Musicians offer virtual events

Darlenne Casas, Reporter

With the ongoing pandemic a lot of live events have been postponed or completely shifted to Virtual Events.

Even though it’s not the same experience, it gives people hope to see some events aren’t completely cancelled. Events like concerts haven’t really gotten the Virtual treatment yet, but instead many musicians have created live streams to sing some songs for their fans.

This brought the question up if concerts can work virtually? Perhaps that’s the reason why many people haven’t done it yet, that feeling of enjoying music with others or watching your favorites perform live can’t really be recreated, or can it?

There have been some people who did Virtual concerts already, many being K-pop idols such as BTS, TWICE and Black Pink etc. And they were all successful, fans being satisfied from the concerts and enjoying it. So, it’s already been done it’s not a new idea, but can virtual concerts replace going to concerts in person? Recreating or even creating a better experience for people to enjoy concerts at home without the hassle of going out and preparing. Perhaps it can if everything was virtual.

Hatsune Miku is virtual idol diva from Japan, her name meaning “the first sound of the future” in English. She is a vocal synthesizer program called VOCALOID, created Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Crypton Future Media. With her program you can make her sing and say phrases at different pitches and tones.

Using her voice from her voice provider Saki Fujita a famous Japanese voice actress , the program has voicebanks that alter her sounds and provide other languages she can sing in such as English. She became popular with people using her program to create songs which sparked a community and later a massive fanbase of VOCALOIDS. With her rise in popularity Hastune Miku has held concerts all over the world like Europe, Canada, Mexico, USA and many more.

Accompanying her are other VOCALOIDS such as Rin and Len Kagamine , Luka Megurine , Meiko and Kaito who are also VOCALOIDS you can purchase. There are many more VOACLOIDS but those 5 are the most popular and are shown with Miku the most. Their concerts are different from an average concert already, while your packed in a stadium with other Miku fans you’re watching a screen.

The Band that plays at their concerts; MKP39 provide the music, Miku and her friends perform and interact with the fans. While it seems bizarre its interesting to see how far technology has come, some concerts of other VOCALOIDS use holograms instead of the screen making it more interactive and life like for the fans. But a lot of Mikus events such as Miku Expo, Magical Mira and Concerts have been moved to Virtual events, instead of performing in packed stadiums Miku and MKP39 would perform in an empty stadiums as they livestream it to the fans.

The key differences here is how Miku and her friends are shown. She’s not on a screen anymore but instead among the band members performing, giving her a more lifelike look like the holograms would do. Hastune Miku had her most recent concert be a AR concert called MIKU WITH YOU 2020 Online in China using AR technology in December of last year , You can livestream and watch her performances as she dances and sing among the band performers.

Already with the popularity of Hastune Miku and other VOCALOIDS raised the question of needing real idols, why not just use Virtual idols? Why go to concerts when they can be virtual? Hastune Miku has shown the full potential of having Virtual concerts and being a Virtual Idol, using CGI and AR technology to fully enhance the concert experience at home.

Before the Pandemic her concerts were already heavily technology based, creating the animation for her dances, tuning her voice to sing songs and in some cases like her Annual events like Magical Mira, create new outfit models and songs to perform in. But her Virtual concerts bring it to another level , its more interactive , you can choose the angles to see her perform in , she’s not limited to a screen anymore but can move freely and interact with anything around her.

While the Pandemic still here , not all hope is lost for events we were excited to go to , If Hastune Miku perfected the formula for virtual concerts then it’s possible to hope for other Musicians or Creators to take inspiration from it and have virtual concerts/events as polished as hers are. Will virtual concerts replace concerts? It depends while they look more animated and fun there’s still that gap between watching it live and watching it on a screen in your home. But for now virtual concerts can gives us something look forward to and enjoy.