How to Remove Vocals Using Cool Edit Pro

By Zachariah C. Miller

Removing the vocals from a music file can be accomplished with several steps from within Cool Edit or Adobe Audition. You won't need any additional plug-ins other than what comes with your sound editing software. Keep in mind that no software can completely remove the vocals from an audio file, as there will be a center drop and loss of bass from the music where the vocals used to be. The results will be either good or poor depending on how the music was mixed originally.

Step 1

Open Cool Edit or Adobe Audition. Click "File" and select "Open" to load your audio file that you want to remove the vocal from.

Step 2

Click the "Effects" menu, select "Amplitude," then "Channel Mixer." Select "Vocal Cut" from the Preset list at the right, and click "OK." If you want to audition or "A/B" the sound before and after the removal, use the "Bypass" check box and the "Preview" button. Click "OK."

Step 3

Click the file menu, and click "Save As..." Save the file as "(title) without vocal." Use the "WAV" file format in the "Save as type" box. Click "Save." Since you just cut the vocal from the song, you also removed the bass. Now we'll have to re-insert the bass back into the song.

Step 4

Press play on the vocal-removed file loaded in the window. You'll notice there is no bass. Click "File" and "Open." Load the original mixed music file that you loaded originally.

Step 5

Click "Effects," "Filters," then "FFT Filter." Select the "Only The Subwoofer" preset. The filter line will appear in the display box, angled to the left a bit. Drag the square spline box until it's straight up and down, so that the line is all right angles. Click "File" and "Save as..." to save this bass only file. Save it as "(title) bass only." Use the "WAV" file type.

Step 6

Press "Control+A" on your keyboard to select the entire "bass only" waveform. Click the "Edit" menu, then pick the "Copy" command to copy the bass only version to the clipboard. Now double-click the "without vocal" version to select it and focus it in the edit window. Click the "Edit" menu, "Mix Paste..." and then click "OK" to mix the clipboard contents into the vocal-less file. Press the "Play" button in the program or the space bar on the keyboard to listen to mix. Click "File" then "Save." Your file is now vocal-less and you've successfully re-introduced the lost center bass frequencies back into the song.