How to Extract Instrumental Version of a Song (Audacity)

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There are instances when one might want to use only the instrumental version of the song. This is most pertinent to audio production while creating small projects or short video clips. The best and most efficient way to obtain the instrumental version of the song is by obtaining the instrumental track from the master mix. However, recording companies rarely distribute instrumental tracks unless it is used as a soundtrack for a movie, advertisement or a tv show. Hence, the next best alternative is manually generating an instrumental mix from the song. This process will not work for all songs but should do fine for most purposes. 

This tutorial will demonstrate how to do this using Audacity. The software is cross platform and free so you can download it for both Macs and Windows.

First of all open the song. File --> Open


Audacity 11.jpg
Next, you want to split the track into two channels. Click on the song title bar (on the left hand side). Click on the title bar and then select "Split Stereo Track."

Now two separate channels for the song will be displayed. Highlight any one of the two tracks, then go to Effect --> Invert.

Audacity_3.png
You are pretty much done now. Just click on the song title bar for each channel and select "Mono."

You can preview the clip to test how it sounds. Now just save the song and you are done.

Please note the following.

Audacity 3.jpg
This will only work with songs that have stereo recording (in other words most CD's and modern mp3's are fine)
The effect will not be perfect for all songs, "echo" effects of the originial vocals might still be present.

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