Ring Suzune (lost unreleased VOCALOID voicebank; 2011-2012)
Ring Suzune is a Japanese-language voicebank that was announced for the VOCALOID3 singing synthesis software during its pre-release promotions. She was developed by the group Vocaloid Next. The release date of December 12th, 2011 was initially confirmed, but Ring ended up not being released on that date. A male counterpart named Hibiki Lui was also planned, although it is unlikely that development on Lui had ever even begun.
In 2011, the "Everyone's Vocaloid Project" contest was held, where people sent in potential designs for both Ring and Lui. Design submissions from both Asia and overseas were allowed in the contest. In May of 2011, the winning designs for Hibiki Lui and Ring Suzune had been decided upon and were later announced at VOCALOID Festa 02. It was also announced that MiKA from the band Daisy×Daisy would be the voice provider for Ring.
Ring had been set to be released in Winter of 2011, and was confirmed a VOCALOID3 voicebank, meaning that she would release no earlier than September. One demo song for Ring's voicebank was uploaded both to YouTube and the Japanese video sharing site niconico douga. It was later confirmed that Ring would be released on the 12th of December that year, however, Ring never ended up releasing on that date.
At VocaFarre in 2011, Suzuki Ryūji (鈴木龍道氏), the only known employee of VocaNext, talked about Ring and a rhythm game she was to star in, nicknamed "V・F・S". Footage of the game was shown. The game used the VOCALOID3 engine to render Ring's voice live, during gameplay.
In 2012, VocaNext picked up Ring's voicebank to continue development and improve upon it. They also brought Lui into it, stating that they planned to make him a VOCALOID as well. Auditions for Lui's voice provider were supposed to take place in 2012, but there have been claims that the auditions had never actually happened.
In February of 2012, a beta, trial version of Ring Suzune's voicebank was offered to the participants of "Vocaloid Network", a small-scale fan event that took place on March 11th, 2012. Only 18 fan groups showed up to the event. The voicebank was also supposed to be sent to anyone who was interested, although this never ended up happening. The trial voicebank only lasted a month.
In late 2013, VocaNext's website became inaccessible, leaving the status of Ring's development at a standstill, and the possibility of a proper release unknown, although very unlikely.
In late September 2014, a message was sent to PowerFX asking if they could resume the Ring and Lui project. PowerFX replied saying that they have already attempted to resume the project, but when they contacted YAMAHA, they were told that a release was not possible, although a reason as to why was not stated. Later, in 2015, an email was sent to YAMAHA, who stated that Ring could not be released because of "many obstacle[s]". Other companies have not yet been asked about or have revealed their curiosity in public.
PowerFX, in an email, confirmed that a new team has taken over PowerFX. In that same email, they said because of the change of management they will be discontinuing all development of all PowerFX Vocaloids. This confirms that Ring Suzune is forever abandoned.
Known or Potential Owners of the Trial
Japanese producer ShachihokoP produced two songs using the Ring trial. He had also made a post on his blog where he mentioned that he got a copy of Ring's demo. He has not posted any songs on either his niconico douga or YouTube since he posted the song "The Frozen World" on March 10, 2012. However, he is still somewhat active, as looking at his niconico page reveals that he has been watching and favoriting others' videos, so it might be possible to get in contact with him.
LambadaSK was also credited with tuning (or "vocal manipulation" as it was referred to) on ShachihokoP's song "The Frozen World," which would imply that they also would have a copy, as tuning for one VOCALOID voicebank likely will not work very well with other voicebanks.
Other possible trial owners would be people who worked on songs featuring Ring on the album Yakimochi Tokidoki Hare.
Known Songs Featuring Ring
The songs linked below are some of the only known songs made using Ring's official demo. There are several mixes on YouTube with a synthetic voice said to be Lui's, but it is very likely that these are fakes.
- Demo Reel
- 少女とメフィスト (Girl and Mephistopheles)
- Sweet Pain
- 幽閉カタルシス 秋ノ風 (Romantic Fall)
- RPG Syndrome
- 氷の世界 (The Frozen World)
- Happy Day!
- ヤキモチときどき晴れ (Yakimochi Tokidoki Hare)
- 夢みるむら娘 (Village Girl Dreaming)
- 深海 (Deep Sea)
- ハンドル握って / 幽閉カタルシス～南鎌倉高校女子自転車部～
- Ring Suzune and Lui Hibiki: Two New Vocaloids (Updated) Vocaloidism. Retrieved 11 May '17.
- VOCALOID情報を発信するイベント「ボカファーレ」開催. AV Watch. Retrieved 15 May '17.
- Post by x e y*. VocaloidOtaku. Retrieved 11 May '17.
- Post by Chickadee. VocaloidOtaku. Retrieved 11 May '17.
- リング・スズネの動画２件投稿しました. しゃちほこのDTM奮闘記. Retrieved 15 May '17.
- しゃちほこP's userpage. niconico. Retrieved 16 May '17.