In many ways, Hatsune Miku is a typical teenage pop star. She is a popular performer in Japan with her own signature style and she sings regularly to large, excited crowds. But unlike other pop stars, Hatsune Miku is a computer-generated image and synthesized voice.
Because of its popularity, many Hatsune Miku live events have taken place since 2009. Tokyo-based MAGES Inc. regularly hosts one of the bigger ones, the “Hatsune Miku Live Party,” also popularly known as “MIKUPA.” To stage the MIKUPA event, MAGES uses Blackmagic Design’s UltraStudio 3D capture and playback device and HyperDeck Studio SSD recorder and player.
Yohsuke Ikuta, system designer at MAGES, explains that for a concert, he connects an Apple MacBook Pro with Blackmagic Design’s Media Express software to UltraStudio 3D via a Thunderbolt cable to output video and audio. The video is sent to a switcher via HD-SDI and then to a projector to be displayed on the screen, while the audio is sent to Avid Pro Tools to sync up. Four HyperDeck Studio units are used for the event; two of the four serve as backup players.
“I was surprised by how simple the system is to do this job. All masters come from the Media Express software,” explains Ikuta. “The main feeds are from the UltraStudio 3D, fed by Media Express on a Mac, and the HyperDeck Studio plays backup video so that if something unexpected happens, such as computer trouble, we can switch to the backup feed.”