Hello! We have quite an exciting topic lined up today, where we will be discussing ASDR and their latest release – as well as an interview with producer and founder VocaPeach herself!
What is ASDR?
ASDR, short for ‘AssembleSynthesizeDirectRelay’, is a group (or ‘circle’) consisting of VOCALOID/UTAU musicians and users, who collaborate to produce a number of compilation albums. These albums feature a wide range of voicebanks and genres – but better yet, all funds raised from album sales are donated to Befrienders Worldwide, a volunteer group that help to prevent suicide. Their albums are available to purchase digitally via Bandcamp, including a single from GuitarHeroPianoZero. Speaking of him, a number of popular overseas producers have been involved with ASDR over time – including Eyeris (Creep-P), EmpathP, Nostraightanwer and TechniKen.
Who is VocaPeach?
VocaPeach is a VOCALOID and UTAU producer from Northern Ireland, who over the years has uploaded a number of original songs, remixes and covers. She also has created two UTAU voicebanks, Chichi Yontsuki and Una O’hara, and is the founder of ASDR. In the past her works have been featured in albums by CircusP (Five) and EmpathP (Pack and Pride, Stratosphere), which is impressive to say the least! Her style of music is mostly within the electronic genre.
Below are some examples of her work!
Today, we’re mostly here to promote and discuss the latest release from ASDR, titled ‘Circuit Breaker’.
Circuit Breaker consists of 7 original tracks, each by a different producer. It is currently priced at $5, however ASDR also have a deal to buy all of their releases for $4.55 or more. Seeing where the money goes, this is a great purchase for any Vocaloid/UTAU fan – you receive some fantastic music, and know your money is going to a good cause. Check out the tracklist for Circuit Breaker below!
1. Manatashin – The End of You and I
2. Meta – It’s Not an Addiction It’s a Lifestyle
3. DystoP – Welcome
4. ArmSleevesP – Muses
5. Mishamoonkun – H34RT B34T
6. Mrs Peach – Twinkle
7. Yami no Tasogare-P – Smash Power.
You can purchase the album here!
My thoughts on the album
I have listened to the album a few times, and it’s safe to say I’ve fallen rather in love. I’d probably say ‘Welcome’ by DystoP is my personal favourite track from this album, the vocals and beat are just heavenly at the chorus! Overall though, the album features a range of genres, well-tuned vocals, and a great mix of more well-known producers and lesser known ones. It’s a perfect introduction for someone new to what the UTAU community is about, or is a great addition to any UTAU/Vocaloid fan’s collection!
As promised, VocaPeach has kindly agreed to take part in an interview, discussing her works, ASDR and Circuit Breaker.
Cakey: Hello, thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A!
VocaPeach: It is a pleasure to be here!
Cakey: Would you perhaps mind introducing yourself?
VocaPeach: Sure thing! I am VocaPeach. I come from Northern Ireland. In terms of age, that’s a secret but I do make Vocaloid music and I run a Doshinji Circle for Vocaloid Music called ASDR.
Cakey: Thanks! Before we discuss the main topic, I’d love to ask – how did your journey into Vocaloid and UTAU music begin?
VocaPeach: Oh good grief, ahaha, that was ages ago, May 2010 I think, a friend of mine introduced me to UTAU. I recorded my voice and it rolled on from there, next I thing I knew Project Diva games were announced, a new Vocaloid, Lily, was released and I was caught in the hype. I spiralled from there.
Cakey: Wow, so you’ve been into it for a while! There’s always so much going on in the world of Vocaloid, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype haha, I remember seeing live concert videos for the first time (similarly, about 2010-ish I think) and just being fascinated. You’ve produced a lot of great songs over the years, and have previously been featured in albums by CircusP and EmpathP – quite the résumé! How did you come to work with them?
VocaPeach: That’s a good question that comes with a simple answer, I talked to them and became friends with them and the rest is history. They are fun people to know and it is wonderful to work with them.
Cakey: That’s lovely to hear, it’s great when people collaborate and get on well!
Another interesting thing to add is that you even have two of your own UTAU, namely Chichi Yontsuki and Una O’hara! You mentioned earlier that recording an UTAU was somewhat your introduction to the fanbase, but is there anything more about them you’d like to share?
VocaPeach: Una O’hara (aka Uotan) was originally a mascot for a community website I used to run. Unfortunatly due to time constraints I had to close it down but Una survived. She comes in Japanese and soon, English VCCV. It is a lot of hard work but it will be worth it. I love accented UTAU and Una is a big offender. Una is terrified of birds, has a natural affinity for fish and will eat you out of house and home. If her name is written in Japanese, 魚短, it can be read as Short Fish, this was unintentional but funny. Chichi was a pet project to create something a little different, a bit huskier/deeper than normal female UTAU. She is enjoys being healthy, yoga and gory movies.
Cakey: I’m glad to hear that Una survived, and I look forward to her VCCV English voicebank. Thank you for the introduction! So, we’re here today to discuss ASDR (AssembleSynthesizeDirectRelay), and the latest album, pretty exciting stuff! Would you mind giving us a brief introduction to ASDR, and why it was founded?
VocaPeach: ASDR is a collaborative Doshinji Music Circle, we organise and create projects to involve new and existing producers. It gives newer producers a chance to get out there and the existing ones to help out with charity. We donate all proceedings we receive to befrienders.org – Volunteer Action to prevent suicide. Mental health is so important. The great thing about befrienders.org is that they are worldwide, so not just located in one country. Everyone benefits from this great and helpful website.
Cakey: It really is a great cause for a group to work towards, and it’s particularly nice to see it in the Vocaloid community! I agree in that it’s incredibly important, and it makes me so happy to see a group raising money and awareness. A number of albums have been released via ASDR, featuring a wide range of Vocaloids/UTAU and producers. What sort of process do you go through to put together a new release?
VocaPeach: When we want to start a project, an idea or two is pitched and we agree on what we like. Next we gather new faces, old faces and their mums to apply for our new project. We usually aim for about 7-11 songs on each album, so we like to have loads of applicants.Once we have our roles sorted, everyone gets to work, after a while, we post updates on our progress. Not only do we have producers, we have artists, tuners for whatever vocal synth we are using, technicians and a sequencer. These guys are so vital. Without them we would never have the high quality sound we have now. Communication is big must and lots and lots of feedback forms.
Cakey: That’s really interesting actually, there are far more people involved in a project like this than someone might think! Certainly a lot of work it sounds, but I bet it’s nice to see a project come to life, and see everyone’s work come together.
So, Circuit Breaker is mainly what we want to promote today! It’s the latest release from ASDR, and in the description it notes that it’s a celebration for how far English UTAU have come. Was there anything in particular that inspired this concept?
VocaPeach: I have been around UTAU since 2010 – I have watched the fandom grow. I have seen faces come and go and return again. I have made some excellent friends for life through UTAU. Mostly I have watched how the western side of UTAU have come along from solely using Japanese banks to embracing other languages. It is fantastic. The person, in my opinion that deserves the credit for perservering with improving English UTAU is Painted Cz. Never have I seen someone so dedicated to making English UTAU more approachable, smoother and unique and hopefully we can inspire others to create VCCV English banks and use them for their own music.
Cakey: Vocaloid alone is fascinating, but as you say, the UTAU fanbase is something else. There’s a real sense of community there, where people seem to interact very closely. Painted Cz has done some great work, I completely agree there! It’s great to hear how close UTAU clearly is to your heart, and it gives Circuit Breaker some really great footing. I understand there’s to be a crossfade and single to also tie into this album – do you know when we can expect to see those? Or, do you have any more promotional work planned to spread the word?
VocaPeach: Oh yes! We do have a crossfade coming out very shortly and hopefully on our new Youtube channel. We are release the song titled – It’s Not An Addition – By Meta Feat. Kumone Jakuon, it will come with the original track, the instrumental, some art and a remix. Something extra to look forward to. As for more promotional work. We intend on releasing an official press release sometime this week. Keep your eyes peeled.
Cakey: I look forward to those! I really enjoyed It’s Not An Addiction on the album. It’s very catchy, so I’m pretty excited for the remix!
Did you ever hit any speedbumps with the Circuit Breaker release, or was it a fairly smooth process?
VocaPeach: Well, aside from my own personal hiccups, like being admitted to hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia and then getting married 3 weeks ago, everything went quite smooth. The people that worked with are fantastic and very understanding.
Cakey: Sorry to hear that, I hope you’re recovering well. And also, a big congratulations to you! Best wishes for the future. A person’s well-being is far more important than an album, but I’m glad to hear everything worked out in the end.
Lastly, do you have a message for fans about this album, or ASDR in general?
VocaPeach: We will be looking for new people soon, to join in for a new project and we will be offering producers the chance to donate singles to ASDR. and for those folks that listen to or purchase any of our albums, thank you from all the staff at ASDR. Your contribution warms our hearts and helps a worthy cause. Thank you!
Cakey: Great news all around then, I hope the ASDR team continues to thrive!
Thank you for your time to take part in this Q&A! I wish you luck with any future releases from ASDR or yourself.
VocaPeach: Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
End of Interview.
I’m really glad I was able to write this feature about ASDR and VocaPeach, and I hope it at least brings this talented group to a wider audience!
Thank you for reading! Below are some useful links, as well as links to VocaEuro and Vocallective Records on other websites.