How To Create Your Own Vocal-Free Karaoke Tracks

karaoke 300   How To Create Your Own Vocal Free Karaoke TracksI’m sure you will agree with me that there’s nothing better for the spirit than karaoke. Whether you like singing or not, once you get over the initial embarrassment and start picturing yourself standing on stage and singing with a real band, it becomes a truly uplifting experience.

Karaoke is not necessarily a group activity – what about karaoke tracks you can listen to in the car, singing along to yourself? Or even while working on your computer? There’s an endless amount of fun to be had with vocal-free tracks.

Somehow, though, it’s always hard to find the ones you really want. YouTube is full of vocal-free tracks, but it’s never the ones you really feel like singing. I’ve always wished I could create my own karaoke tracks from my own favorite songs, but it always seemed like a really complicated task. Something only real audiophiles would be up to. Turns out I was wrong. Creating your own karaoke tracks is actually easy as pie, and takes about 5 to 60 seconds to accomplish, depending on the method you choose.

The songs you create may end up sounding a little bit warped, but hey, no one’s coming to karaoke night for the quality of the music anyway.

Do It Yourself With Audacity [Windows, Mac, Linux]

I’ve been seeing this method around for quite a while, but never believed it actually worked until I tried it. This method is the more satisfying of the two, and works with any audio format you can think of (I tried Mp3 and Ogg, both worked perfectly).

To create karaoke tracks using this method, the first thing you need to do is download Audacity. Audacity is a great audio editor, and works on pretty much any OS. Once you have Audacity, launch it and load the song you want to strip of vocals (File –> Open or File –> Import –> Audio will do the trick).

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Once your audio track is loaded, you’ll usually see two blue tracks. These are the two stereo tracks of your song. In order to get rid of the vocals, your first step would be to split these tracks into two separate audio tracks which you can edit individually. To do this, click on the small black triangle on the top left and choose “Split Stereo Track”.

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Now that you have two separate tracks, double click on one of them (doesn’t matter which) to select all of it. Click the “Effects” menu and choose “Invert”.

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This will invert the entire track, which will enable us to cancel it out. If you listen to the track now, the vocals will still be there. There’s one step left, and this is the important one: Click on the black triangle for both tracks, and change both of them to Mono.

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It’s very important that you change them both, otherwise the vocals will not be stripped. That’s it, you can now hit play and listen to your new karaoke track. You can also export it into an audio file to create your custom karaoke playlist (you’ll need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export to MP3).

So how does it work? This method doesn’t work with every song, but it should work with most. Without getting too technical, most songs are recorded on two stereo channels, with some instruments balanced more to the right, and some balanced more to the left. The vocals of the song are usually in the center, therefore appearing on both tracks. When we split the tracks and invert one of them, the vocals on the inverted track cancel out the vocals on the regular track. We then switch them both to mono, and we’re left with only instruments.

If the song you chose uses reverb, you might here a slight echo of the vocals, but this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If the song you chose is different than most, and the vocals are not dead centered, this method might not work at all. The best way to find out is to give it a try!

For Mp3s & CDs: Karaoke Anything! [Windows]

If you don’t feel like doing the actual work, you can let Karaoke Anything! do it for you. Note, however, that this app only works with audio CDs or Mp3 files, and you can’t load Mp3 playlists, only individual files.

Using Karaoke Anything is dead simple. Launch the app, choose “MP3 Player Mode” or “CD Player Mode” and you’re pretty much done. If you chose to use Mp3 files, click on File –> Open to add your song. Click play, and the song will start playing without any vocals. It’s like magic!

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You can use the “Karaoke Effect” slider to control the vocals’ volume, in case you want to be able to hear it but still sing over it without it interfering.

Which One Should You Use?

That really depends. In general, both methods give similar results, although some songs may end up better using one method than the other. If you want to create your own vocal-free files, if you want to use anything other than Mp3s or CDs, or if you’re not using Windows, Audacity is the obvious choice. Otherwise, give Karaoke Anything a try, and you might be able to kick off the party in the time it takes you to download a 2.5MB installer.

Do you know of other ways to create your own karaoke tracks? Don’t forget to tell us about them in the comments!

Image credit: Singing cat image via Shutterstock

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54 Comments -

0 votes

Igor Rizvi?

Great,my neibhour asked me for this same thing yesterday.Tomorrow Im gonna set him up,thanks alot!:)

0 votes

Ian H.

There’s also a plugin for audacity called center pan remover that does all of what you described in the audacity section in one easy step: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Vocal_Removal#Center_Pan_Remover_.28Vocal_Remover.29

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Cool, thanks! I think I read about it but was curious to see the DIY method really worked.

0 votes

Lambvolution

great article..thank for sharing

0 votes

Shakirah Faleh Lai

I chose Audicity rather than Karaoke Anything!

0 votes

Trey Mahon

I’ve used Audacity for years but this has got to be the coolest trick I’ve heard of. I’m gonna be busy for a while :-)

0 votes

John Loot

I have Audacity already, so will surely give it a try.

0 votes

Susman Bhavsar

Download Audacity. It is freely available software no need to purchase.
Download this LADSPA plugin. It will give you lots of plugin including one of them is Karaoke plugin.
How to remove vocals from an audio file using audacity? Watch this video carefully to follow the steps how to make your own songs Karaoke.
How to remove vocals from any song 100% works. Watch this video carefully.
Remember one thing, the song must be MP3 and must have 2 Channels to show – Left and Right.
I had the troubles initially to understand Karaoke, but now I get the correct meaning. You can play song and record your voice at same time, also it is a very helpful tool, suppose you sing a stanza wrong, you can record this stanza and replace it with your recording. You won’t have to sing the whle song again and again.
So, I think it can be helpful to beginner members here. If anyone has more suggestions and ideas to use this properly, please let us know as knowledge increased by sharing between you and me.

Special Thank to The Ultimate, he provides me all links and explain me how to make Karaoke.

Thank You all!

0 votes

Anandu B Ajith

What is karokr

0 votes

Eric

It’s a lot easier with GoldWave. Two clicks.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Cool, thanks! It’s even less than that with Karaoke Anything. :)

0 votes

Muhannad Agha

Thanks that’s useful

0 votes

Nguyen Tran

It didn’t work for me :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Which one didn’t work?

0 votes

Jess

It didnt work for me too, theaudicity one :( pls, because the other one is easy but still can hear the actual voice :( help pls :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

You are not supposed to hear the actual voice, that’s the whole point… what exactly is the problem you encountered?

0 votes

Charlie Player

amazing..going to try

0 votes

echantrea

nice trick

0 votes

Karen Ang

I wish there’s a Mac version for Karaoke Anything :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Well, the Audacity trick is really easy to do, and works on Mac as well. You should try it!

0 votes

Alex Livingstone

Audacity vocal tracks sound terrible depending on the mic you’re using. And your editing skills i suppose.

0 votes

LeviTashun

Well, time to learn how to use Audacity… thanks for the tutoial!

0 votes

Kurt Decker

This is great! I get people all the time all the time who ask me about this! Thanks for putting this out.

0 votes

Jon Smith

Hmmm, I thought most people sing with the vocals during karoke

0 votes

Ashwin Ramesh

I use Audacity and that’s the best I feel.

0 votes

Scott

I got a “malicious software” warning when I tried to download Karaoke Anything. I also could not find it on CNET, which seems like a warning sign to me that the software may be dangerous.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Hi Scott,

Sometimes anti-virus apps don’t like something even when it’s harmless. My anti-virus gave it a clean bill of health, and you can also download it from Softpedia, which to me says it’s not harmful in any way.

0 votes

Johnny

The alarm may go up if you have a good protection software
What anti-virus do you use ? (maybe the file was really malicious and your software didn’t detect it)
look here for scores on all anti-virus products

http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/mayjun-2012/

It’s a test to determine which of them would be best.
They have attributed grades to each of them based on usability/repair and protection

I use Kaspersky Internet security 2012

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Thanks Johnny! I still don’t think this app is malicious in any way, although I do agree antiviruses can sometimes miss things.

0 votes

Mila Kun

I’m definitely going to try this!

0 votes

VS Vishnu

useful

0 votes

Michael Angelo Sevilla

Awesome! My friend has been looking for this a while ago.. :)

0 votes

C Dockery

Sounds interesting and easy. Thanks!

0 votes

Vijaynand Mishra

Great…now I can do more radio show with background score

0 votes

BartyJnr

I don’t think it works overly well, to be honest. It just seems to make my songs jumpy and clicky, as well as tinny sounding in parts. And of course, the factor that it doesnt fully even get rid of the lyrics… >_>;

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Sorry it didn’t work well for you. Which method did you try? As mentioned in the article, there’s no method that works for all songs, but it does work for most. I tried both methods on several different songs, and even when it wasn’t perfect, it was still great for fun karaoke. Maybe you can try other songs!

0 votes

Harry Barnes

haha this is awesome!

0 votes

Anonymous

What songs did you use? This doesn’t work at all for duets or anything with multiple vocals because the vocals aren’t down the middle. Other songs end up sounding underwater-ish anyway. Too bad, I had such high hopes.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

This was quite a while ago, but I believe I tried a Regina Spektor song, which worked out pretty well, and a Ben Folds Five song which worked out OK too.

I do mention in the post that the results are not the best quality in the world, but most songs do come out in good enough shape to offer some fun times. At least in my opinion. Songs that don’t have vocals smack in the middle won’t work as well, that’s true. Sorry you were disappointed!

0 votes

rebecca R.

so, Voice is on what channel? and sound without vocal is on what channel ? if mono on both channel?

0 votes

Neeraj Tidke

good idia for new singer ifollow it /!

0 votes

Tony P.

This is awesome! My wife asked me to create a karaoke version of her favorite song. I ususally buy the instrumental version on the internet before going into Karoke Builder to create the cdg file. But in this case there was no instrumental version for purchase. I have used Audacity many times to create ring tones. I never knew you could use it to cancel out the vocals. It worked great!

0 votes

Delta

I guess I don’t understand how Karaoke Anything works?

Every MP3 song I installed you can hear the vocals. I slide the bar over to Max and the vocals and music disappear.? Am I doing something wrong?

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Sounds like you’re doing everything right, not sure why it’s not working for you. The only thing I can think of is that you happened to find songs that don’t work well with the program — it doesn’t work with every song.

1 votes

Sam

it took away most of the voice for my song but not all with Audacity trick….. Please help. I thought of the http://www.karaokeanything.com/ thing but it does the same trick so it wont work again right?

2 votes

Yaara Lancet

Removing the vocals using either Audacity or Karaoke Anything is done using pretty much the same method, which you can read about in the post. This method doesn’t work perfectly for every song, and it makes sense that you got similar results with both program.

My suggestion in this case would be to try a different song or just sing really loudly so as to drown the remaining vocals. :)

0 votes

Sam Malanchuk

The sing really loud part was what I was thinking thanks for replying

0 votes

mohamed niyaz

i can’t download hindi karaeoke song lyrics

0 votes

AlyKat

My computer won’t let me open Audicity. (It’s an Mac) I don’t know how to make it so that my preferences will let it. :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I haven’t used a Mac since 1997, so I won’t be much help, but you can try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, someone might have an idea.

0 votes

Jonathan

I was wondering if the Karaoke Anything can change pitch and tempo as well. It appears that it claims if the Audacity can do these things. Has anyone tried and if so how is the quality?

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

As far as I recall, KaraokeAnything does only one thing, and that’s stripping the vocals, but you can do these things with Audacity.

0 votes

BIPUL SARKAR

hay bipul pickup your phone