System: Compaq Presario, 4GB RAM
Q: I recently had my Compaq Presario computer upgraded to 4GB RAM and a Quad- Core processor along with the standard Graphics/Sound, Direct 9.0c compatible with at least 64MB VRAM, so that I could run the Hit ‘n’ Mix music editing software you recently reviewed (issue 136). However, after reading your review I am not sure that Hit ‘n’ Mix will do the job I want it to do. I am a musician who primarily wants to isolate individual instruments so that I can learn the parts. Is there any other music editing software on the market which will isolate the individual instruments better than Hit ‘n’ Mix and how much do they cost? And will they run on the above specifications?
A: Unless you have access to an original multi-track recording this is something that’s remarkably difficult to achieve. There are a few programs around to remove vocals – try Vocal Remover, which is free – but it’s really hard for software algorithms to distinguish individual instruments. Hit ‘n’ Mix is probably as good as the technology gets right now. You can download a free Hit ‘n’ Mix Play version from the website, this is feature limited but will give you an idea of how it works before you decide whether it’s worth buying. Another tool you may want to try is Extra Boy Pro, which is capable of isolating or removing specific elements from a song and costs US$29.95 as a plug-in for most audio software. There’s a 14-day trial available from the website.
Another avenue you might want to explore is that multi-track stems for many songs are available online through remix contests, so you could download some of these to get a feel for individual instruments. Try www.remixcomps.com for links to recently launched competitions.
Originally featured in PCU 139