Those who follow VNN’s articles have likely seen links to VocaDB with little tool tips that appear on hover. However, many may not know just how expansive VocaDB’s database is and how useful it can be for even the average fan.
What is VocaDB?
VocaDB is a giant information database for everything related to music in VOCALOID, UTAU, and more. Not only that but also anyone can add songs and links to the database. Find a song that isn’t on there and know the original source, producer, or any other information? Entry already added but is missing information and know where to find it? Then you can add it yourself.
VNN works with VocaDB to share the incredible resource that we often use for finding songs, producers, and even original uploads of videos. It’s an indispensable tool with so much information just a few clicks away.
How it Works
VocaDB’s database grows with the contributions of fans. You can add artists, producers, albums, songs, and even events or companies to the database and fill them with all the information you know. Artist and producer pages link to all the works those people or vocal synths have been featured in as well as albums they made or were featured in. Song pages link to the artist(s) and producer(s) involved in the song as well as any albums the song was on.
And all of this is searchable! Say you love “Reload,” the newest song by out of service and DANTZ featuring IA and ONE. You can find the song on VocaDB, the producers, and even the VOCALOID and CeVIO used! From there, you can look at the works featuring IA and ONE if you happen to like their voices or, if you like the producers, you can find more works from them, too!
Let’s say you found a song on YouTube that you absolutely love. Since we’re on an IA kick, let’s use “Setsuna Drive” as an example.
Now you know the song’s on YouTube, which is great. But IA’s channel uploads stuff from TONS of different artists and you want to find just more work from this specific artist.
You can put the Japanese (“セツナドライブ”) OR the English (“Setsuna Drive”) name into VocaDB and it’ll appear.
But we want the IA ROCKS cover so that’s what we’ll click.
Now we’re hit with a plethora of information!
We learn the producer is 滝善充 and we can go to his page to see all his works with vocal synths.
And if we want to buy this song, we actually have a few albums we can look into as well.
The first album IA ROCKS leads to a page informing us that it came as a bonus with the IA ROCKS software. If you want to buy IA ROCKS at this point, there you go. Otherwise, we need to move onto the next album. Guitar magazine presents SUPER GUITARISTS meets IA looks a lot more promising.
See those “Official Links?” That’s where any official website for the album will be along with official ways to purchase the album. (You won’t find anything pirated on VocaDB. Support the artists, guys!) These links aren’t updated when the product goes out of stock, so you may have to do a bit of hunting.
For the physical version, it looks like international buyers have a chance at Amazon Japan and CDJapan. Or, if you just want a digital download right now, you can grab it off of iTunes in the United States or Japan.
But of course you don’t want to buy the whole album for one song. VocaDB’s got your back again with the full track list including links to the songs and even the crossfade.
From here, you can make a decision on whether you want to purchase the full album or if you’re just going to grab the “Setsuna Drive” cover from iTunes.
But That’s Not All!
Remember how I said we can look into the producer as well? Well, let’s head on over to his page and check him out!
Here we can see albums that his songs have been featured in (even covers!) as well as his recent songs and PVs. He doesn’t have much to his name in the vocal synth world, sadly. But hey, there’s a cover album of Setsuna Plus featuring 22 songs for free! 22 versions of the song featuring different VOCALOIDs, so there’s something for those who REALLY love the song.
You may have noticed that we’re not specifically using the term “VOCALOID” when referring to the synth artists on VocaDB. This is because VOCALOIDs are actually outnumbered by the vast amount of different synths you can search! We have UTAUs like Kasane Teto and Daisy Hapyon, Sharpkey vocals Huan Xiaoyi and Kiana, Alter/Ego ALYS, chipspeech vocals, VOCALINA, CeVIO, Voiceroid, and a ton of other vocal synths.
Even if you’re not a VOCALOID fan and happen to like other synths, VocaDB still works for you.
As you may have noticed from that previous paragraph, there are tags on VocaDB as well.
As mentioned earlier, you can search for artists (producers, vocal synths, animators, etc.), songs, albums, and a lot more. But now we’re looking specifically at searching tags because these things are amazing. Now, I love jazz and I love vocal synths, so of course I want to see what kind of beautiful crossovers we have out there!
When you search a word that’s in multiple entries, you’ll have all those entries to pick from. This is where advanced search can become incredibly useful. Thankfully, narrowing down the search to just “Tags” was enough for me to find the jazz tag no problem.
There are 1,008 entries total consisting of 27 artists, 45 albums, and 936 songs. If you scroll down, you can see the top members of each category. I’ll spare you all of the screenshots and let you check them out here.
Needless to say, all those songs are way too many to go through. I mean, I could, but I want ones I can listen to (album exclusives are listed on VocaDB), and with voices I like.
So onto advanced searching!
There are a few ways to do the advanced search. If you’re looking for something in a tag, like the jazz tag we’re already in, you can press the “All Artists,” “All Songs,” or “All Albums” button depending on what you want and it will automatically run the the main search for you. This seems to work better than trying to advance search the other way using tags as that search gave me less than 30 results. I pressed “All Songs” for this one.
Of course, this is way too many entries to skim through, so let’s narrow these down. You’ll see I can add artists, search for songs within a time frame, and even decide on what kind of song(s) I want to look for. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to look for the jazz remix I’m listening to as I’m writing this. (Side note: Baguettes Ensemble is one of the best vocajazz artists out there. I actually forgot about them as they were most active all the way back in 2010, but VocaDB is just SO good at helping you find lost artists you loved but forgot about.)
Here’s a quick run-down of the terms used in “Song Type”:
- “Original Song”: A 100% original song.
- “Remaster”: An original song updated/remastered. Think of an old movie being remade for Blu-Ray.
- “Remix”: A song based on an original but not using the original instrumental in its original format. This is what we’re looking for when we want jazz versions of original songs. A remix is anything from jazz and orchestra covers to those nightcore remixes you can find all over YouTube.
- “Cover”: A song using the instrumental of an original with a different vocalist.
- “Instrumental”: A song with no vocalist.
- “Mashup”: More than one song put together.
- “Music PV”: Songs with a promotional video
- “Drama PV”: Not usually songs, just little skits.
- “Other”: Anything that doesn’t fit in the other categories.
Now we’re going to look for jazz songs featuring IA. Note that the “Artists” section is exclusive, not inclusive. So if I were to enter “IA” and “IA ROCKS,” it would look for songs that include both of the banks in them, not one or the other.
These are all of the entries that match the criteria! I’m listening to a jazz arrange of “daze,” by the way.
Other Advanced Searches
Of course, the advanced search feature is a lot more than just finding songs from a certain genre. To do a new advanced search, click the magnifying glass on the search bar when the bar is empty.
Now you can click the buttons around and search for albums, songs, artists, and more. The song search works pretty much the way shown above, so we’ll do an album search this time.
We may as well keep going with this IA spree. Let’s search up albums featuring IA, but I also want albums featuring the producer Jin.
There are six original albums featuring IA and Jin!
The possibilities of advanced search are endless. However, as we mentioned before, VocaDB is created by the community, so be sure to add information if you have it! Together, we can make VocaDB even bigger!
Other Useful Things
Besides the obvious, VocaDB also has quite a few other features that make life so much easier, especially in the days of copyright take-downs and YouTube Red. For example, as of the time this article was written, any country with YouTube Red can’t view doriko‘s songs on YouTube. You get that lovely “This video isn’t available in your country” message. Germany also has quite strict copyright laws that block a lot of YouTube videos as well.
But VocaDB links to ALL official uploads and even allows you to “Follow” an artist’s page for updates.
These official upload links are also embedded videos! So if you’d love to listen to “Myself≒Yourself” but don’t have an NND account, there’s no problem! Simply choose the NND upload on VocaDB and you can watch it embedded in the website.
Do note that some NND videos have embedding turned off, so you may have to make an account there depending on the artists you listen to.
You can also choose to simply follow the producer on NND via the link to their account and you can even follow their linked social media for updates, should you choose!
Following this, you can create lists of songs you love and use VocaDB as a playlist instead of relying on one single platform. If the song is deleted from one website and not another, VocaDB will simply switch to play from a different website when that song comes up.
VocaDB is always improving and adding new features as well as upgrading old ones. With the help of the community, VocaDB can continue to be the premier place for all your vocal synth needs. If you’re interested in helping out, feel free to create an account, read over the guidelines, and jump right in.