How Do I read vocal frequencies

Hi all,

I’m new to Audacity. I downloaded the program last night for the purpose of removing vocals from songs. So far I have had mixed results by using the vocal remover function “simple -entire spectrum”. It seems to remove most of the vocals but also takes out alot of the drums and bass.

As a result I would like to try the recommendation as described in the help section that talks about “Removing the upper and lower frequnecy band of the voices”. It then suggests to enter two frequnecies between 0 and 20000. I would like to try this, but I do not know how to read the correct lower and upper vocal frequencies that appear on the screen. Can anyone help on how to accurately read these frequencies???

Thanks in advance.


There is no definite answer to this one.

The frequency range of male voices is about 100 to 500 Hz, while the female range is about 200 to 900Hz.
However, most singers have a narrower range than this, so you might find that about 150 to 350Hz covers most men and 250 to 700Hz most women.

Put those numbers in and see what the result is like. If it is not what you want, Undo and repeat with different numbers. If you can hear too much of the high voices, make the higher number bigger, and if you can hear too much of the low voices, make the lower number smaller. Remember that the the smaller you make the range of frequencies you are removing, the more of the instrumental part will be left.

Continue to Undo and repeat with different numbers until you think “This is as good as it is going to get.” because it is never going to be perfect.


The numbers are a bit out - that’s probably close to the range for the “fundamental” frequencies of male and female voices, but voices contain many overtones and other sounds (such as S’s , T’s and Ch) that go way higher than this.
Telephones are optimised for the frequency range that gives best intelligibility to speech, which is in the range of around 300Hz to 3kHz.

Very true, I wasn’t thinking about the harmonics when I wrote that.

Still, in the context of removing vocals, I would prefer to start with removing a relatively narrow frequency range and expanding it if necessary, in the hope of keeping as much of the instrumental part as possible.

In the end, it comes down to what sounds best (or, at least, acceptable).


Thank you everyone for replying and for the great advice. I’ll try the new numbers and let you know how it worked out. Thanks again. Chappo