UTAU Tutorials

UTAU FAQ

Okay I’ll probably update this one day but for now if you have any questions they can be better answered here:

http://utaforum.net/index.php

Please check for answers and ask questions there!

Beginner

  • Downloading and installing UTAU

Should be easy. DL is found here for Windows, and here for Mac. Please note that this FAQ is for Windows only.

  • How do I load a Voice Bank?

To load up a voice bank, go to Project > Project Properties, and use the drop down menu to choose from the folders in your voice folder. If you want to import a voice bank from elsewhere, go to Tools>Options and choose the Bank Regst. tab. Press select to browse to the Vocal Library and pick a WAV file, then press OK. Press Add to add it to the list.

  • What’s a UST?

A UST is an “UTAU Sequence Text” file. It’s basically a super spiffy MIDI, that instead of just holding notes, also holds dynamics, vibrato, lyrics and pitch bends.

  • How do I play it?

Select the part of the UST you want to play and press the blue play symbol. Alternatively, you can also right click a note and choose the first option or tap the space bar.

To play back the part you just played without having to re-render, press the Play♪ option when you right click the phrase.

  • The UST won’t work!

To work, the program looks through the voice bank you chose and looks for a file or an alias that has the same name as what is written in a note.
So since, say, Defoko is only in Hiragana, she can only read Hiragana USTs.

Make sure both the UTAUloid and the UST use the same naming system. If the UST is in Romaji, make sure it has Romaji encoding or aliases. You can either alias the UTAU, or use a plugin to switch the UST to hiragana. If the UST is in Hiragana, make sure the UTAU selected has AT LEAST Hiragana aliases.

If all of that is met and it still won’t work, do you have your volume up? Ask on the forums and we can help you troubleshoot.

  • What are aliases?

It’s an alternative name UTAU can use for that note.

Aliases go in the Alias input field under the file name in Voice Bank settings. After you enter the alternate title, press the Set button.
If you ever find yourself needing more than one alias, or even more than one oto file, right click the note you want to have more aliases for in Voice bank settings and press duplicate. Another version of the oto file should pop up. Just rename that alias, and there we go!

  • How do I export as a .wav file? I only get a .mid file!

Go to Project > Export as WAV. The resampler will pop up and render the whole song and then a confirmation should pop up. Press okay.

  • Can you export as an MP3?

Short answer? No. No you cannot.

  • How do I add music to the vocals?

That’s called Mixing. You need to get a separate program, such as Audacity or REAPER, import the Karaoke and Vocal file WAV, then move them around until they are on-time. Make sure to also apply compression and an EQ. Tutorials for EQs can be found on the forums.

  • How do I add effects to the vocals?

Again, you need to import the vocals into Audacity, REAPER or similar.
I myself use REAPER, and highly recommend it, utilizing a handful of free and inbuilt VSTs.

I use Classic Chorus, Classic Compression, Ambience, BuzzMaxi, and GEROCK EFFECTOR on a daily basis. Will add links later.

  • I moved the UST up/down so it sounded good with an UTAUloid, but people are saying it sounds off-key!

Mmn.  In UTAU you can only move the UST up or down a full octave (twelve steps), because otherwise it will sound off-key when you put it with other voices or music. There are, though, plugins for REAPER/Audacity that move the key of the music. If you move it up or down the amount of steps you moved the vocals, it should match up again.

  • Someone told me I need an Oto.ini file? What is that? How do I make one for my UTAUloid?

An Oto.ini file is a file that controls these variables:

  • Pre-Utterance: How much of the note is played before the actual note starts (you need to have the consonant enclosed in this space, so the rest of the note is vowel. It prevents off-timing)
  • Overlap: How far the previous note overlaps onto this note’s preutterance area.
  • Consonant/Pink bar: Anything not covered by this will be stretched or looped depending on resampler used.
  • Offset/Cut Off: Cut off silence to either side of the note

I’ll draw a chart for where they should be placed.  My old one is outdated.

  • What does a .frq file do?

A frq file generates on the first play of a file. You can also re-generate it yourself if it sounds weird and demonic. Basically, it just makes the orange guideline on a note in the Oto editor appear, and allows the note to play.

If you regenerate a frq file, don’t forget to delete the previous one, or you might get a “demon-like sound” No longer needs to be done

Note, the newest resampler does pretty bad frqs. It’s recommended to download the 2.77 resampler and use that for generation.

  • How do I zoom in/out?

Press the corresponding magnifying glass in the main editor

 

Intermediate

  • How do I make my own UTAUloid?

If you’re a beginner and skipped to this question, I’m not kidding. Go back to the start, please.

You need a folder of WAV files. So, you should record with OREMO, or a good audio editing program (Audacity is a last resort) if you need to add effects/clean up files.
There are 101 CV recording lists, but the best is the one included in OREMO by default. You should record in romaji to prevent usage issues by other people. I’ve translated the default list, and I’ll upload it when I get home from school.

After you have your folder full of WAV files, you need to bring them into UTAU and oto them, which means you’re creating parameters that tell UTAU where the consonant begins and ends, where it’s safe to stretch/loop the sample, and where the beginning and end of sample are. Once you do that, you need to alias your bank to work with kana (for ease of use, as lots of USTs are in hiragana).

When that’s all done, you can use it! Maybe add a readme and icon, and distribute!

Since there are plenty of existing tutorials, I won’t make a advanced tut right now. Check Utaforum if you still have questions.

  • I’ve heard some people talking about “Fitting” an UTAUloid to a UST…

You need to select all and right click a note, and select Properties (last option).
Press the “Clear” button, and then press okay.
Then press “ACPT”, “P2P3”, and then “ACPT” again.

  • So I tried to install some plug-ins… They won’t show up!

Make sure you put them in “UTAU\plugins\-insert plugin name here-\”

  • What are VCVs?

VCV stands for Vowel-Consonant-Vowel. They’re samples that can accurately reproduce natural flow in human speech. In comparison, CV banks do not reproduce the audible link from a vowel to a consonant, so they sound artificial. Thank you to Soaa for this beautiful summation!

  • How do you use them?

Just make sure to fit the UST, and you’re good to go!

  • What ARE the ACPT, P2P3, P1P4, OPT and RESET buttons anyway?

P2P3 is basically a cross-fade button.
ACPT automatically sets the STP and fixes Enveloping.
P1P4, I’m not sure of. very similar to P2P3.
OPT, rather useful. Play a set of notes in a UST, then press OPT while they are still selected. It should finalize the STP and fix the overlap a bit.
RESET resets the envelopes for the parts of the UST selected.

  • I heard you can open VSQs and MIDIs in UTAU, but I can’t see them when I try to open them!

You need to import them!
Go to File > Import, and you should be able to see MIDIs. Press the dropdown menu and select the type of file you want to import. You should see it when you navigate to the folder you keep the file in.

  • How do I input lyrics into a UST/VSQ/MIDI?

You can either type them into the lyrics box, or double click the box you want to put them in.
If you type the lyrics into the lyrics box and you DON’T use hiragana, you need to surround each syllable with quotation marks (“”), eg. “br1””a””ri””da””ke””no””br1””o””mo””i””wa”

Fixed in the newest UTAU versions, you only need to put a space between romaji names and it will split automatically.

  • How do I change the tempo in UTAU? The UST/VSQ/MIDI I opened isn’t on-time…

Right click the first note or rest in the UST/VSQ/MIDI, and select “tempo”. Type the new tempo in the pop-up. You can also just type into the tempo box above the lyrics box, but that doesn’t always work.

  • I tried to drag the notes in a UST up an octave, but only one will move! It worked fine before!

Very bottom right corner of UTAU, there should be a box in the lower bar. If you press it, it should cycle to an “M”, and you’ll be able to move the notes again.

  • What are flags and where can I input them?

Flags control effects and settings of the voice. It is possible to add a microphone effect, whisper effect or even deepen or heighten the voice.

Some examples-
C – Clarity
g+ – Make the voice deeper
g- – Make the voice higher
BRE – breathiness.

You can enter them under where you choose your voice bank, or you can apply Flags to only certain parts of the UST by right clicking a note, selecting the last option.
You should be able to see a “flags” field. If not, click the blue hyperlink and the window should expand.

There are a lot of flags. When I update this, I’ll add a full list.

  • The UST is really picky and the UTAUloid I’m using on it sounds really bad! Why?

A UST can’t be picky. I admit this is kinda what I thought when I first made a UST from a VSQ. It sounds weird, forced and off-key because the Modulation is set to “-“ instead of “0”. If it’s not reading your oto.ini, you need to clear it.

  • …What the heck is Modulation?

モジュレーション.  It is above the pre-utterance and overlap fields in the Note Properties (right click a note, last option) menu.
When you open any UST you should open the menu and set it to “o” if the field is grayed out. When you are editing or making a UST, or using a VSQ, you should also set it to 0 from time to time, or at least, just before you render.

  • How do I add Vibrato and stringing to a UST?

You can either go to Tools > Built in tools > a la carte and press the second button in the last row. Everything will be automatically strung and vibrato added. This works in both Mode1 and Mode2.
Alternatively, you can right click a note/selection, choose pitch. A pop up will pop up! Uncheck and recheck the Portamento checkbox to string the notes. This only works in Mode2

  • What’s Mode1? How’s it different from Mode2?

In Mode2, no matter what the overlap and pre-utterance are set to; the stringing will stay in the same place.
It also adds Control Points, which are easier to manipulate into complex pitch bending than the Mode1 pitch editor.

Mode1 is an outdated setting, that UTAU used to use back in the day.  The Mode1 pitch editor is difficult, and if you fit a UST all the stringing will be displaced.

  • What’s the trace button next to the Mode2 

It’s really useful for converting Mode1 UST to Mode2.
Basically, before you fit your UTAUloid to the UST, so the pitch bends don’t make it sound crazy, you switch to Mode2, and press trace. Pitch bends from the Mode1 UST should show up in gray. Then copy over all the pitch bends (and maybe vibrato) by hand. After you do that, you can fit the UST to your UTAUloid no worries!

EDIT: I HEARD SOMEONE EXPLAIN THAT YOU CAN LITERALLY USE TRACE TO TRANSFER THEM WITHOUT DOING IT BY HAND and while noone uses mode1 anymore I’ll update this with the proper method!

  • What are pitch bends, and how do I make them?

Pitch bends are pitch fluctuations that make your UTAUloid’s singing seem more natural, as they naturally occur in human singing.
In mode2, you simply need to make sure that Portamento is checked on all your notes (in the pitch menu) and you can use the control points to shape them into what you want. right click a control point for options, such as adding more control points or changing the curve. Play with it! I might update this with some common pitch bend shapes later.

  • What is the prefix map, and how do I use it?

This is actually important now!

The prefix map is for multipitch banks, and it automatically applies suffixes/prefixes to USTs when you use the bank in question. It lets you choose what pitches the suffixes come into effect, and what they’re named. Once your bank has one, it will automatically switch between its pitches at the allocated point, regardless of the UST. Great if you don’t trust people to do it by hand (which they won’t do in most cases).

  • How do I make this UST sound smoother?

Good otos.
P2P3 and ACPT.
Nice pitch bends and a little vibrato never hurt anyone.
Of course, VCVs sorta help. Even with the best oto some CV/CV VC voices end up a tad staccato.

 

Advanced

  • What’s Enveloping?

The note volume. You can make crescendos and decrescendos with them. Zteer makes a wonderful envelope editor plugin you can use to add these sorts of effects in a more advanced way.

  • I did the Oto correctly (and double checked with your oto explanation), but my UTAUloid still can’t sing some fast things! How do I fix this?

Double check you fit the UST. If you’re using the newest method I outlined, there shouldn’t be an issue. If there is, or it just pronounces a lot of consonants, never fear! That’s where Consonant Velocity comes into use!

  • Consonant Velocity?

Make sure the little “more” button in note properties is clicked down (should be if you’ve been fitting your USTs!), and you should see a little box labeled “Consonant Velocity”.

It’s sort of like VOCALOID’s “VEL” property. If you’ve got fast notes, type in a number higher than your approximate natural tempo. The reason I say this is that your natural tempo will increase or decrease the speed of your consonants.
If you have a slow tempo, a lot of fast notes will just turn into a mush of consonants. I find any quarter notes on a tempo of over 112 will start to blur together, so I usually increase the ConsVel on those notes to about 155. Play with it, but in most cases, and especially so with VCV, you won’t need any more than 200, or it’ll start to sound… odd.

Default is 100.

 

  • The MIDI I found for this song doesn’t go for the full length of the song, how do I extend it?

Ah, this is mostly a matter of double checking tempo, then copy-pasting the bits you can. Do what you do to make a UST from scratch for any bits it misses.

  • I’m trying to make a UST, but it’s in ¾ time! How can I make the editor reflect this? It’s kind of distracting…

Go to View, and press the  ¾ option.  It’ll change the lines to ¾ time.

  • I’m editing a UST, but no matter what edits I make, the UST sounds the same!

Select all, right click a note, press “clear cache”. It deletes the cache. That’ll usually work.

  • I was trying to use Romaji VCVs, so the plug-in won’t work. It’s really tedious typing in the vowel all the time…

You can use a fairly quick method, of clicking the note you want to re-name, then pressing “V”. It will bring up a list of all similar notes. Just click the one you want.

  • There’s no UST/VSQ/MIDI for this song! WHAT DO I DO? 

Make a UST yourself! That way you can share the UST with other people who were looking for one, too.

21 Responses to "UTAU FAQ"

Nice tutorial. It really helped me remind the essentials and learn some more.

About the ninth question of the intermediate level, where it says,
“I tried to drag the notes in a UST up an octave, but only one will move! It worked fine before!
*insert explanation from interwebs here* ”

this problem can be solved by shifting the movement mode of notes, which is on the bottom right corner of the program interface. It’s the rightmost box on the status bar(underneath the go-to-right scroll). If you click on it, a capital ‘M’ appears and you can move all selected notes with one drag.

I’m expecting to see this tutorial improve further. I’m personally interested in the flags. I’ve seen some like Y or H or B or T(which I found stands for tone-it raises or lowers the tone of the note) and suppose there are some more. It would be a great help if you’d summarize the various types of flags and what inserting numbers in those sections will do.

I apologise it took me so long to see this, but thank you for your comment nonetheless!

Ok, umm. I’ve watched alot of tutorials online for making ur own utau. And, Im able to perform most of the steps like inputting your voicebank with wav files, and all the correct files, and toolbars and all that stuff. But, no matter what I try. Romaji or Hiragana, when ever I hit play. IT WONT PLAY, please HELP!!!!!

THANKK CHEW!

it wont let me render the wav file >.<

Why does my UTAU sing ‘a’ when its supposed to sing ‘i’?

http://utaforum.net/index.php
Please go ask that question at the help section here. But perhaps you recorded the “i” file as “a”? or aliased them wrong by accident.

UTAU keeps closing whenever I open up a UST. What do I do?

http://utaforum.net/index.php
For real.
Just go make an account and ask here, the help section. It’s a miracle I saw this comment! I’ve never seen this issue, so someone else can help on the forums, or perhaps I can help you troubleshoot.

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?

My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you
provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!

…Car and truck parts sale. Seems like a bot message to me. Sigh.

Actually, you CAN export as a MP3. You just render the notes to whatever file/folder/desktop you want. That’s how it is for mac

This blog was made before UTAU for mac existed.

Every time I pull up UTAU it says “Voice set report”. Also when I go into my UTAU folder the only thing in there is the program, is there supposed to be other things in there or no (Sorry if this is obvious I’m new to UTAU)

Heya. Please go to http://beta.utaforum.net/ and make a thread in the help section! You’ll get more help. I have never seen this issue before, but I’m sure we can help you over on the forums.

the utau im trying to use is gahta’s meiji’s lilith but alone with ritsu’s power it will not work on any ust i use….

When I go to project, it doesn’t say, export to-! What should I do?

Also, what do all this VCV and stuff mean?

Hi, I’ve been having some trouble with my UTAU. It’s doing this wired thing when I play it. When a render and play it will read the notes but it’s almost like it’s too fast for my UTAU to sing.

Here is an examples

Luka Night Fever

It will read
“Da *statick* ___ yo”
Instead of
“Dame Dame yo”

Please if anyone can help please let me know. I’ve looked everywhere for help but can’t find any.

umm… I can”t see Kanji properly… is there a way to fix it??? I’m using Windows 8.

It’s a miracle I saw this. Please go to utaforum.net and ask there

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  • haloheroine: It's a miracle I saw this. Please go to utaforum.net and ask there
  • HoOmIn: umm... I can"t see Kanji properly... is there a way to fix it??? I'm using Windows 8.
  • Paul: Hi, I've been having some trouble with my UTAU. It's doing this wired thing when I play it. When a render and play it will read the notes but it's alm

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