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Split Music and Soundtracks into Vocal and Instrumental Stems with LALALAI

If ever there was a candidate for a new audio plugin for Final Cut Pro, this should be it. Removing vocals from music or mixed soundtracks with a few clicks.

Sadly at the moment this is just a web service, but what an amazing one and it sends the mind spinning trying to comprehend how this audio magic is achieved.

Lalal.ai allows a user to upload a music track to their website that has vocals in the mix. Then the clever AI 'source separation neural network' splits the audio into two stems, the track minus the vocals and then the vocals on their own. You then download the two stems.

If you were like me and thought that this separation would be a pretty impossible task, then head over to their website and listen to the examples. Better still, upload your own track (with vocals of course) to try out. You can split three tracks for free.

I uploaded 'This is what you came for' by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna and after a few seconds of processing, got a preview of the track without featuring Rihanna and her vocals separated out. Both sounded good.

There is a demo video, but it shows the process, not a before and after stem separation example.

 

If we could program, we would digging in the API to try to wrap this technology up in to a plugin. You would still have to connect to the remote service, but being able to remove vocals from music tracks would be a great advantage when editing. Providing the music company allows you to!

But here's where it gets even more interesting for video editors. The service can also remove vocals from movie soundtracks. So with the caveat of us not actually trying this out, you should be able to isolate the speech from movies. Which would come in very handy should you want to cut trails or more mundanely, have to snick out or mute swearwords without access to a split master.

 

If you have tried the service, please leave a comment below, we are very keen to see how Lalal.ai works with some challenging real-world examples.

If you would like to know a bit more about the process and Cassiopeia, the neural network that powers the stem removal, then take a read of their blog post here. 

 

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

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Steve McGarrigle's Avatar
Steve McGarrigle replied the topic: #113270 10 Mar 2021 09:42
Neural Mix Pro is another app that does this very effectively. Made by Algoriddim and designed primarily for DJ's as an accompaniment to their DJ Pro software. it is able to separate vocals, drums and instruments, live and on the fly. There is a standalone version available that I've been using. It's not perfect. Like noise removal and reverb removal tools, there are audible artefacts, but it is still pretty impressive when you think about what it is actually doing. Isolating the three main elements of a stereo mix as if you were listening to the original multitrack. Going through some of my favourite records is a revelation, listening to the drums, instruments and vocals on their own. It will be interesting to see how it compares to LALAL.AI Unfortunately non of their videos seem to show any examples.
RSK's Avatar
RSK replied the topic: #113276 10 Mar 2021 13:28

Unfortunately non of their videos seem to show any examples.
As the article states, there are examples on the site that one can listen to, or, better yet, upload your own track to try it out. You can split three tracks for free. So… just try it and find out?
thinkfilm's Avatar
thinkfilm replied the topic: #113285 10 Mar 2021 16:18
I have Neural Mix Pro too - it's a slick app but, as you mentioned, there are still residual artifacts in its processing - however it does a fairly good job in separating the vocal, instrumental and percussion into virtual "stems." I played around with LALA.AI yesterday and I think it has a more robust algorithm for separating the voice and instrumental tracks. This is purely subjective on my part after just a little testing but the vocals seemed a little more discreet and the instrumental track slightly more dynamic to my ears. YMMV. LALA.AI is a subscription service and Neural MIX Pro is an MacApp store purchase. Both are useful.
ltf3's Avatar
ltf3 replied the topic: #113305 11 Mar 2021 03:08
There’s also app for the iphone / iPad called Transcribe + that will unmix tracks you own ( not drm ) to voice/bass/drums/instruments... or various combinations. Stems can be exported as compressed or uncompressed audio. $12 for the app ... unmix til you drop.

It also does vari-speed playback if you’d like.

The results are very impressive ...
Gretta's Avatar
Gretta replied the topic: #113386 14 Mar 2021 16:27
I used this the very day your article was posted to the ProFCP editors group on FB. Client had contacted a folk singer who gave permission to use her songs. Of course, they were 'songs'!
What I needed was music to back a very narration-heavy 3 min video application for a grant.
I and my post audio 'department' are blown away by the quality of LALAL.ai
I am almost embarrassed that it was done for free!
vimeo.com/522545934