Remove Vocals From Songs With These Free Programs

Listen to music without the singing.

Have you ever listened to a song and wished that you could eliminate the vocals? The art of removing the human voice from music tracks is notoriously difficult to do, but it can be done.

Vocal scrubbing is never perfect. Because the process usually works by inverting the stereo image and converting it to and from mono, there will always be some vocal artifacts. And even if you're able to remove most of the vocals the instrumental track will still sound altered. However, with some experimentation, good-quality audio, and a little bit of luck, you can achieve decent results.

Software that can remove a voice from a song can cost a lot of money. In this guide, we look at some free software you can use with your own digital music library.

An illustration of a person listening to music with the vocals and music separated.
Lifewire 

Audacity

What We Like
  • Powerful and popular audio-editing program.

  • Tweak waveforms even if specific plugins aren't totally successful.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires understanding of waveform editing; steep learning curve.

  • Rendering output as an MP3 requires additional setup and installation.

The popular Audacity audio editor has built-in support for vocal removal. There are different scenarios where this may be helpful. One is if the vocals are in the middle of the stereo image with instruments spread around them. Another is if the vocals are in one channel and everything else in another. 

You can read more about these options in the online Audacity manual.

The option for vocal removal in Audacity is through the Effect menu. One is called Vocal Remover and the other is Vocal Reduction and Isolation

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Wavosaur

What We Like
  • Automatic processing.

  • Lots of powerful waveform editing tools.

What We Don't Like
  • Antiquated interface.

  • Limited waveform editing.

As well as being an excellent free audio editor that supports VST plugins, batch conversions, loops, recording, and other features, Wavosaur can be used to remove vocals from songs. Once you've imported an audio file into Wavosaur, you can use the Voice Remover tool to automatically process the file.

As with all voice removal software, the results you get with Wavosaur vary. This is due to various factors such as the type of music, how compressed it is, and the quality of the audio source.

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AnalogX Vocal Remover (Winamp Plugin)

What We Like
  • Algorithmic approach to voice canceling.

  • Does one thing, and does it cleanly.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires Winamp.

  • Successful in limited cases.

If you use the Winamp media player with your music collection, then AnalogX Vocal Remover can be installed in your plugins folder to remove vocals.

Once installed, it has a simple interface for removing vocals. You can use either the Remove Vocals button for active processing or the bypass button to hear the song normally. There's also a useful slider bar so you can control the amount of audio processing.

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To use AnalogX Vocal Remover in Winamp, go to Options > Preferences > DSP/effect.

Karaoke Anything

What We Like
  • Simplifies the process of isolating and removing vocals.

  • No complex bells and whistles.

What We Don't Like
  • Poor user ratings.

  • Can't save the track.

Karaoke Anything is a software audio player that does a decent job of removing vocals from music tracks. It can be used for MP3 files or entire audio CDs.

The interface is very user-friendly. To work on an MP3 file, simply select that mode. The audio player is very basic but it allows you to preview music before working on them. As you'd expect, there's a play, pause, and stop button.

A slider bar is used to control the amount of audio processing when reducing vocals. Unfortunately, Karaoke Anything isn’t capable of saving what you hear.

That said, if you want a basic audio player for MP3 files and audio CDs that can filter out vocals, then Karaoke Anything is a decent tool to keep in your digital audio toolbox.

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