Amplifying Vocal Track

Does anyone know how I can amplify my vocals on a demo that I’m creating? Can I separate the vocal track from the music and then amplify the vocals only. I’ve tried amplifying the entire song but then I hear too many other new sounds, of course, that I didn’t hear before. All of the performances were live, so there is already some extraneous noise from the audience, etc. I’m using a MAC PowerBook G4. MAC OSX 10.4.11.


Sometimes is possible to isolate elements from a stereo recording … Missing features - Audacity Support

Windows Plug-ins

Two Windows VST plug-ins are known of that can be used in Audacity for vocal removal and isolation.

  • kn0ck0ut (free) can sometimes remove vocals where they are not centre-panned but rather different in frequency make-up compared to the non-vocal parts of the track. It works on two mono tracks (split from a stereo track and made mono as above) by extracting the right channel frequencies from the left hand frequencies, leaving the “result” in the former left channel. Alternatively, > if your vocals are centre-panned, this plug-in can often make a good job of isolating them from everything else. >

But don’t get your hopes up: the kn0ck0ut plug-in adds plenty of horrible digital artifacts.

If the vocal is recorded on a separate track from the rest of the music then it is very easy to do. If the vocal is mixed in with rest of the music on the same track then it is virtually impossible.
A “trick” that can be used to record the main vocal on a separate track while using an external mixing desk and a 2 channel (stereo) sound card is to pan the vocal over to one side and pan the rest of the music over to the other side. The recorded stereo track can then be split in Audacity to produce two mono tracks, one with just the music and one with just the vocal.


Thanks Steve. The vocals were recorded with the music at my live concerts so they are indeed mixed in with everything else, as you surmised The problem mainly, is that the concerts were both recorded with video cameras, not excellent sound systems as I would have preferred so, the quality of the recordings is not the best… but Audacity has helped with that greatly. It’s just sometimes, on some songs, my voice seems to be “hiding” behind the piano a bit and I was hoping to bring it forward since the purpose of the demo is to showcase my voice. I will check out some of your suggestions.

Overall, I’m thrilled to have been able to edit these songs myself in Audacity and have already received some positive interest by some who have only heard a few selections off the CD. In fact, it sounds more like a CD/Album and not just a demo, so I’m very happy and excited to use it as my “calling card” as well as for sound clips on my music website.

Thanks so much!

Thanks Trebor,

I have a Mac though, so can I still use Windows Plug-Ins??? I’ll check it out and find out.

I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me with my query.


The Audacity page I linked to above suggests the free Brainworx_solo plug-in for Mac users.

there may be a 14 day limit with the “free” braiworx plug-ins.

BTW if your recording is mono, (one mic in the video camera), vocal isolation/vocal removal is impossible, a stereo recording is necessary, and even then the results are far from perfect …

Is there a MAC version? (of kn0ck0ut)

  • No.

Recently, I found that a little compression, either on a selection or the whole track - depending on what the rest of the balance is like - can be pretty useful for bringing the vocals forward slightly in either old mixed demos or live recordings. It was usually the bass that I needed to bring down a bit as well. Definitely worth a try!


Ian T.