Updated: Nov 7, 2018
Finding Your Minus Track:
After you have chosen a song, you will need to find its high-quality minus track (i.e., the accompaniment track without the vocals or even a hint of vocals).
You can do this by searching for karaoke tracks on YouTube, iTunes, Apple Music, or other karaoke companies like the following*:
SunFly Karaoke USA (https://www.sunflykaraoke.us)
Karaoke Cloud Downloads (https://karaokeclouddownloads.com),
All Star Karaoke (https://www.allstardl.com/Karaoke-Music/New-Releases/1/CustomAge/) SBI Karaoke (https://downloads.sbikaraoke.com/site/search)
Karaoke Version (http://www.karaoke-version.com)
*recommended by PCDJ (https://www.pcdj.com/where-to-buy-karaoke-songs-for-download-in-the-usa/)
Downloading Your Minus Track:
If you find a track you like on YouTube, you may legally download it for personal, educational use, as long as you do not intend to distribute or sell it. Some tracks may be protected from downloading altogether, so be prepared to look at multiple track sources, and be prepared to purchase a track if you are not able to download one legally from YouTube.
To download a track from YouTube, go to a trusted YouTube mp3 converter website like YTMP3 Video Converter (www.https://ytmp3.cc) or FLVTO Converter (https://www.flvto.biz/youtube-to-mp3/), and copy and paste the URL of the YouTube video into the designated location on the converter website. Once the track is converted, you will be prompted to download it.
Transposing Your Minus Track:
If you need to transpose your track to another key that fits your voice perfectly, it is okay to do that for a competition: you never want to include pitches you cannot sing well and easily in a competition cut. I recommend purchasing inexpensive software like Pitch Switch (http://www.pitch-switch.com). Pitch Switch is about $35 and is very easy to use and allows you to alter the tempo and other elements of your song as well. You can also use FREE software like Audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/download/), which we will use to cut your minus track.
Cutting & Editing Your Minus Track:
Once you have purchased and/or dowloaded your minus track, you must cut the best portions of the song to the appropriate competition length: 1:30 or 2:00. This generally means cutting out unecessarily long intros and second or third verses, and making sure you include the beginning, a chorus, the climax, and the triumphant ending.
The way you can edit your track by yourself is by uploading it into a FREE editing software like Audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/download/). After you have downloaded Audacity onto your computer, click on File - Import - Audio and select the your mp3 minus track. Once your track is uploaded, you can select portions to delete, which will cut your track according to your desires.
Here are some very helpful Audacity Tutorials on Youtube that will orient you to the software and show you how to do basic edits to your tracks:
If you require professional assistance because your editing is more complicated than you are able to do by yourself, or you want to create a cool but complicated mash-up of multiple songs, you may contact Ryan Tilby to cut and edit the track for you: firstname.lastname@example.org.