The Unaware's Guide to UTAU Part 4 (REUPLOAD)

DISCLAIMER: This guide was originally written nearly three years ago and is slightly outdated by now. Among other things, it predated the CV-VC recording method becoming more popular for Japanese, and the release of a plugin that made it easier to use. Also, the footnotes re-direct to the original page this was on.


One important skill for UTAU users is to know how to configure an OTO.ini file. The OTO file of an UTAU voicebank ensures that consonants do not stretch out too much, and, in the case of VCV, the OTO cuts the samples into the individual sounds needed for VCV and ensures it doesn’t slur too much. In this section, I’m only going to go over OTO-ing CV; there are too numerous VCV OTO methods to go over. Looking at CV, there are, in essence, three kinds of sounds to oto; vowels, short consonants, and long consonants. But, before going over those, it’s important to look at the OTO screen itself.


OTO editor on a long consonant. Note where the green and red lines are set. These are the overlap and preutter, respectively. Also note the cutoff. (blue)

When you open the editor on a configured sound, there are several elements to it. The blue area in the beginning is the opening cutoff. Anything in this area will not be heard. Same is true with the blue area at the end. The pink area is where the sound will not be stretched. Typically, this should be set where the sound begins to even out volume-wise, but some use very little, while others use a lot. You should generally have at least a small amount of the vowel inside it, however. Finally, there’s preutterance and overlap. The green is overlap, and the red is preutter. Where these should be set depends on the type of sound.

There are numerous ways to oto a vowel. Some do not use preutter and overlap, while others use set values, like 50, and 75, for instance. Still others admittedly guess and use what sounds good. Generally, though, overlap is set before preutter.


Example of an oto’ed vowel with set numbers for overlap and preutter; in this case, 60 and 90.

Short consonants should have the overlap set at the beginning of the sound, and the preutter set between the vowel and the consonant. Short consonants consist of consonants such as “t,” “d,” “b,” and “p” sounds.


Oto’ed short consonant. Note where the consonant ends and the vowel begins, and how the preutter is set between the two.

Long consonants, like “s,” “sh,” and “n” sounds, should have the overlap in the middle of the consonant, roughly. Just like short consonants, however, the preutter should rest between the vowel and the consonant. In some samples, the division between the consonant and the vowel is easily visible and can be found easily. In other samples, you’ll need to play around by moving the beginning cutoff and double clicking the “P” button. When you’ve found the point where the consonant cannot be heard anymore, but there’s no vowel in the cutoff zone, move the cutoff back to the beginning of the sound, make a mental note of where the point is, and move the preutter there.


Someday, I’ll make a more through guide to UTAU design, but for now, I just want to offer these few sage pieces of advice. This is mostly for people who are already familiar with Vocaloid and popular UTAU’s.






Also, be creative. Don’t just use elements of design from Vocaloids and other UTAU’s. Think outside of the box, do research if you have to. And most importantly, have fun!


One of the questions that some in the fandom may ask is, “why make another UTAU guide?” Well, I have several reasons for this. One reason is I needed a handy reference for myself should I need to convince another person to record an UTAU. Another reason is, I felt another guide was needed that was tailored for people who are newbies, or are curious about UTAU, but don’t know much about it. Sure, while, are are guides about the basics of UTAU and how to get it running, I noticed a lot of them were out of date, which tripped me up when I was new to all of this. Finally, I wanted something to maybe, just maybe convince a random person unfamiliar with all of this, that happens to stumble on to this very blog on this very page to join in in this crazy thing called UTAU. Sure, I know it’s quite unlikely, but in the slim chance it happens, I’ll certainly be quite happy. And, if said person is reading this and is convinced to find out more, or even becomes an UTAU user themselves, then I’ll have done my job. We may not ever come in contact in the fandom, but whoever you are, thank you for reading.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Personal list of recommended UTAU/covers. – link to download UTAU English patch. How to pronounce the Japanese “R” sound Singing synthesis on the PC-6001 Shinami’s tutorial on how to install plugins. It also includes links to plugins that I’ve mentioned in the guide.

UST’s umbrellaguns’ UST’s. (slightly outdated; you’ll have to go to her Youtube channel for newer UST’s.) UtauReizo’s UST’s. Vocalochu UST/VSQ database (NOTE: this hasn’t been updated in a long time; only recommended for use if you can’t find a UST anywhere else.) nmasao’s UST’s.

(And, of course there are many more UST makers; if you want to find a UST for a particular song, it’s not terribly hard to find it most of the time.)


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