THEVERGE: Perfect for making karaoke backing tracks and mashups

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Splitting a song into separate vocals and instruments has always been a headache for producers, DJs, and anyone else who wants to play around with isolated audio. There are lots of ways to do it but the process can be time-consuming and the results often imperfect. A new open-source AI tool makes this tricky task faster and easier.

The software is called Spleeter and was developed by music streaming service Deezer for research purposes. Yesterday the company released it as an open-source package, putting the code up on Github for anyone to download and use. Just feed Spleeter an audio file and it spleets splits it into two, four, or five separate audio tracks known as stems. The results aren’t perfect but they are eminently usable and Spleeter itself is very fast. When running on a dedicated GPU it can split audio files into four stems 100 times faster than real time.

You can listen to an example of the software working on David Bowie’s “Changes” below. There are a few audio artifacts in both the vocal-only and band-only stems but the overall results are fantastic. And if Bowie isn’t your thing, here’s another Spleeter example for that timeless ballad of love and loss: “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop).”

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