How to pull vocals out??
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard Fooman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default How to pull vocals out??

    How do you pull the vocals out of a song so you just have the beat? To either create a loop or just have the beat playing. What software do you use?

  2. #2



    the unfortunate news is that, unless you have the original multitrack recording so that you can pullout the vocals from source, removing the vocals is far from perfect and far from an exact science, there is no simple or exact way to do it.

    The basic principal uses the fact that when two similar frequencies meet 'in phase' they add to each other, and when they meet 'out of phase' they cancel out, which is a corner stone of so much that has to be delt with in sound.

    Now on your average record you will have some instruments that are panned to the left and some that are panned to the right. You will also have some that are panned to the center, which are usually the lead vocal along with maybe a snare and bass drum and often the bass guitar among others. Because they are panned center they appear in both the left and the right channel of the stereo mix equally. If you were to combine these two channels together at this stage, the center panned instruments, being present in both channels, would meet 'in phase' and combine.

    What we wish to do however is invert one of the channels so that it is exactly out of phase with the other one. Now when we combine them, for the instruments that were center panned the two channels are combined and the cancel each other out. Any instruments that are panned only to the left or the right dont meet an out of phase copy of themselves and so don't cancel and are preserved.

    The problems with this are many because it is far from perfect. As you can see it is not only the vocal but anything that is center panned that is canceled, and depending on the song in question many different instruments can be effected.

    Even instruments that are panned are very rarely 'hard panned', i.e. ONLY in the left or the right, usually they are panned part way and still have a small component of themselves in the other channel and so while they aren't fully canceled they are often effected in some way, becoming quieter or introducing phase artifacts.

    And often, while the dry main vocal may be center panned, often reverb, chorus or echo effects that are added are panned in funny ways so while you might remove most of the main vocal itself, they're may still be traces left in the song due to these that can't be gotten rid of.

    Its basically a case of for each song, try it and see. For some it may work to a resonable and usable standard, but for others traces may still be left over or it may cancel and effect too many other instruments to be usable.

    Best thing by far is if you search the net and can get a proper instrumental version, which has been made in the studio by the artist themselves (well, their engineers) who obviously have the proper multitrack and just have to push the mute button on the vocal track to get a perfect copy of the song without any vocals


  3. #3
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Perth, Australia


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