The death of CV Series' cliche in voicesynth designs

mahalisyarifuddin

Passionate Fan
Apr 9, 2018
133
23
Palembang, Indonesia
Just a late night random thought.

I'm first introduced into the Vocaloid world in my junior high school phase. Years and years I only cared about the music people created using the software and the characters, and also tried the software by myself to make covers. Until I entered the Utau rabbit hole in my early 20s, and noticed the interesting trends, especially about voicesynth designs.

It's no doubt. Hatsune Miku. A phenomenal success. Fans, companies, virtually everyone and their mother wants to be her. The birth of Utau is also influenced by her. The "mascot" design of voice libraries made for Vocaloid and Utau in the era more or less inspired by Miku-like design cues, some of us called it as "Miku formula" or "KEI formula", but I now prefer to call it "CV Series' cliche" or "the Crypton cliche". Shiny, neon, bichromatic color schemes, headphones, ties, shirts, detached sleeves, belts, boots, FM synthesizer components, speaker components, or just electronic components in general. It kinda feels like "this is the representation of the future powered by the cutting-edge technologies". The concept of "singing computers", albeit originated from the previous century, was considered grotesque, and that also help the cliche. The cliche have been used by many for years to come.

Fast forward to the current era. Except Crypton themselves, virtually everyone ditched the cliche and they just going wild in designing the "mascot" of their voice libraries. Lots of variations of the aesthetics. From the very generic schoolgirl outfits, casual fashions, to the extremely spooky looks and feels.

I don't even know when the trend of using the CV Series' cliche began to fade, but I can guess that: people were bored; the cliche was rather limit the vision/creativity; and, urgh, the plagiarism accusations.

So, yeah. There you have it. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. And good night.
 
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nalondollie

the-ghost-of-a-cyber-princess
It really is funny to think back to when I was younger and felt that the CV Series style was the absolute peak of character design lol (and to be honest, it is, albeit a bit dated by today's standards).

Sorta makes me wonder what the next big "formula" will be, or if there already is one that I'm not taking to time to recognize at the moment.

For real though, the way standards and tastes in design philosophies change over time is endlessly interesting in my opinion, especially in this area.
 

Blue Of Mind

The world that I do not know...
Apr 8, 2018
513
Britain
I think some elements of the Crypton formula are still around today (knee to thigh high socks and boots, detached sleeves, a general futuristic vibe etc.), but on the whole, I'm glad companies are trying out new character designs that break away from the Crypton/Miku mold.
 

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
472
The Lightning Strike
This got me thinking: what is the new trend in vocal synth designs?

We've moved away from sci-fi, into an ironic period where the future is old fashioned. I think designs have diverged down two distinct paths: one moving more heavily towards schoolgirl aesthetics, using fairly realistic uniforms (Aiko, Rikka and co.) and another towards exaggerated party dress (M5 girls, Eleanor Forte).

The most obvious representation of this is Maki and Yukari, whose companies have decided to cash in on both trends, giving them each a design that caters to one of these aesthetics.

 

patuk

The typo queen
Oct 8, 2019
1,215
When you mention the CV formula/cliche people's thoughts jump to kids in the early 2010s making uninspired designs based on the cryptonloids but the CFM-loids are objectively very well designed and it's the flexibility of said designs that's one of the reasons why they're so good, therefore, in hands of competent designers, the CV formula can take on many shapes and forms and can be found places where you would least expect it ( technically Big Al follows it ) and imo, it continues to this day, just taking on more varied forms.

Edit:
point in case, Eleanor is pretty much monochrome Miku with extra clutter on

1631634459584.png

and I could point to more "Miku tropes" she follows ( absolute territory, twintails, technically detached sleeves )

but Eleanor is not the only recent example I could name and Eleanor is definitely not a Miku clone, she has her own aesthetics that are unique to her, as I said, the CV formula is flexible.
 
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Nokone Miku

Aspiring Lyricist/Producer
Jul 14, 2021
41
www.youtube.com
I think the target demographic had something to do with it. Back in 2007 music production equipment and software packages were less accessible. So the designs were meant to appeal to those in the music industry or people who had a home studio setup. I think it's fair to say that a lot of those people, especially in Japan, would find the futuristic aesthetic appealing.

Today a person can produce music with nothing but a laptop and maybe a good USB microphone. So there are a lot of hobbyists and thus a much wider and varied customer base. We see a lot more contemporary pop idol designs and fantastical designs. I also think they put more thought into making an avatar that matches the style of voice, or the style of music the voicebank is oriented toward.

The hi-tech aesthetic was also influenced by music production hardware. Miku herself was based on the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. As the hardware became less prevalent and things moved to software, so did the tech and hardware oriented designs.
 

peaches2217

I write mediocre OliLen fanfiction.
Sep 11, 2019
1,576
24
Arklahoma
When you mention the CV formula/cliche people's thoughts jump to kids in the early 2010s making uninspired designs based on the cryptonloids but the CFM-loids are objectively very well designed and it's the flexibility of said designs that's one of the reasons why they're so good, therefore, in hands of competent designers, the CV formula can take on many shapes and forms and can be found places where you would least expect it ( technically Big Al follows it ) and imo, it continues to this day, just taking on more varied forms.

Edit:
point in case, Eleanor is pretty much monochrome Miku with extra clutter on

View attachment 5545

and I could point to more "Miku tropes" she follows ( absolute territory, twintails, technically detached sleeves )

but Eleanor is not the only recent example I could name and Eleanor is definitely not a Miku clone, she has her own aesthetics that are unique to her, as I said, the CV formula is flexible.
Yeah, honestly, I’ve never considered it dead at all, or even a cliche outside of low-quality Utaus, just rebranded and executed in ways that don’t mimic one another.
 
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