August 2022 Update: Much Loved Acapellas4U Website Returns
As if not being able to buy DJ gear wasn’t enough, now it looks like the record labels are cracking down on acapella websites, with both acapellas4u and now volcr.it offline. Voclr.it has given more explanation than acapellas4u did about why it has closed down, hinting at licensing issues, which is no surprise given the “grey” nature of the legality of acapellas.
But the outcome is that finding acapellas from the “usual” sources is now much harder.
Biting the hand that feeds them
Here’s where we stand: DJs do a service to the music industry by sharing the music. DJs can make records, break records, champion whole new genres and scenes, and add vibrancy to the music world by doing more than just playing the records they love.
Acapellas have always been an integral part of doing this, and while we understand that record labels feel naturally protective about their artists and finished works, the days of everyone bowing down to completed tracks, never to manipulate, remix, chop up, bootleg, edit or otherwise re-use music are now ancient history. Labels need to deal with it.
Read this next: The Easy Way To Beatgrid Acapellas
If you own the original of a record, there is nothing – in our view – ethically wrong about obtaining the acapella of that track, to use in your DJing. DJs have done this for decades (and sometimes even, acapellas are officially released). Indeed, owning both the acapella and the original track is pretty much a given for DJs.
What you can do
You can still find acapellas. A simple Google search of the track name and the word “acapella” can often do the trick. Keep your virus protection on! YouTube has them too, easy enough to find in the same way.
But also, nowadays you can pretty easily make your own. Look at sites like lalal.ai that can spit an acapella back at you when you upload your original track, or download Virtual DJ (it’s free for laptop use) which has a “stems separator” tool built in. They won’t sound perfect, but they’ll work well enough “in the mix”.
Get the course: Acapella Mixing Masterclass
Why is this happening?
We suspect record labels are mulling over or implementing ways to monetise acapellas themselves or with authorised partners, hence the crackdown on websites that have traditionally just gone ahead and offered DJs this service.
Fair enough, maybe – but for now, it looks like acapellas have joined DJ gear on the long list in 2022 of stuff that’s increasingly hard to get hold of!