Derry's Top Tips
How to extract drums from a music track

Read Derry's top tips for getting the best drum extraction from a music track
Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash
Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

There are many reasons why you might want to extract drums from a music track. You might be a DJ be looking for a drum sample for a remix or a mashup, or you might be a drummer who wants want to be able to get an isolated drum track so you can study or learn a drum part in greater detail, or maybe you want to play drums with your favourite band!

With the advent of modern AI-based separation technology, separating drums can be done at the click of a button. While you won’t be able to extract individual drums, you will be able to extract most types of drum and percussion simply and easily. However, there are still some important steps that you should consider before attempting to separate a drum track. In a previous blog post, I outlined that using a lossless audio format as input gives better results than using a lossy audio format such as mp3. The golden rule in separation and extraction is “Bad input produces even worse output” and generally applies in all cases where you want to separate an instrument or vocals.

If you are looking to extract a drum loop from a song, I’d advise you to process the whole track rather than just a snippet containing the loop you want. There are two reasons for this: firstly it can take a second or two of audio before the separation algorithm starts separating properly, and processing the full song will help ensure that the section you actually want is separated correctly. Secondly, your end result varies depending on the other instrumentation and vocals present at any given point in the track. So with a full track separation, you can see if the drum part is cleaner at different points throughout the song. You can then pick the section that’s likely to give you the best-separated sound quality.

A common complaint about AI-based drum separations is that they don’t preserve the initial transients or attack of the drum sound. Where possible you want to ensure that these transients are preserved, so that the drums you extract retain more of their natural punch than other separation systems. This can make a significant difference to the end quality of the separation and the reason why we developed custom algorithms for our products designed specifically to ensure that transients are retained for a more natural sound.

Give these tips a go and see how good a result you can obtain! We would love to hear about your STEM separation challenges at askderry@audiosourcere.com

We offer a full-featured 7 day free trial of DeMIX Pro so you can try out our software before buying. DeMIX Pro users can also use our advanced spectral editing tool to further refine the separated drum file until they are happy with the results.

DeMIX Essentials is available for a one-off perpetual license payment, while DeMIX Pro is available on a perpetual license, annual subscription, or monthly subscription.