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I have a folder of nearly identical .MP3s, but each with a different voiceover mixed in. I'm trying to dump the tracks without the voiceovers.

I've tried aligning two of them to the nearest sample, inverting and then mixing. This leaves almost nothing except the voice, but I'm not sure where to go from there.

I think they all would have been recorded on top of the same original backing, but due to mp3 compression I'm not feeling very optimistic. I'm wondering if by having lots of tracks I could overcome this.

EDIT, more information: They're from an old PC game which I own, and I would use it for a personal nostalgic soundtrack. I don't think there was ever any licensed versions of the soundtrack, or any means to politely request the clean files.

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    You method will only dump the track & leave the voiceovers; not the other way round. Your only way of achieving what you want, a voiceover-free track, is to find enough versions of the track to between them contain enough 'spare' bits with no voiceover & edit those together. Or ask the copyright holders for a clean version. – Tetsujin Feb 8 '15 at 8:51
  • Once you have "Just the Voice" invert THAT and subtract it from the original. You're almost there! In Ableton you can do all this with ease by using MS (mid-side) mode in the standard EQ plugin. It will let you edit the mid "central" channel separately from the information that's weighted in the sides. – he_artburns Feb 21 '15 at 23:19
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Tetsujin's comment is the probably your best bet. How many versions are there? If there are enough, then piecing together the clean bits wouldn't be too difficult.

I would first decompress to wav, then work from there. Lay each version on it's own track in your DAW, and mute out all but the first track. On the first track, mute out the voiceover. On the next track, look for material sans voiceover not available on track one. Do the same with the subsequent tracks.

Also, if there's repetitive material, you could splice those in to increase the amount of workable material.

If this process won't yield the results you're looking for, you're likely sunk. Unless the voiceover is directly centered in the middle of a very wide stereo soundtrack, or not isolated on it's own channel, then stripping them completely without ruining the music is not very feasible.

Search and Look Again

Have you searched the net for the soundtrack?
It's surprising what's out there.
Maybe you'll find what you're looking for.

It never hurts to ask

Find out who produced the tracks (look in the game's credits) and try asking them. If they can't provide the soundtrack, they may be able to point you in the right direction!

  • Previously, I'd have probably chosen Tetsujin's as the best answer had it not been a comment - good advice here as well. Thanks. – kelzebub Feb 21 '15 at 23:28

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