Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cyberpunk Sunday 006 - Music and some of the technology behind it.

Let's talk a little bit about entertainment. Now while the base of most forms is pretty much the same as always: music, movies, book, etc the way it's being done is changing. Some of the changes are rather impressive. We'll look at music this time around. Also for a change of pace all my links in this edition of Cyberpunk Sunday are to Youtube videos, so turn up the sound or toss on your headphones.

First up let's look at music. Now the front man of a group is usually the person who is recognized by most people. They get the most camera time in the videos, they get more interviews and people remember their names. Now what happens when the front man isn't really a person at all? Enter Hatsune Miku, she isn't real, she's a hologram.

Here's some footage from one of 'her' concerts.

Hologram technology has really been taking off in some places. The ability to create a false 'front man' is just one of the many uses of it in the entertainment area. Plus in this particular field it can also prove to quite profitable, and that can lead to plenty of money being put into developing the tech even further. Another band that has used this is the Gorillaz. In the clip below you can really see now good they can be. They perform their normal routine until a certain point where Madonna rises up onto the stage and then walks around them at the 2:50 mark.

Notice how she doesn't show through from behind.

Now the holograms are impressive. But lets go back to Hatsune Miku for a second. Not only is she a hologram, but even her voice is artificial. She is powered by Yamaha's VOCALOID technology, which stand for Vocal + Android, and was developed by Crypton Future Media in Supporo, and released on August 31st, 2007. You can create some amazing human sounding voices with this software, complete pitch control and vocal stresses. There have been several different 'singers' that have been created using this mix of Vocaloid and hologram technology.

Here are two singing together.

Now onto somebody live on stage. House DJ's have reached a new level of popularity in recent years. Again, as with holograms, this is bringing money in and allowing them to put it into technological advances with their tools of the trade. The mixing table has been something that has really evolved over the years, starting with a couple of turn tables and a few slider controls to something that just looks completely cyberpunk.

Here's one...

and another.

With bands like Daft Punk, The Glitch Mob and many others driving the techno house musician style further into the mainstream their styles are becoming the future. How far will they reach, well that remains to be seen. But personally I think they fit more into the cyberpunk genre than what we thought about ten to fifteen years ago. Rockerboys are being replaced by one man sound machines.

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