Take vocals track from full track to obtain instrumental


I’ve recently downloaded a song, and I really enjoy this song’s instrumental. Though, the artist has not published any instrumental version, and as he is not really famous, nobody has made one.
I’ve managed though to get the vocals of the singer, without the instrumental with it.
So I’ve got the full track (instrumental + vocals) and the vocals only. What I want is the instrumental. My question is, is there a way of “removing a track from another” ?

I’ve tried “Vocal Remover” first, which gave me a totally ruined instrumental with still a echo of vocals behind.
Then, I looked up a bit on the Internet and found out a method that implied separating the stereo tracks, applying the “Invert” effect, then setting each track to “Mono” instead of “Right canal” and “Left canal” respectively. That gave me the save result as “Vocal Remover”.
So what now ? Does someone have an idea ?



PS : I’m quite a noob when it comes to installing additional things in Audacity, so you’d be really kind if you could explain everything there is to explain :wink:

See here in the manual, and note particularly the first paragraph http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_vocal_removal_and_isolation.html

Thanks for your fast answer steve,

It seems that it’s this paragraph that matches my case :

Using an instrumental track to isolate the vocals
In order for this to work you will need to have a studio version of the instrumental track in which the instrumental part is identical to the full track. Many studios release the instrumental tracks (with and without backup vocals) for use with things like karaoke. There are places online where you can buy these tracks (Karaoke-Version.com for example and some records even have them on the B side). MP3 encoding of one or both versions will create small differences that will make this technique less effective.
As opposed to the final mono track you get from removing vocals, this method will leave you with a full stereo track. As such, it becomes more important to try and match the quality of both tracks and align them before you isolate the vocals.
Open Audacity and Import both the regular and instrumental tracks.
Select one of the tracks and use the Time Shift tool to roughly align the two tracks.
Zoom in really close and then zoom in more.
Exact alignment is critical. Pick a peak or trough in the left channel of one track and match it precisely with the left channel of the other track. If the alignment isn’t right the process won’t work.
Select the instrumental track, and invert it using Effect > Invert.
Use CTRL + A to select all of both tracks.
Use Tracks > Mix and Render.
You should now have one combined track that should have a more diminished amplitude where the vocals were kept and the instrumentation removed.

Except it’s the opposite thing I want to do; though I guess it will still work fine. I’ve worked a bit on my project and for the moment the manipulation is not working, but it probably comes from a tiny misalignement with the tracks (even if to my unprofessional ear they’re perfectly aligned) ; I’ll work on it.

I again thank you for your answer.

Best regards,


Kn0ck0ut can do this if your isolated vocal track lines up perfectly with the full mix. The downside is it’ll turn into a mono recording. You might need to adjust the isolated vocal track’s volume and do some trial and error for it to cancel out fully. I have a tutorial on my YouTube channel regarding this method. The title to the video is, "Audacity / Kn0ck0ut tutorial - Make instrumentals using a studio acapella ".