[Tutorial] How to use Aquestone

Discussion in 'Music' started by Ant, May 28, 2013.

  1. Ant

    Ant Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    How to use Aquestone

    What is it?

    Aquestone is a VST plugin, meaning in order to use it, you need a DAW (Digital Audio Workspace). There is no standalone executable like UTAU or Vocaloid, and all work must be done in an external program. With that said, UTAU and Aquestone are two separate entities, meaning you don't transfer anything between the two programs nor do you need UTAU to use Aquestone. For this tutorial I'll be using Aquestone 1 in FL Studio, though all DAWs should work roughly the same. Both AT1 and AT2 work the exact same way, the only noticable difference being the voices (and the fact that AT1 comes with both specifically male and female voices, while AT2 does not).

    Downloads

    download Aquestone 1 here. Be careful that you are downloading Aquestone, and not Aquestalk which can be found on a separate page.

    <I'll add the link to AT2 once I find it later>

    Download the FL Studio demo here.

    Loading up Aquestone

    Once you have downloaded Aquestone, extract the .DLL file to the "VST" folder in your DAW's folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 10\Plugins\VST). Then load FL Studio.

    You load in aquestone just like you would any other VST, so if you already know how to do that, skip this part. Else:

    1. go to Channels -> Add One -> More
    2. click the rectangular button labeled "refresh" and then choose "fast scan."
    3. Scroll down to the bottom and the plugin should show up in red font, indicating that it's a new plugin. Double click it to open the plugin. You can also check the box next to the plugin for easier access the next time (all you would need to do is go to channels -> add one and it would show up in the list there instead of having to go to "more" every time).

    Now that it's loaded in, how do I make it sing?

    Right click aquestone in the step sequencer and choose "Piano Roll:"
    [​IMG]

    Once you do that, the piano roll will open up. This is where you can input the notes for the voice to sing, similar to the vocaloid editor.

    To make Aquestone sing words besides the default line of characters, you need a .TXT file with lyrics. Create one with notepad and save it somewhere safe. All lyrics should be on one line, with no spaces. for example:

    sekaideichibanohimesama

    is correct while

    sekaideichiban
    ohimesama

    is not. Aquestone will not automatically switch between two lines of lyrics. You have to do it manually, so if you're planning on rendering out the whole song at one time, multiple lines is not a good idea.

    After you're done with the .TXT file, save it and drag it directly on top of the plugin, and the lyrics will be sent in. Alternatively, you can click "open" on the plugin itself and choose a .TXT file that way.

    Now you have your notes and you have your lyrics, but...

    This is very important:

    Aquestone can very, very easily go out of synch. Sometimes you'll notice the voice singing incorrect lyrics at the wrong times. Why is this? Because when you pause or skip around in the song, aquestone will continue exactly where it left off in the lyrics text file. Be careful that this doesn't happen. I would advise rendering out pieces of a song at a time so that you don't make any subtle mistakes. So far, the only work around I've found for when the lyrics go off-synch is to save, close the project, and open it up again.

    But can't I just use USTs?

    You can. Just not directly. Here's a way to use UST files with Aquestone:

    1. Open UTAU, and open the UST you want to use.
    2. Hit File -> Export and export the UST as a MIDI.
    3. Now drop the MIDI file you exported onto the rectangular bar labeled Aquestone as shown here:
    [​IMG]

    The MIDI file will now be loaded up into the DAW, all the notes using Aquestone as the instrument. Then just drag and drop the lyrics you made like we did before (just copy the lyrics from the UST).

    Putting everything together

    If you've use FL Studio before, you'll know what to do. if not, click this squarish button in the top right of FL Studio:
    [​IMG]

    The window that pops up will be where you assemble the vocals and the off vocal. To add the off vocal, go to Channels -> add one -> audio clip. In the window that pops up, click on the folder icon, and locate the off vocal.

    [​IMG]

    Then simply click into the window you had open before where you're going to assemble the tracks, and the off vocal will be placed there.

    [​IMG]

    Afterwards, click this dropdown menu and choose "pattern 1" (or whichever pattern you had put the aquestone notes on):

    [​IMG]

    Then click into the pattern right below the off vocal to place the vocals. slide it around to match timing. if you need to, click the magnet in the top left of this window and change the setting to "none." This removes the snap to grid so you can slide the clips much more easily.

    Then just proceed to mix the vocals. I won't go into detail on that since this is not a mixing tutorial. owo)b Then afterwards, export it as a WAV, MP3, whatever. Just make sure the lyrics are aligned, it's a pain but you don't want to have incorrect lyrics!

    Anyway, hope this was of some help. ^_^
     
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  3. meichan

    meichan Momo's Minion Defender of Defoko

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    Thanks for the tutorial :smile:
    However, I was just going to point out that the VST crashed for me every time I tried to make it sing for more than about five minutes.
    My project required 15 minutes of singing, so you could see the problem. (I just gave up because the most tedious part was preparing the lyrics)
     
  4. MiyiibotTsugaa

    MiyiibotTsugaa Momo's Minion

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    This is really good! :love: I'm so sad that my Aquestalk won't open.
     

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