You can easily create your very own Karaoke CDs using the latest version (1.3.13 Beta) of the free audio editing program Audacity, which is available for both Mac and Windows users.  To download Audacity 1.3.13, go here.

Before we get started, you should be aware that removing vocals from a recording it not a perfect art.  There will always be some residual vocals left on the backing track, but once your singer is performing along with the backing, they’re generally not too noticeable.

Import Your Song

The first step is to import your song into Audacity so it’s ready for editing and there are a couple of different ways you can do it.

Method 1 (if you use iTunes to manage your music):

  • Open Audacity
  • Open the iTunes window and re-size it (or position it) so you can see the Audacity window behind
  • Locate the song in iTunes
  • Drag the song from iTunes on to the Audacity window
  • After a moment (be patient!), the song will appear as a wave file in Audacity

Method 2 (if you don’t use iTunes)

  • Open Audacity
  • Go to File > Import > Audio
  • Locate the song on your hard drive
  • Click Open and after a moment, the song will appear in Audacity as a wave file

Removing the vocals

Once the song is in Audacity, you can play it back using the playback controls in the top left-hand corner

To remove the vocals

  • Go to Effect > Vocal Remover (for centre-panned vocals).  Leave the settings as they are and click OK
  • Play back the song to test the results.  If you get a poor result, try running the effect again with different settings

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