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How to remove background music in audacity

Updated March 23, 2017

Audacity is an open-source, enhanced digital sound and audio engineering interface. This program was designed for advanced music production. Music can be created and taken apart element by element. Audacity also enables you to extract and remove certain elements of a song. Performing such a technique requires proficiency with music audio terms.

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  1. Open the Audacity program. Click on the "File" tab on the navigation menu at the top of the screen and select "Open." Locate and select the MP3 audio file you wish to edit and click on the "Open" button in the lower-right corner of the pop-up window.

  2. Adjust the high pass filter. Highlight the entire wave pattern that will be displayed for the song. Click on the "Effects" tab in the top menu on the program's screen and select the "High Pass Filter" option. The High Pass Filter will enable you to extract the song's vocals, which will eliminate the background music. Listen to the song and move the lever to the left to extract the vocals. Click "OK" to apply your editing.

  3. Adjust the low pass filter. Move the low pass filter lever in the opposite direction to reduce the distortion in the wave pattern. Listen to the song closely to apply this configuration. Click "OK" to apply your settings.

  4. Save your work. Click on the "File" tab and select the "Save As" option. When the Windows Explorer screen opens, type a name for your edited file in the data form. Click on the "Save As" option to confirm your action.

  5. Tip

    Once you obtain a decent variation of the removed background music and vocal extraction, leave it as it is. Do not continue to alter your edited version, because you do not want to "overproduce" or "over-edit" your product. Only use MP3 formatted media when editing. MP3 formatted files are most effective for playback and editing in Audacity.


    Removing background music may be quite difficult or even impossible for certain songs, depending on the recording structure and stacking of the original song itself. Therefore, some background elements can only be partially removed and the sound may be imperfect.

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About the Author

Meaghan Ellis has been writing short stories, newspaper articles, Web content and product research reports for over 12 years. While double majoring in business management and marketing at Southern University, she runs a home-based graphic design and Web content business.

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