOID wo Tanoshimou Vol.2" published by Yamaha Music Media,2009, Page 47, ISBN 978-4-636-84438-2
  4. https://twitter.com/vocaloid_cv_cfm/status/9015396422131712
  5. https://twitter.com/vocaloid_cv_cfm/status/7121733874098176
  6. https://twitter.com/vocaloid_cv_cfm/status/7124695778332672
  7. http://blog.crypton.co.jp/mp/2009/01/post-95.html [dead link]
  8. P-Tina - Interview(s) with Crypton and KEI
  9. VocaloidOtaku - Our Favorite VOCALOIDS: Interview with KEI
  10. http://www.trademarkia.com/kagamine-rin-79159405.html
  11. http://www.trademarkia.com/kagamine-len-79159407.html
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