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Unmixing Songs?

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Unmixing Songs?

Postby Ceara » Wed May 28, 2014 3:42 pm

I was browsing around and most people agree trying to extract a track from a song that, with more than one track playing, is virtually impossible to do well. Unless there is a break with a solo instrument or voice, it's not going to work well (someone even compared it to unbaking a cake). My question is: while big name producers can have access to the original stems and such, how are smaller musicians remixing songs?

Is there commonly used techniques? Or does it really depend on the song/part. Is it just hit and miss depending on the song, and trying to cover it up with your own instrumentation if it doesn't work? What are the tried and true methods?

What's your outlook on this situation?
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby Richard Graham » Wed May 28, 2014 4:32 pm

Ceara wrote:I was browsing around and most people agree trying to extract a track from a song that, with more than one track playing, is virtually impossible to do well. Unless there is a break with a solo instrument or voice, it's not going to work well (someone even compared it to unbaking a cake). My question is: while big name producers can have access to the original stems and such, how are smaller musicians remixing songs?

Is there commonly used techniques? Or does it really depend on the song/part. Is it just hit and miss depending on the song, and trying to cover it up with your own instrumentation if it doesn't work? What are the tried and true methods?

What's your outlook on this situation?

The commonest way I know of is when tracks are released with an instrumental version, which is basically the same song mixed without vocals. It's then possible to extract just the vocals in your DAW, by putting the original track (with vocals) side by side with the instrumental version, and phase-reversing the instrumental so that it cancels all the instrumentation, leading you with just the vocals for you to do with as you wish.
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Wed May 28, 2014 10:04 pm

smaller remixers can also get the stems, especially if they're good enough to win some competition or other… numerous sites exist that run remix competitions, and to do so, they provide the stems, the caveat being that the remixer owns no rights to the end result….. but by proving yourself a few times opportunities do arise…. I have a younger relative who's broken in to the remixing scene in just that manner.
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby Mixedup » Fri May 30, 2014 3:58 pm

All the above is correct. And some others play around with filters, M/S matrices (to access the centrally panned elements like bass, vox, kick, snare etc) and so on to get at what they find interesting. I've known some people use spectral editing too to extract something that repeats regularly, like a hi-hat part. (And Spectralayers holds plenty of promise for this sort of thing). If you can find an exposed kick, you may be able to sample that and then filter the track to and use trigger software to recreate a part... and so on. It all depends on what sort of a remix you're aiming for really, but stems are by far the best approach!
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Fri May 30, 2014 5:39 pm

Sony has the Spectral Layers app, not cheap.
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-creativesoftware/cat-spectralayerspro/product-SPL2000/

There are other apps out there that attempt that process.

No idea how well they work.

8-)
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby tekkedup » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:43 pm

Hit'n'Mix Infinity offers true source separation which is great for this purpose. Watch this tutorial on how to create a remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkOgUQs ... =emb_title
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Re: Unmixing Songs?

Postby ceejay » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:44 pm

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