Posted by Clockdug:
How vocal cuts work
Ok, it may help users of ALL programs if we talk about how vocal cuts are done. We used to do them before digital editors were invented by cutting and splicing just a couple of wires; thereís no real magic to it.
First, stereo files have 2 tracks (1 for the left channel and 1 for the right). Music tracks do not have the vocals on 1 channel and the music on the other; thatís a trick used in the prod room to allow more mono tracks to be used. You then can mono out the results and get a final version. We used to do that before we had digital multitracks to cut commercials in crappy prod rooms.
Back to the stereo track. In MOST stereo songs, the instruments are panned to the left and right to give some depth to the feel. The vocals are almost always dead center. When you move the singer to the left or right the audience complains that the song sounds weird. This lets us do some physics tricks to the song. Remember in science class how 2 waves that are opposite each other cancel each other out? Weíre going to use that.
1. Most programs have a feature to invert the soundwave. Take the song and invert the wave of JUST THE LEFT CHANNEL. Leave the right channel alone; we want them out of phase.
2. Convert the entire stereo track down to a mono file. Most programs have an easy way to do this. The vocals should have dropped in volume a lot; maybe even entirely.
Since the instruments are panned to the left and right, they have different waves on the left and right tracks. Since the vocals (on MOST stereo songs) are in the center the waves are the same in both left and right tracks, and cancel each other out when out of phase. This is what goldwave or Cooledit both do with the vocal cut features. It only works on stereo songs, and doesnít always work well. It doesnít work at all on mono songs, even if you convert them to stereo, that just copies the same mono wave into both tracks.
I found this pretty useful, and I'm sure other people did too. As you can see, it's not program-specific, and it's not always going to work, but, hey it's another option.