Splitting tracks into “stems” for DJing with is the current buzz among DJs, with both Virtual DJ and djay Pro adding real-time stems DJing to their software recently, services like Moises.ai offering stems creation online, and software like XTRAX STEMS giving you a desktop way to achieve this.
But one new (to us) service stands out for a couple of reasons: Lalal.ai. First, it is really simple: Instead of separating your chosen song into drums, melody, vocals or more, it does one job: Separate the vocals from the rest. But second, it seems like they’ve upped the quality of the stems too.
One issue with this type of technology is the overall sound quality can be unnatural, and while Lalal.ai isn’t perfect, it does seem impressive. Vocals on our test tracks did exhibit a bit of “bleed” from the percussion, and the audio quality of the instrumentals suffered at places where the vocals had been loudest, but the results were usable for DJ sets.
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The company claims it is not using the same algorithms many others are using (an open-source offering called “Spleeter”, developed by the people behind the Deezer music streaming service) and has instead developed its own.
If you just want an acapella or an instrumental fast, give it a go – there don’t appear to be any limitations at present, and you can just upload a track and then download the parts a couple of minutes later once processed.
Is it legal?
Usual disclaimer, we are not lawyers, etc. But if you own the track you upload, we see no ethical issues with using a service like this to give you tools to make that track more fun to DJ with. If you use the stems to go on and produce your own track, to release it commercially you’d need clearance, as with any samples in music.
• Try the service at the Lalal.ai website.