Deezer have just unexpectedly launched an amazing and powerful tool that they’re letting anyone use completely free of charge.

Deezer have announced ‘Spleeter’, their new free tool that can split stereo recordings into stem files. Spleeter claims to be able to split up the individual tracks from a sound recording, supposedly allowing you to access isolated channels for vocals, drums, guitars, etc.

To be able to split up a tracks elements after they’ve been merged together into one file is a much sought after but seemingly very difficult thing to do. Deezer compare Spleeter to the human brain, in how it is able to detect and isolate individual tracks from an overall mix.

They say: “Interestingly, our brain is very good at isolating instruments. Just focus on one of the instruments [in a track] and you will be able to hear it quite distinctively from the others.” So harnessing the idea of being able to distinguish track’s elements when we hear it, Deezer set about making that process a digital reality.

They continued: “That’s not really separation, you still hear all the other parts. In many cases, it may not be possible to exactly recover the individual tracks that have been mixed together. The challenge is thus to approximate them the best we can, that is to say as close as possible to the originals without creating too much distortion.”

Spleeter has many potential applications from remixing music using isolated tracks to research and education in music. It also pushes the area of Music Information Retrieval further forward, opening up the possibilities for other researchers to look at Deezer’s technology and see how they might be able to improve upon it even more.

Whilst it isn’t a perfect audio splitter it is impressive technology regardless and is capable of separating audio 100x faster than real-time. Spleeter is also MIT-licensed so it’s not only free to use it, but it’s free to use in any way you like however you will have to bear copyright in mind if you are using it on music you aren’t the rights-owner of.

Deezer have released the technology to push research in the area of audio splitting. As they say themselves: “Spleeter is a neat tool, but in no way do we claim to have solved source separation. It’s our contribution to a vivid, ever-growing and open ecosystem and hopefully something others will build upon too.

“Finally, it’s worth pointing out that music mixing is a fine art and that mastering sound engineers are artists in their own rights. Obviously we do not intend to harm their work in any manner or affect anyone’s credit. When you use Spleeter, please do so responsibly.”

Find Spleeter on GitHub where you can use it and hack it for free now.