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How much does a voice synth's design matter to you?

How much does a voice synth's design matter to you?

  • Not at all, I only care about the voice

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • A little, but I mostly care about the voice

    Votes: 21 53.8%
  • Just as much as the voice

    Votes: 13 33.3%
  • A lot, but I do care about the voice a little

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Completely, I don't even care about the voice

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    39

cafenurse

Still misses Anri Rune
Apr 8, 2018
1,571
19
USA
I'm curious to know how much a design matters for you!

I do care about the voice more, but I won't deny that the design does influence how I feel about the voice synth. (Unless theyre designless, I dont think any less of a designless vocaloid. I sometimes which loids would be designless as opposed to really poorly designed!)
 

peaches2217

I write mediocre OliLen fanfiction.
Sep 11, 2019
1,257
23
Arklahoma
The voice is usually the biggest influence for me, but the design is what draws me in in the first place. I'm guilty of not developing an interest in good vocals until way later because I didn't like their designs.
 
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Kazumimi

Spreader of Tei propaganda
Staff member
Moderator
Sep 21, 2019
1,125
www.robocheatsy.com
I care most about the voice, but a good design helps draw me in. It's kind of like how advertisements are made to be eye-catching, or how magazines use large text on the cover.

Good examples for me, personally, are Merli and Sukone Tei. I never would have bothered to take a look at either of their voices until I saw their designs and they caught my eye. Merli because she had a cool, mysterious design, and Tei because I thought she looked cute and pretty. They've both really grown on me since!
 

Overcast Immortal

Budding producer
Dec 4, 2018
65
USA
www.youtube.com
... I'm guilty of not developing an interest in good vocals until way later because I didn't like their designs.
This has happened to me several times. For many months after becoming a Vocaloid fan, I didn't like or pay any attention to Dex, Daina, Fukase, Maika, Lily, Big Al, Merli and probably several others, just because I didn't like their designs. Oddly I now like their designs and I really like their voices.

I sometimes even to this day like the voice but not the design, such as with Rin, Len, Kaito, Kokone, Sweet Ann. These designs haven't grown on me despite coming to like their voices. It is however rare that I like the design but not the voice, like with Akaza (one of the two designs of Unity-chan).

I voted that the design affects my opinion a little bit. I think the voice means more to me, and when I like the voice, I also am more likely to appreciate the design.
 
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patuk

The typo queen
Oct 8, 2019
803
I wanna say that voice is the most important aspect and I only focus on that but I would be lying if I said the design has zero influence on what I think of the loid. There are utaus that have borderline fetish designs and it kinda ruins the experience. Vocaloids ( and other paid synths ) are however commercial products so...that doesn't really happen there for me and their character designs range from ok to pretty great. Hovewer I noticed many vocaloids have pretty wonky artwork, I can't unsee that when I notice it. :teto_lili:
 
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Tema

Longtime Listener
Apr 8, 2018
273
30
US
I wanted to say not at all but I don't think that's 100% true so I went with a little bit. As much as the nerd in me wants to be unbiased rofl

It's kind of like how advertisements are made to be eye-catching
^^ Pretty much this. When I read this it came to me that I basically see designs as ads. There have been a fair share of new UTAU I've checked out just because I saw fan art or cover art that looked cool. I don't think I've ever really ignored or disliked a voicebank because of the design though. Except maybe V3 Nana English hEH
 
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uncreepy

🎃
Apr 9, 2018
1,388
USA
My opinion might be kind of mean/controversial, but I think it's basically impossible for most music fans (of both humans and vocal synths) to NOT care about the appearance of the singer. Like, I think it's natural that if you become a fan of a singer's voice that you become curious what they look like because you want to learn more about them.

Imagine you are a fan of a human singer and finally Google what they look like and to your horror, they look just plain weird! (In your humble opinion.) Like... green 7 ft tall hair, one single diamond-encrusted tooth, a big tattoo on their forehead that says "MuNNie$" on it, they wear backwards clothes for some reason... Don't you think having your mental image of them "shattered" affect your feelings as soon as you hear a song by them, even if they were super awesome until you Googled them? They probably seem a lot less cool now.
They say that people become fans of bands/musicians because their image (clothes, attitude) and message reverberate with you (for example, a band that is considered slightly "hokey" by being extremely patriotic in the middle of every single concert by asking veterans to stand up followed by a "God Bless America" cover, but you just eat that stuff up and are part of their "fan army" that has a cool name).

So, back to vocal synths. I feel like it's hard to care about a vocal when you are presented with a sterile software cover that has NOTHING to base the singer's attitude/image off (like VY1, VY2, Leon, Lola). How are you supposed to know if the vocal will jive with the type of music you want to produce? Just by reading the specs and hoping it'll work out?
Another difficult situation is being presented with very questionable box art that doesn't scream "super cool" (ex: Gachapoid, Sweet Ann). Personally, I like to draw and can do design tweaks for Vocaloids, so I guess even if the official art is "oogly" I could fix it to my liking. But I think that EVERYONE likes a cool music video to go along with the singing (fans and producers). If you drew something really ugly for the music video, it would be like the 7 ft tall green haired diamond tooth singer I mentioned earlier, no one would want to sit through that type of video, now would they?

I guess it comes down to art/music for the sake of art OR "I want to make money". If you don't care about your image or how people perceive it, fine, make whatever or use whatever questionable box art to promote it and just release it into the wild, what happens happens. Just don't expect people to relate to it or come flocking to it.
But if you want to promote your work with the goal of making money, you have to be flashy and try to catch the attention of people who will relate to the character and want to learn more. That's just how it works in show business.
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
1,449
For me, a synth's voice is always going to be the most important thing. But the design matters, too. Generally, the synths I buy have to 1) have a good voice with a sound/language I can use, and 2) have a design with which I can feel some connection/that makes me think I'd get along with them and enjoy working with them. The latter point is whimsical, but that acknowledged illusion is part of the fun of working with a vocal synth that has a design.

The voice can overcome my perceived design deficiencies, though, so sometimes I've purchased designs that I find less than expressive. On the other hand, I don't have much interest in VBs whose design is completely sterile.
 

Prism

Hardcore Fan
Jul 18, 2019
284
I may have a unique view on this. I buy my vocaloids just on the voice. I tend to like vague design vocaloids like Zola or vy1&2 or any English vocaloid before sonika because as a artist you aren't tied down to a image or a perceived style and it's all on the voice and you have some freedom. I do see a issue that fans have trouble depicting it in other media because it's different to everyone just look at the English v1s. I do see in other areas like merchandise where the voice is gone the importance of designs like I prefer gacktpoid voice but I prefer kaitos design so I would buy more merchandise of kaito. I do find designs changing my bias to Japanese vocaloids the most probably because they are more solidified. But I don't think it's can be all about the design because of vocaloids like Chika.
 
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TheStarPalace

Likes Engloids way too much
Apr 8, 2018
327
The voice is what I get attached to first and foremost, and I really love designless vocaloids but I wouldn;t want all of them to lack designs. Designs can make me think more favorably of a vocaloid ( i remember flipping out when I heard miwasiba was designing V4 flower and the Meikas) but at the end of the day theyre software to me
 
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hamano

ミクさんマジ天使
Staff member
Moderator
Apr 8, 2018
1,294
27
Finland
mobile.twitter.com
For me, the appearance of the character is just as important as the voice. However, overall importance of a design depends on the vocaloid. If you think about Miku or the other Cryptonloids for example, they'd never be as popular as they are if they didn't have visual appearances. They're virtual idols who perform in live shows, have a ton of merch of them (Miku especially), do promotion collabs with various other companies and brands, not to mention all the fanart, MMD etc. If they had no visual character designs all this wouldn't exist.

A good visual design helps to spark interest among potential software users, and especially it helps in building a large fanbase. And what fans want is a visual representation they can relate to. More fans in return helps bring more buyers for the software, so from an income point of view, a design is very important, plus there's other merchandising that generates further income and helps spread awareness of the character/product in question even more.
This does depend on the chosen marketing strategy though. Some companies may want to cater to a different demography, like musicians who, for one reason or another, might not want to be associated too closely with the community that could be called weeby, by using a voice synth with a well-known anime-like design.

On the other end of the spectrum are designless voice synths that are essentially meant to be just instruments and nothing more. My personal opinion on designless voices is that they feel distant just an instrument with no grasping point. The middle ground is where I might say the voice is slightly more important than visual design. By middle ground I mean the voice synths that utilize the character design only as box art, with no intention to branch out to merchandising or use the design in larger scale promotional purposes.
 

BLANAero

Watakushi, Aero de gozaimasu!
Apr 8, 2018
112
Montréal, Canada
The design is really important for me I think. I’ve cosplayed as 2 different Kaitos, Len, Flower, so I felt that their design was so good I wanted to do them. It’s why I got into Vocaloid in the first place. If Flower only had V3, I wouldn’t even had bothered looking her up. However, the voice is really important too. Like I love Kokone’s design, but her voice is pretty meh in my opinion, same thing with Yukari. IA has also a really good design, but she often sounds similar. Those are Vocaloid that I don’t really care about now. My favorite vocaloid are those that have a distinct voice and a good design(Flower, Una, Kagamines, Kaito) Like if you take Gachapo and Nemu, I would have said that I disliked Gachapo’s voice but that Nemu’s ok, but when I went to check covers with both of them, I couldn’t even differentiate them, they sounded too similar. So I do think design dictates my choice.
Now Vocaloid that I don’t like the design but the voice are like Fukase, but I can just go and listen to Sekai no Owari and it feels the same, Sachiko, but nobody uses her, The Zola boys and VY2, but like they have only 2 songs too. piko, same. Piko the dude is even cooler anyways.
The amount of usage is quite important too but that’s another topic
 
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Azukiii

Galaco's stalker
Mar 16, 2019
13
Honestly, the design couldn't matter less to me, considering the whole point of geting a vocaloid for me is the voice that is appealing to me and is why I get them in the first place, But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a nice design like Sachiko or Mew. I also think the designless vocaloids have a certain appeal to them that makes them interesting and stand out but that's just me
 

First Sound Future

Passionate Fan
Apr 8, 2018
140
I personally feel like a voice synth's design is as important as their voice. There are voice synths whose voice I sometimes do like listening to but I don't call them my favorites since they don't have a design that I would really "connect to" but there's also synths that have cool designs yet their voices aren't something to write home about (to me, at least). However I do think it is actually the design that catches people's attention the most and makes a Synth memorable, especially now when there are so many of them and some even sound familiar to each other.
 
For me, while having a beautiful design is nice, I actually quite like more simple designs as well. Not quite to the extent of LEON and LOLA, but I've always been a fan of Miriam's box art. It seems to give me an idea of what she would sound like. And if I don't like the design, I can always count on some artists to make fan art of it, like in Sweet ANN's case. So if it's pleasing to the eye, that's really just a bonus to the VOCALOID.
 

Krin

pretending it's 2012 again
Feb 28, 2019
160
For me, while having a beautiful design is nice, I actually quite like more simple designs as well. Not quite to the extent of LEON and LOLA, but I've always been a fan of Miriam's box art. It seems to give me an idea of what she would sound like. And if I don't like the design, I can always count on some artists to make fan art of it, like in Sweet ANN's case. So if it's pleasing to the eye, that's really just a bonus to the VOCALOID.
I have the same feelings in terms of "voice VS design." for me atleast, i've never really fretted over design and instead pay more attention to how the voice sounds. although I'll admit I LOVE Mayu's design and colour scheme, imho her voice is just EW. (unpopuar opinions??)

as a counter example, I bought Daina a few months ago and absolutely love her tone. however her design... ears? okay, kinda cringy but she's still a qt. but that f*ing tail can go burn. a lil too furry-esque for my taste :0
(hate to bring up UTAU in a Vocaloid discussion BUT I've got same feelings toward Ruko; weird design but their male voices by far tops any Vocaloid.)

good thing we've got Luka who's got the best of both worlds!! queen
 

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
333
The Lightning Strike
I think it depends on how invested you are in the characters. I've yet to see a Vocaloid that really appeals to me visually, so right now I'm all about the voices. However, I believe that within every 'meh' design there is one I would love. Artists often create twists on the characters that make me enjoy them more than when I first saw their boxart, sometimes just by changing the pose and expression.
Overall, I listen to songs in a different tab, so the artwork doesn't matter. :clara_ani_lili:
 

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