There could be several reasons why you might want a song without the drum track. But for drummers especially, it can be an excellent option for practice. But the question is how to remove drums from a song?
Finding a drumless version of a song was incredibly difficult in the past. The only option was a version that had been mixed without drums, if one had been made, and you could get hold of it. However, technology has advanced, and there are now ways that you can isolate and remove a drum track.
Some very basic VST plugins could be used with your Digital Audio Workstation or DAW. But the results and the isolation were average, to say the least.
The Rise of the Machines
As I say, technology has advanced, and detecting the frequencies in an audio spectrum is easy to accomplish. Being able to detect the tones and these frequencies means that instruments can be isolated and removed with incredible accuracy.
Today there are two ways to detect, isolate, and remove the drum tracks from any song. There are applications available on the web that require no extra software. Or you can acquire a sophisticated VST and use it in your DAW.
Either produce satisfactory results and do the job. Some prefer web-based applications as they are quite easy to use once you understand them. Others prefer the DAW route as they are already familiar with the way it works and how to operate plugins. So, let’s now take a brief look at both options.
Moises is a cloud-based application. Using it, you can extract drums from the URL of any public media. It is easy to use, and you can keep and maintain a record in library format of all the tracks you have isolated. This makes it easy to playback or download.
Once you have separated the files, it is possible to download MP3 files of the individual tracks. Creating these tracks is quick and relatively painless.
Moises gives you a free option to use, but there are some limitations. Firstly, you can only work with songs that are less than five minutes long. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you cannot save any songs for later use in the library. Thirdly, you can only upload five tracks per month.
The paid version offers the full service. This includes unlimited downloads and the ability to save songs to the library. You can also download songs of any length. It represents good value for money if you are going to make regular use of it.
Not the only option
Moises is not the only online option for isolating and removing drum tracks. There is also a package called Spleeter. It is certainly not as user-friendly as Moises and will require you to be familiar with GitHub. Another option is PhonicMind, but as with Spleeter, it is not as user-friendly as Moises.
Using VST Plugins
Using a web-based application for extracting drums has certain disadvantages. The biggest being that you cannot adjust settings or customize your work.
VST plugins give you more flexibility and can deliver good results that are often better than what you would produce with web-based applications.
Some Decent Packages
There are four good quality options worth experimenting with – Drum Extract, XTrax Stem 2, AudioSource, and UNMIX Drums.
Equalize it out
An alternative solution to isolation and extracting drums is by trying to “EQ out” some of the frequencies. This will have the effect of lowering the perceived volume of the kit.
You can try using the EQ built-in to your DAW and reduce the frequencies by a few decibels. You will find the kick drum somewhere between 70 and 90Hz and the cymbals at about 4k. The snare drum will usually be at around 150Hz. Not an ideal solution, to be honest, and the results will depend on what else is in the song, but better than doing nothing.
Looking for Ways to Improve Your Drum Practice Sessions?
Well, if you need a hand with that, have a look at our handy guides on Where to Find Drumless Tracks, Tips to Teach Yourself Drums, How To Build Your Own Soundproof Home Studio For Drums, Songs With Incredible Drum Solos, and The Nashville Number System for Drummers Explained for more useful information.
You may also enjoy our in-depth reviews of the Best Drum VST Plugins, the Best Electronic Drum Pads, the Best Drum Triggers, the Best Drum Machines, the Best Drum Practice Pads, and the Best Portable Drum Kits you can buy in 2023.
How To Remove Drums From a Song – Final Thoughts
It won’t always work, and the process isn’t particularly easy, especially if you are not tech-savvy. Also, the degrees to which it will be successful will largely depend on the song.
You may get good results with one but poor results on another. That said, it is worth persevering with if you really need the track without the drums, or at least with a lot less drums.
Until next time, may the beat go on.