People want to remove drums from their songs for various reasons.If you are a drummer, you might want a song without drums so you can practice playing along with it.

There are versions of songs without drums you can find to download online. However, sometimes you might not find what you need. In that case, you will want to know how to remove drums from a song.

There are many ways to remove drums from a song, but the most popular methods are:

1. Using a digital audio workstation (DAW) with a VST plugin

2. Using online applications

In this article, we’ll explain how to remove drums from a song and what’s the best way to do that.

How to remove drums from a song by using DAW with a VST plugin

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed to record, edit, and playback digital audio files.

DAWs use a software interface to the sound card to play some or all of the following tasks:

  • Loading and editing audio
  • Mixing and applying effects
  • Recording new tracks
  • Exporting finished mixes
  • Mastering

VST plugins are software modules that can take the form of real-time instruments or effects or even MIDI effects. 

They can be used in any application that supports VST technology, such as Steinberg Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, Ableton Live, Sound Forge Pro, and many others.

There are two main ways you can remove drums from a song by using DAW with a VST plugin.

  1. Using an equalizer 
  2. Using a compressor

Here is how you can do it.

Using an equalizer to remove drums

An equalizer (EQ) is an audio engineering tool that manipulates the frequency content of a music track.

Here are the instructions on how to remove drums from a song with EQ:

Step 1: Know the drum frequencies

If you know the frequencies of drum elements in the song, you can minimize or remove them by using an equalizer.

The usual frequencies of drum elements are: 

  • Kick: 80-150Hz
  • Snare: 120-250Hz
  • Cymbals: 400-500Hz
  • Hi-Hats: 300-300Hz
  • Floor Toms: 60h-110Hz
  • Tom-toms: 100-600Hz

Step 2: Use a high-pass filter (LCF)

Use a multiband equalizer that includes a low-pass and high-pass filter. You can filter out drums with a high-pass or low-cut filter (which is the same thing).

Single-band or DJ EQs can likewise be used for the same purpose, but multiband equalizing gives you more control to precisely chop the drums. You can play around with EQ until you get the desired result.

Using a compressor to remove drums

You can use a multiband compressor to remove drums from a song. To ensure that the compressor only compresses the frequency ranges of drums, follow these steps:

Step 1: target two frequency ranges – from 0hz – 550Hz and 1kHz – 2kHz

Step 2: set a low threshold of -45dB 

Step 3: choose a high compression ratio of 21:1

Step 4: if the hi-hats in the song are prominent, try to additionally lower them by compressing a high-frequency range between 5kHz – 20kHz

Most audio software and DAWs include a multiband compressor, a fusion of a compressor, and an equalizer. With equalizers, you filter out frequencies, but you compress the sound’s dynamic range with a compressor.

The compressor reduces signals at selected frequencies when we select the frequencies to do downward compression. The problem you might encounter is that even with all the EQ-ing and compression work done, you might still hear the drums in the song.

Also, you can lose some sounds of other instruments of the song which have the same frequencies as drums. Most DAWs have built-in software to remove drum tracks from songs, but there’s no guarantee it will work with your track.

If you are persistent, you’ll likely be able to find the right settings to remove drums from a song. If that doesn’t work, you should try using an online service.

Removing drums from a song with online apps

You can use some of the applications found online that will help you remove drums from a song in a more simple way. These kinds of applications are easy to use, powered by the latest AI technology, which makes your job quite simple.

You can extract any instrument from the song, including drums, in just a few clicks:

  1. Upload the song
  2. Choose which element you would like to extract/remove
  3. Save the elements of the song you would like to use

You can download the extracted files and use them as separate audio files, which you can use and combine however you like. It’s also possible to edit them further with DAW, so you get a perfect balance.

Some of the web applications that you can use are: 

  • Spleeter
  • Moises
  • PhonicMind

Most online apps have free versions with limited features and paid subscriptions for the full experience. With those apps, you can remove drums from a song from any public media URL (YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.)

To conclude

Using online apps to remove drums from a song is simpler and faster than using the software. However, if you want to get a high-quality production, going deeper into song editing and understanding the process can be useful.

You can play with lowering the certain frequencies of the song by using a digital audio workstation (DAW) with a VST plugin until you get the balance of song that suits you the most. Equalizer and compressor will help you with that, but it’s not an automatic process like with AI-powered apps.

Sometimes you will find it hard to remove the drums from a song completely, and it will depend on the song itself. Different songs require different approaches, and you might need to put more effort into the sound editing experience.

In the end, removing drums from a song will depend on how much time you are willing to spend with it and your goals. But all in all, it can be an interesting and fun experience that will broaden your knowledge of sound.