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Can you seperate instruments from an existing file?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by protoz, Feb 8, 2005.


  1. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    Hey there, I'm new to digital recording and I was curious to see if there were any programs that can read an mp3 and seperate the instruments into seperate tracks for editing.

    I've played with the Audition 1.5 trial and all I have gotten was the vocals reduced but not eliminated with the remove center channel button.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    NO.
     
  3. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    well alrighty then. I couldn't find anything in the search so I thought I'd ask to make sure.
     
  4. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Sorry, I was in a hurry. Seperating instruments from already mixed audio is like seperating the eggs from a baked cake. Your ears can differentiate between different instruments and sounds, but gear can't, analog or digital, its all just a huge complex waveform to them. Some gear claims to be able to remove vocals from a stereo source (Karaoke) but its a bunch a of crap. They use funky phase cancellation to cancel out stuff that is panned staight up the middle. So it basically muffles the vocals, and makes the whole mix sound like ass espesially kick and snare.

    In any given mix of a song there is so much "sharing" of frequencies that if you single out any one frequency or group of frequencies you will hear that most of the instruments can be heard within that frequency(s). Granted some instruments are pretty far opposed in the frequency spectrum, such as bass and cymbols. You could fairly effectivly eliminate cymbols( triangle, whatever) from a mix containing that and bass, (or kick drum). However almost any given instrument covers the spectrum even if you cant hear a crash cymbol at 100hz there is probobly something there, sub harmonix, and conversely with the bass, probobly cant hear hear the 15khz in a P-Bass, but its there, extreme upper harmonics. When you start pulling out the harmonics and sub-harmonics you may not consciencely be aware of it but it does affect the tone, i.e., Mp3. (not to mention other reasons why mp3s suck). So if you find a song that contains only bass and cymbols you should be good to go. :D

    So most of that was a huge tangent, but hopefully it helped shed some light on the subject. Though with the advances in digital audio who knows someday, but nobody is doing anything usable right now. It will be a scary day when we can start yanking instruments right out of mixes.
     
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    I bet it's possible, just that no-one with the mathematical expertise required has had a go. Spectroscopists routinely separate individual frequency components from complex waveforms using fourier transformation. This is a more complex task and would, most likely, need massive processing power, way beyond the scope of a home computer.
     
  6. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    Alright, after I thought about it for awhile it would be like trying to get layers from an adobe psd file from a jpg file. It's all mashed together and impossible.

    Guess I'll have to tweak from a full mix then.
     
  7. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Thats a good anology. Sometimes visual analogy is the best. Unfortunately most people have no concept of PSD layers, but I'll remember that.
     
  8. lets get the future out of this
    i could go on all day about what technology may be developed :smug:
     
  9. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    :D Yeah, the wonders of digital technology is endless.
     
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    :)

    I'm waiting for the day that bass strings are replaced with laser beams...
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    ... and, if you don't wear the right reflective gloves, your fingers fall off.... ;)

    Wulf