Remove vocals from a song


I am using the latest version of Audacity on my Windows 8.1 laptop and need some help. I am trying to scrub vocals from a song (“At Last” by Etta James) that is in .cda format that I will be using as an instrumental. I have tried using the Vocal Remover in the effects menu and Invert ( both separately and together) to no avail. The vocals are still at the same volume as the original.

Any help and tips that might help me would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you are going to offer an idea for a specific process, please be specific and go through each step for me because - as I said - I am new to Audacity.

Thank you for your time and assistance! :slight_smile:

Please see the pink panel at the top of this page and give us all three numbers from Help > About Audacity… .

Have you ripped the song from the CD to WAV? That is better than ripping to MP3.

Here is the page Audacity Manual.

If the song is not amenable to the tools in Audacity then you can try Vocal Removal Plug-ins.

This is a good plugin not mentioned there Put it in the Audacity Plug-Ins folder and restart Audacity. You must be using Audacity 2.1.0 to use that plugin.

It is often simpler to buy or download a ready-made specially recorded karaoke version of a song than mess around trying to partially remove vocals from the original.


that I will be using as an instrumental.

It’s actually a center-channel remover and it rarely makes a “useful” recording. Centered lead instruments are removed along with the voice and there is usually some remaining vocal reverb and/or background vocal.

The vocals are still at the same volume as the original.

On my copy of At Last from The Best of Chess Records it removed about 90% of the vocal.

You’ll need a stereo version for it to be successful.
Some vocals remain (-40 dB RMS):