Trouble removing vocals in Audacity

Have followed all the steps on online videos, switching stereo and all and changing channels to mono. Nope, nothing is working.

What am I doing wrong?

There are two Vocal Removals. The legacy one and the newer Vocal Reduction and Isolation. Did you try both?


You also didn’t say which Audacity you had. Best with the latest Audacity 2.2.2.


It doesn’t work with mono. The regular Vocal Removal effect subtracts left from right which removes everything in the center (everything that’s identical and in-phase in both channels). It works “perfectly” if the vocals are perfectly centered, but it removes everything else in the center too (although there is a filter to keep the bass).

The vocal removal and isolation uses similar but more advanced “center channel” tricks.

Of course you can also delete the left or right channel and make a mono track (which will play from both speakers) but the vocals are almost never panned far-left or far-right.

I consider this a “novelty effect”. You rarely get “professional results”. “You can’t un-bake a cake or un-fry and egg, and you can’t un-mix sound.”

It would be useful to know what kind of file you are working with. VRI can be very effective, but it is best used in conjunction with other effects depending on what you are doing.