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Audionamix XTRAX Stems 2

Source Separation Software
By Sam Inglis

XTRAX Stems 2

Audionamix are aiming to make the process of vocal extraction not only better, but quicker.

Limits on the power of digital signal processing sometimes have less to do with the processing itself, and more with our ability to use it. If you expose every parameter in a sophisticated system for user control, then getting the best results requires a level of expertise that few users will ever attain. Alternatively, machine learning can internalise some of that expertise, but risks creating a system that is hard to control because not even the developers know what's really going on under the hood.

Source separation is one of those fields where this can be a real issue. The ultimate goal is a system that can take in a mixed music track and spit out two or more clean stems comprising vocals, drums, guitars and so on. At present, though, that goal is most closely approached through extensive human hand-holding in complex packages like Audionamix's ADX TRAX Pro 3 SP, which allows the user to painstakingly guide the computer through the process of identifying and separating vocal parts.


Back in March 2018, I reviewed Audionamix's first attempt to repackage their technology in an immediate, preset-based environment. XTRAX Stems provided simple and entirely automated separation of mixed audio tracks into vocal, drums and 'music' stems. The initial version was undeniably impressive, and eminently usable for subtly rebalancing a mix where the vocal level wasn't quite right;...

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Published May 2019