Zero-G Interview: Dom Keefe (Vocaloid Production)

(Picture done by Crossfrown)

I’m happy to announce that I was lucky enough to get an interview with Zero-G. Under the cut the company talks about the development of Sonika, plans for their older Vocaloids, as well as talk at bit about Tonio.

1.How did you and your company get involved with making Vocaloids?

We were approached by Yamaha. When they first decided to create Vocaloid they asked 3 or 4 companies to make voices for it and Crypton and ourselves were the only ones that actually went through the whole process to create end-products.

2. Would you mind telling me about the development of Vocaloid Sonika?

Prior to Sonika we’d really recorded quite serious professional artists. So for Sonika we decided to something quite frivolous. A young girl who could sing but was not a professional artist. We wanted her to have a freshness and innocence that you do’t get with a professional singer. We found someone who fitted the bill and recorded her over a number of months. Then it was the usual months of tedious programming before we ended up with finished product.

3. Anyone with with eyes can see that Zero-G has been getting more active with the Vocaloid fanbase. Please tell me your thoughts on what you think about the Vocaloid Fandom so far?

I think they are great. They are obviously passionate about their Vocaloid and I love people who have passion. They are very knowledgable but also very critical. We’ve been stung a few times!! But it’s good that they don’t hold back – we need to learn where we’ve gone wrong as well as what we have done well so we can get better and improve our Vocaloid products.

4.Zero-G seems to be putting a lot of effort into promoting Sonika. Do you and your company plan on doing the same for the Vocaloids you have produced in the past?

We have started selling the old Vocaloids Lola, Leon and Miriam online at and there may be some new artwork for them in the future!

5.How do you feel about the negative feedback that was received from the Vocaloid community about Sonika’s new look?

There’s been some positive feedback as well, but we can understand that the Vocaloid community hold all the Vocaloids dear to them and feel that they own them in some respect so we expected some negative feedback. When we saw the new image by Mario we were so overwhelmed by how beautiful it was that we felt it had to be the new box art for Sonika. Besides the old box-art was never that popular.

6.Do you plan on changing the box-art of any of your other Vocaloids?

As I said before, we may do for the old Vocaloids but not for Prima. She will always be who she is and Tonio (the new male classical singer to be released in February) will have similar box-art to Prima as he is a kind of partner product to Prima.

7.There have been several complaints about Sonika’s English in the community. As such, a lot of people have been asking for a Act. 2/upgrade version of Sonika’s voice bank. Does the company plan on updating Sonika’s voice bank anytime soon?

That would be very difficult to implement unfortunately. There is no way to update the voice bank without completely re-doing the whole database which would take months and would then be very difficult to distribute.

8. Vocaloid Miriam’s voice was given to her by famous singer Miriam Stockley. In the future, do you plan on using more British artists voices to help create Zero-G’s Vocaloids?

We’d really like to create a Vocaloid of someone very famous. We have some names in mind but we’ll have to wait and find out if they are interested in collaborating with us. We’ll let you know first if we can pursuade them.

9. Speaking about voice actors, do you mind given us the names of the people who contribute their voices to help created the company’s earlier Vocaloids?

I’m sorry we are not allowed to contractually.

10.Do you have any Vocaloid news or plans in the future that you would like to discuss now?

As I mentioned before Vocaloid2 Tonio will be released in February. He is a male classical singer with a range from Baritone to Tenor. He has a lot of character and I think the Vocaloid community will be pleased with the clarity of his voice. But he’s not a typical Vocaloid voice – he’s a partner to Prima and he’ll be popular with Prima users who on the whole are more into classical music. After Tonio there will be another voice this year but we are still in discussions about who that will be. Also, we would love the Vocaloid community to give us their suggestions for voices they would like in the future, just email us at

Thank you for taken the time to doing this interview. I and I’m pretty sure most of the people who view this blog really appreciate it.

That’s okay. Thanks for your interest in our work!,

12 Responses to “Zero-G Interview: Dom Keefe (Vocaloid Production)”

  1. Zero-G Interview: Dom Keefe (Vocaloid Production) « Engloids's Blog Zero Me Says:

    […] post:  Zero-G Interview: Dom Keefe (Vocaloid Production) « Engloids's Blog tags: after-tonio, another-voice, are-more, are-still, prima, tonio, vocaloid, voice, year […]

  2. Zenoxy Says:

    Sweet!I’ve been waiting for hard hitting news like this, thanks! ❤

    Too bad about the upgrade, but I have some new respect for Sonika.
    As for Prima, well darn. Was hoping she would get some poster art lovin', same for Tonio! I wonder how he might be implemented in the comics (Sonika's, and if it will still be going on)

  3. Crossfrown Says:

    Rerecord the entire thing. I don’t care about how many months, please god just do it DO IT DO IT.

    *smashes head against wall*

    • Zenoxy Says:

      Is it truly that bad? (oh who am I kidding?)

      I try to think of Sonika as the one ultimate test of the Vocaloid wall that only the most professional of Vocaloid users can actually break/jump.

      The clearer she sounds the better your ability to tame the raging diva of song XD

      She certainly does have a fresh voice, but damn phonetics and computer programming really makes it hard to match the actual human voice to piano roll midi style D;

      • Crossfrown Says:

        I like how she sounds perfectly fine when you crank her gender factor down to a voice of an eight-year-old.


        her @U is absolutely painful to listen to no matter what. JUST THE VOWELS IS OKAY, GUYS. PLEASE. ;_________;

  4. Aline Says:

    It’s better for Prima and Tonio do not really receive new boxarts, as they’re immensely popular with professionals as well (it’s less costly to buy Prima than to hire opera singers, remember; many songs that use opera vocals in the BG may have used Prima). New boxarts with “edgy” designs would only drive away these customers, who prefer a more refined look.

  5. Interview With Zero-G’s Dom Keefe (Vocaloid Production) | Vocaloidism Says:

    […] source: Engloids’ Blog February 3rd, 2010 | Author: DT | Category: VOCALOID General, VOCALOID News | 3499Leave a […]

  6. nekochik Says:

    omg imagine something like madonna’s vocaloid xD

  7. LaLa Says:

    I like Prima’s and Tonio’s box art they’re elegnt and they cn appeal to other people who would rather no use one with a cartoon drawn on the front.

    I hope they don’t hold a contest for Leon and the other Loids looks and them not even keep to their word like Sonika. Don’t get me wrong I love Sonika’s new boxart, but its not the winning look. They announced the winner and them put up that picture which has been on DA since before the Sonika contest I know cuz I faved it before the contest. (I short please be fair this time).

    • Mari Says:

      Actually the contest’s prize was for a copy of Sonika, not for the winning design to be her new boxart,

      The New look of Sonika’s was a commission, hence why it was out before the contest.

  8. Melanie♪ Says:

    I want to see a female Vocaloid with a low voice. I know, I know, Lola and Miriam, but I’d be amazed if there was just a good Vocaloid, I don’t really even care what language, with a nice, non-pitchy voice and minimal accent. ;~; Y’know, like one you could understand..?

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