Sunday, June 22, 2014

INFO: Where To Find Official Instrumental and Acapella Tracks

Okay so lets say you want to find a download link for a studio instrumental or acapella version of a song, the first thing you probably want do is search for it using Google. However you will probably find that for many tracks it is not as simple as searching and finding a working download link to the official instrumental or acapella you need. If an official instrumental or acapella does not appear on the first few pages of search results, it is likely that it hasn't been made available to the public yet and it is possible it never will be.

However by knowing where most official instrumental and acapella tracks originate from, it may be possible for you to locate the track yourself. Read on for a list of ways you might get hold of an official instrumental or acapella track.

Finding Official Instrumentals

If there is an official instrumental available for your track it will most likely have come from one of the following sources:

1. The studio instrumental had an official commercial release. Dance, Pop and HipHop songs often may have official commercially released instrumentals. In particular a lot of 80s songs had officially released instrumentals in the form of B-Sides. Rock and indie songs tend not to have any official commercially released instrumentals.

2. The official instrumental version of a track was available on a promotional release (also known simply as promos). Often instrumental versions of albums and singles are distributed for use as background music on radio and television. This is a good way to find many rock and pop instrumentals. In particular the Strictly Background series of compilations features many modern songs across various genres. As well as for television and radio use promotional releases are also often distributed to DJs too.

3. The song was used on a game such as RockBand or Guitar Hero. If the song has been used on Guitar Hero or Rock Band then it is likely someone will have obtained the instrumental and acapella tracks from the stem files on the game. Stems are simply the separate parts of a song - for instance a complete song on the game may have a Guitar stem, Bass stem, Drum stem and Vocal stem - and when they are played together they form the complete song. Note that this only works for tracks where the songs used in the game feature separate stems, as opposed to fan made guitar hero 'tracks' or similar which simply use the original audio track.

4. The Stems of the track were made available as part of a remix competition. You may have heard bands  and artists running remix competitions where fans get a chance to remix one of the artist's tracks, and usually the best remixes submitted will win a prize or even appear on an official release. For people to be able to remix the track the stems of the track have to be released to the public, and from these the instrumental track can be recreated. As well as remix competitions sometimes artists will freely release the stems of a track simply out of the kindness-of-their-hearts too!

5. The song was available in the U-MYX format. Some songs around the mid noughties were released with remix software which allowed you to remix the track - thus also allowing the instrumental and acapella version of the track to be obtained.

6. The artist or someone else with access to their music leaks the official instrumental.

Finding Official Acapellas

Described above are the main ways it is possible to obtain an official instrumental of a track. Most of these also apply to finding the acapella version of a track. The main differences are that acapellas are not distributed as promotional background music (but may be included on promotional releases intended for DJs) and commercially released acapellas are mostly confined to rap and hip hop tracks.

If You Can't Find The Official Acapella or Instrumental

If you haven't found an official instrumental or acapella then you can try and make a DIY instrumental or acapella of the track yourself. To read about creating DIY acapellas and instrumentals click here.

Thanks for reading! If there is anything you think that should be added to this list leave a comment or get in touch via twitter.



  1. What happens if the song that I want the official instrumental for is a remix? I am asking this because I want the official instrumental of the Calvin Harris of Fatboy Slim's Eat Sleep Rave Repeat so that I can make a mashup with it. Please give me your opinion on the matter soon.

    1. Hi hill. I guess the fact that it is a remix doesn't really make much difference from in terms of finding an instrumental of the track - from what I can see there isn't a readily available instrumental version of that remix. I guess you could either wait and see if one eventually surfaces or try and create a DIY instrumental of the track yourself. I personally don't have much experience in creating DIY instrumentals so I wouldn't rely on my advice on that particular subject though I am aware of a number of techniques people use to create instrumentals (see this link: Interestingly there is an acapella version of Eat Sleep Rave Repeat online so you could at least try the phase inversion/knockout methods but I wouldn't be very confident of this being successful. Hope that is some help at least!

    2. Thanks for replying to my comment. Do you think that the remixer would usually keep the official instrumental for any remix (as a separate track) hidden away somewhere? Apart from the the goofy karaoke versions there is obviously no proper instrumental version for the Calvin Harris remix. The main reasons why I want this instrumental version is beccause I am practically fed up with the vocals in the song and the karaoke versions of this remix are really bad imitations of the song. I even complained about the official instrumental of this remix not being on the internet on a YouTube comment, but nobody has bothered to it! I'm not sure if the phase inversion/knockout methods with the acapella version would work but I will consider this as a viable option. .

    3. Yes I would imagine the remixer would have a copy of the instrumental (or be able to simply create it from their DAW) on their PC but whether they would ever share it would be a different matter. Firstly you would have to get the remixer to take notice of you and even then I imagine their may be legal issues whether they would be allowed to share the track in public. Good luck finding it though!