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I want to achieve something like this https://soundcloud.com/user7421656/sonicworx-isolate-preview .

I've researched it and a few papers mention the use of "descriptors" on the audio and use thresholds on the descriptors to determine singing sources. But before I dive in and go hard out on how these people achieved it, I wanted to make sure it's the best way to achieve an effect similar to the above link.

What's an effective method to achieving singing source separation?

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    $\begingroup$ related: dsp.stackexchange.com/questions/1499/… $\endgroup$ – niaren May 30 '13 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I've already been there. "Some recent developments in voice separation worth exploring" I will explore them. $\endgroup$ – user1530335 May 30 '13 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ Independent components analysis might work, depending on how the original was mixed $\endgroup$ – endolith May 30 '13 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt ICA will work, at best we only have 2 signals (left and right stereo outputs). $\endgroup$ – rwolst May 30 '13 at 17:14
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The example sounds like pitch tracking combined with comb filtering. Using method like this could be implemented by "drawing" as well, as in SPEAR analysis and re-synthesis program.

If the vocal is in the middle and other instruments are not, then you can also try center channel isolation:

http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=102

The methods however, sound horrible in addition to being inaccurate and full of artifacts. Better solution to the problem would be a program that could effectively guess which part of the signal belongs to the voice and which doesn't. Much more difficult for sure though.

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Flexible Audio Source Separation Toolbox is available in Python, C++ and Matlab and it has demonstration files here:

http://bass-db.gforge.inria.fr/fasst/

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