Removing background talk from mp3

Hi there,

I’m using Audacity 2.0.0 on Windows 7 x64. I’m trying to remove the background talking/noise from the attached clip, just leaving the ringtone. I’ve tried lots of different tutorials on Youtube but none have had the desired results! Can anyone help me?



In general, you can’t separate talking or singing from music, unless you have a stereo recording with the talking/singing in the “center”. In that case you can use a “vocal removal” effect to remove everything that’s in the center (everything that’s identical in the left & right channels). It basically works by subtracting left from right.

Sometimes vocal removal effects are fun to play with, but it rarely leaves you a useful high-quality file.

Or of course, if the talking/singing is only on the left or right, you can kill that channel and make a mono file.

Hi there,

I tried the vocal removal and it oddly seemed to leave me with only the vocals. If you listen to the clip attached, I;m trying to just leave the cell phone ringing. Is there a way to “invert” what vocal removal removes?


has an isolation function built-in.
However, the background noise and especially the speech is very broad spread.
Thus, the ringing can almost perfectly be removed, but the opposite is not the case.
That’s about the best you can expect:

It is made with the above tool, “Isolate vocals” and a rotation setting of 22 degrees (effect parameter).
The rotation shifts the ring tone towards the right speaker (the speech). The isolated band is therefore between ring tone and other noise (paper shuffling?).
The sample is a little short, isn’t it.
If you have a ringtone that repeats its pattern a few times, the result can be improved as follows:

  • Isolate the center (only with the above tool possible)
  • make the stereo file mono (track menu)
  • split the track into two parts (or more) where a repetition begins.
  • align two tracks and make them stereo.
  • repeat the steps.

However, if the ring tone isn’t more exciting than in the beginning, it would be easier to generate it from scratch or to search on and similar.

Make a copy of the track.
Look at the spectrum and use the notch filter to remove from the copy each of the three spikes that appear while the phone rings.
Invert the copy.
Select both the copy and the original and apply “Tracks > Mix and Render”.