- Stereo music files (MP3 or WAV recommended)
- Audio editing software (Audacity recommended)
- CD+G authoring software (Karaoke CD+G Creator or Karaoke Home Producer recommended)
Singing karaoke with a group at a bar is a staple weekly entertainment for many, and it's becoming an increasingly popular activity at business parties, weddings and other celebrations. Sometimes, though, you may not be able to find the song you really wanted and wish you could create karaoke tracks of your own. Fortunately, with the right software, it isn't hard to remove the vocals from an audio track, write the lyrics and create your own karaoke track.
Removing Vocals From an Audio File
Import a stereo music file into Audacity by clicking "Project" in the top menu bar and then selecting the "Import Audio..." option. You should see two blue lines representing the right and left audio tracks.
Open the "Track" menu by clicking the black down-facing arrow next to the track title in the menu left of the blue tracks, and choose "Split Stereo Track." You will now have a small menu next to each track and can modify them individually.
Select the lower track by clicking in its left menu. The menu and track will turn a darker gray.
Choose "Effects"' from the top menu bar and then "Invert."
Set both tracks to "Mono" by click the down-facing arrow next to the track titles in the menus to the left of each track.
Test that the tracks play without vocals, and then click "File" in the top menu bar and "Export selection as MP3..."
Visit the Audacity Wiki website for further advice. The above technique only works with certain stereo tracks. The wiki can help with others.
Creating Lyrics and Combining with the Music File
Save the song's lyrics as a .txt file. You can find many lyrics at sites such as Lyrics.com (www.lyrics.com/) and A-Z Lyrics Universe (http://www.azlyrics.com/).
Run a CD+G authoring program such as Karaoke CD+G Creator or Karaoke Home Producer to create the graphic lyrics and combine them with the music file. Neither program is free, but they do offer free trials. This way you can choose the program that works best for you.
Burn your completed CD+G files to a disc to bring them with you to the next karaoke night.
The copyright laws regarding the creation of karaoke tracks with lyrics are complex and in flux. The simplest way to legally handle this is either to own the copyright to the song you are modifying for karaoke or to use songs in the public domain. The Public Domain Information Project (http://www.pdinfo.com/) can be a great a help to you in finding and confirming music in the public domain.