Breaking Down and Editing Tracks from a .m4a file

I made a song on Garageband using several tracks (bass, drums, vocals, etc). I exported the file as a MPEG-4 Audio File (.m4a), and I didn’t save the original Garageband file by accident. Is there a way I can edit one of the tracks using Audacity?

Essentially, I would have to break down the song (in the .m4a format) into its original five tracks and then add effects to only one track. This would be the vocals track, which I forgot to save. I saved all the other individual tracks.

I’m guessing the answer is no, and I’ll have to cut and paste all the vocals takes to make the vocals track again, but I just want to make sure there’s not a way I can get into that .m4a file first.

Technical information: Windows 8, Audacity 2.0.5, .exe installer

Thank you in advance.

I’m guessing the answer is no,

And you’d be right. We can’t take apart a mixed song into its original instruments and voices. We can open up the m4a file by adding the FFMpeg software, but all that will give you is mixed music.


I’m trying to read that again. Did you say you saved the m4a file as multiple channel? It should open up just as you saved it.


Did you say you saved the m4a file as multiple channel?

What do you mean by this? I saved the Garageband file as a .m4a file. Then I converted that file into WAV to open it in Audacity, since Audacity wouldn’t work with my .m4a file. Audacity opened it up as one mixed track. I do not have the original Garageband file.

Koz means an M4A that has more than two channels (more than stereo).

So no - you can’t take the channels apart after you mixed them down to a stereo file.