Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Rise of the Hologram Pop Star

If you haven't seen the holographic performance of Tupac Shakur yet then you probably have no internet, or perhaps no interest in what's going on in the music world at the moment. Let me be the first to inform you that holograms of pop stars will soon be performing and touring shows around the globe. This technology is making rapid advances and has been used since the mid-2000s. 

Here's a breakdown of notable holographic performances since that time starting with the present:

1) Hologram Tupac at Coachella 2012.

Hologram Tupac was hyped before Coachella even began and the performance stirred mixed reactions to concert attendees and online music fans. While many were marveled at the use of projection technology, several others flocked to social media sites to express their fear that Tupac was possibly still alive. The Hologram Tupac even gave a shout out to Coachella. How can someone who's been deceased for 15 years pull this off? 

My suspicion is vocaloid type music software that can take a person's speech or singing style and allows song writers to customize their own songs just by typing in lyrics and musical notation. This brings us to our next musical hologram.

2) Hatsune Miku, a vocaloid performance in Japan.

The most famous vocaloid pop star out right now is Hatsune Miku. From watching the video above, you'll see a holographic image of an anime girl singing and dancing with hundreds, perhaps thousands of fans waving glow sticks in the air. You might be thinking to yourself that this is all neat, but why didn't they just have the REAL human singer perform instead of a hologram? Take a seat my friend. There is no real singer. Hatsune Miku's voice is 100% computer generated by vocaloid software and several different vocaloids exist and perform along with Miku Miku Dance 3D software that helps render the holographic images.

3) Gorillaz & Madonna at the 2006 Grammys.

I've tried to look deep into the past for other artists/bands that used holograms, but the earliest footage I could find is the Gorillaz and Madonna performance at the Grammys in 2006. How quickly do we forget that 6 years ago, musical holograms made a mainstream appearance. The holograms were made by Musion Eyeliner System and yes, Madonna is an actual hologram in the above video. The group De La Soul were the only real performers.

What do you think of holograms performing and possibly touring in the future? Would you like to see hologram images of the Beatles or the Ramones? 

- Mike C.

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