lørdag den 30. marts 2013

UTAU and pitchbends. How do they work, and how do we do it?

First of all, hi. :)

Ok, now that the formal greeting is done, I'll just quickly introduce myself. I am XXX the person who doesn't have an UTAU related name, who voiced May, November and January (You may know me as Loleifos or Sofie... or something the like :) )

I will be writing the main part of this tutorial, like the basics and of course my own method, hehe~ 
Good, let's start!

TL;DR Starts here:

The Basics:

Ok, when you open your UST, it'll probably look something like this (Song: Ai Dee. UST:  felichanxx):
(Just gonna say screw the border to keep the details, kay?)

And sound like this:

Pretty boring, huh? Felichanxx has made sure the basic pitchbends is there, but it's not really enough to make sure your cover stands out and sounds realistic.

And it's NOW the magic of pitchbends appear!
First, let's make them.

Select your notes (Ctrl + A to select every single one of them)
Right click and select "ピッチ" (or "Pitch" if you have English UTAU)

A little nifty box should appear:

The top part controls portamento and the bottom one, vibrato.

I'll try to go over as many of these boxes as I know :9

First, portamento:

1. This is portamento. Make sure this is ticked, and not just a grey ticked like this one, but a real one. If it's grey, just click it, and then click it again... voila!
2. Presets. This drop-down menu has some presets you can try out if you want... Pretty nice. I'm not sure what the button does
3. The katakana says: "Custom". I don't really use these much, but the top slider decides how much the pitchlines (those red lines) fade into the notes. This makes them all... hard to explain, but almost like all the notes fade together, in a bad way.
The bottom slider decides how long into the note the pitch starts.
4. I'm not sure what the kanji says XD Sorry. But this is the part I use the most. You can enter a number to decide how many of those small boxes you want to create (I'll explain them later). I normally enter 4 here. The little box behind the drop-down menu is if you want the boxes to be spread all over the note, or just in the start of it.
(Checked = Control points/boxes spread all over the note,
Not checked = Well duh^ The opposite)

Ok, now we'll go over the vibrato section (the section under the portamento section):

1. It says: "Vibrato". It's the same as the first part under portamento, so please read that as reference.
2. Well... It's now the complicated starts... I'll try to explain as good as possible, but if it's too hard to understand, please read the section further down about editing the vibratos directly in the UTAU window.
This slider controls how many percent of the note the vibrato should cover... pretty simple.
3. This slider decides how "tight" the vibrato is going to be (aka, how many of those small waves there're going to be)
4. This slider decides how deep or flat the vibrato should be. When you turn the number up, the vibrato gets bigger on the vertical side. It makes the voice more "wavering".
5. Again presets.
6. Say you want vibrato on your longer notes but not on your short ones. This drop-down menu will help you! You can decide which length notes you want the settings to work on.
7. This decides how much it "fades" into the vibrato in the start.
8. This decides how much the vibrato fades out.
9. ...I'm not too sure what this does XD
10. This box decides if the vibrato goes up or down in pitch. Entering a positive number makes it raise in pitch, and a negative does the opposite.

Ok, that was the box way of making portamento and vibrato. Now on to doing it on the editor.

Let's start with the pitchbends:

Pitchlines (the red lines. I'm not sure what they're called) are controlled by the control points. If you pull a box up, the line follows. Pretty simple. The hardest part about pitchbends is finding out how to put them the right places to make it sound good.

I made some small samples to show you what the different things do:
(please don't comment the double interface, lol... lazy copy-paste)

In this first example I simply pulled all the second boxes down a bit

Tutorial part 2 by Loleifos

In this example, I did the exact opposite:

Tutorial part 3 by Loleifos

Now, I will go over the Control Point menu (right click on a control point)

The four first selections changes the intersections between the previous control point and the one you clicked on. S is the standard one (it's named s because the pitch connection looks like an S). The other ones makes them bendy, straight, etc. Try them out for yourself :D (Cause I'm lazy)

The next two choices adds a control point or removes the one you clicked. (Top = add, bottom = remove)

The last selection opens the Pitch menu (The one I described earlier)

Onto the in-UTAU vibrato editor:

Ok, this is actually one of my favorite things to do... Hehe <3
As you can see, vibrato editor looks like an rectangle with two triangles at the end.

The lines that makes the triangles triangles, and not just one weird, big shape, is what decides how much the vibrato fades in and out (See: point 7 + 8 under the "Vibrato Section")

The top and bottom line of the rectangle decides how deep the vibrato is (You just click and pull up or down) (See: point 4 under "Vibrato Section")

On the left of the shape, you see a line a box. If you pull this to the right or left, you decide how long the vibrato is going to be (See: point 2 under "Vibrato Section")

The little floating box decides how "tight" the vibrato is (how many small wiggles there are on the vibrato) (See: point 3 under "Vibrato Section")

The big white area can be dragged up and down too, to decide if the vibrato pitches up or down :3 It's pretty neat, but I don't know how to work with it. (See: point 10  under "Vibrato Section")

Now, if we do all these things, your editor could look like this:

and sound like this:

I think that was pretty much everything I have to say about the basics! Now on to my tips :D

  • I like making squiggly pitchbends instead of just normal boxes, etc.

  • Fading the vibrato in and out can make it sound much more fluent, but it can also make it sound flat... be careful.
  • Practice a lot.
  • Make sure you don't change the song's original pitchbends, unless you want your cover to sound really different.