QTAU is a piano roll editor for singing synthesis. It is designed to work with UTAU, FESTIVAL, MBROLA and ESPEAK voices and runs on Debian GNU/Linux.

1.0 Installing QTAU

To install QTAU on Debian Buster (AMD64) first need to setup the Ongakunix repository using the following command:

$ echo deb http://ongakunix.isengaara.de/ buster main | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

The public key needs to be downloaded and added to the APT keyring:

$ wget -qO - http://ongakunix.isengaara.de/pubkey.gpg | sudo apt-key add -

Then run

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install qtau sinsy-tools sekai-tools libespeak-ng

2.0 Using the QTAU piano roll editor

The picture below is the display of v0.5, the current beta version. It is the screen on Xfce4, it might look different on other desktops. It is partially translated into German, future versions might get translated into different languages.

 The QTAU toolbar is uses seperators to split the elements into different function groups.

Here is a brief description of the features of each toolbar item:

Number Function name Brief description of the function
1 Save Save current score
2 Undo Undo last operation
3 Redo Redo an operation that was undone
4 Play Play current song or selection
5 Stop Stop playback and JACK transport if JACK transport is enaled
6 Back Move transport to the beginning
7 Jack Transport Toggle JACK Transport synchronisation
8 Edit Mode Allows entering notes if selected
9 Grid Snap Cursor snaps to grid when entering notes.
10 Quantize Combo Quantize notes to
11 Length Combo Length for new notes
12 Singer Select Select voicebank to be used.


2.1 Entering notes and lyrics

Notes can be entered using the mouse. You can enter notes when DrawMode is selected by clicking at the start of the note end dragging the cursor to the end of the note. To enter Lyrics double click on a note, the enter the lyrics using your qwerty keyboard.

2.3 Setting the tempo and time signature

You can change the tempo and time signature by clicking on the corresponding header bars, then entering a value. For tempo any number can be entered, time signatures are fractions using the slash to seperate numerator and denominator. Press enter to confirm that you want to enter an event.

2.4 Changing the pitch of notes

Dragging one or more selected notes vertically changes the pitch.

2.5 Removing notes

Select the notes or rests you want to delete, then press delete.

2.6 Changing the length of notes

The start and end points of a note can be changed by clicking near the left or right side of the rectangle, then dragging the mouse to the new point.

2.7 Changing the lyrics

Double click a note, then enter the lyrics.

2.8 Undo and Redo

If, after performing an operation, you want to restore (undo) the status before this operation, select "Undo" from the "Edit" menu, or press Ctrl + Z. Moreover, if after executing Undo you want to revert to (redo) the state before performing the Undo, select "Redo" from the "Edit" menu.

3.0 Synthesizing songs

To synthesize as song select a voice, then press "Play" [4]. To save the just played click "Transport / Save Last Play"