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Drumless tracks - please share your experience

Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:22 pm
by johnnyM1984
Hi everyone!

I recently was actively searching for drumless tracks to play with Aerodrums, and would like to share my findings for everyone :) . You can consider this post a small guide for beginners. I am sure you would be able to add your five cents to this post and share how you find drumless tracks. So let’s start!

First of all I am not a fan of MIDI/ Band in a box tracks and will not cover this topic here. I prefer to play with the tracks as much close to the original sound as possible.

I found three main sources of drumless tracks, although they are not equal in terms of sound quality:
  • Youtube and with its drumless channels - there you can find both tracks ripped from original multitracks, or cover bands playing well-known tracks
  • Multitrack recordings: mostly ripped from Rock Band video game, however you may find something unique in torrents world
  • Unmixing sound recording to stams and muting the drums stam - this might be time consuming and not necessarily gives good audible results. You also need to obtain lossless audio records in order to get suitable results
In order to perform all the stuff I am using this software:
  • youtube-dl which is command-line downloader of youtube videos. It can save you a lot of time and download all your playlist into mp3 files. Online youtube-mp3 converters are not versatile to download a whole list for your, also they show you a lot of ads etc.
With this tool you can easily download audio from any video in best available audio quality directly into mp3 file with this command:

Code: Select all

youtube-dl -f bestaudio --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 --audio-quality 0 "" 
(of course, replace the video link before you download)

In order to download whole playlist just replace video URL with playlist url like this:

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youtube-dl -f bestaudio --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 --audio-quality 0 “”
  • SoX - Sound eXchange is a tool for manipulating audio files from command line. This is very handy and versatile utility. With help of this small utility you can:
*** mix multitrack recordings (separately recorded instruments and voices) found in internet, and also in batch mode
*** convert between audio formats wav<>mp3<>ogg etc, convert between different rates and qualities
*** normalize sound recording, to avoid sound clipping

I personally use this tool to convert samples into Aerodrums 44100 wav format:

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sox "kick_sample.mp3" -r 44100 -c 1 -b 16 "kick_sample.wav"
Also it is convenient to convert all samples in particular folder into Aerodrums format at once.
  • SpectraLayers Pro 7. Steinberg has lite and trial versions which do not allow to unmix into all stems, only vocals. So make sure you purchased or downloaded exactly Pro version.
I am sure there are other programs to unmix but in my experience this tool is the most stable program, it does not crashes like Izotope for instance. Also this tool works on old hardware and laptops without modern GPU which is also great.

In order to create drumless track you need first download recording in lossless audio format (.wav or .flac etc). MP3 tracks will not work because they are lossy formats, in order to save space the audio signal is looses its details which are extremely important for unmixing.

Once you load the recording into SpectraLayers, select Layer-Unmix Stems then OK.


After a while you will notice in the Layers window new layers. Just mute the drum layer, and you are ready to export into mp3 track


Use File-Export Audio of Project to export drumless track into mp3.

You can experiment with sensitivity of stems extractor, in Unmix Stems dialog, for instance increase drum extraction sensitivity.

Unmixing is a very CPU intensive task, do not expect this to be very quick. On my old Xeon PC it takes 10-15 minutes per one track. Although if you have modern hardware, this may not take that long.

I use unmixing into stems only for very special recordings which drumless versions are not available on youtube or in Multitracks packs.

  • MP3 Gain is a small windows utility that can equal loudness level of all your mp3 tracks. It is important that changing from one track to another does not cause you to change music volume.
I use this small utility every time I download new drumless track. Just drag the file into its window and click the Track Gain volume:


It will automatically adjust the loudness of a track so that it would be in line with your other tracks.

Please share your findings in comments.

Re: Drumless tracks - please share your experience

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:07 am
by Richard
I sometimes use a mobile app called Moises:

I believe it is based on the same open-source project that SpectralLayers and iZotope use: