Setting yourself apart from other DJs is critical to success in the industry. A solid track selection and injecting creativity is at the heart of DJing. One of the best ways to inject uniqueness into your sets is by incorporating acapellas. These vocal samples are the foundation of creative mashups.
But sourcing those acapellas can be a challenge. Especially in recent times with some of the most popular sources facing licensing issues. In this guide, we take a fresh look at the best ways that DJs and producers can source free acapellas today.
Best Websites To Download Free Acapellas
Listed below are the best websites for free acapellas. These are not only the most popular but also offer the deepest selection.
Due to the crackdown by artists and their labels the free acapella scene has taken quite the hit. It has never been more difficult to source acapellas of popular music.
This is why YouTube is now one of the best choices for picking up free acapellas. They offer an extensive selection of instrumental free acapella tracks. Simply search for the song you want and add acapella to the search term.
Once you have found the acapella you will need to go through a few extra steps to acquire the MP3. There are several sites out there that offer free services to convert YouTube videos to MP3 files. A quick Google search will bring up some options. You’ll be able to download an MP3 file and then use it in your remixes and DJ sets. But be prepared to deal with low-quality bitrates.
While it is a clunky process it is now one of the best options for DJs that want to use acapellas in their DJ set.
Another good source of free acapellas is the Isolated Vocals Subreddit on the popular social platform Reddit.
This large community frequently contains links to various acapellas. The vast majority will be linking to YouTube videos. But it is a good place to keep up to date with new acapella options. And also serves as a place for inspiration.
Acapellas are perfect for creating unique mashups and productions.
This new site Pella.App is still in Beta but already features an extensive selection of free acapellas. Unlike some of its predecessors, it offers unlimited downloads and no subscription tiers at this stage.
They are aiming to create a comprehensive online catalog of free acapellas for DJs and producers to use. New features are on the horizon and many users are giving it a go. Whether it will live up to its lofty ambitions remains to be seen. But it is certainly one site that is worth keeping an eye on.
If you prefer to use royalty-free acapellas then FreeVocals is one of the best options out there. They have a comprehensive catalog of free acapellas that you can use in your DJ sets and productions.
They also have an extensive range of acapellas from popular artists. But these are not free and require you to purchase them. But it is one way to get studio-quality acapellas with appropriate licenses.
Below are two former sites that have recently faced issues. These sites are working behind the scenes to return to their former glory so it is worth listing them here for reference. It is very possible these will return and if they do they will be among the best options available.
Due to licensing issues, many of the free acapellas on Voclr (voclr.it) are no longer available for download. But from recent status updates, they are working diligently to resolve issues. The slick interface and deep search functionality made it a huge hit. Hopefully, they can sort something out.
Acapellas4U (acapellas4u.co.uk) was one of the original sources for free acapellas online. It had a comprehensive catalog and was the go-to place for DJs and producers looking for acapellas. But much like many other sites, they have run into issues. But if they do return they will likely become one of the best again.
Best Websites For Creating Your Own Acapellas
With the demise of some free acapella sites, many DJs are left without a source for vocal samples. But there is still a simple way to get free acapella downloads that you may not be aware of.
Modern AI learning methods have brought forth a bunch of websites that allow you to create your own acapellas. Simply upload your track, extract the vocal and viola!
If going down this route make sure your music library is properly organized. This will make it much easier to find the right tracks to extract acapellas from. You can learn how to organize music in our dedicated guide.
Acapellas are a great tool for creating unique DJ sets.
LALAL.AI is a simple to use website that can extract vocals and more. The quality is quite good and the AI technology behind it is continuing to improve. It is also simple to use. They are also generous with how much you can do before having to pay money. Check out our full LALAL.AI review and guide for more information.
Vocal Remover is another popular acapella tool. This free website also uses AI technology and does a good job of isolating vocals. A great tool for creating acapella for use in your next DJ set or remix.
Acapella Extractor is another free service that is based on the open-source library spleeter. You can extract vocals from up to two songs per day. This makes it an excellent resource for DJs that want to create remixes.
A Quick Note On Copyright
I am not an expert in copyright law. The legality of free use can be murky. So if you have any doubts be sure to do your own research.
DJs have been sampling and using acapellas for decades. And in most situations, you can use any acapella in your DJ sets and for bootleg remixes.
Many free acapellas cannot be used for commercial purposes.
But you won’t be able to use them commercially. There are options around licensing deals. But of course, this involves payment.
If you are using them just for fun you won’t run into any issues. But be aware that uploading your remixes and DJ sets to places like YouTube can result in takedown requests. Or the inability to earn revenue from ads on those videos.
There has been a recent crackdown on free acappella sites. This highlights that record companies and artists are getting more serious about copyright infringement. The days of free samples and free downloads of mainstream acapellas may be coming to an end.
Where Do EDM Producers Get Their Vocals?
EDM producers can work in tandem with a vocalist for their music. They can also get vocal samples from sample packs, online stores, remix packs, or remix competitions.
Are Instrumentals Copyrighted?
Much like vocals, the instrumentals of a track are subject to the same copyright laws. You need to attain certain rights to use them for music production.
Acquiring free acapellas has become more difficult. But at the same time, there are new emerging tools that give DJs access to vocal extraction. These tools are now one of the easiest ways to acquire free acapellas.
But if you are willing to pay some money there are still places where you can download vocal cuts. Dedicated sites along with record pools are good paid sources for acapellas.
Once you do have some acapellas up your sleeve let your imagination run wild. The creative possibilities are endless. Plus nothing hits quite like an iconic vocal over some fresh beats.