I am looking for free (hopefully) open source software that will allow me to remove (or replace/mute) a few choice words in some music I own. (I wish the artist would release a radio edit version of this particular song!)

I would like to just remove the words themselves without destroying the music. I understand that this is not easy and I do not expect it to automatically scan the music and figure it out by itself.

Pretend I don't like the word "rose" in my music. If the lyrics were "Every rose has it's thorn" I would like to be able to manually scroll to the proper location in the song, see a graphical representation of the audio spectrum, and cut the vocals only for the time while the singer is singing "rose". The result would be "Every __ has it's thorn" without affecting the original timing adversely.

I guess I'm looking for powerful open-source song editing software. Ideally, it would be able to handle MP3 format. I'm looking to do this with Windows 7 64 bit, but am not averse to Linux.

  • There is free software that might be able to do this with a little rigging, what platform (operating system / architecture) are you using?
    – Tim Post
    Feb 5, 2014 at 5:55
  • @TimPost Good call. I updated the question include OS. Win7 64 bit preferred, but Linux would do just fine.
    – kmort
    Feb 5, 2014 at 5:57

1 Answer 1


Audacity is Free, Multi-platform, (Windows, Mac and Linux), and has all that you asked for but there are lots of options for this sort of work - you can easily mute or beep a section that you have selected.

If the singer is centre recorded without echo then the remove vocals plug in tool may be a big help, I am not sure if it will only process the selected section or all of the track but even if it is all of the track you could try removing it from a copy adding the copy as two new tracks and then cross mixing at the appropriate points.

You may even consider using the Auto-Duck by connecting a microphone, playing the track and recording a track of you speaking over the "offending" sections and then using that as a control track.

File types supported: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files. With ffmpeg you can also import and export AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC) and WMA and the soundtrack from Video files.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.