Can someone remove the vocals of this song for me?

I’ve wasted hours on Audacity and Google researching ways on how I can remove vocals from this song, and I wasn’t very successful with it. So I was wondering if someone who is better in this kind of stuff could help me with it. I need the vocals removed for a college project, and I’m re-writing the lyrics to the song.

The song is Shipoopi, from the Broadway Musical “The Music Man.”

I downloaded the song directly from a CD, if that helps at all.

Thanks in advance.


The title of this tool is “Center Pan Removal if you can get it to work at all and probably not.”

The problem with this piece is not that Vocal Removal didn’t work. It actually works remarkably well, but the orchestra is mostly mono during the first half of the performance (up to 1:15) and so it goes, too. The second half works out much better. The orchestra comes forward and the chorus is mostly gone up to the last note.

If you work on the WAV generated by the Music CD, then you can do even better. MP3 screws up this tool a little. Then I would use Chris’s Compressor to even out the variations and it may be enough. Sing loud over the old vocal.

You know this tool gives you the show back in mono, right? Not stereo? You need to be in Audacity 1.3.12.


Google karaoke version of the song. You’d be amazed what you can buy on line.


[The whole poopy version is to big to post here, If you want the whole version Jooze PM me an email, or a dropbox, that I can email the mp3 to].

Audacity page on Kn0ck0ut plugin here …

Sorry, but I’m not in much of a position to pay 30 bucks just for one project. As if college fees aren’t pricey as hell enough… But anyways, how can I extract the song from my CD on to my Desktop as a WAV file? It automatically uploaded to iTunes, but if I pull out the song from there it’s in MP3 format.

Trebor, you did a much better job than I did, but I kinda need the vocals mostly (preferably completely) gone.

Again, thanks in advance.

It automatically uploaded to iTunes

You can change iTunes preferences to any format that QuickTime recognizes and there are a lot. Open Preferences > CD > Import settings > WAV Encoder, Automatic. Or whatever you want. iPod native format is Apple AAC, not MP3.

Trebor, you did a much better job than I did, but I kinda need the vocals mostly (preferably completely) gone.

This song as recorded doesn’t lend itself to perfect production. My version was with Audacity default tools. Trebor’s version was one of the more comprehensive tools. If none of this is going to do it for you, you may have no show. The general rule is you can’t separate individual instruments, including voice from a mixed performance. Rarely, the vocal management tools work, but there are a great many rules and this song falls outside some of them. As near as I can tell, stereo effects were added to the original voice. That’s deadly. you can’t remove that.


One minute Googling found this instrumental version at $1.47 …

That track could be made to sound a bit more orchestral by using a chorus effect, like I did with this sax solo.

So will it make a difference if I extract the CD version of the song in to a WAV file?

Also Trebor, I’ve listened to the free sample of the song you sent me, and it’s actually missing some crucial instruments at one of the parts. There are also a few completely different instruments from the version I have. It sounds like it’s using fiddles instead of violins, but I can’t tell for sure; I’m a woodwind player. :stuck_out_tongue:

it’s actually missing some crucial instruments at one of the parts.

Entirely possible. The tools have no idea what they are doing musically. They work by direction, left to right.

The Audacity tools delete anything exactly in the middle of the stereo show – half way between left and right. It’s called Center Pan Removal because anything in the middle is deleted, many times the lead singers but also frequently drum and bass. If you’re sitting in the middle of the audience, it would be any orchestral instruments directly behind the conductor. All gone.

The better tools allow you to control the direction – half-left, half-right, two-thirds left, ad lib. They still have no idea what instruments they are affecting. All these tools require a very high quality stereo show with no stereo special effects – that’s why they almost always fail on downloaded or other highly compressed songs.

The tools are an arithmetic function, not a music function, and they rarely work well.


So what can I do to remove vocals beyond the point I have now, or is that the best I’m going to end up with?

Given the constraints you have, no dollars and no cents, then yes, that’s the ball game.

Our worst nightmare was the YouTube presentation where someone created a perfect karaoke song from a song with a singer. He showed how he was able to use the Audacity tools to carefully subtract the singer from the show with little or no damage to the rest of the orchestration other than the Stereo to Mono shift. I think this was just before the Center Pan Removal tool was introduced to collect all the tools into one.

Of course, either intentionally or not, he picked one top quality song that lent itself absolutely correctly to this process. He looked up to the camera and said, “See how easy that was?”

Instantly, hundreds of people tried to download ratty, distorted MP3s or songs that had other problems and turn them into karaoke. None succeeded. A great many appeared here wondering what the deal was and we’ve been explaining this ever since.

Now you know their plight.


And to specifically answer you, yes, if this is going to work, it’s only going to work with the WAV file ripped from the Music CD. Keep it in 44100, 16-bit, stereo and see how you do.

MP3 is a delivery format, not a production format. It creates damage.