Informed Source Separation for Stereo Unmixing — An Open Source Implementation

Sylvain Marchand; Pierre Mahé
DAFx-2023 - Copenhagen
Active listening consists in interacting with the music playing and has numerous potential applications from pedagogy to gaming, through creation. In the context of music industry, using existing musical recordings (e.g. studio stems), it could be possible for the listener to generate new versions of a given musical piece (i.e. artistic mix). But imagine one could do this from the original mix itself. In a previous research project, we proposed a coder / decoder scheme for what we called informed source separation: The coder determines the information necessary to recover the tracks and embeds it inaudibly (using watermarking) in the mix. The decoder enhances the source separation with this information. We proposed and patented several methods, using various types of embedded information and separation techniques, hoping that the music industry was ready to give the listener this freedom of active listening. Fortunately, there are numerous other applications possible, such as the manipulation of musical archives, for example in the context of ethnomusicology. But the patents remain for many years, which is problematic. In this article, we present an open-source implementation of a patent-free algorithm to address the mixing and unmixing audio problem for any type of music.