Very often you’ll listen to karaoke recordings where the voice of the singer is bothered by a background irritating sound, following the melody line: it’s an instrument like flute, piano, pan flute, celesta, oboe (usually for high pitch female voices) or other.
If you’re lucky its volume is quite discreet but often it is also set to a very annoying loudness.
It is recommended to remove or set to mute this melody track… but how to do it?
If you’re using a generic multimedia player it is impossible to do it immediately, so the advice is to use a Karaoke player like VanBasco, we’ll use it in our examples, or similar software.
One a song is executed in VanBasco, a .mid or .kar file, in the “Midi Output” window you’ll notice a LCD-like display with a list of Midi instruments, the tracks (or better ‘channels’) included in the Midi song. Those actually used in the whole song are bright coloured and when involved in the current playback they show a small bar on the left, moving according to their volume intensity (velocity).
At the leftmost position of a track you’ll find two LEDs (small rectangular coloured lights) turned off.
Well these LEDs are crucial to identify and to silence melody tracks or other unwanted tracks.
Let’s assign a name to these LEDs (they’re actually switch buttons)
- the leftmost one, red when on, is the “Mute” button: you can click this to ignore and exclude the related track from the playback;
- the cyan one -when on- is usually called “Solo”: useful to listen the track ad full volume.
This is the function to exclude an unwanted track from the playback: this track could be the melody or simply an instrument you don’t want, in case -for instance- you want to both sing and play your own instrumen, like a guitar, piano or other. Since you want to mute a specific track you should know “which one” to remove:
usually the track melody is the channel number 4, so the fourth line in VanBasco track display but it’s not always the fourth, it’s just a common choice but not adopted by all sequencers (who creates midifiles), so in a few cases it’s not immediate to find the correct one… and in these cases the Solo button comes in handy.
Useful to find a specific intrument track to set as ‘mute’. In some audio software the Solo, the opposite of Mute, excludes completely the other tracks executing only those with the Solo flag on. In VanBasco the solo tracks are just put at full volume leaving the others far in the background. So if you’re searching for a track to silence, you have to activate this cyan LED, one at a time, until you hear clearly the melody track or other you want to exclude.
A different approach would be to simply identify the track by the instrument name in the list.
If you execute a Midi and you hear (clearly by itself, without using the Solo button) a “Pan Flute” set as melody track and in the instruments list you read just one “Pan Flute”, well it’s that one eheh. While if the molody track uses Piano and in the song there’s also a piano playing in the background well you have to try both.
Since it’s not immediate to identify the tracks to exclude, to avoid repeating the procedure each time you need to mute tracks for the same song, my advice is to save these settings -muted tracks as well as key, tempo, etc…- in VanBasco’s Playlists!