Separate Lead Vocals From Music Tracks with Ease Using ADX VVC Plug-In for Pro Tools

By in Music Creation

At Audionamix, we pride ourselves in being a company that provide creative solutions for complex audio problems. For many years we’ve delivered our unique brand of audio source separation services for major projects in the entertainment industry, and along the way I’ve been asked by veteran sound engineers countless times, “when are you going to make your software available for us to purchase?”. Their question was finally answered at NAMM last year when we debuted ADX Trax, the world’s first automated audio source separation software for the pro audio community. Much to our surprise, our first stand alone software earned a Best of Show award from ProSound Network, as well as numerous follow-up features and honorable mentions in other notable audio rags shortly after its NAMM debut.

From there, it was time to get the ball rolling with the first-ever audio source separation plug-in for pro audio users. Once the proof of concept was accepted by a few key Audionamix beta testers, we went on to seek a development partner with vast experience in creating new and exciting plug-ins. That search led us to Guillaume Jeulin (Founder and CEO at Blue Cat Audio). After discussing the possibility of developing a source separation plug-in with Guillaume, his enthusiasm for the project made him the obvious choice to become the lead development partner for the ADX Vocal Volume Control (VVC) plug-in.

As we all know, there are many types of AAX plug-ins for Pro Tools: EQ’s, delays, reverbs, compressor/limiters, gate/expanders, etc…but every so often an innovative plug-in like VVC comes along that defies categorization, and places itself firmly in the “Other” column. ADX VVC for Pro Tools 10, 11 and 12 uses the same cloud-based, multi-algorithmic and automatic VEX technology as ADX TRAX and ADX TRAX Pro, with the convenience of working within a Pro Tools session.

Using state of the art audio analysis and separation techniques, this revolutionary plug-in will automatically separate a master recording’s lead vocal from its accompanying mono or stereo music track. Once the file is separated, users can effectively adjust the volume (+/- 9dB) and pan positioning (60% left and right) of the lead vocal for various pro audio workflows in the post production, broadcast, advertising and marketing industries.

In the coming months, ADX VVC will be available in the all-new Avid Marketplace for a special introductory price, so stay tuned for the official announcement of this special offer!

In the meantime, watch VVC in action in the following video. Then, read our brief tutorial on VVC’s use in Pro Tools.

After importing your chosen audio file (Stereo or Mono) to a new track, choose VVC from the Inserts menu under Multichannel/Other for a stereo file or Plug-in/Other for a mono file.

Audionamix VVC Select

When VVC first loads, the Acquire button will be activated and the red light will be on. This indicates that the plug-in is ready to acquire the audio data for separation.

Audionix VVC Window

Make a selection of the audio that you would like to make volume or panning adjustments on and press play. This will send the desired audio data to the plug-in, and the red light will turn blue. Using the offline bounce feature in Pro Tools 11 or higher will speed up this process significantly. It is also suggested to simply acquire the entire audio file, so you can make several adjustments throughout the full duration of the song.

To help our algorithm focus on a main melody, you can set the pitch range of the (desired vocal) performance (for separation). In this example we’ve set the highest note in the melody to A4 and the lowest note of the melody to B3.

Audionamix VVC Pitch Range

Before separating, you can also choose to activate two separation options. The HQ algorithm is a more intense extraction process with extended filtering which can greatly improve results depending on the source material. Reverb, when turned on, will separate the target vocal’s reverb along with the lead vocal so that you adjust the level of the melody and its associated reverb at the same time.

Audionamix VVC

Once you’ve selected your desired options, press the Separate button. ADX cloud processing will automatically separate the vocal from the music so that you can then raise and lower the volume, and change the pan position of the separated vocal.

As with other plug-ins, VVC’s gain and pan position parameters can be automated from the automation lanes in Pro Tools or in real-time from the sliders on VVC’s user interface.

Learn more about our ADX VVC plug-in or connect with Audionamix for comments or questions at support@audionamix.com.

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COO and VP of Product at Audionamix. I am also a 15-year veteran instructor of audio engineering at Musicians Institute, a published author and video artist for Hal Leonard and Alfred Publishing, and enjoy exploring new tech and creative applications at my studio, Mixed Emotions.