Vocal Remover (WinAmp) is an audio plugin designed to clear music vocals from sound tracks. This is usually a procedure that takes place when you wish to prepare songs for karaoke activities.
Vocal Remover was developed in two different editions: as a plugin for DirectX (and DirectX compatible audio applications), as well as an addon for Winamp. While both of the versions carry out the same job, the second one is more popular due to the fact that the host application has a larger crowd of fans.
Vocal Remover works in a similar way as specialized hardware devices. Assuming that vocals are recorded on both channels (and usually this is the case), while the sound isn’t, it’s safe to remove the parts that coincide in the two channels. According to this principle, Vocal Remover will process the incoming sound stream, clearing the content that coexists in the two channels, leaving only the music itself.
Operating the plugin is not complicated at all. Just make sure that during installation, you provide it with the path to Winamp’s plugin directory and then access it from the Preferences menu. Its interface, if we can call it that, consists of a single window, entitled ‘Mix’. You can adjust the effect by moving the adjacent slider, from 0 to 100, where the upper limit means complete removal of the vocals, theoretically.
In practice, we noticed that the vocals are not completely cleared, but they are, indeed, brought to a very low sound level, where you can barely hear them. This is good enough for karaoke activities, at least, but not satisfactory if you want the vocals to be completely stripped down.
However, Vocal Remover for Winamp is fairly good. The vocal processing is performed in real time, which means you can actually use it while singing.