How to Isolate Vocals

Welcome to this tutorial series on how to isolate vocals. We’ll be covering both how to extract vocals and how to remove vocals from a song — they’re really two sides of the same coin. One you end up with a solo vocal track, the other with a clean instrumental track.

We’ll be using vocal remover software from Audionamix, called ADX TRAX Pro 3 SP. It is very powerful, specifically built for the purpose of vocal extraction. Whether you’re looking to get the isolated vocals for a track you want to remix, or to remove vocals to create an instrumental version of a song, this is the only piece of software that you’ll need.

In this video tutorial series, we’ll be breaking down how to separate vocals from the backing instruments, using such techniques as:

  • Audio Separation
  • Pitch Guide Refinement
  • Consonant Boosting
  • Spatial Isolation
  • Spectral Editing
  • and more!

If any of this sounds a bit daunting — don’t worry! You can get started extracting vocals from a song after learning only the most basic concepts. TRAX gives you a pretty solid automated extraction. From there, you could continue to learn more techniques if you want to, in order to get a more polished isolation or removal. Go as deep as you want, but remember — have fun while you’re learning and practicing.

Anyway, enough talking, let’s get into it!

1. How to Isolate Vocals Overview

  • 1.1 Introduction to Vocal Extraction
  • 1.2 Begin with the End in Mind
  • 1.3 Non-Destructive Editing
  • 1.4 The Lay of the Land
  • 1.5 A Quick Demo

2. The Separate Screen

  • 2.1 Separate Screen Overview (The Pitchogram, Settings)
  • 2.2 Automatic Separation
  • 2.3 Pitch Guide Line
  • 2.4 Pitch Guide Refinement Toolkit
    • The Pencil Tool
    • The Pitch Magnet Tool
    • The Marquee Tool
    • The Consonant Annotation Tool
    • The Eraser Tool
  • 2.5 Refining Your Separation

3. The Process Screen

  • 3.1 Process Screen Overview
  • 3.2 Advanced Processing Algorithms
    • High Quality
    • Consonants Boost
    • Short / Long Reverb
    • Panning Position
  • 3.3 Post-Processing Toolkit — The Spatial Isolation Tool
  • 3.4 Post-Processing Toolkit — The Drum Enhancement / Reduction Tool
  • 3.5 Comping Your Separations

4. The Spectral Screen

  • 4.1 Spectral Screen Overview (The Spectrogram, Settings)
  • 4.2 Spectral Selection Toolkit
    • The Marquee Selector
    • The Time Selector
    • The Frequency Selector
    • The Lasso Selector
    • The Harmonic Selector
  • 4.3 Spectral Editing Toolkit
    • Gain
    • Tonal / Noise
    • Smart Attenuate
    • Denoise
  • 4.4 Pan-Specific View
  • 4.5 Saving Your Spectral Edits

5. Putting It All Together

  • 5.1 Putting It All Together
  • 5.2 Know Your Goal, Know Your Tools
  • 5.3 Exporting Your Isolated Vocals

Thanks for tuning in! If you got value out of this tutorial series, leave a comment or share with a friend who’d be interested. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I post music tutorials and livestream music production sessions every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Until next time..

If this all sounds like too much work, and you just want a separated acapella or instrumental without all the blood, sweat, and tears, shoot me an email at tom@loudverse.com. We can talk about working together on a vocal isolation or instrumental creation project.

VENOMISTO is Dance Music for the World. Dance Music for the 22nd Century.