Emvoice One User Guide
Last updated 7th April 2021
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Installing and Running Emvoice One

To download Emvoice One, head to our website and on the homepage you will find both Mac and Windows installation packages.
Emvoice One is a plugin, not a standalone piece of software. It is available in VST2, VST3, AU and AAX formats and will run in any DAW. Emvoice One will run in Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Studio One, REAPER, Bitwig, Audacity, Cubase, Garageband and almost any other Digital Audio Workstation.

Installation for Mac Users

Once downloaded a .pkg file should appear in your downloads folder. Open it and installer will guide you through the installation process.
Once installed the .pkg file can be moved to trash. To load Emvoice One in your DAW do one of the following. If your DAW is not already open, open it and your DAW should scan for new plugins as it is loading.
If your DAW is already open it either restart it, or rescan for plugins.
Now, when you open a project, Emvoice One should appear wherever it is you find third party plugins in your DAW.

Mac Installation Location

Below you can find the default installation locations for plugins on Mac:
AU - Macintosh HD:/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/
VST 2 - Macintosh HD:/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
VST 3 - Macintosh HD:/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/
AAX - Macintosh HD:/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-ins/

Installation for Windows Users

A .exe file will appear in your downloads folder when you download Emvoice One for Windows.
Open the .exe file and setup will guide you through the installation process.
To load Emvoice One in your DAW do one of the following. If your DAW is not already open, open it and your DAW should scan for new plugins as it is loading.
If your DAW is already open either restart it, or rescan for plugins.
You may need to restart your PC

Windows Installation Location

Below you can find the default installation locations for plugins on Windows:
VST 2 - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Steinberg\VST2
VST 3 - C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3
AAX - C:\Program Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-ins\

Uninstalling Emvoice One

To remove the Emvoice One plugin from your system, simply delete the VST 2, VST 3, AAX and/or AU files from their installed locations (see above to find PC and Mac installation locations)
To remove other files associated with Emvoice One, including configuration data, dictionaries and cached audio, delete the following folder, depending on your system…
Mac: Macintosh HD:/Users/<user-name>/.emvoice
PC: C:\Users\<user-name>\.emvoice

Emvoice One Shortcut Directory

Alt - Z
Ctrl - Z
Undo an action
Select all
Alt - A
Ctrl - A
Select all notes in the Emvoice window
Deselect any selected notes
Alt - X
Ctrl - X
Remove notes from the Emvoice song. They will be available in your clipboard to paste in a different location.
Alt - C
Ctrl - C
Copy notes to your clipboard. You can then paste them elsewhere in your Emvoice song.
Alt - V
Alt - V
Notes saved in your clipboard will appear where you have placed the playhead marker. (Must be placed manually, not by your DAW).
Remove any highlighted notes from your Emvoice song.
Normal Tool
Activate the Normal tool as your cursor
Pencil Tool
Activate the Pencil tool as your cursor
MIDI Listen
Cmd - L
Ctrl - L
Activate MIDI Listen mode
Preview selection
Alt - {Space}
Ctrl - P
Emvoice will play back any highlighted notes in your song
Auto Scroll
Cmd - U
Ctrl - U
The Emvoice viewer will follow the playhead as the song plays.
Scroll to playhead
Cmd - J
Ctrl - J
The Emvoice viewer will move to the location of the playhead.
Show numbers
Cmd - B
Ctrl - B
When using a phoneme with multiple variations a number will appear after it to signal which version you are using. Turn this off and on with this shortcut.
Text Colour Highlighting
Cmd - T
Ctrl - T
When using a phoneme with multiple variations the text will change colour to signal which version you are using. Turn this off and on with this shortcut.
Zoom in horizontally
Cmd - →
Zoom in on the timeline without changing the height of each note.
Zoom out horizontally
Cmd - ←
Zoom out on the timeline without changing the height of each note.
Zoom in vertically
Cmd - ↓
Ctrl - ↓
Zoom in on the range of notes without changing the width of the timeline.
Zoom out vertically
Cmd - ↑
Ctrl - ↑
Zoom out the range of notes without changing the width of the timeline.
When held, several keys alter the functionality of the changes you make whilst programming notes.
Key (Mac)
Key (Windows)
Dequantises notes meaning they can be placed off the grid. This applies to both timing and pitch.
When entire phrase selected, dragging while holding Alt copies and pastes the phrase.
When part of phrase selected, dragging while holding Alt separates the selected part into a new phrase.

Phoneme List

  • AE: That man
  • AH: The banana
  • AO: Saw all four
  • AA: Got far
  • AW: Out now
  • AY: High life
  • EH: Then get
  • IY: She sees
  • EY: Gain Weight
  • IH: Dig in
  • OW: No goat
  • OY: Boy joint
  • UH: Good pull
  • UW: Cool dude
  • W: What
  • Y: You
  • B: Be
  • CH: Chat
  • D: Do
  • F: Free
  • V: Very
  • G: Go
  • HH: He
  • JH: Joe
  • K: Key
  • L: Low
  • M: Me
  • N: Now
  • NG: Bang
  • P: Pay
  • R: Right
  • S: See
  • SH: Shut
  • ZH: Pleasure
  • T: Too
  • TH: Think
  • DH: The
  • Z: Zen
  • Q: Uh-oh (Glottal Stop)

Getting Started with Emvoice One

Internet Connection Required
Emvoice is cloud based, requiring an internet connection to operate. When you enter notes, the data is sent to Emvoice's servers where it is turned into audio in moments by the Emvoice Engine. The audio is then returned to your computer where it can then be played back by the Emvoice One plugin. The plugin indicates when it is communicating with our servers with a spinner in the top right. A white spinner appears for a short time during normal request processing. A red spinner indicates that there is a momentary problem communicating with the Emvoice servers. Until the network request returns, audio playback is not possible, although it normally completes in milliseconds.
The User Interface
When you open Emvoice One in your DAW, you are presented with a timeline grid broken down into bars and 16th notes.The available notes are stacked Vertically on the left – this editor is reminiscent of a MIDI editor you would find in most DAWs.
The notes that are unavailable to the selected voice (above or below its range) are greyed out and notes cannot be programmed on these lines.
The bar numbers at the top correspond with the bar numbers in your DAW project. Unlike a traditional MIDI editor where MIDI files can be repositioned in the project timeline, you must program notes at the appropriate bar in Emvoice. Emvoice One will then ‘sing' along as if it were a singer reading sheet music.
Emvoice One will automatically sync tempo and time signature with the DAW project it is loaded in. You can see this in the status sect ion of the toolbar.

Selecting a voice

When you download Emvoice One you have access to demo versions of all our voices. If you buy any of our voices the full versions will instantly become available to you in the UI.
To change between any of our voices simply open the dropdown menu in the top left hand corner of the Emvoice UI, just below the toolbar and to the right of the Emvoice logo. Here you can select any of our voices to work with.

Drawing Notes

In this section we'll cover the basics of drawing notes in Emvoice One, the pencil and normal tools, quantization, and working off the grid. (See also: Advanced Note Programming)

Working with the pencil/normal tools

There are two tools that can be used to program notes in Emvoice One. The normal tool can be used to enter and remove notes by double-clicking, and is also used for editing note pitch and length. The pencil tool< is a quicker option for drawing notes, but it cannot remove or retime them once laid.
When Emvoice One opens, the normal tool is selected by default. To select the pencil tool, simply click the pencil icon in the toolbar. Alternatively you can follow Tools >> Pencil within the menu bar at the top of the UI.

Basics of drawing notes

If you have the normal tool selected, double-click where you would like a note to be placed. If you are using the pencil tool then click where you would like the note to start and drag until the note is the desired length.
When using the normal tool, notes will be created at the length of the last note selected. To change the length of the note using the normal tool, click and drag either end of a note's edge until it is the desired length.
If you scroll up or down in the Emvoice One piano roll, pitches above or below a certain point will appear in a darker colour. These notes are available to play, but they are outside the recommended range of operation for the voice you have chosen. We recommend you avoid using greyed-out note pitches if your goal is to program lyrics with realism.

Basics of creating lyrics

To add lyrics to your Emvoice song, simply click the box below each note or phrase that says ‘Enter Text', type your lyrics and press Enter or click out of the text box. When lyrics are added, each note will be equivalent to one syllable.
Tip: In Emvoice One, one note corresponds to one syllable.

Quantization (Working on the Grid)

By default, notes drawn in Emvoice One are quantized. This means that their starts and ends will automatically snap to a grid of note divisions. You can change the ‘resolution' of this quantization grid from the dropdown menu in the toolbar. A smaller value means the note can be retimed in smaller increments; you can also switch quantization off altogether from this menu.

Working Off The Grid

Often, to humanize or fine-tune Emvoice's performance, it is useful to be able to insert non quantized notes, as can be done by setting Quantization to Off. You can also do this per-note, as and when needed, using the keyboard. Whilst holding Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows), drag the note to the desired position.
The same method can be used while dragging note edges to change note lengths.
Going off the grid doesn't just work with note timing – you can also ensure that note pitches don't conform to exact keyboard values by holding Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) (See Also: Programming Vibrato and Pitch Scoops)

Working With Phrases

If notes are programmed far from each other, each will have its own text box. You can ‘fuse' multiple notes and use a single text box by creating a phrase.
If you create notes close enough to each other, a phrase will automatically be created; to combine notes into a phrase, drag one right up to the edge of another.
To deconstruct a phrase, simply hold Alt while dragging one or more notes away from the phrase. The words from the original phrase will go with the newly separated phrase.

Using MIDI in Emvoice One

Emvoice One’s MIDI Listen mode allows you to record MIDI data into the plugin as notes, ready to add lyrics. You can do this by either playing in notes using a MIDI keyboard, or by recording pre programmed MIDI data from your DAW’s MIDI editor.

MIDI Listen Mode

To enable MIDI Listen mode, activate the red record button on the top left of Emvoice’s toolbar.
Then record MIDI into Emvoice using one of the two following methods:
  1. 1.
    If you want to input a pre programmedpre-programmed MIDI file simply create or load a file in the same track as Emvoice and play the file through. As the MIDI file plays notes will appear in Emvoice’s piano roll.
  2. 2.
    To play MIDI data into Emvoice with a MIDI keyboard then simply press play in your DAW and play your keyboard as you would with any other instrument plugin.

Auditioning MIDI While Recording

Emvoice does not respond dynamically to MIDI input right now, although we are working on an inbuilt synth or tone generator. Currently, in order to monitor your playing it is best to route your MIDI input to a stock instrument plugin in your DAW. This will allow you to simultaneously record into Emvoice and hear the notes you are playing.
To hear what the recorded MIDI notes sound like in Emvoice, simply press stop in your DAW and play your project from the beginning. You will be able to hear all the notes you just recorded in as the default La sound. Lyrics must be added after recording in notes.

Adding Glissando Bends with MIDI Input

If you already have some notes recorded into the Emvoice interface and you record more notes over the top, Emvoice will interpret any simultaneous notes by adding a pitch bend. This can be useful for going back over a vocal melody and adding complexity.

How Emvoice Interprets MIDI Data

As Emvoice is a singer it is strictly monophonic. MIDI input thus acts in the same way as with a monophonic synthesizer. If one note is played and then a second note is played over it, Emvoice will only recognise the most recently pressed note.
If you record notes over an existing project in Emvoice One at points where there are no other notes, then a normal note will be recorded.
Emvoice One will not quantize recorded MIDI data. If you do want your notes to be perfectly quantized, it is best to do this before recording by quantizing the notes in your DAW’s MIDI editor, or after recording within the Emvoice UI.

Working With Lyrics

In this section we will cover adding lyrics, what can go wrong, editing pronunciation and creating a user dictionary of pronunciation.

Creating lyrics

As mentioned in the previous section, lyrics are added by typing in the text box below a note or phrase. Each note corresponds to one syllable so be sure to match your syllables and notes.

What Can Go Wrong?

If you misspell a word or use a word that Emvoice One does not recognise no audio will be produced. In the below image, the word ‘Galvanize' has been misspelt ‘Galvanise'. As a result, Emvoice One has not recognized it. This is illustrated by the red underlining and colouration of the text. No sound will be produced on playback.
If you're trying to enter a word that does not appear in the English dictionary such as a colloquialism or a french word, you will have to use phonemes to instruct Emvoice One how to pronounce the word. (See also: Pronunciation 3: Spelling Words Using Phonemes).

Preview and Audition Selection

To preview your work, you can play back Emvoice One and your entire project from your DAW. Setting your DAW's playhead location will set the same location in the plugin, ensuring that the two are in sync.
When fine-tuning certain notes or phrases, it is useful to play back just the section you are working on. To do this, select all the notes you want to hear and press the play in the toolbar, alternatively you can press Alt - Space (Mac) or Ctrl - P (Windows). Only the highlighted note will be played.

Using Phrases with Lyrics

In Emvoice One, each note is equivalent to one syllable. Multiple notes can be joined together into a phrase with a single text box (See also: Working with Phrases).
Therefore, if you enter a multisyllabic word, such as "Crazier", you must also have multiple notes to correspond. In this instance, as "Crazier" has three syllables, we have added three notes as a phrase.
If you have more syllables than notes, Emvoice One will continue to ‘sing' the remaining syllables at the pitch and length of the final note programmed in the phrase. If there is a word or phrase following Emvoice One will sing over itself.
A phrase of notes can also have multiple words assigned to it. The three-note phrase for "Crazier" could have also been used to sing "It's my time" or "Where are you" within the same text box.
Similarly, if we add another word, making the lyric "Crazier days", we'll need to insert a fourth note to match this fourth syllable.
Tip: To merge notes into a phrase, drag one right up to the border of another; to separate notes from phrases, hold Alt while dragging one or more of the notes away.
To start a word in one phrase and end it in another, you'll need to use phonemes to split the word into its constituent parts. (See also: Pronunciation 2: Spelling Words Using Phonemes).

Pronunciation 1: Selecting Alternative Words

Sometimes the pronunciation of a word may not be correct within a certain context. For example, for a real singer, the word "I" can often pronounced more like "Ah" in quicker phrases. Likewise, vocalists often do not pronounce the "g" at the end of words such as "feeling", instead pronouncing it "feelin'" .Stylization is paramount to creating a genuine-sounding vocal line.

Common Stylized Word Substitutions

I > aa
and > an'
don't > don'
to > to2
just > jus'
doing > doin'
wanted > wanted2
Some words have alternative pronunciations you can select easily for just this reason. Right-click a word to open a menu from which you can select predefined variations.
From this right-click menu, you can also preview each pronunciation using the play button to get a flavour of what each sounds like, and which will work best in your song.
Remember, not all words will have alternative pronunciations. You can add your own pronunciation options to your user dictionary (See also: Pronunciation 2: Creating Alternative Words and the User Dictionary).
If you're familiar with the pronunciation variations of a specific word, you can type them directly into the text box. For instance, the word "Without" has two pronunciation variations, as shown in the below image. Here, they represent a different sound for the "th" sound.
If you just type the word "without" the first pronunciation variation is selected by default. Instead of selecting the second pronunciation variation by right-clicking on the word, you can type "without2" into the text box and it will be automatically selected.

Pronunciation 2: Creating Alternative Words and the User Dictionary

Custom pronunciations of words can be created via the right-click menu. Click the pencil icon next to a word and a new variation will be created. From here, as shown below, you can edit the individual phonemes within a word, tweaking the pronunciation to your liking. We'll cover phonemes in more depth in Pronunciation 3. (See also: Phoneme List)
Any new pronunciations added will be saved within the user dictionary and can be recalled via the right-click menu at other points within any song. Custom words are saved using a hash before the number. You can also load these custom pronunciations by typing their name into the text box (eg, "without#1").

Pronunciation 3: Spelling Words Using Phonemes

A text box in Emvoice One doesn't have to be filled using whole words – you can enter individual phonemes to get more customization. Note that the vowels used in the below images are numbered either 0 or 1 – this is discussed in the Stressed Vowels section below.
You can find a full list of Emvoice One's phonemes earlier in this manual under the section entitled Phoneme List.

Entering Phonemes

Phonemes must be entered in between the < and > symbols. If not, Emvoice One won't recognise what you have entered as phonemes – it will think you're trying to enter words.
The below image shows the word "without" written using phonemes. Note the < > symbols.
This means you can enter half a word on one note and the other half on a separate, later note, without needing the two notes to work as one phrase. You can also create entirely new words out of English language phonemes.
Here we have separated the syllables of the word "Without", split between separate notes, letting us create a gap of silence in between.
A full list of phonemes can be found at the beginning of this manual under the heading ‘Phoneme List'.
Tip: To see and copy the phonemes of an existing word, right-click the word to access its alternatives, hit the Pencil Icon, and copy the phoneme codes from there.

The Glottal Stop

The letter Q is used in phoneme typing to denote a Glottal Stop. This signifies the speaker fully disengaging speech in between words, for example, in between "uh-oh" or in British English pronunciation of T sounds ending syllables.

Stressed Vowels

The vowel phonemes shown in our images in this section are numbered – eg, IH0, AW1. This is an optional way to spell words, and entries in Emvoice's dictionary currently have particular numbers assigned to vowels in specific words. A vowel phoneme will still work if entered without its number.
The function of these numbers is to denote whether the vowel in questions is stressed (1) or unstressed (0). The difference is subtle, and we recommend trusting the in-built dictionary to start with, and only making changes to change the stressing of certain syllables, which is uncommon in English.

Advanced Note Programming

Copying and Pasting

Copying and pasting is very useful for repeating verse melodies and choruses.
The quickest way an entire phrase or word can be copied and pasted is by highlighting it, holding Alt, and dragging it. This will duplicate the selected note(s) and you can position them where you would like. You cannot use this function on individual words within a phrase or parts of phrases – only standalone words or entire phrases.
To copy a word, phrase or phrases, highlight the desired notes and then, using the menu bar select Edit >> Copy. Alternatively use the shortcut ⌥ - C (Mac) or Ctrl - C (Windows).
Position the playhead where you would like to paste your copied notes. This is an essential step. Emvoice One will not automatically paste at the playhead's current location, it must be moved to the correct location. To move the playhead hold Alt and click on the grid where you would like it to be positioned.
To paste, use the menu bar and select Edit >> Paste, or use the shortcut ⌥ - V (Mac) or Ctrl - C (Windows).

Exporting and Importing Songs and User Dictionaries

Exporting and Importing Songs

Emvoice One projects ("Songs") can be exported and imported. This means you can reuse melodies, lyrics or both in multiple projects.
Simply open the file tab from the menu bar and select Export Song or Import Song.
It's important to note that your user dictionary will not be exported with a song. Therefore, if you export a song and share it with a collaborator, any custom pronunciations or words you have created will not automatically be available to them. However, you can also import and export custom user dictionaries separately.

Exporting and Importing Dictionaries

Custom user dictionaries can be exported and imported in Emvoice One. This is useful if you are collaborating with other Emvoice One users as they will not be able to work on songs with custom pronunciations without your user dictionary.
To export a user dictionary simply go to File > Plugin Settings > Export User Dictionary…. This will create a .ud1 file which can be shared with others.
To import a user dictionary .ud1 file go to File > Plugin Settings > Export User Dictionary… and then select the .ud1 file you wish to import.

Programming Vibrato and Glissando

Much of the character of the human voice comes from its ability to slide from one note to another (glissando) and to vary the pitch of a sustained note (vibrato). Both of these can be recreated in Emvoice One.


To add glissando to a note, simply draw a new note during an existing one, at a different pitch using the [normal tool] or [pencil tool]. A pitch bend will be automatically calculated in the final audio by the Emvoice Engine during the transition. You can then fine-tune the new note in the same way you would edit a standalone note. However, you cannot extend the pitch bend to extend the length of the original note.
Drag the start and end of the note to adjust its length, and reposition it vertically to change its pitch. You can add multiple pitch bends by drawing in more notes.
Tip: Hold Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) to go temporarily off-the-grid in both pitch and time, helping you to fine-tune your pitch drift exactly how you want it.


Vibrato is achieved by using multiple glissando-style notes. Start by adding glissando but then, whilst holding Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows), reposition the pitch bend so that it varies in pitch from the original note. Usually, realistic vibrato will not vary more than half a semitone from the original note. Repeat this process so that the note varies in pitch above and below the original note, as shown in the below image.
There's no need to program intermediate stages of pitch drift between the original note and its maximum pitch drift – the Emvoice Engine will interpret the vibrato pattern's distance and length based on the notes you've programmed.

View Options

In this section we will cover zooming, adjusting the editor size and showing numbered and coloured pronunciation variations.


You can zoom in and out horizontally and vertically in Emvoice. Horizontal zooming zooms the timeline in or out, while vertical zooming increases or decreases the sizes of the notes and their lanes.
Zooming can be done by clicking on the plus and minus icons next the each scroll bar (vertical and horizontal), or you can pinch to zoom using a trackpad.
Additionally, zooming can be done through the menu bar under View, or using Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) followed by the arrow keys.

Light and Dark Themes

Emvoice One's user interface has two display themes, Light and Dark. Choosing an interface theme may be due to personal preference or your environment – Dark interfaces suit darker environments, while the Light theme is suitable in bright or outdoor environments.

Editor Size

The size of the Emvoice One window, or editor size, can be adjusted via View >> Editor Size. From here you can select a Small, Medium or Large plugin window, based on what's most comfortable for your display and your project.

Show Numbers

When using a phoneme with multiple variations, a number will appear after it to signal which version you are using. Whether this number is shown can be turned on and off by selecting View >> Show Numbers. Alternatively you can use the shortcut Cmd - B (Mac) or Ctrl - B (Windows).

Text Color Highlighting

Sometimes, a text box's default black text will be replaced by another colour (blue for phonemes, purple for pronunciation options…) This can be turned on and off via View >> Text Color Highlighting. Again you can use a shortcut, for this function use Cmd - T (Mac) or Ctrl - T (Windows).

Offline Mode

When using Emvoice One, hundreds of audio files are sourced and combined in a cloud-based server. For this reason, an internet connection is required to edit in Emvoice One. In most cases, the audio from Emvoice is cached on a user’s hard drive.
We highly recommend bouncing Emvoice to audio in situations where internet access is limited or unavailable.

Bouncing to Audio

If your vocal regions are created entirely within the Emvoice One plugin, your DAW may not realize that there is any MIDI data to convert into audio. To work around this, simply loop a MIDI region on your DAW’s track timeline which contains Emvoice. This should trick your DAW into seeing that there is content to be bounced. From there, bounce-to-audio as usual within your DAW.
A video example of this workaround can be found here.

Tempo & Time Signature

To change the tempo or time signature, refer to the options provided directly by your DAW. If the changes do not appear visually within Emvoice, try pressing play and the piano roll should adjust accordingly.