How to Extract Only Background Music from a Song

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.

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Audio edit software can be used to strip or significantly reduce the vocals a song.

Audacity

Step

Launch the Audacity application.

Step

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

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

Step

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

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

Step

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.

Waveosaur

Step

Launch the Waveosaur application.

Step

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

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

Step

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

Step

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.

WavePad

Step

Launch the WavePad application.

Step

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

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

Step

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

Step

Click the "Play" button to hear the results.