How to Edit Out Vocals From a Song

Vocals that are panned in the center may be removed from a recording with an audio editing program. Panning refers to the spatial location from which the vocals emanate. When mastering, vocals can be panned from left to right, or in such a way that they sound centered. When you wear earphones, there is a left and right earphone. This is intentional because the recording engineer intends for sounds to come from either the right or left earphone. Center panned vocals sound split between the two headphones.

Step 1 Download and install an audio editing program of your choice. Audacity is a free option that has the capability to remove center-panned vocals, but you will need to download version 1.3 or higher. Commercial paid options include Sonar and Peak Pro.

Step 2 Import your audio track. Select the audio file from your desktop and drag it to the audio editing window. This window will have numbers, similar to a ruler, that indicate the seconds in the song. The software will automatically analyze the file and prepare it for editing.

Step 3 Click on the "Effects" option. Find the "Vocal Remover" or a similar option from your audio editing program. Select this option, leave all of the options in their default setting and click "OK."

Step 4 Listen to the audio file to verify that the vocals have been removed. If you find that some of the background audio has been removed, undo the changes that were made by selecting the "Edit" menu and choosing "Undo."

Step 5 Open the "Vocal Remover" box to modify the settings. Start by changing the frequency to 550 hertz for the low-end option and 1950 hertz for the high-end option. Continue this process, adding 50 hertz to the low-end, and removing 50 hertz from the high-end until you have removed only the vocals.

If the vocals are on the left side of the recording, which is rare, start by setting the lowest setting at 0 hertz and the highest setting at 1600 hertz. For right panned vocals, you will need to set the lowest setting to 19400 hertz and the highest to 20000 hertz.


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