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Old January 2nd, 2007, 08:38 AM   #1
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Removing Vocals

I have a song that I would like, if possible, using Soundtrack Pro to remove the vocals leaving the instrumental music. Can this be done and if yes, how is it done on STP?
John Moon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:09 AM   #2
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This is the most asked question on the audio boards. Here is the answer:


You cannot pull just the sugar out of a cake once it's baked.
There are EQ tricks that try to carve out the center of the stereo field where the vocal sometimes "sits", but these rarely do an adequate job.

Here is one tool:

Here is a "how-to" describing how to do it manually:

You will find that VERY FEW songs have the vocals totally centered, leaving artifacts that sound weird. The reverbs of the vocals will not be centered and will come through anyway, leaving weird "ghost vocals". And you will lose any other instruments in the center area (usually drums and bass but maybe more). The songs will sound artificial.

Get a karoke file of the song (usually recreated by other bands with the vocals not mixed in), or a midi file of the song when you can mix in your own vocals on top of it.
Tim OBrien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tim OBrien
You cannot pull just the sugar out of a cake once it's baked.
LOL I love that line, have to remember it!
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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While I wholeheartedly support Tim's comment and it's the fundamental reality you should learn and keep to heart...

There is actually ONE circumstance where you can sorta kinda do this.

If all the music in the track is mixed in stereo and the instruments are separated right and left. AND if the vocal is mixed dead center in MONO...

Then, keeping the stereo separation intact, you can PHASE INVERT the whole track and if you're very, VERY lucky, the vocal will phase cancel itself and leave you with the music bed sorta intact.

This is the principal used in the "vocal remover" boxes that were sorta popular in the 1960s.

Because quite a few early records were mixed precisely this way - those things kinda worked. However, if the piano (or anything else) was in the mix in two track mono, it will disappear as well.

An "iffy" technique at best - but fun to play with!

Good luck.
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