How to Remove Vocals From a Song

By Jack Gerard

Removing the vocals from songs isn't easy since the vocals and music share the same track on a CD or audio file. It's possible to remove most vocals, however, because vocals usually fall within the middle range of a tune's audio spectrum. You need software that can edit the left and right channels of a song separately, making it possible to eliminate the section containing the vocals.

Step 1

Launch your audio editing software and load the song you wish to edit using the "Open..." option in the "File" menu. The file should be in a stereo WAV format (with the file type .wav) so the software can separate the song into left and right channels.

Step 2

Select the left channel and highlight its contents, then copy it to a new editing window. Do the same with the right channel so that you have two copies of each channel.

Step 3

Select the copy of the left channel again and highlight its contents. From the "Edit" menu of your software, select "Invert" to reverse the polarity of the audio track.

Step 4

Select the inverted copy of the left channel again. Open the "EQ" or "Equalizer" menu and select the parametric function. Adjust the slider to 200 hurtz (Hz) or enter "200" for the numerical value of the function. This will create a low frequency "shelf" on the channel.

Step 5

Use the "Mix" function to combine the inverted and edited left channel with the copy you created of the right channel. The portions of the channels that overlap, or the mid-range audio containing the vocals, will cancel each other out and remove the vocals from the finished product.

Step 6

Preview the mixed track to make sure you're satisfied. Undo the mix and adjust the parametric function slider if you want to adjust the track edit further, then mix the channels again and preview the result. Save the combined track as a new file once you are satisfied.

Tips & Warnings

  • The vocal removal process can be automated using specifically designed software. Plug-ins to popular audio programs can also automate the process.