How to Remove Drums from A Sample

You might be wondering if there is any way for you to get drums out of an album. Alternatively, exclude all instruments from an album except the drums. Alternatively, you should only take out the drums and keep everything else in place so you can practice your drumming with that track.

Truth is, it is almost impossible to totally erase drums from a recording, although you can reduce their frequency inside the mix at the expense of the audio quality of the song. Also, there are VSTs that could help with the process.

Reasons To Extract Drums From Samples

There are a variety of reasons why musicians delete drums from stereo songs, but it all boils down to a need to practice, sample, and customize the music. We’ve found mainly two major reasons behind artists extracting drums from sample music.

  1. If you are a musician I’m sure you want to practice playing the drums with some of your favorite music bits, whether you’re a novice or an experienced. And you just want the drums to be removed so you can work on the piece.
  2. If you’re someone who likes to do audio sampling and would like to remove drum parts out of an album as part of the music-making method, then you would want to remove drums from a track. It may be a drum loop or a drum fill. Essentially, you’re looking for different drum sounds or patterns to be used as samples or remixes.

Now, you could be someone who wants to remove drums for a completely different reason but that’s your thing. Just keep in mind that extracting drums or any kind of music from a sample can be extremely difficult. But let’s get into methods now.

remove drums from a sample
Photo credit- HARMAN Professional Solutions

Extracting Drums The Harder Way

Extracting drums from a sample or track requires a lot of effort and time. You need hours of experimentation just to get it right. And these methods sometimes depreciate the quality of the original track. We have given some of the useful methods you can use without the use of any special tool or software.

Multiband EQing

Equalizers are a popular technique for removing drum sounds out of a track. You can tell the difference between high and low frequencies, and the kick and cymbal sounds are finally gone. Multiband equalization allows you greater power over the drums, allowing you to chop them more precisely.

This EQ gives you a lot of power over the track and allows you to reshape and mold the track with a lot more precision. In those rare instances where you need to “dip out” or “break off” other areas of the sample, an 8-band EQ will help.

‘Attacking’ the Sample

Applying a fast attack to every sample slice will work well when you’re slicing on the sample’s drum hits kick or snare. The assault essentially fades out the sample slice from the moment it is triggered.

You can usually add a 20-40ms attack to your beats and get fantastic effects. When you need to delete drums from a sample, this is a very subtle technique that can make a huge difference.

Chopping Around Samples

The easiest and obvious method is to exclude the drums entirely from your sample. Slicing through the sample’s current drums, on the other hand, will also leave you with unfavorable audio to deal with your rhythm.

This will be highly dependent on the musical characteristics of the album you’re sampling and also the production style you’re using. Even though this is the easiest method, this is not the method that always works.

Extracting Drums The Easier Way

Software have always been quite intriguing because they allow you to do stuff easier and smarter. Since the process of extracting/removing drums can be daunting for many musicians due to its difficulty, there are some other useful options available.

This segment contains a list of program plugins that can help you remove or reduce the drum in your mix.

DrumExtract

DrumExtract is a paid audio editing software that allows you to remove or isolate percussive elements from a mix. It also outperforms the approach outlined above in terms of achieving great effects that no level of EQ, compression or other typical audio effect software can match.

If you’re using a Mac or Windows, it functions as a VST or AU plugin (32 and 64-bit). This means that it’ll fit in your favorite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), like Ableton Live, Logic, FL Studio, Cubase, Sound Forge, and even traditional audio editors like Audacity and Adobe Audition.

It’s easy to use the DrumExtract plugin. Simply turn the knob all the way to the left to keep only the percussive elements of the blend or all the way to the right to keep only the harmonic elements.

UNMIX Drums

Unmix Drums isn’t a drum-removal program in the traditional sense. The drum sounds are emphasized and attenuated with this plugin. Although the drums will not be entirely removed, they will be significantly reduced without reducing the audio quality of the other instruments or vocals.

XTrax Stem 2

XTrax Stem 2 is a plugin that separates audio samples into percussion, vocal, and other stems in a simple but innovative way. This plugin’s algorithm helps you to easily and reliably distinguish drum sounds. The drum extraction is done in a quite streamlined way, with very few acoustic artifacts inside this process. It’s a fantastic backing track plugin that produces outstanding performance on a variety of tracks.

Bottom Line

Drums are flexible instruments that cover a wide range of frequencies. Attempting to delete drums from mixed and mastered audio tracks is a challenging task.

Drum removal is common among musicians who want to practice drum parts, sampling, remixing, and advanced processing. If none of the above approaches work for you, you may want to try purchasing music from sites that sell music without lyrics, like the Karaoke Version.

You may also like to read: How to Play Conga Drums?

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