Another question our users often ask is “how to extract voice from songs ?”, “how can i make an acapella of this song” ? etc.
Vocal isolation is a black science, it’s the voodoo of audio processing… or just a good old spectral substraction !

Feb 15, 2018  Creating and Cleaning up an Acapella Track with Knockout VST Plugin and Audacity. Click on the small download button. Reduce Background Hiss in Audio Recordings in Audacity Using VST.

The principle is basic, find a part of the song without the voice, and substract it from a part with the voice, so you are left with only the voice part. The ideal situation is where you have the normal song (voice + music) and an instrumental version of the same song.

The magic voice isolator plugin exists !! and it’s free.
Kn0ck0ut VST plugin is a free vocal isolation plugin, based on the spectral substracting principle. It takes two inputs : voice+instru on left and instru only on right and it performs a FFT processing for removing the instrumental part. A sort of acapella maker !

Download Vst Knockout Audacity

Here’s the VST plugin :

KnockOut VST

info + download

Now you can download the VST plugin and copy the dll in your VST folder.

How to isolate vocals / get the vocal out of the song :

If you have the normal song (vocal+instru) and the instumental version :

  • 1. open Wavosaur
  • 2. menu Files->Open and select the files to load (one song file + instrumental file)
  • 3. if the files are stereo, for each file unselect left channel ( press the “1” key), select all (CTRL + A)Â and use menu -> Process -> Mute : this mutes the right channel
  • 4. on the instrumental file, use menu->Process->Swap channels
  • 5. use copy / cut / paste to select the part you want to “extract” and try to make the two files “in sync” the best you can (use zoom in in time & amplitude for more precision)
  • 6. select all (CTRL + A) the instrumental part and copy (CTRL + C)
  • 7. select all the normal part and use menu->Edit->Paste special-> Paste and mix
  • 8. open VST rack, load KnockOut VST plugin, and open the plugin UI
  • 9. use the “R input gain” to find the right balance between vocal isolation and overall quality : the more you increase the parameter, the more the vocal is isolated, but the effect is more drastic and you can clearly hear the artefacts of the spectral processing

if you don’t have an instrumental version, you can try to find a part in the song with no vocal, that is similar to the part with vocal.

here’s a test :

voice+instru on left & instru only on right:

after the kn0ck0ut processing for isolating vocal:

In our How to Mix Music guide we talked about why mixing dynamic sounds is a tough egg to crack. Vocals are super dynamic so they’re trickier to mix.

But you don’t have to pull your hair out every time you hit the mixing board to get the perfect vocal.

There’s a dizzying amount of audio effects plugins out there. That’s why we did the digging so you don’t have to.

Here’s 9 plugins that will help you get your vocals and beats fitting together like peas and carrots.

1. Vladg and Tokyo Dawn Proximity

Ever recorded an entire vocal only to realize you had the mic in the wrong spot? No sweat.

The Vladg and Tokyo Dawn Proximity lets you change the mic placement AFTER you record. Pretty useful and pretty cool.

2. Acon Digital Multiply Chorus

Vocals need some color. That’s where a chorus plugin comes in.

Acon Digital’s Multiply Chorus will thicken up your sound. It’s a whole bunch of tiny delays (we’re talking milliseconds) that fill out your vocals to liven them up a bit.

3. Melda MAutoPitch Auto-Tune

Auto-tune’s origins are pretty strange. But there’s no denying that it’s an invaluable tool for producers dealing with vocals.

Auto-tune is the vocal mixer’s secret weapon. MAutoPitch is one of the best auto-tune plugins around. It fixes pitch, corrects sour notes, and even gives you that iconic T-pain/Cher effect if you want it.

This one comes in a free plugin bundle with all sorts of fun mixing toys.

4. Voxengo OldSkoolVerb

Reverb for vocals is essential. Reverb takes your vocals out of the room you recorded them in, and allows you to make your own sound space.

OldSkoolVerb has got you covered no matter what your needs are. From huge halls to a tiny closet, it gives you all the options to create the perfect sonic space in your mix.

5. Klanghelm DC1A

The DC1A is a nifty little character compressor by Klanghelm. It uses sophisticated compression settings and an easy 2 knob setup that has you covered “from smooth levelling to heavy pumping.”

Be sure to check out their absolutely EPIC demo video.

6. Alex Hilton A1 Trigger Gate

1.10.2 repair tinkertool in all inventory. If you’re wondering how far you can push your vocal track this plugin will do a great job letting you know.

Using a step-style sequencer the A1 Trigger Gate packs in a boat load of cool effects. It’s good for all sorts of stuff. So grab it and start experimenting.

7. Glitch Machines Hysteresis

Just like any other part of a mix, vocals are a great place to experiment. The effects on Hysteresis definitely deliver a whole bundle of experimentation.

This delay plugin creates “robotic artifacts and abstract music malfunctions.” Count me in.

8. Acustica Ochre EQ

All good mixing needs a keen sense of EQ early on. Vocals are no exception.

That’s why the Ochre from Acustica is so useful. It’s perfect for sculpting out the best vocals you can.

9. Fine Cut Bodies La Petite Excite

Free download cooking academy 3 full crack. Exciter plugins add subtle harmonics to your vocal track for some extra sonic-excitement in the high range.

The free La Petite Excite from Fine Cut Bodies (you just have to signup to get it) is a great plug to try out.

Throw it on your vocal and enhance it to your liking with some subtle harmonic distortion.

Go make that perfect vocal


Vocals are tricky to mix. But with these handy plugin tools it doesn’t have to be so tough. Grab ’em all, hit the studio and get cracking on that perfect vocal track.

And don’t forget to let us know your favourite plugins for mixing and mastering vocals. We wanna know all your tips and tricks too. :)

Get all of the LANDR-approved free VST plugin collection: