How to reduce the loudness of vocals on Mp3s?
May 29, 2011 11:28 AM   Subscribe

How to reduce the loudness of vocals in proportion to the music in mp3s?

How do I reduce the loudness of vocals in proportion to the music on mp3s?

I really like the music on some mp3s, but I don't like the vocals as much. How do I reduce the loudness of the vocals?

I am open to downloading software but I am only interested in freeware or software that I can get on a free trial, use once and then cancel.

I have I-tunes on a Dell that runs Windows 7.

Sorry I didn't really know how to phrase this question or what I'm looking for. Thank you.
posted by vincele to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
EQ. iTunes has a Vocal Reducer setting, IIRC.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:32 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

iTunes comes with a Vocal Booster, but you can use that as a guide to create your own equalizer setting that does the opposite.
posted by telegraph at 11:34 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Er, a vocal booster. But you just have to turn down the bands on the graphic equalizer that that turns up.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:34 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you both, that is what I needed. It's still loud but a little better.
posted by vincele at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2011

There are two other simple things you can do.

1. Many songs are available as instrumentals on YouTube.
2. You can download a Mid/Side plugin which will only play the side sounds and not what's coming down the center (which is usually the vocals).

Google "mid side vocal reduction" and you'll see what I mean. If you invest an hour or so in the process you should be able to listen to a lot of your songs with very little vocal.
posted by fantasticninety at 12:12 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Vocals pretty much mean "midrange," so if you have a graphic equalizer available start dipping the middle down. Not just the middle slider, but make a curve with the ones next to it as well.
posted by rhizome at 2:56 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Note that for a variety of tunes, this isn't just going to cut the vocal volume - other instruments can and do sometimes share the vocal frequencies. However, on a lot of pop music in particular, engineers will often try to cut a decent swath of bandwidth to let em sit there 'by themselves' (which is why the suggestions you've gotten work at all... and why a lot of mashups sound pretty good : )
posted by bitterkitten at 9:43 AM on May 30, 2011

This might be out of your use case, but Capo does special tricks to get rid of vocals—if you need them GONE. I'm not sure about exporting as audio files, but the shareware will let you run in an infinite number of 5 minute bursts.
posted by Brainy at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2011

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