How to Extract Only Background Music from a Song

By Maya Austen

To extract the background music from a song, you have to strip away the vocals. To accomplish this task with a song that has already been mixed, you need a stereo recording of the song. And, the vocals for the song have to have been mixed exactly in the center of the left and right channels. The good news is many songs are mixed this way where the vocals are equal on both channels and the instrumental elements are panned some degree to the left or right. With this arrangement, by subtracting one channel from the other, only the instrumentals are left.

Things You'll Need

  • Audacity
  • Waveosaur
  • WavePad

Audacity

Step 1

Launch the Audacity application.

Step 2

Go to the “File” menu. Select “Open.” Browse to the directory where the audio file you want to edit is located. The audio file must be stereo and in .wav, .aif, .ogg or .mp3 format. Click on the file to select it. Click “Open” to import the file into Audacity.

Step 3

Click on the arrow next to the track to open the track drop-down menu. Select “Split Stereo Track.”

Step 4

Click directly above the “Solo” or “Mute” button on the bottom track. This will highlight the track, indicating that the track is selected. Go to the “Effects” menu and select “Invert.”

Step 5

Open the drop-down menu for the top track. Select “Mono.” Open the drop-down menu for the bottom track. Select “Mono.”

Step 6

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.

Waveosaur

Step 1

Launch the Waveosaur application.

Step 2

Go to the “File” menu. Select “Open.” Browse to the directory where the audio file you want to edit is located. The audio file must be stereo and in .wav, .iff, .aif, .au, .snd, .voc, .vox or .mp3 format. Click on the file to select it. Click “Open” to import the file into Waveosaur.

Step 3

Type “Ctrl” plus “A” to select the entire audio waveform.

Step 4

Go to the “Process” menu. Select “Vocal Removal.”

Step 5

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.

WavePad

Step 1

Launch the WavePad application.

Step 2

Click the “Open File” button. Browse to the directory where the audio file you want to edit is located. The audio file must be stereo and in .wav, mp3, .aif, .au, .vox, .ogg or .flac format. Click “Open” to import the file into WavePad.

Step 3

Type “Ctrl” plus “A” to select the entire audio waveform.

Step 4

Open the “Effects” menu. Go to “Special Effects.” Select “Reduce Vocals.”

Step 5

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.