3 ways to remove vocals from songs

3 ways to remove vocals from songs
3 ways to remove vocals from songs

Want to do karaoke tracks? You could learn to remove the vocal channel from your songs to keep only the musical accompaniment. Although this procedure is quite difficult to perform without damaging the track, there are a variety of tips and techniques available to achieve the best possible audio quality.


Method 1 of 3: Remove the center channel

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 1

Step 1. Start by working on high quality audio tracks

If you import low quality files into your editing software, the sound will not be good when you start removing clips. It is important to start by working with.wav and.flac files. The results will be much clearer than with a very compressed.mp3 file.

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 2

Step 2. Locate the vocals in the audio mix

Stereo tracks are made up of two channels with instruments and vocals. Bass, guitar and other channels are typically positioned to one side or the other, while vocals are placed in the “center channel”. This helps to give the impression that the song is "centered". To isolate it, you need to separate this central channel and reverse one of the two channels.

  • How can you determine where the song is? Just listen to the sound with good quality headphones. If the voice seems to come from both channels simultaneously, it means that it is mixed in the center. If not, it is on the side you hear it.
  • Some specific styles of music and recordings have different channel balances. If the edge is oriented on one channel or another instead of centered, it will be easier to remove it.
  • Songs with a lot of effects might be difficult to separate and reverse. There might be a little echo from the vocal part that is difficult to remove.
Remove Vocals from Songs Step 3

Step 3. Import the audio into the editing software of your choice

You can do this basic manipulation in any editing software that lets you reverse the tracks of a particular channel. The exact location of this tool varies by program, but for the programs below, the process is the same:

  • Audacity
  • Pro Tools
  • Ableton
  • Reason
Remove Vocals from Songs Step 4

Step 4. Divide the channels into separate tracks

In most programs, you can divide a high-quality sound file recorded in stereo into two tracks. You should see a black arrow next to the track title, which you can click and then select Split stereo track. You should then have separate channels allowing you to work each one individually.

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 5

Step 5. Select one of the channels to reverse

Since both channels have vocal parts, select any one. Double click to select the entire track if you want to remove vocals from the entire song.

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 6

Step 6. Reverse the channel

Once you have selected the track, invert it using the “Effect” function and selecting Reverse. The song should sound a little weird when you play it. After reversing, the track should sound like it's coming from both sides and not from the middle.

You should still hear some vocals, but don't worry, you'll be fine-tuning the effects when you switch back to mono

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 7

Step 7. Convert the file to mono

Combine the two stereo channels again into one channel. You now have a combined track which should have a reduced amplitude. This means that the vocal part will disappear to give way only to the instrumental part. You might still hear a few bits of the singer in the background.

Method 2 of 3: Use specialized software

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 8

Step 1. Choose software that extracts voice

Software packages for extracting voice can be found on the Internet, at various prices. Some can be downloaded for free, but most are chargeable. Each pack offers instructions for installing it. Here are some packs for different prices:

  • Vocal Remover Pro
  • IPE MyVoice Karaoke
  • Roland R-MIX
  • E-Media MyVoice
  • WaveArts Dialog
Remove Vocals from Songs Step 9

Step 2. Install an audio equalization software package

Such software is not available for free, it must be purchased. Installation instructions are provided with the pack. Check that the program is compatible with your operating system and the audio files you are using. Here are some examples of audio equalizers:

  • Profound Sound CSharp
  • Equalizer APO
  • Graphic Equalizer Pro
  • Boom 2
Remove Vocals from Songs Step 10

Step 3. Open the audio file and follow the instructions

Each software package works differently, but all have a tutorial specific to them to walk you through the process. This is quite easy, especially on software specifically designed to help you record karaoke tracks. The software is able to automatically perform the removal of audio tracks.

With an equalizer, you usually just need to open the software and play the music file you want to edit. The equalizer will automatically remove the audio tracks

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 11

Step 4. Adjust the equalizer to preserve the bass

In order not to lose the bass, it is important that you make some adjustments. Set the signal attenuation to + 5dB at 200Hz and below on the left and right channels. This helps to keep the bass.

Method 3 of 3: Reverse the speaker phase

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 12

Step 1. Understand the concept of a channel phase

Two sound waves which rise and fall together are said to be "in phase". When one of the waves rises when the other goes down, they are said to be “out of phase”. Out-of-phase waves cancel each other out, resulting in a flat sound wave. By reversing the phase of one speaker, the corresponding sound wave on the other speaker is canceled.

The effectiveness of this technique is questionable: it can theoretically work, but it is not a method of recording an audio file without the vocal part

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 13

Step 2. Find the wires that lead to the back of one of the speakers

Each speaker normally has two wires, one positive and one negative. They are usually red and white, black and red, or black and white. Sometimes they're both black. Swap the two wires connected to a speaker.

  • Connect the red wire where the black wire was connected and connect the black wire to the red terminal.
  • Many modern stereo systems and headphones do not allow the wires to be swapped on the back of the speaker. Sometimes the wires are bundled into a single sheath. The only way to swap the bundled wires is to separate them or resolder the connector.
Remove Vocals from Songs Step 14

Step 3. Use a digital signal processing processor

There are special digital techniques based on the use of chips called “digital signal processors” which allow the wave to be swapped inside the stereo or Wi-Fi system. The button is usually a button. "Karaoke", which swaps one side of the phase of the stereo image.

If your stereo or app has it, just squeeze it and the vocals are noticeably softened or even disappeared

Remove Vocals from Songs Step 15

Step 4. Adjust the levels to accommodate the absence of vocals

The background vocals are often more mixed left or right and are therefore difficult to remove. If you're trying to do a karaoke track, you'll have to live with it and pretend it's your own background choir.

  • The inverted flipped phase really affects the waves corresponding to the bass. The bass could therefore disappear at the same time as the vocals. Digital DSP Karaoke systems work around this problem by returning the phase only to the vocals frequencies. Try to adjust the levels of your stereo to get a correct result.
  • Sophisticated voice extraction systems will let you decide which frequencies to reverse out of phase.

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