Splitting out vocals

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Splitting out vocals

Post by AlanCase »

Hi. First post here. I am learning to sing. I wish to record myself. I find it a lot easier to pitch correctly if I hear the original singer. What I want to do is hear the full vocal and instrumentals through the headphones but only play the instrumentals through the loudspeakers. I can then record myself and the music with a mic.
Any ideas if this is possible.
Regards Alan
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by ore_terra »

Hi Alan!

it may be possible or not depending on how you're doing it/what resources you have to do it. a few questions:

1. do you have the tracks of the song you want to record? (I mean each instrument isolated in a track)
2. which DAW are you using?
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by AlanCase »

Hi. Thanks for the reply.
Only tracks I have are from Apple music. No software at present.
I was reading how to use audacity. It splits out the voice frm the music then says to set each to mono. Could I then assign vocals to left and the instrumentals to the right channel. Could I then make a cable that is stereo on one end then splits to 2 mono cables. One mono cable to headphones and the other to a speaker.
I assume there is other software other than Audacity that can perform thrse functions.
Regards Alan
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by James Perrett »

I'm not sure that Audacity can extract vocals from music in a particularly clever way (although it is quite a while since I last tried Audacity). You'll be left with an echoey mono file if it does what I think it does. There are much cleverer programs like Izotope RX's Music Rebalance but they're not particularly cheap and even those won't work on everything.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by rockydennis »

I just want to see if I understand you correctly - you want to record yourself singing the song by simultaneously recording your vocals and the instrumental track that's coming out of a loudspeaker. Is that correct?

I think the better option is this. Use whatever product to remove the vocals of the song you wish to record - now you have two versions of the song, one with vocals and one without. Since you mention Audacity - load the original song (with vocals) into Audacity. Play it back and overdub your vocals to a second track. Then replace the first track in Audacity with the instrumental version.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tut ... bbing.html
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by AlanCase »

Hi. Thanks for the replys. Audacity may not be the best choice of software , I just used that as an example. I find when I sing I get closer to the pitch if I am listening to the original artist at the same time. I want to listen to the original artist through headphones. At the same time I want to play they instrumental through a speaker.
If I could synch a karaoke version through a speaker as well as a full version through headphones then that would be perfect.
Regards Alan
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by Sam Spoons »

Why do you want to play the backing through the speaker if you are also listening to the original track on headphones? It would be much better to use a DAW like Audacity to record your vocal alongside the backing track and mix the two afterwards.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by andy cross »

I'm not clear as to why you need to be playing anything through a speaker when you are recording yourself.

Anyway, if I understand your question correctly, you want to record yourself while hearing the original track, and then be able to play back with just your own vocal against the instrumental track. All you need to do is line up the instrumental and original tracks in your DAW (commercial backing tracks almost always match the original in terms of timing so there shouldn't be any issues there), mute the instrumental while recording, and then mute the original when playing back. I do this all the time with novice singers and it's pretty straightforward. It's also possible to blend the instrumental and original tracks when recording to get some original vocal but at a lower level, as a guide.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by The Elf »

Maybe you should consider downloading separate multi-track files, from the likes of karaoke-version, where you will be able to mute/un-mute the guide lead vocal (or other elements) as you like. You will need to have a DAW and a basic grasp of it, but it will be worth the effort.

And, as above, you should avoid using speakers.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by Martin Walker »

andy cross wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:13 pm I'm not clear as to why you need to be playing anything through a speaker when you are recording yourself.

+1

Normally the whole point of listening through headphones is so that you can record yourself singing via a mic without any contribution from the loudspeakers sneaking in.

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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by AlanCase »

Thanks for the ideas. I will have to purchase a DAW and learn how to use it.
Regards Alan
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by James Perrett »

There is probably no need to spend any money initially. If you are on Windows then Cakewalk by Bandlab is a full featured DAW that is free. If you are on Mac then there's Garageband which, as I understand it, has basic DAW features. There is also Reaper which is free to try (and cheap to buy) and works on Macs, Windows and Linux.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by jaminem »

Look at Spectralayers....does exactly what you want...
https://new.steinberg.net/spectralayers ... -editions/

Elements is an utter bargain at £68
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by The Elf »

Up to a point, but I wouldn't expect miracles. Spectralayers is clever, but it suffers the same problems as all 'Karaoke' processing - and you really do have to understand what it is doing to make the best of it.
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Re: Splitting out vocals

Post by jaminem »

Ok, probably could have been clearer..

Given what the OP is trying to achieve:

1. use the unmix vocals function from Spectralayers to create 2 stems - music and vocals, default settings for sensitivity will be fine
2. export those as mono files and import into audacity
3. create a stereo file in audacity with music panned hard left and vocals panned hard right
4. play back into any stereo with a speaker and headphone out
5. monitor on headphones and either put up with the left right balance or sum it to mono with appropriate cable/adaptor
6. play back track on stereo speakers only using left channel to isolate the music
7. sing in front of left channel speaker and record both voice and speaker channel back into audacity with mic.

Hows that?
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