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By extracting, I don't mean getting a separate mp3 file or something like that.

What I meant was being able to discern the second voice behind all the other voices, instruments, etc.

It's easy to know when a second voice is there, but the pitch is hard for me to recognize especially because it feels so weaved together with the primary voice.

Do you have tips or techniques that you use for this?

Additional info : I know basic music theory, can read sheet music, and can play musical instruments, so feel free to answer with methods with these prerequisites.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I just did a project like this. Some things that I found helpful:

  • There are programs that will slow down an audio file without changing its pitch, which can help to hear fine details. If possible, it's better to do this on non-lossy audio files (e.g., raw CD rips) than on mp3s.
  • Headphones may be better than speakers for this kind of task (then again, maybe it's just that my headphones were better than my speakers).
  • Once you have a guess at a transcription, try singing along with the recording. If you feel like there's someone else on your part, you're probably right!
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You could try figuring out the chords to the song (or look online) and go up the scale from the root notes on a per chord basis, trying to match the pitch that's being sung that is also NOT the lead vocals, I guess. This assumes that you know some theory and can play an instrument though.

This would be rather tedious, but it's how I'd do it since I'm severely lacking in ear training when it comes to hearing intervals.

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I edited my question to add in that I can play instruments. :D – Mark Gabriel Aug 19 '14 at 0:30

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