Re: how to separate? by Randy Brown on Jan 1, 2006 at 7:25:21 am
Yes there is a way to do this, BUT, I have to offer a few caveats...
1. There is no fool-proof way to remove vocals from songs. There is, however, a way to eliminate the "center channel" (anything mixed in the dead center, equal amounts left channel and right channel). Fortunately, a lot of vocals are mixed in the dead center of the mix. Not all, but many.
2. Even when vocals are mixed dead center (where they can be eliminated), most producers spread the reverb on the voice across the left and right channels (sterea) to thicken up the vocal. What that means is this: Even if you're able to removed the dead-center vocal, the reverb on the vocal may remain (and there's no way to remove it). So even if the voice is removed, you may hear a "ghosting" effect, which amounts to nothing more than the reverb of the voice.
3. This process will remove ANYTHING that is mixed dead center in the mix. Be warned that oftentimes producers mix more than just voice in the dead center. Sometimes the drums are there. Or the bass line. Really, anything could be there. But just know that whatever is there will be gone when you're through doing this.
4. Once you do the removal, you have to convert the audio file to mono for the removal to work.
Okay, with all those caveats said, here's the way to do it:
A. Open your song in the Edit View (single waveform) view and zoom out full (click on the little zoom tool that looks like a magnifying glass over a WHITE sheet of paper).
B. Move the cursor (arrow) so that it is near the top of the top (left) channel OR the bottom of the bottom (right) channel, then double-click to select the right or left channel (only) of the entire file. (It doesn't matter which channel you select.)
C. Go to the Effects menu and select INVERT. This inverts the phase of the one channel you've selected.
D. Go the Edit menu and select Convert Sample Type (or just click the F11 key). Convert the file to MONO (100% left and right).
Play the file and you'll find anything that was mixed in the middle is now gone. If the vocals are gone, you're lucky, but I've seen it work plenty of times. Most commonly, though, is that the vocal can be removed, but the reverb on the voice cannot (and the backup vocalists are almost always stereo, so you can't remove those).