Watch this clip.

[clip removed from youtube since this was first asked.]

It has a sound of Hitler's speech in the background. I want to remove that, and just that. Is it possible to do that using audacity?

The clip is from the movie: Darkest Hour.

1 Answer 1


If you mean just the dialog, you'd do better starting from the 5.1 audio as a source. The centre channel should be dialog only.

If you want to include the music, or if you only have the audio as stereo, then it's not possible.
You cannot unbake a cake.

Late Edit:
There is now the very good yet very expensive Izotope RX which has a "Music Rebalance" plugin which can attempt the same type of thing.
I've tried it, it kind of works if you get lucky - which is less than you'd really hope for but about as much as you can expect.

Below is copied from https://superuser.com/a/1271834/347380 & consequently I have changed this post to Community Wiki so I don't benefit from any points it may accrue in future.

Audacity – a free and open-source cross-platform audio editor – can do this, using the Vocal Reduction and Isolation effect.You should first extract the audio from the video file, e.g. using ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -c:a pcm_s16le audio.wav

And then load the audio.wav file into Audacity:

If you only want to get background music, select the Remove Vocals option; if you want the opposite, choose Isolate Vocals.

Note that this is never going to sound perfect. Vocal isolation is a hard task, as everything you hear is basically mixed into two tracks. An algorithm will never be as good as your brain in isolating different sound sources. Your audio source should be a stereo file with the vocals being panned dead-center. It might also produce false-positives, removing other instruments in the process.

  • Thanks a lot for this, Tetsujin. But is it possible for you to elaborate a bit on this? I just want to remove Hitler's voice that plays in the background of this clip, and everything else should remain same. Is it possible that you offer me a step by step solution, I am a beginner at audacity. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 12:02
  • There is no solution. This issue is what I call "the holy grail of the misinformed." It is the same task as removing the eggs & flour from a cake. Once it's baked you simply cannot do it. If you had the movie in 5.1 you could get the dialogue. If you bought the soundtrack album you could get the music. That's about your only way to do it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 12:42
  • Thanks for this Tetsujin. Is there a way to reduce that sound? It seems like it is quite distinct from others. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 12:56
  • 3
    That's because you are human & recognise it as not only language, but a specific language by a specific person. That's quite a feat of skill, which humans can do without even realising they did it. Machines aren't that good yet.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 13:00
  • 2
    @Tetsujin .... but .... but... but they can do it in the movies ! ... (tongue in cheek) Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 12:24

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