How to Make a Karaoke Track and Video: A Complete Guide


There are plenty of great instrumental tracks out there, on various different platforms like YouTube, Spotify or classic CD+G. But sometimes these aren’t enough. They may be low quality, expensive to buy, or you can’t find the exact song you want. 

Luckily, there’s a solution. 

It’s possible to make your own karaoke tracks without too much trouble. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but you don’t need to be a tech genius to do it. Just remember though, that the karaoke tracks you create cannot be used with the public. They must be strictly for personal use at home, otherwise you’ll break the licencing rules. 

How to Create your Own Karaoke Tracks at Home

  1. Remove the vocals from the original track.
  2. Combine the instrumental with the lyric video.
  3. Get your file in the right format to play. 

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Remove the Vocals From a Track

The first thing you need to do when making your own karaoke track, is to create the audio instrumental. You’ll need a backing track that has the vocals removed so you can sing along. First you’ll need to get the original track, and then you’ll need to remove the lyrics. 

Where to Get the Original Tracks:

The first thing you’ll need to be able to make your own karaoke track, is the original music. You’ll need them in Mp3 format for the next step. Here are some free methods you can use to get them. 

  • SoundCloud: this is an online music steaming service that allows you to download some tracks for free. They’re not all free though, and some require you to like a Facebook page.
  • ReverbNation: this is a great resource for downloading pop, alternative and hip-hop tracks. 
  • JamendoMusic: this is a great website to use to be able to download independent style music for free. 
  • SoundClick: this free service allows you to be able to download tracks from the artist’s website. 
Download Vocal Removing Software
The next thing you’ll need to be able to do to remove the vocals from the original track, is download some software. There are quite a few services that offer this feature, some free and some paid. Here are some of the best ones.
  • Audacity: this is the one that most people have heard from. It’s available to download for free for Windows and Mac users.     
  • Pro Tools: this service is more advanced than audacity and includes features to improve the quality of the track that you produce. It costs $99 or £94.80 per year. It can be downloaded on both Windows and Mac.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll go through how to use Audacity to create instrumental tracks. Visit audacity.org to download the app to your device.                  

Removing Vocals Using Audacity 

Once you have downloaded audacity, you’re ready to begin removing the vocals from the original track. Be aware that this technique works better on some tracks than others. The success depends on the frequency of the vocals you are trying to remove, compared to the rest of the audio. Here are the steps:

  • First, import the song into audacity by selecting, file, then import, then audio and choosing the song from your computer, then click open. 
  • Second, select the section of the track that you are trying to remove the vocals from. 
  • On the menu bar, you’ll see a tab for effects. Click this and then at the bottom of the drop-down menu, you’ll see “vocal reduction and isolation” Click this, and a small window will come up.
  • On the “action” drop-down menu and select “remove vocals”.       
  • The rest of the default settings usually work great at removing the vocals, but you can have a play about with them if you want.     
  • Click “okay” and you’re track is created!                       
Export the Track 

The next thing you’ll need to do, is export this track and save it in the correct format, which is MP3. However, Audacity does not allow you to export as MP3, it instead uses WAV formats. So you’ll need to convert the format from WAV to MP3. 

To do this you need to use the LAME MP3 encoder in Audacity. This used to be something you downloaded as an extra, but now it’s built into audacity for Windows and Mac. You’ll still need to download it though if you’re a Linux/ Unix user. 
Here’s how you export a track as MP3 from audacity.
  • On the menu bar, click edit and then preferences.
  • On the small window that opens up, click libraries.
  • If LAME MP3 is not already downloaded, then you can click download and it’ll take you to audacity which will give you the instructions for the final steps. 
  • Then you can click “file” on the menu bar, scroll down to export and then export as MP3 and save it to your desired location. 

Combine the Instrumental and Video

There are actually several different methods you can use to add the instrumental audio you created, to a lyric video so you have the entire karaoke track created. 

Here are some of the options for creating a lyric video:

  • Makeyoutubevideo.com (it’s a website where you download the app for free and then it’ll enable you to create a lyric video)
  • Animaker (paid website)
  • Kapwing (another website, but this one is free)
  • Video Editor (installed on most Windows devices)
  • iMovie (installed on most Apple devices)
There are of course, many other options, but these are the most popular methods that are both easy to use and inexpensive. Here’s a quick comparison between the methods. 

Method

Cost

Requires Download

Compatibility

Makeyoutubevideo.com

Free

Yes

Mac and Windows

Animaker

$12/ month

No

Mac and Windows

Kapwing

Free

No

Mac and Windows

Video Editor

Free

Usually pre-installed

Windows

iMovie

Free

Usually pre-installed

Mac

All of these methods are pretty easy to figure out, and there are plenty of tutorials out there to be able to create lyric videos for your audio instrumentals. But for the sake of this article we’ll go through two methods: Kapwing and Video Editor. I’ve chosen video editor because I don’t own a Mac so can’t use iMovie, but from doing some research, it’s a pretty similar process. 

Making a Lyric Video using Kapwing
making karaoke track with kapwing
  1. You can add the audio track that you created using audacity by clicking here.
  2. Next, add text to the slide for the first line of the lyrics.
  3. You can click here to determine how long the time of that screen should last.
  4. Click here to add another “scene”. Then you can repeat steps 2-4 until you’ve completed the song.
  5. Once you’re happy, click publish. 
Making a Lyric Video Using Video Editor
make karaoke lyric video using video editor
  1. Start by adding a title card.
  2. Then add your audio instrumental that you created using audacity.
  3. Add some text of the first lyrics and change the duration of the slide to fit the timing. Repeat this process by adding another title card (step 1) for the rest of the lyrics.
  4. You can click this to alter the background of each slide.
  5. When you’re happy, click this to save your video. 

Get it in the Right Format

So now you have your lyric video and your instrumental track playing over it, you’re almost finished! You now just be able to integrate it into your karaoke setup. 

You may not have to convert anything, if you’re connecting your laptop to the rest of your karaoke setup directly, or if the video you have created is already in the correct format. You will be able to find this out by locating the file on your laptop/PC, pressing right click and going to properties. For example, video editor files are automatically saved in MP4, so if your karaoke mixer or machine accepts this format, then you’ll just need to put it on a USB and plug it in. But if it doesn’t then there are methods you can use to play your track in your setup. 

There are a few different ways to do this. 

  1. Simply play the video straight from your PC or laptop that’s hooked up to your karaoke machine. 
  2. Convert the video to a different format so you can download it to another device.
  3. Burn the video onto a disk so it’s in the CD+G format, which can be played in the CD player of your karaoke machine.
Which method you choose really does depend on what kind of karaoke set up you have. Here are some different options and the easiest method to go for if this is your setup. 
 
  • If you’re using a karaoke machine that plays the tracks by pairing with smart devices and can connect to a laptop or PC. Then simply connect them together, head over to our post on how to connect a karaoke machine to any device for how to do this. 
  • If you’re using a karaoke machine but it does not allow connection to a laptop, but does have a built-in CD player. Then you’ll need to choose option 3 (we’ll go through how to do this next).
  • If you’re not using a karaoke machine, and instead are using a mixer, then it’ll depend what type of format your mixer accepts. This may be CD+G, MP3+G or DVD. In this case, you’ll need to go with option 2 (skip ahead to find out how to do this).
  • If you want to use your laptop, but don’t want to use a karaoke machine or mixer with it. Then head over to our post on how to setup karaoke using a laptop
Option 1 : Connect your Laptop and Karaoke Machine

This is by far the easiest option, so if you own a karaoke machine that connects to a laptop, then simply hook the two machines up and get started. Read our post on how to connect a karaoke machine to any device for some detailed instructions.

Option 2: Burn your Karaoke Track to CD+G

If your karaoke machine only accepts CD+G, then you’ll need to first, convert your file to CD+G (there are loads of online converter websites that can do this) and then you’ll need to burn this onto a CD disk to be able to put into your karaoke machine. Some karaoke machine’s will accept MP4 as well if it’s burnt to a disk. So you can still burn it onto your CD and give it a try. Here’s how to burn MP4 or CD+G to a blank disk:

  • Insert a blank CD into your computer.
  • Click on the CD+G/ MP4 file that you want to burn onto the blank CD.
  • Right click and then select “send to” and choose the drive containing your blank CD.
  • Open my computer and double click on the drive containing the blank CD.
  • The CD+G/ MP4 file that you’ve selected to burn should say “files ready to be written to the CD”.
  • Right click on a blank section next to this, and choose the option “write these files to CD”.
  • A window will open up where you can name your CD. Then click next and wait for the CD+G/ MP4 to burn onto the disk.
  • Wait until the process is finished and then eject your CD. 
  • It’s now ready for use in a karaoke machine’s CD player. 
Option 3: Convert your Video to Another Format

There are quite a few different formats you can choose from, and the one you choose will depend on the compatibility of your setup. We’ll briefly go through how to convert to each format. But if you don’t know what these formats are, then head over to our karaoke formats 101 post for more information. 

  • Converting MP4 to MP3+G: first convert the file to MP3 and then to MP3+G using online converters It’s impossible to directly convert MP4 to MP3+G.
  • Converting MP4 to CD+G: use an online converter to directly convert. 
  • Converting MP4 to DVD: use an online converter to directly convert. 
If your karaoke track video is not in MP4, then go to the properties of the file, find out the format and then use an online converter to get it into the desired format. Your karaoke mixer may also require you to transfer the file you’ve created to some hardware so it can be plugged into your device. This will vary depending on what hardware inputs your mixer accepts.

 

 

So there you go! That’s exactly how you can create a karaoke track by removing the vocals from an original song, creating a lyric video and get it all in the right format for your karaoke setup or machine. Thanks for reading. Here are some other posts that you might find useful:

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