Yamaha Want You To Design A Vocaloid [Update]

By Ishaan and Laura . February 19, 2011 . 12:13pm

Back in 2003, Yamaha funded the development of the Vocaloid singing software, which effectively gives them ownership of the Vocaloid brand, despite the fact that the Vocaloid characters themselves have been developed by a range of other organizations and individuals over the years.


This year, Yamaha are giving Vocaloid fans a chance to design their own Vocaloids, too.


While Yamaha have created their own Vocaloid characters in the past, the upcoming Vocaloid Festa doujin event will host an “Everyone’s Vocaloid Project” contest where people will be able to submit their ideas for Vocaloid characters. The winning entry will be developed into and sold as official Vocaloid software.


Entries can be submitted from Feb 25th through April 24th, and require a character sketch along with a description and a nickname. The online application form will go up on the Vocaloid Festa website, and people of any nationality are free to enter the contest.


How to apply:

1. Design your Vocaloid on a 14.8cm x 10cm paper
2. Design character within restrictions stated on official site
3. Basic idea of rules (use Google Translate for the gist of it):
– Make sure it’s your own work
– If there’s another party involved, you’re the one handling the copyrights and negotiating with them
– You can’t withdraw an application

4. Include following personal info: Name, address, phone, email, job/university/school name, sex, birth date, age
5. Include your Vocaloid’s info: Simple description of the character, character’s nickname, and the meaning of their nickname

6. You can either mail your entry to Japan or post your design on Pixiv with the following tag: ボカロ計画
– Details on Pixiv’s site aren’t up yet

7. Mail address (include 50 yen stamp):

神田郵便局留め「VOCALOID FESTA」みんなのボカロ計画係

8. Results will be announced on May 29th, 2011

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  • rrw

    this will be messy

  • Yukito

    Times like this makes me wish I was a bit more artistic. I can do bust drawings, but body shots and poses? I am screwed. I would love to take part, since I could come up with rather interesting styles, but….. oh well. :S

  • Wow. That’s really interesting! I expect a lot of cool designs!

    Since it’s Yamaha, hmmm I thought VY1 and VY2 are supposed to be “character”-less so does that mean they’re going to release their own character series of Vocaloid software!? D:

    EDIT: Wait a sec, the ANN article says Yamaha released Lily, I thought that was Internet Co.,ltd…

    • I actually checked that before writing the post. From what I can tell, Internet Co. were the distributor while Yamaha collaborated on development with another company called the Avex Group.

      • Hmmmm :/ I watched the original news broadcast while it was airing, but I didn’t watch it long enough to part they talked about the contest. I kinda wanna try entering, but I want a male vocaloid and I suck at drawing guys…
        EDIT: Also I didn’t know Lily was an Internet Co.Ltd and Yamaha collab orzz. I’m such a fail Vocaloid fan :’D

  • I would like to participate… But heeh… drawing an anime girl (because im sure it wont be a male vocaloid), and winning, that will be hard, that is where anime artists are more developed into >_>

    Ishaan, if it’s possible could you put here the way to participate online here in english so i can get it better? xD, i understand some stuff but i dont know where does the design have to be sent… or maybe the button im looking for wont appear until they start accepting designs… duh.. -.-, well if i have time i will try to break my girl’s drawing skill limits and make something!

    • Kaito and Len are quite popular, you know… But no one can ever top Miku.

      I’d say if the design is interesting enough, even a male vocaloid could win

      • Yeah, but normally girls have more appeal in these stuff… Uhm… i don’t know… i mean… i think there are more chances to win if you do a good girl rather than a good guy, if you are into this stuff, i think you could understand xD.

        I don’t know >-<

        • Hmm… it probably depends on the design overall … problem with Vocaloid now, you really need a voice that fits into a missing niche (i.e. young girl voice, older girl voice, younger male voice etc.)

          Girls are more marketable in general, but if the voicebank or design is too similar to the other vocaloids, it might not sell well ..

          • What voice style do you think i should be more focused into? If i have time, the least thing i can do is give it a shot, even if is not as pro as other people, maybe the original part will help.
            I know the vocaloids that exist now, but i dont really know what kind of voice they represent…

            Edit: How about a relaxed kind of girl? Like the one that likes classical music or such, knows to play piano/violin and drinks tea in the afternoon xD stuff like that

          • Try doing a Yamanako Sawaka-ish character when she was in Death Devil. I don’t think there’s a rock themed vocaloid yet

            Edit: Sorry, there is SF-A2 Miki >_>

          • The Vocaloid franchise needs a LOT more Masaaki Endou style if you know him.

          • Don’t know him, but from some images from google i can see he is something around the rock and a touch of punk style? xD.
            What do you think of the style i talked about when i edited the post you replied too? is there a Vocaloid like that already?

          • Raioh, Masaaki Endoh vocaloid would make every vocaloid GAR. You don’t want to see a gar Miku, do you?

          • @Wildarms:
            I can’t remember every Vocaloid and their personalities, so don’t know if that one already exists, but I sure would like a classic music style one(together with every old british cliche there is xd) as a fan of it. :D

            I…I would be lying if I said no…..w-whatever, a GAR manly rock Vocaloid would be very welcome to me, and not just for the character, but because I want to use that version then. :P

          • Okay then, i will try that approach xD

          • Omg his songs reminds me to some animes dunno why xD, it would be cool to create a guy following his style… Uhmm… the problem is that i still can’t decide to wether do a dude or a girl… I think that making a girl would give more chances (and of course, more competence), since they are easier to “customize o.o” with all the style of clothes/hair/accsesories you can do, and as others had said, they are easy marketing material.
            I don’t have a problem with a guy, but it would be very simple compared to a girl, so it must be harder to get somewhere in a competition of this magnitude with a guy.

            What is your opinion over all of this o-O

          • I don’t follow Vocaloid closely enough to give you any good input, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have any Vocaloid that look like they’re capable of pulling off JAM Project songs.(Masaaki Endoh is part of this group, most of the Youtube links I gave you were solos) I’m not even sure if they can do it with the current engine they have now. I’m going through the Vocaloid wiki to see what exactly is missing now though.


            Edit: Oh, whoops. I didn’t notice the first link is a JAM Project live. I meant to show you his cover of Sorairo Days too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNhRljqvXL0

      • I did a musical themed character dude not much ago, is this one http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/art/Time-To-Change-the-Strings-189937014 But if you compare to a girl’s design, i dunno, it may end too dull, since girls can have more different clothes/accsesories/hairs/etc.

        This is what im trying to say xD (PS: this doesn’t apply to Square Enix, haha)

        • Uhuh, saw that design before. Isn’t that the one you feature on your deviantart front page? Needs moar belts, man. Belts everywhere

          • Haha yeah its there, lol i wanted to do it pretty simple xD, since it was a christmas gift for someone, is better to make it more simple because im not 100% sure of the person’s tastes, but i will take what you said for future works :P

      • Kaito and Len are popular in terms of character popularity, but not as much usage-wise. If you look at the rankings, it’s still dominated by the female vocaloids.

        • Well, I’d assume that when you design a Vocaloid, you start out with a very appealing design, and then work out the voice.

          About the rankings, oh well, I don’t have enough information about vocaloids to make my point :)

          • Well for the previous vocaloids, the voice banks were created first, then the design created, welll of course it’s not the same for this contest :P.

            It’s hard to predict what’ll be popular XD Like Lily is designed by KEI, so did Miku, Luka, Rin and Len but she did not become very popular, possibly because of her voicebank and lack of filling a niche (since people rather use Luka). GUMI’s original design turned off a lot of people, but she recently surged in popularity due to her unique voice and the work of talented producers. Then there’s Vocaloids whose designs don’t match the voice.. (LOL Iroha….)

            For rankings in general, you have a few producers who master using Kaito, but a few songs actually reach 100,000 views. (Same with Gakupo) Len is a lot more popular, and may be even more popular than Rin, but he still is less popular than Miku, Luka, and possibly Gumi

            EDIT: //// To puchinri: Crypton intentionally chose lesser known voice actors, not famous singers for their voice banks to create a “character voice”. Errr there’s a reason for it, you probably can look it up at the Vocaloid wiki.
            Internet Co.ltd. (Gakupo’s and Gumi’s developer) use famous singers however.

          • puchinri

            I was wondering how the actual voice supplier factors into it. My friends were debating Vocaloids somewhat recently, and I thought it was interesting that one would assume the girl who supplied Miku’s voice is more popular, but a lot of fans here don’t even know her, they just know Miku. But for Gumi and Gakupoid, both Megumi Nakajima and Gackt are already relatively if not very popular, but is it an equal thing where they’re more popular because of their voice and their voice brings the Vocaloid popularity, or just a one-way thing?

    • Working on it… I’m having Laura look at it since her Japanese is lightyears ahead of mine.

      • Of ours T_T, thanks a lot xD, and thank her for me too :P

        • Post updated. Hope that helps. :)

          • Yeah, thanks a lot! i was confused with that part ボカロ計画, i was looking for somewhere saying that but it seems it was just the tag haha xD, so i get that pixiv is a place to upload pictures, but details about where to send the link where you upload the picture are still not up?

            Again, thanks :P

          • Yea, nothing on Pixiv’s end yet. I expect they’ll have the details up once the contest actually kicks off. Glad to be of help!

  • Man I would love to draw one for this contest, but I’m so lazy it’s not even funny, I would probably forget the deadline too..shame as I have some quality ideas for a Vocaloid~ :/

  • God probably didn’t bestow me drawing skills because he knows I’ll design insane stuffs

    _| ̄|○

  • Oh man!
    I really would like to enter in this, but I’am not really much of an artist. :(
    And all of those Asians will make much better designs…

    • Yeah, it is so strangely natural for them to do so better designs, but now that i know some japanese, im sure that (either japanese or other asians), most of the times, is thanks to the writing they have to do, making the kanjis in perfect size towards each other, and with no extra line, or too much inclined, etc.

      All those kind of stuff surely help them a lot when it comes to drawing… Of course, practice always makes difference.

      • puchinri

        Hehe, it’s funny that you say that. My own kanji usually aren’t that great, but I’ve seen Americans that have the neatest kanji ever and some extremely messy kanji from some Japanese people.

        And it also reminded me of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class. In their print class or something, they were trying to get their kanji perfected, but I found it ironic that such great art students couldn’t manage clean kanji so well. x’D
        Albeit, kanji can be intense, so I find it awe-inspiring when anyone makes lovely kanji, whether or not they’re Japanese.

    • puchinri

      You can’t count everyone else out. I’ve seen some designs from South and Latin Americans and some European artists too that have pretty schway, stunning designs. My mind immediately went to pixiv, but then I remembered I’ve seen some great artists from other places in the world, some of which also have original Vocaloid designs. But I agree, the Japanese crowd especially would be the first and biggest competition, but thinking about it, if everyone is allowed, I can only imagine how many artists from all over the world are going to enter and bring in competition. I’m going to be amused and find it cool if someone not Asian (SE or East Asian) wins.

  • karasuKumo

    Challenge accepted! Already getting some ideas ^^.

    If only I could speak Japanese XD I guess Google Translate might work :S.

  • Zefux

    Sigh, if only I could draw nicely!

  • puchinri

    I’ve seen a lot of near professional Vocaloids in a lot of galleries and on a lot of art sites from everywhere, I’m the guessing the competition is going to be intense. I’m pretty sure pixiv had its own official and if not user done Vocaloid event before, so I wonder if people will use those again, or if Yamaha is also hosting this on the pixiv site.

    I’m not a fan of the Vocaloid music, but I like the designs (and the Nico Nico Chorus covers), so it would be fun to enter.

  • Croix


    I don’t care who wins (okay, that’s a lie, it will obviously be important), I just want to see ALL of the great designs people submit.

  • Guest

    How bout I just design a Prinny

  • 5parrowhawk

    I want to see someone design a Wakamoto vocaloid.

    It cannot possibly be anything less than glorious.

  • dusk
  • The huge and inheritly creative fanbase will make folowing this contest interesting.
    I like the idea of designing a new Vocaloid, though I’m in no way what one would call a fan. I’m also not much of an illustrator, so I’ll probably stick to looking at the submissions.

    Oh and they sure want a lot of personal data. The flood of data will make this a nice (and basically free) consumer survey.


  • so gonna like crazy!!!

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