How do I remove vocals from a recording?

Removing the vocals from a recording is a bit like trying to remove the eggs from a cake after it is baked. All of the frequencies in the recording are mixed together with the vocals sharing frequencies with other instruments and it is very difficult to achieve. If the vocals are panned dead center in a mix, you can subtract the left channel from the right channel thus removing the center channel but it will remove everything from the center channel, not just the vocals. This is best done with Sound Forge Channel Converter which already has a Vocal Cut preset. For more control and to isolate vocals, you might want to try a Freeware VST plug-in called Voice Trap.

There is another solution called Sony Spectral Layers Pro that will allow you to “take the eggs back out of the cake”. It is an amazing piece of software that lets you isolate sounds and remove them or keep them and remove everything else. You should definitely check it out.

About John Rofrano

John Rofrano is a Senior VASST Trainer and the author of Instant ACID, a book on Sony ACID Pro software, from CMP Books. He is also the developer of Ultimate S Pro, Vegas Pro Production Assistant, Mayhem, and other software plug-ins including the FASST Apps for Sony Vegas Pro NLE software. John has been a performing musician, singer, songwriter for over 40 years, and programmer and computer architect for the past 28 years. He is also a forum moderator at the Creative COW.