How do I use the Isolate Tool?

The isolate tool allows you to zone in on the guitar or other instruments in a mix and isolate(solo) or mute the part. Be aware that the success of the isolate tool will vary depending on how the track was mixed and produced. It was designed to work best with monophonic parts such as guitar solos, lead parts and vocals. The steps to isolate a track are outlined below.

  1. Switch on the Isolate tool using the green button at the bottom left of the tool.
  2. Look at the graphical display, which shows the energy of instruments spread from your left speaker/headphone to the right speaker/headphone. Zones of high activity indicate that instruments are active in these areas. Bass and vocals are often straight down the middle.
  3. Use the slider control beneath the graphical display to scan through the activity until you locate the instrument you are searching for.
  4. Once you have found the instrument you are looking for, use the Width control to find the best trade off between isolation and sound quality according to your preference.
  5. You can use the Separation control to set the level of the background music around your isolated instrument. You might find it useful to have a quiet guide track in the background as a reference.
  6. In some cases, two instruments may be present in the same zone making either one difficult to separate from the other. A typical example of this is in the centre zone where the bass guitar regularly battles with a vocal. In this instance you can use the Filter to help separate the two. A vocal will generally be made up of high frequencies and the bass guitar will be made up of low frequencies. To isolate the vocal from the bass for example, you can engage the Hi button(High Pass) to let the the high frequencies pass through whilst filtering out the low frequencies.(adjust the filtering with the Filter knob) If you want the bass isolated instead, you can do the same in reverse with the Lo button(Low Pass) engaged.
  7. Finally, use the M and S buttons to either mute or solo(isolate) the area you have selected.
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