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I have a song for which I have the song itself, and an isolated drum track from a live performance that fits perfectly in time with the original. Given these 2 things, is there software that can do a decent job at removing the drum track or at least lowering it? I would really like to make a remix of it, but I need the drum track to be lowered.

I do not care if the software is pricy, free, etc,

If there is another way to remove drum tracks from songs I am open to that too.


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Music SE site definition: "...Topics include practice & performance, composition, technique, theory, and history." This question doesn't seem to fit in any of the following categories. The Audio-Visual SE site seems best for this question. – American Luke Mar 7 '12 at 21:25
I agree with @Luke - this would be on topic for AVP – Dr Mayhem Mar 8 '12 at 8:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You'll probably get a better answer over at AVP, but an approach that might work -- depending on how similar your drum-only track really is to the drum track in the mix -- is wave cancellation. The program I use for music editing is Amadeus Pro ($40 last I checked), though I assume Audacity (free) does this too. You select the pure track, then overlay it on the section you want to edit it out of (correct alignment is essential), and use the wave-cancel function (might be called "cancel" or "filter"). I've used this approach to remove hum from tracks that started out on audio cassettes, and I've used the original track to remove a track from a mix, but I've never tried using an irregular external source. The results won't be as good, but this might help.

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Wave cancellation was going to be my suggestion; given a drum track and the album cut, you can reverse the waveform of the drum track and apply that to the original cut to cancel out the drums. But exactly as you say, if the drum track isn't the ORIGINAL track, then this will have decidedly less-than-ideal results; even if they sound the same to the listener, the waveform won't match 100%. – KeithS Mar 13 '12 at 3:45

No chance. If you had a clean Drum Track and the mix from that Drum-Track, you could subtract it by mixing it with the inverted signal, but if it is not the exactly same waveform from the mix or has ambience (live…), there is no chance to do that except for perhaps a lowering of really low frequencies at the cost of arbitrary pumping.

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It might be possible if you had the actual drum track used in the mix, but a similar track isn't going to work. There are other issues but that's the main one in this case. Your best bet is to use an FFT filter or similar to remove frequencies used by the drums, though this may affect the other sounds as well. If you have more questions about that I'd encourage you to ask it on the Audio-Video site, as they're the experts in this area.

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