Stems: A New Multi-Channel Audio Format for DJing

Today Native Instruments announced it will be spearheading a movement towards multi-channel audio files aimed at empowering new styles of DJ mixing. While the tools needed to create and playback stem files are being produced for Traktor at first, the format itself is open source and may be supported by other DJ software and hardware in the future. Continue reading for an inside look at this exciting new format.

What are DJ Stems?

A look at how stems appear on the Traktor Kontrol S8 with four available groups of instruments

Stems are a new audio file that contain four discreet groupings of instruments, allowing any DJ to isolate or turn down the parts of their choice. We have all heard a track and thought:

“Wow – if only that song didn’t have a vocal, I would totally play the instrumental”

This format will allow you to personalize each mix to a very high degree, and hopefully offer some diversity in the increasingly common-sounding electronic sets we hear today.  Each stem file, which ends with stem.mp4, contains a single stereo mix and all 4 parts. While larger than a MP3, they are not giant and average around 70mb.  Packed in the common and widely supported MP4 compression format, a stem file can be previewed in most media players including iTunes, Finder and more.

Once loaded into a deck, the file looks, sounds and acts just like a stereo song. It can be scratched, looped, and re-keyed but the DJ now has the option of isolating 4 different parts of the song to create more room in a mix. The isolation features don’t appear to be enabled in the GUI but any controller can access them through mapping, and they work out of the box with a Traktor Kontrol S8 (screen shown above)

Finally, this is an open format initiative led by Native Instruments. They hope that other manufacturers will also adopt the standard and support full stem playback in all DJ software.

“The Stem format is open because all details on how to make Stem files and how to play them will be publicly available. Anyone can create Stems without paying licensing fees for creation, distribution, or use. NI press release”

Where Can You Get DJ Stems?

When the format officially rolls out, you will be able to purchase a limited collection of stems from Juno, Traxsource and Beatport. Since Stems come in a standard audio format, they are very easy to sell, preview and download on almost any online music store.

“The world of electronic music is always evolving, both culturally and technologically. Beatport is therefore proud to support the new Stems initiative as a retail partner to continue serving DJs in any format they desire.” – Beatport

While pricing is unknown at this time, we should probably expect a premium above existing downloads. Something in the range of $2 to $5 is probably required to justify the expense in re-exporting older songs.

“Stems is a truly exciting development for DJ and live music performance. It strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and flexibility, and incredibly, it’s all achieved with a universally compatible file format. We couldn’t be more pleased to give Stems our full support, and look forward to adding the download option to our site in the coming months.” – Juno

In time for the release, DJ TechTools plans to officially roll out a new part of our site that will support sharing of free stem files just like maps.djtechtools.com. While the stems on this site will be free, our hope is to provide store credit for community members that help other DJs by sharing their recourses.

How Do Producers Create DJ Stems?

a few real stem files from top producers

Producers that want to create stems will be required to add four steps to their existing process.

  1. Isolate the song into 4 groups (bass, drums, synths, vocals, etc..)
  2. Bounce each group down separately (as WAV or AIFF files only)
  3. Load the four files into a Native Instruments-provided “Stem Creator Tool” (available in June)

That stem creator will generate a new file with the “.stem.mp4” format. This stem is playable just like a standard stereo media file but contains additional metadata for players that support it. The stems will have each been encoded in AAC format and wrapped in a .mp4 extension.

“Remember the days when DJs had to carry very heavy reel to reel tape recorders into the club in order to make their sets special, to play around with basslines and drums and loop songs into danceable tracks? No? Well we do, and we still remember the pain of the physical implication. Hence we think Stems is a great idea to bring back that fantastic tool into the world of DJing without having to carry around these heavy machines!” – Get Physical

Many labels including Get Physical have pledged support and their intention to issue music in this format. The list of supporting labels at this point are: Baroque Records,  Cr2 Records, Get Physical, Green Herzblut Recordings, Hypercolour, InFiné, Kling Klong, Mobilee Records, Monaberry, Monkeytown Records, Noir Music, Rejected, Toolroom Records, and 50 Weapons.

“We couldn’t be more excited about putting together an exclusive release for this new format, just when we were all looking for the next major step forward in DJ technology, this came along! The possibilities really do seem endless, and with the open source format everyone can get involved. We feel something big on the horizon here.”

Of course, everyone would expect labels and online retailers to get excited about a new format – it promises to revive much needed revenue for producers. What about the DJs?

How Can DJs Play Stems?

Out of the gate, two popular DJ systems – Serato and Pioneer – will not fully support the format BUT Stem files will be playable in all software that can play a .mp4 music file.  For those that want control over the groups, they will need a new version of Traktor Pro (2.7.4) expected to launch in June that contains new Stem Decks that can play all file formats. Owners of the S8 controller will be pleasantly surprised to find full integration of Stem features on the four small faders and encoders normally reserved for the Remix Deck area.

Fortunately, NI has also enabled MIDI control over all of the Stem Deck features so anyone with a controller, Traktor Pro 2, and a Stems file can isolate the audio channels and more including:

  • Mute, Volume per group
  • FX On and Amount per group
  • Filter On and Frequency per group.

DJ TechTools is of course thrilled that the flexible Midi Fighter Twister turns out to be a very good candidate for control over the three areas of Stem Deck control and mappings are already under way.

Certain models of CDJ players will be able to play these files, but not completely:

A Stem file will play as a normal audio track in any player that supports the MP4 format and follows the MP4 specs. This means you will hear the full track, but not have control over the individual stem parts. To listen and play with the individual parts, you’ll need software or hardware that supports the Stem format.

When will the format be public?

Broad support for the Stems format in Miami this month at WMC

There will be a special website launched in June dedicated to resources and information on the Stem format for producers, developers and labels.

All the necessary information to implement Stem functionalities in soft- or hardware is documented and will be publicly available on the Stems website. A document outlining best practices for instrument grouping, order, names, colors, and mastering techniques will be available from the official Stems website.

Also in June a few select online retailers will begin selling stem files and Traktor 2.7.4 will be released. Presumably this will all be timed to the launch of Traktor’s new Kontrol D2 controller, which when paired with Stems, might finally be something that gives CDJs a run for their money.

The question that many of you may be wondering though: what about mastering? This format basically abandons the traditional format of two channel mastering where all parts end up summed to a common bus with reasonable amounts of compression and EQ to suit.

Fortunately the days of hyper-compressed electro are mostly gone but mastering for loudness, punch and sonic pumping remain a key tool in modern dance production. Native recommends that producers export songs with the mastering bus enabled, but of course this skips the opportunity to glue sounds together in a final mix. Will DJs embrace more creativity and remix potential while comprising slightly on the final sound? Quite possibly, and we are excited about the prospect but curious what you think:

Are Stem Decks the future of DJing? 

beatportDj Audio Formatdj stemsdjing with stem filesget physicalstem creatorstem decksstemstoolroom recordstraktor kontrol d2traktor pro 2.7.4Traktor Tips
Comments (201)
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  • John Bata

    EDM Dj’s like Paris Hilton will still just push play and fist pump and make a million dollars a gig.

  • Sean Patrick Case

    Right, here’s my question: I actually want to be able to view the stem file across 4 channels in Ableton session view. How can i “break open” a stems file in to it’s 4 separates?

  • Tommy Tarrentino

    .mogg files which have been around for ages is what stems are all about, NI just simplifying things again, musicians will be a thing of the past in a few years, it’s a shame technology is overtaken true talent

  • yahil

    Download Free Stem : David Guetta Ft. Sia Titanium.Stem ( DJ Yahil)

    Download: https://goo.gl/1wNVs5

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  • Steven Taylor

    This is a big step to for even bigger things to come, I can tell.

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  • Phil Worrell

    Good time for a repost of this article…. 😉

  • Phil

    Coping this from the article above: “Something in the range of $2 to $5 is probably required to justify the expense in re-exporting older songs.”
    My question: In order to re-export an older song, you’re gonna need some midi-like files of it, but just 4 channels and not the whole thing. So, music companies studios and producers,must provide that material to proceed.
    Am’i getting this right? Or they finally came out with a software that can take a stereo – two channel recording and separate it to 4 channels which i know can’t be done anyway..?
    Remember i’m talking about older songs as mentioned in the article and not new ones that can be produced with stems in mind, before the final mixdown.

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  • Martijn Jacobs

    As you can choose yourself what the stems are it is probably possible to have 5 different mastered versions (as this are worries discussed below) of your song in this format. So one without vocals, one without the lead synth etc. The 4 extra channels do not have to be the literal stems right?

  • Chris Alker

    Producer/DJs are already doing this with Ableton. They are buying the individual “stems” formatted as .wav or .mp3 from DJ Tools download sites and making their own unique sets with pieces (‘tracks’) from various songs. This is really a clever transitional file type for DJs looking to get into production and gain more control over the linear DJ mixing process. It seems smart, but as far as everyone playing the same music, it will just be the same sounds but mashed up and/or layered more easily on the fly. Regardless, there is potential here.

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  • b1oo

    Can I buy/download these stems and use them in Ableton? This way you can still sidechain the bass to the kick, etc etc. It doesn’t sound very different than “loops” except they’ll be “finished tracks” right? I’m more interested in performing my own stems so that not all my sets sound the same.

  • Frank

    When I first saw “stems” I got excited. Of course, having a song broken down into four parts is not actually “stems” – but it’s still pretty cool.
    That said – the “stems” will only be as useful and cool as the person using them. A DJs most important skill is the ability to read a crowd. If you’re playing a front room and the crowd just wants to hear radio edits and bang0rz, messing around with some “stems” is likely to go down like a lead balloon.
    I also hope artists will get paid appropriately for this.

  • SKYVER**

    2.7.4 to be released in June…
    They just released 2.8

  • Edmond Camp

    I’m excited for this although I’m worried about the mixing and mastering. I would love to know that there could be a way around this but in all honesty these stems really let DJs become better remix artists. So perhaps less processed tracks are better for artist creations rather than a perfect playback. However… since I’m an Ableton user for DJing, Ableton needs to implement this in their program soon if not tomorrow 😛

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  • Henry

    Hi, I know this seems random and a bit unbelievable, but I tried to suggest exactly the same idea of a new file extension with separate tracks to the native instruments forum in 2012. I even made pictures of how the interface should look like in Traktor. For some reason my new forum topic was never accepted by a moderator and they also didn’t respond to my personal messages, so I thought my idea was stupid or something. I guess it wasn’t so stupid after all. Funny to see ideas coming to life years later.

  • In Praise of Creativity

    Here’s the thing…not sure how many folks here have actually tried creating a song from scratch or with stems live? It’s a frigging nightmare of counting to get the exact timing that the brain has become accustomed to expect ( 4 x 4 = 16 x 2 = 32) just right for the transitions and buildups, and a lot of work to add in all the parts at just the right time. To get it just right, you need to be a live mixer, someone on par with a professional mixing engineer who can mix an tune live, riding the faders. You risk having a boring, repetitive robot sound if it drags on too long (as seen in many tractor remix deck vids), and getting caught up in the technical details, instead of paying attention to the crowd. It’s basically high risk and not really worth the pay off increased control over the individual sound elements, UNLESS you use it to sculpt your own version in advance and then play that. That is where I can see possible value, both for the performer and the crowd. Having said that, as mentioned elsewhere, the real problem with EDM these days is the total copy cat lack of creativity that continues to hold sway, all so that any joe blow can get his fix of glory on the stage (just another symptom of ego-centric narcissism that’s running rather rampant in our society these days). Personally, I’d much rather hear a dj play a set of engaging, innovative, original and interesting music (or a producer playing his own innovative tracks) rather than some guy playing repetitive stems and loops. Heck, i’d even rather see an average live band (acoustic, eletronic, or fusion) that grooves and interacts with the crowd through their stage presence than an expert loop manipulator. There is so much that can be done with the tools that already exist; and only a handful of people are actually exploring and coming up with really innovative stuff. I think creativity (and lack there of) is the real issue in the scene these days. The interesting stuff being produced is being buried in a sea of mediocrity. Innovation should be the sole and only criteria for what stands as good music these days. My (very long) two cents worth….

  • couic

    thought it was an april’s fool article. but it’ been posted 2 days before.

    well… this goes totally against the concept of mastering.

  • erik ashdown

    We’ve been doing remixes with stems on indiloop.com for a year. It’s crazy that this is only catching on now.

  • Paulm12

    It would be great to integrate this with Clean/Dirty versions of songs for DJ pools, so we only need to download 1 song, and the versions are “grouped” together and we can select whether we want the “Dirty” or “Clean” vocals based on the venue. I’ve done a lot of parties where there are children and the parents don’t want explicit music, and other parties where people want the unedited version.

    The idea is cool though; being able to switch between a track and the instrumental of a track really quickly would be really nice for mixing. Hopefully its widely supported.

    • Damien Sirkis

      Unfortunately I think the full mix down version of the track and the stems version is going to sound very different. One being mastered as one track, the other mastered separately as stems and then summed.

      I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I personally doubt it will sound the same. It will be good enough for creative mixing though.

  • Product tester

    Back when I started DJ-ing in the 90’s I had the idea of this, (multitrack layered medium for dj-ing) because cutting out kicks and bass with the lows, the actual music with the mids and the hats with the highs just didn’t sound right to me. Now I just go with it, but finally somebody had got the same idea and actually created it, where I didn’t. This means a brighter future for creativity if you ask me…. better late then never!
    I only see positive things, creative wise, negative things…., well still have to experience it.
    I am sure the kinks will be flattened in the long run.

      • Product tester

        Don’t like to break it to you, but that was an april’s fool article.

        • Andy Lekkman

          Fuck;)

  • Andy Lekkman

    Sorry, but i don´t understand the hype.

    Looks like an update for the .trak file with the possibility to make your own file (perhaps because of the bad sale from the .trak tracksets) and use different controllers for mapping…

  • Steve Glen

    I just wish they chose a different name so there would be a different words between generic stems and this format. Audio production and performance already has too many words that mean different things in different contexts. That sort of thing is one the largest barriers to education in music.

  • skotopes

    1st april

  • Clay Ford

    Fucking badass!! Revolutionary might be a tad too strong a word, but this is a boner-maker for us techno guys 8==D

  • Brent Stallings

    I think the best part of DJing is trial and error. I think that this is what this software will be great for. If you find a remix that you absolutely love take it into your daw and finalize it. DJing is for exploration and fun. Run with that.

  • Mr. Wizard

    Wow, the four horizontal bars next to the word STEMS looks a lot like, hmm???? Ableton’s logo! Dammit Native Instruments, you really are messing with them.

  • Armand Saccurro

    I might give it a chance, but I won’t pay exorbitant prices like $5 per track. WAVs on Beatport are already enough of a rip-off…However, if some shops release it for no extra money, I don’t see any downside with that. I mean, paying twice for the 4-track format would be absurd! The main work of the producer still lies in the actual music, and that’s what you should be paying for…Not the file format! (Same goes for WAV, *wink* )

    There’s no effing way Pioneer will be supporting this EVAR! They don’t even have flac support yet.

    The worst thing about this is all the haters who have yet another reason to hate on DJs and mixing…

  • Nacho Thompson

    This is like simple decks on steroids, amirite?

    • here_comes_the_sheik

      Or remix decks on ketamine…
      Everything should be more easy to handle 🙂

  • DJ Chronassuer

    More money to beatport

    • stefanhapper

      At least it could be a reason to buy from Beatport again, as iTunes almost always is my preferred source for music nowadays.

    • Armand Saccurro

      But it’s an open format…Labels can distribute it any way they want. It’s up to them, really… (But it’s already bad enough with the expensive Beatport exclusives from well-renowned labels like Innervisions)

  • Gary Hipperson

    Is it me or don’t STEMS already exist I’m pretty sure that what files that are sent to producers/djs to remix song are called. Which pretty much sounds like what’s going on here. Am I wrong. Some one please correct me if I am.

    • stefanhapper

      Yes they do. But the difference now is that Native Instruments is officially support such a format in Traktor and they have dedicated hardware out to allow easy use and manipulation of the different elements of a track.

  • stefanhapper

    The summary for me is: stems will likely not be available for any top artists, nor for old classics. So while this is a really innovative and bold step by NI, it will likely remain a relatively niche market.

    • here_comes_the_sheik

      Depends a lot on what you personally consider as ‘top artists’. I hope that the open format approach will lead to a vivid scene of stem developers who might come up with totally new ideas and use existing stem files to recreate older songs.

    • Notanon

      Yeah, it will depend on how much support they receive in the first few months. Obviously the techno crowd will be all over it going by the Kontrol D2 video, though some other genres like breaks and so forth might be a little more slower to jump on board, if the remix decks are anything to go by. I’m slightly hopeful that Stems is the missing ingredient to get the remix decks really taking off more, as they both complement each other well when you stop and think about it.

  • Ed Lewis

    Here’s my two cents http://t.co/lkqJKGT1Da
    Personally I think that this is absolutely the right way to go. I think the deciding factor as to whether it will take off will be how much support it gets from manufacturers.

    • stefanhapper

      I think actually the support of producers is the most important. Ironically it could still work well for NI if Pioneer/Numark/Serato all decide not to support stems. Because then you are obliged to buy NI hardware if you want to use it – despite being and open format. But if there are not enough producers putting out stems of their tracks then the whole idea will not take off.

      • Ed Lewis

        Obviously that’s true (no producers = no adoption) but I think that a big help to get producers on board would be for the hardware manufacturers to produce some gear that really shows off what can be done with Stems.

    • scamo

      Great write up.

      I have to agree. We are looking at another chicken and egg scenario. Whereas, NI is playing the rooster. LOL! We’ll see how many chickens “support” the rooster.

      Scott

      • Ed Lewis

        Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

        It will be very interesting to see how far this goes.

  • Von Royale

    Seems like it will be hard to get producers on board for this. It’s just more work, and there is no incentive for them.

    • Rob Ticho,Club mU

      There is incentive in the sense that it offers a niche market for a producer to stand out. The music market is flooded with releases and tailoring to this audience can be a way to reach more DJs. Yes it’s more work for the producer but it’s not that much more work and if it means getting more exposure in such a crowded market, it’s worth it.

      • J Crenshaw

        LOL

  • John Bissonnette

    I started making my own remix paks like this last year in high quality wav files. I was isolating the drums, bass, synth and vocals in Ableton. Then I chop up the parts into sections and consolidate them. All you have to do after that is drag them into Traktor. I run two F1’s so that’s room for 128 samples to work with. Then you can start pulling in other remix paks you’ve made or purchased and have a never ending and always changing DJ set.

  • Billy Nomates

    File this idea under wishful thinking. Most DJs will not be bothered to use these parts as intended, half of them can barely be bothered to use anything aside from a sync button as it is. What these will be used for is crappy bootleg remixes, like we didn’t have enough of these already. As a producer I will not be making music in this format, for the above reasons and because I prefer tunes that stand on their own, if I wanted to make a sample pack, I would do so

  • NothingNew

    At least they got DJ Craze in there. Imagine they would have presented this with a controllerist (with no skills and no record-releasing palmares)…

  • Mert

    Super! I really looking forward to put some effects on separate tracks. This is a game changer! Good idea NI!

  • SKYVER**

    I think this is better than their remix decks, that was just a bit too exhausting…
    This gives you less choices and simplicity boosts creativity !!!

  • LaunchClip

    this format would be killer for hip hop: an instrumental stem, acapella, radio edit acapella, and remix (guest vox) acapella – the master being the album version

  • James Burkill

    i think this is nothing new here really just a clean rehash of what can be done already with current tech, i think this comes mainly down to workflow, and what tech you use currently. made the jump from traktor because of traktor DVS needs to be on certified gear. so jumped to serato, and was already a live user before this so, yes it can save time and can you can be a more spontaneous way to play, but a little preparation in live & the sp6 in serato leaves me wanting to purchase a APC 20. if live was to create a new version of the bridge im sure the control would be the same but i will admit i missed out on that little beast…
    on a side note a little experimentation on CDJ-1000’s and an allen and heath mixer can and dose give the same effect, that was 8 years ago tho…

    • Jon

      Are you saying that you moved to Serato because you don’t need certified gear to use Serato DVS?

      • James Burkill

        no it was the fact, that traktor had a time that it was open to other sound cards to use DVS other than there own (i had a m-audio conectiv and was a heavy midi mapper) wasn’t until reacntly had a few shit gigs i realized where thing were going wrong i was to much time on gear than music content changed to SL2 with SDJ instant because features and midi mapping is easier. like i mean workflow or how want to play.

  • Forevernow

    Great idea but without providing lossless stems ( Wav/Aiff) formats, no serious pro DJ’s will be using this format, i wont for sure.

    • Jon

      You should maybe read the update above.

  • Scottie Pimpin

    Well I hope Ableton Live adopts this format because that’s where I’d want to use it.

  • noxxi

    please add a compressor to these decks! 🙂 pretty please

  • Josh B

    Effin Brilliant!!!! So Stoked 4 this.

  • AlsChill

    Isn’t that what EQ’s are for?

    • Jon

      Yeah but with EQs there is cross over so you can’t always isolate the individual elements, everytime, without the audio sounding ‘muddy’. These stem files will contain the full range of frequencies for each stem so the sound will be crystal.

  • dolphin767

    As a producer, I would master each group as though I were mastering the entire track. I know it wouldn’t be quite the same as if mastered as an entire mixdown, but I don’t think it will be that difficult.

  • Robert Wulfman

    A bit worried Stems.DJTechTools.Com might get used for illegal file sharing. Some users might download stems from a remix contest and re-upload it in .stem format on the site letting others who haven’t bought the original track download it and play it. Or does making remix stems publicly available make the full track publicly available as well?

  • Jecba N Dyk

    I’ve always Known NI is a music monster when bringing new Ideas, and this is just a Proof that they’re the best at what they do, and that Traktor is the King of the Digital DJs.
    I know this is gonna be super useful for all kind of DJ’s, and this is now making me thing seriously about getting an S8 and two extra D2s in the very near future.
    I’ve fallen in love as the first time I met Traktor! <3

    • AlsChill

      Bingo! They got ya! 😉

  • Anselm

    “frankly a lot of djs play the same music these days”… maybe thats the fact to change? Actually these are streamlined remix-decks, save for idiots… more diversity? maybe, but also way more idiots running up the stage and ruining the crowds ears.

    • Jizz

      thank you

    • Notanon

      Would be interesting to see if the likes of Dim Mak and similar labels get behind it. If not, then the chances of them ruining things further drops and drops. Would rather the likes of Bedrock, Last Night On Earth, etc get behind it as a point of differentiation with the mainstream labels.

  • Lu Ynoji

    beware, NOT written while screaming 😉

    don’t really get it

    1) we’ve been doing this with Live for quite some time, now its just ” a bit different but the same” in traktor

    2)take any existing song/tune/full track( so a master) and you can already isolate pretty much any sound from it to then cut in loops , hits or whatever
    if you can’t isolate a particular sound, then make it yourself, and ad it to your djset.. yes that takes more time and work, but since when does everything have to so “ready made” in order to make awesome sets you will have to put the work in it.. period, magic isn’t going to come from some system, it will come from how your mind can connect the dots to achieve what you want,with the tools you already have ( and just a master track, if its other people’s music)

    3)if you import a master into Live and let it rout though different EQ’s you can already manipulate different elements of your original master( from somebody else, in this case) without the need of stems.. putting fx on those different eq outputs and map those to a controller, done.. that’s your dj rig..
    combine different eq outputs from different tracks to get you sound

    if you want to blend production with djing even more, well, the solution has already been made 10 years ago.. with Ableton Live, or any other daw for that matter( yes i know other daws don’t have the clip launching, bitwig has though)

    ( yeah sure you want to be able to do everything you could in production software ,on a cdj, traktor, or other dj oriented program).. but why not just learn a production software, and use that to do your eclectic sets? Use the tools that can already do these things, instead of reinventing the wheel

    put some effort in your sets instead of expecting producers to provide the parts. Get a master( whatever way) and spend the time on cutting and isolating it in pieces to then further combine it with other tracks, as you would do with clips in Live/Bitwig..
    it will take more time, but you will come up with more interesting things instead of having the ” unprocessed” stem of a song

    dj techtools, be less traktor focused… the things you explain here can be done in Live/Bitwig

    • orge

      I do get what you are saying about Live – I started with Live about 6-7 years ago and moved to Traktor with DVS after a few years. However, I disagree that this is simply repetition of Live/Bitwig’s existing workflow. It’s a neat, but quite powerful, extension for people who are more focussed on DJing than production. I also don’t think it’s fair to suggest that it’s “lazy” to be more interested in playing music, as opposed to spending a large amount of your time preparing to play music. This is simply a personal choice.

      I feel it’s a major benefit that there is no additional work required to organise/playback stem tracks. For me, this was a major turn-off with Remix decks, as they didn’t easily fit within my main focus – mixing an unplanned set on DVS with 2 main tracks at any one time and adding a few loops and samples to spice things up.

      I’m not interested in hacking a track to bits and then recompose something on the fly. However, I would like to have more options to isolate and manipulate the overall composition, whilst retaining the option to return to the original at any one time. This is possible with your own compositions in Live, but there has never been an accessible workflow for doing this with anybody else’s.

      The main question with this new technology is if the producer’s will get behind it… Time will tell.

      JM2C. 🙂

      • Lu Ynoji

        “I also don’t think it’s fair to suggest that it’s “lazy” to be more interested in playing music, as opposed to spending a large amount of your time preparing to play music. This is simply a personal choice.”

        totally agree, but i meant as in ” finding the tracks/manipulate them” in a way no one else does, because Ean spoke of ” we all have the same music”, which i don’t fully agree on
        _____
        if you go fully unplanned, indeed, and if the music you dj hasn’t got a stable grid, that is indeed tricky..
        _____
        that’s what i meant by the EQ routing.. if you take a master file that is not your own
        and rout it through separate EQ’s on different frequencies you can get a similar result of combining bits of a non dissectible track ( i do it this way)

        but yeah as you mentioned, less straightforward, but i see that as part of the fun, problem solving… but i understand that others might not be into that ( although it does surprise me 😉 )

        • orge

          Yes, I used subtractive filtering for effects in my Live setup. It is probably one of the main things that I miss from Live and I wish that Traktor implemented this in their effects chain. There was a CPU hit for this though!

          My mixer does do something similar for it’s delays though, so I can work around it a bit. Stems would allow even more control though. 🙂

          I agree that “the same music” comment is a bit questionable. I persnally find most of the music in the beatport top charts poor and have to dig a bit deeper to find tracks that stand out. This is not so difficult for me, as I’m not trying to keep up with the bleeding edge and playing out at nights that require this.

          J

    • Jon

      What you are saying makes next to zero sense! You are basically saying that all DJ’s should become producers and play ONLY their own tracks and not expect other producers to make music for other people to play!!

      I commend your use of Ableton and your ability to make your own tracks but some of us just want to DJ. End of. And through out time DJ’s have relied on producers to provide them with tracks to play at gigs.

      Oh and I guess you are also saying that DJTechtools should stop commentating on software updates if the update provides a feature that is already available in a completely different software. Again, makes zero sense!

      • Lu Ynoji

        i think you misunderstood 😉

        i’m not saying all dj’s should become producers and i’m not saying they only should play there own music

        i’m in full support on dj’ing in general, and also in full support of remixing other peoples music, ( documentary “remix manifesto” check that out)

        what i’m saying is that dj’s should have knowledge of some production basics, like making you own beats, just beats/loops,sampling.. not full tracks, to add to there dj sets.. Make small files with selfmade or sampled sounds,bass, anything really.. and put those things in your existing sets

        dj techtools should keep writing about traktor, no harm in that, i’m learning stuff from that to use in totally different workflows;.. so keep going..
        but for articles like this i figured it was important to note that this can be done in Live ( for the people that might not know these things)
        and in general i think dj techtools is a bit to traktor focused,( as mentioned, i understand its a dj blog and tackles the more dj oriented systems, but Live/bitwig can be that, but i agree not in a straightforward sence)

        • J Crenshaw

          I think they should. Otherwise they are a bunch of wave riding whores on some one else s hard work cuz they played for a buncha drunk floosies for an hour or two.

          • Jon

            Lets ban all “wave riding whores” and see where you get as a producer. The end user in any industry is ALWAYS essential to the industry. Apple wouldn’t be successful if consumers didn’t buy their products. Same with producers. You try selling that tune that took your 3 years to create without the support of DJ’s.

    • Ezmyrelda

      Strictly speaking, Live isn’t a piece of DJ software. While you can do something similar.. I wouldn’t call it DJing.. Not trying to be offensive. I produce and perform with it.. I don’t see Traktor as something oriented on trying to do what live is able to offer.

      Specifically Live is tailored to offer one the ability to produce and perform with and endless variety of options.

      Traktor as I see it designed and tailored to offer you the ability to exactly what is required of the job of djing.. Without being dogmatically obsessed with exactly what “DJing” is.

      In my performance, and my production I put every bit of effort into making something I can be proud of. Bouncing down 4 seperate mixdowns isn’t a lot to do after the fact of creation if you organized and skilled enough.

      Look, I’m super glad that you are able to have fun and do what you are trying to accomplish on live.. Personally.. I feel that performing that function in Live is tedious.. no matter what options I have available. The workflow to do it just bores me to death.. However for me and I believe a lot of other people Traktor allows us to DJ and perform as we see fit.. easily adapt to what’s available and do it with an efficiency of time, without forcing dogmatic views on how one should perform or play music.

      You ask “but why not just learn a production software, and use that to do your eclectic sets?”

      But I ask; Why not do both? If I can now produce a track in live, separate out all the components from drum loops to basslines to entire mixdowns of tracks and it would give me even greater options to craft my song in realtime depending on moods.. Why wouldn’t I do that?

      Why would I as an artist proficient in both limit myself to one just to sooth others limited opinions on what can be done and what could be done?

      I’ve said before and I will say it again.. I’m not particularly interested in watching people DJ other peoples tracks in live.. I’m not interested in seeing people dj their OWN tracks in live. I’ve experienced it.. On multiple tedious occasions.

      However.. If they want to PERFORM their own tracks on Live at a show.. and then Remix those tracks live later using what Traktor offers.. That.. I want to see.

      • Lu Ynoji

        i won’t get into the discussion on what dj’ing is, what performing is, etc, as that is a different discussion an, as you said we all have our views on that..
        ( to look at , non of these are interesting to “watch” hence the introduction of visuals etc)

        i fully support the existence of any dj oriented program, traktor, serato, whatever.. and i agree these systems are more specific in what they are designed for.. Live is your spaceshuttle with a kazillion options
        and traktor is 4 decks, thats it..; and that’s a good thing.. since it was designed with a different view/idea

        and yes i do agree on your point of ” why not do both”

        i agree on most of your reply
        ( also said this to somebody else, i think dj’s should have a basic understanding of production, like how to make a beat( just a beat, not a full track) make single hits, bass sounds etc… to use in there sets)

        in general i wanted to point out that the system they are promoting now can be done with tools that already exist

        yes the mp4 stemfiles are new, but it seems a bit overkill since you can already do awesome stuff with just wacky EQing..

        but hell, it’s out there now, time will tell if people adopt it 😉

        • Ezmyrelda

          I can understand that.. but prior features of Traktor doing so wasn’t “airtight” as it were.. There will always be some frequency bleed or loss when you are doing it with EQ. In this fashion they aren’t just frequency domains, they are discrete tracks. technically speaking cutting the drum track from the summed mix wouldn’t affect the other parts frequency wise..

          I think it’s just good to understand the differences of every option one has in every software..

          I understand what you mean by “Traktor is four decks, that’s it” But it’s also misleading and not quite the truth.. It can be at it’s most minimal two decks (a stereo pair on each side) but it can also be 4 decks.. 2 of which are track decks and 2 of which are remix decks. That’s 10 different things you can have going on. if you’re inclined to run four remix decks thats 16 different things you can work with at once..

          Probably overkill for most situations but possible..

          In any case.. even if it doesn’t get widely adopted the feature will be available for those with the skill to employ it.. and that is an important distinction itself.

      • J Crenshaw

        This is why I dislike DJs.. you clearly are convoluted in your ideas

        So instead of hitting play on Ableton youd rather watch them hit play on a CDJ.. and its not some how..DJing or more exciting to watch?

        You sound like an egotistical bedroom purist who couldnt produce a loop to save his life.

        • Ezmyrelda

          If you think I want to watch people hit play and sit back on ANYTHING you are sadly mistaken. CDJs, turntables.. it makes little difference.. I’ve watched my share of vinyl djs do the same a-b transitions year after year and been disappointed by them as well. I don’t mind watching DJs spin on CDJs.. I’ve seen quite a few proficient and exciting mixes performed on them.. and I’ve also watched my share of uninspired “press play and redline everything” mixes performed on CDJs..

          My point.. to spell it out; is that I’m not impressed by the vast majority of people who “DJ” in ableton live by warping every inch of a track and then crossfading without even considering throwing an EQ3 on the channel and frequency mixing, and then follow up that disregard of fundamentals by even refusing to phrase mix.

          I have been waiting to be impressed by “DJing in Ableton” since someone mentioned it was possible.. I’m still waiting.. You show me someone djing in ableton fluidly, inspirationally and with an absolute bare minimum of looking at the monitor.. I will GLADLY change my mind.. Til then.. I will continue to PERFORM in ableton and DJ in traktor.

          You sound like an idiot who really isn’t worth responding to further.. excuse me while I go back to exporting song components from ableton so I can load them in traktor.

  • RolfSki

    I see 4 challenges with this technology:
    – Everybody in the industry needs to be on board. Being open source is not enough.
    – Requires additional mastering effort while compromising the final sound. Not sure how many producers would opt for that.
    – Not sure how many producers would like to see their track performed in this “mutilated” way.
    – It’s sucking money out of the remix business. Why buy a remix if you can make your own instantly?

    For this to succeed it needs to reach a tipping point, which is usually around 20% market adaptation. Giving the variety and vastness of this industry, this can take many years.

    What it has going for it is that this is a dj/performers wet dream though. And these are typically heavy influencers in the dance industry. If DJ’s start demanding for them, then many producers will for sure deliver, if it increases their chances of their music being heard by a wider audience.

    • Esbeesy

      The remix business is already well and truly sucked out on the money front friend.

      This is more about making edits than actual remixes though.

      • Jon

        Agreed. When has there ever been ‘money’ in the remix business?

  • Black_Rag

    This is epic! It’s essentially a stripped down dumbed down, remixing for people who’s IQ is in the minus, version of what I’ve already been doing with remix decks far better and with far more precise control and much more creative freedom for over a year…Great work NI…please insert slow clap here, somewhere around 3 claps a minute would be appropriate.

  • Michael K

    This is very cool news ! now I see why the need to release the D2 ,along with this is brilliant. Excellent marketing NI ! can’t wait for this feature to be released 🙂 Thanks for sharing DJTT 🙂

  • Thierry Henri Côté

    i read this over at engadget and thought the author was smoking crack.. what does this mean for remix decks.. this is really confusing. i think it’s cool, but doesnt this kill remix decks?

    • Ezmyrelda

      Ostensibly no. This is removing a limit remix decks had while seemingly keeping the method to a track deck. So you can have a remix deck.. Which will repeat a loop endlessly. or you can have a stem which will follow the production of the track til it ends. Ultimately they do different things. To my understanding if you loop a stem.mp4 track it will loop all mixdowns at the same time. You couldn’t say shift a phrase forward or backward.. You could “remix” in the most narrowest and technical of fashions but I would only call it remixing if you had things going on multiple decks of multiple types.

      Like say a twister deck, a remix deck running loops, and maybe something looping/playing in a different deck.

  • Justin Herriford

    I haven’t seen clearly if these stems mp4 will contain 4 stereo stems rather than mono. That would be important to me. Anyone got this detail?

    I’m really excited though. This is exactly how I do my Ableton sets right now. 4 wav stems for each of my own songs. Would love to do this in Traktor and merge workflow with my Traktor DJ sets. Everything in one program, always available! It’s like NI reads my mind.

  • djmat

    Great News .. i’ll be waiting with sharing this post about 28 hours from now on .. ;-)))))

  • mikefunk

    New way to introduce new rip off prices! Like Beatport and Wave format which is more expensive than buying freacking CD version. Disclosure album on Beatport was almost 20 bucks and I got CD in store for 8. F U Beatport.

  • an3

    so how can i make stems from my own tracks ?

  • Kosta X

    Very cool, seems like an open-source “light” version of the remix decks which can be overwhelming for some.

    Kosta X
    http://www.kosta-x.com

    • stefanhapper

      This is really it. I would also say that Remix decks are not only overwhelming but also simply very time-consuming to use.

      • J Crenshaw

        Gee what a musical professional should have to do.. ::Really dislikes DJs::

  • alexandermon

    I really like this idea, but I do have one question for people with more production experience than me.

    How would you achieve a final mix down or mastering job in a format like this?

    My current understanding of production is that the mastering stage involves really examining the piece as a whole work and applying EQing, compression, etc to the whole piece in order to achieve a final sound.

    If you’re making four separate MP3 tracks which are being combined via a program, is the program essentially doing the final mixdown?

    I apologize if I’m using terminology incorrectly or anything, I’m a bit new to production.

    Looking forward to hearing responses.

    • ???????

      I’m guessing this is a way to perform rather than mixdown. Sort of like how you would group stems for an ableton live performance

    • fuss

      also curious to this answer.
      Is it 5 tracks internally: 1 mixdown + the 4 parts?
      That’d make sense to existing players that are ‘blind’ to extra streams.

      future DJTT mapping ‘the button’ request:
      *toggles to mixdown plus effects anti-applied, i.e. (100%-intended rotary value)
      *toggles to mixdown minus effects applies. (maybe hollowed out?)

      also, I think the final filesize would be cut down alot
      if the 4 parts were V0 and not 320k.

      • Damien Sirkis

        It’s 5 tracks inside the file. The 4 stems and the full mix.

        • DubbleStuff

          No. the file is 4 parts: Drums, Bass, Synths, Vocal.
          You can play the whole thing at the same time or control the volume and stuff of each of the four parts.
          It’s like: your player is the master channel and there are four busses being sent to it.

          • Damien Sirkis

            That’s how it works in software that support the different parts, but for things like iTunes/Rekordbox/CDJ/etc… you have to include the full mix otherwise they wouldn’t know how to replay the file.

            It’s the only way to make it backward compatible.

          • DubbleStuff

            It’s an MP4. It canbe played in iTunes as is. But when it is played in a software that supports STEM, you can access the four individual stems of drums, bass, synth, vocal.

          • Damien Sirkis

            You are correct in describing how stem is used. But the only reason it works when you play it in iTunes is because the MP4 also contains a full mix down and not just the 4 stems.

            So, as I was saying, the file probably contains one mix down and 4 stems internally.

          • dj Mos dm

            Damien you are definitely right it’s one file with 5 parts to it. You have your track 1. the mix down
            2. the drums
            3. the bass
            4. the synth
            5. the vocal
            I know you get it but I only broke it down the way I did so that some of the people that don’t get it could understand. I feel that it’s a very simple thing but for some reason it seems to be causing some confusion.

      • Jizz

        as only a producer, this makes no sense to me

      • J Crenshaw

        I want to know what crappy ass songs you people are listening to that only has 4 tracks in it anyways 😛

        • FXWLL

          The tracks have way more than 4 channels, its just the STEM format sums all channels in a track into 4 distinct channels. The idea is similar to bussing your drums, basses etc in the studio!

    • nukage

      I’m also skeptical of this.. this is the main reason I’ve never been one to perform my music using stems. Instruments grouped into stems being played back doesn’t sound as good as a full mastered tune.. first of all, the difference in loudness would be an issue, maybe there’s some basic gain and EQ settings built into the format so that there’s a way to compensate for this for each of the stems?

      • Damien Sirkis

        I doubt anything gets EQ or Limited/Compressed during replay. You’d be relying on some standard EQ implementation otherwise the results would differ (i.e. the stem file would sound different on Serato than Traktor).

        There’s no magic way to auto-master a track, otherwise the handful of guys in the world who are good mastering engineers would be out of a job a long time ago.

        Bottom line, there’s no way the four stems played together will sound as good as a real mix down. Still, I wonder how the software transitions from the full mix down track to the stems when you start messing about with some volume levels. Maybe they’re storing subtractive info? Seems a bit overkill.

        • nukage

          Hmm, it seems possible that it could use phase cancellation to remove the parts from a mastered track, that could be kind of cool. Come to think of it, doesn’t Rock Band already do this?

          • Damien Sirkis

            Yeah that’s what I meant by subtractive. I guess @eangolden:disqus might have the answer to that: “Does the stem maker tool take 1 mixed down track and 4 stems as an input or just 4 stems?”

            (Thinking about it some more it probably wouldn’t work anyway, you can’t produce the stems in a way that’s mastered the same as mastering the full mix, so you’d end up with residual noise when subtracting all the stems). Umm….

          • nukage

            Just more speculation here, but maybe it could read a mastered and non mastered version of the song and replicate what the mastering did to just the stems. Technology like this already exists in a plugin called Nebula which is able to replicate vintage hardware effects by sampling the before and after audio…

          • Damien Sirkis

            You can find out the difference between the mastered and non-mastered tracks but how do you split the result between the 4 stems? It would make some of the stems sound weird. I think we might be overthinking things at this point 🙂

            Can’t wait to play with it to find out more.

          • nukage

            By using the difference information to ‘master’ the track in real time you could process the stems to make them sound mastered the same way. Possibly. I dunno. Seems legit

          • Damien Sirkis

            You can calculate the difference between the two versions but that wouldn’t tell you how that difference is split between each stem.

            So if you were replaying the stems with, for example, 10% 100% 25% and 70% volume respectively, you wouldn’t know how to apply that ‘difference’ signal you have to each stem. In some case that difference could be because the drums stem is getting squished (compressor) in some other cases, it could be a baseline getting compressed. Unless you can re-apply this correctly to the right stem, you can’t get by with just one ‘difference’ signal between a mastered and an un-mastered mix down.

            Hope that makes sense or maybe I’m mis-understanding what you mean.

          • nukage

            I guess my thought process is like this: If a plugin like Nebula can listen to a before an after of audio and apply it to another bit of audio to replicate what a hardware compressor or EQ does, then it would be possible to re-create an entire mastering chain on a song in much the same way. So if you could have the mastering chain effecting the output on the deck in real time, plus the summed stems, you could have a perfect replication of the mastered track.

          • Damien Sirkis

            I totally understand what you’re describing but I think I’m not explaining myself correctly 🙂

            Let’s say that at one point in the track you’ve detected a difference in 3db between your mastered version and the raw version. Now you’re playing the stems and you have all of them turned off but the drums stem (for example).

            If you apply your ‘difference’ value, you will be reducing the drums stem by 3db. But what if the difference you calculate wasn’t the drums that were compressed by 3db but it was the vocals? You’ve now reduced the drums where you shouldn’t have.

            Same reason why mastering the stems separately does not work either. 4 stems mastered separately and then summed is not the same as 4 stems summed and then mastered.

            Hope this makes more sense.

          • Damien Sirkis

            Gave this some more thought and I think we’re definitely over-thinking this.

            My money is on the tool allowing you to take a full mix down track and 4 stems. The 4 stems are stored as private streams inside the MP4 and the mix down is just the regular MP4 audio.

            In Traktor you select between ‘Track’ deck and ‘Stems’ deck. A track deck plays only the mix down, a stems deck works like a remix deck and only plays the 4 stems. No interpolation, no subtractiveness between the two version. Just full mix or only stems.

            That’s my bet.

          • nukage

            yep. i’m sure this is it as well. If there’s even an option to select between track and stems deck. like remix decks, i’m sure this will be adopted more by techno/house producers and DJ’s, and bass music/hip hop producers and DJ’s won’t really see this go anywhere

          • LordNikkon

            Yeah from my understanding this is going to carry 10 channels of .aac audio in a stem.mp4 file. A left right master then stereo for all four basic groups of stems. If you wanted the professional mastered track you should be able to drop it on a track deck and get the full mastered sound. If you drop it on a stem deck you would get the four separate stereo groups. Doesn’t seem like it will mess with the mastering steps much at all and the whole point of this file type is to deliver isolated groups of sounds that were used in production. I wouldn’t necessarily want my bass ducking to make room for a kick or grove that I am trying to replace in a live setting anyway.

            You could just run 4 separate buses for the 4 groups and pretty much just get the mix of them close to the mastered track.

            You would also kind of have to forgive the unmastered sound coming from the mix of the four channels. Look at it a little like seeing a live band in a small venue. The sound of the drums come from the drums, the guitar, bass, and keyboard from separate amps, and the vocals from a PA system. You are not listening to a fully mastered sound but the ability for each musician to improvise in live ways adds much more character to the overall performance.

            I see electronic music taking on a much more live indie musician turn in the first place and If you get as much from this site as I do who wouldn’t love to just grab that new track you can’t get out of your head, drop the drums, and fingerdrum your own instead (or any other group of music you would like to improvise)

            I know this is long but also kodos to NI for not making this a proprietary technology! Gives me hope that this will be more than just the next gimmick to sell fresh hardware

        • The CrowdBoy

          I’m no expert, but what if you do the whole post pro and mastering as if you would be exporting a real track, then you (“”mute””) the parts that don’t apply to the stem… and export it as a single stem, volume won’t need to be balanced since it already is….(you have done it beforehand…)
          I gues you can try this now, go to a track you have, export it the way they said and then play all the 4 stems at once and see if it works, then mute one and see what happens…

          • Damien Sirkis

            That’s the ‘Stems sound good when playing separately’ solution. Downside of this is that when all stems play together, they don’t sound the same as the full master.

            Let’s say, you mute a kick that was side compressing a bass, then the stem version of the bass will not be compressed and when played together with the kick, will not sound the same as the mastered-together version of the track.

      • MrEDD

        you have the ability as shown in the video to control the volume of the individual stems, when you make the the track in your daw, master it first before bouncing each group out then run through (the bounced files) the NI stem program and it should help the situation, even though this is cutting edge and may not be perfected yet, you can see big names jumping in this like Felix Da House Cat

    • Robert Wulfman

      I wonder if something like LandR could be built into the system to auto-master the stems

    • Tyler

      I think you’d be right that the program running the stems is doing the final summing.. I have experimented pretty extensively with mastering stems, I usually A/B the mastered stem busses against the traditional stereo master to see if I can match them as closely as possible. To be honest I’ve decided it’s better to nail your mix down and use pre-mastered stems (in our case in Ableton Live). Proper gain structuring will allow you to mix back and forth between professionally mastered tunes without too much of a noticeable difference. The dynamics and headroom that you are left with can be used to your advantage in a live situation by adding live instruments or other sound sources on top of your mix. Any good sound guy will be able to take your output and make you sound on point, but again nailing your mix-down is absolutely paramount if you plan to work this way, and I think that will prove to be true when this NI Stems thing drops.

    • Elijah Logan

      Since I am not known to the format, I would in my daw make all tracks sound well before finishing. Also, I would use track stacks to split each component into four sections. Then, I would bounce the audio for each part in place. Once the audio is fully mixed in each part, master each part for loudness to balance out and improve all the frequency levels. Then, I can take my audio in a wav file and see if anything can be improved in LANDR. If not, I guess if then I guess you could use the software.

    • Jizz

      I assume the producers who will have provided the stems will have already mixed and mastered the stems(Since the producers ARE the ones creating the STEM formatted files). And yes the program of your choice will be doing the final “mixdown” of the stems. The stem’s are simply a more powerful tool to allow DJ’s to create more creative mixes. Mastering is a unique and final process of production were something sexy(or shitty) is made even sexier(Or a holographic polished shit). If your question is in regards to mastering, it is not something that is really noticed by the consumer, or the dj’s , and is kind of seen as weird magic (running your track through analog EQ’s that was created by pure virgins under the third moon type of shit) and is more valued on the production level than a live performance.

      So basically, if you’re using awesome stems for your own productions, odds are they are already mastered.

      Plus thats not my personal style of production, in general, I kind of feel like a hack using drum loops. Just my opinion though

      Anyways, hope that answers your question

    • Billy Nomates

      In answer to your question, you wouldn’t. Mastering works by acting on all the parts as a whole, if they are separate, you cannot do this. I guess they would be compressed and limited to remove volume spikes but that’s not the same thing.

      • J Crenshaw

        ROFL… Wrong.. but hey whatever.

    • Ed Lewis

      To make this work, producers would have to master each stem individually. No reason mastering houses can’t do this and will probably come up with new pricing structures to handle the new format. Not a major shift.

  • Tarekith

    MP3’s as source files though? I’d be interested if we could do it for uncompressed files too.

    • Chaser720

      I think the size of the file may limit that option. Average 320kbps mp3 is about 2.4 mb/min and average .wav is about 10 mb/min. 70mb just turned into about 300mb per track. Not out of the question but big for one track.

      • Damien Sirkis

        It doesn’t. The files are AAC encoded so the uncompressed files would be end up compressed in the resulting stem anyway.

        I agree with @Tarekith:disqus, using MP3s as Ean is suggesting is a very bad idea. You’re taking crap quality compression (MP3) and re-applying AAC compression on top of it. Ugh.

    • Ean Golden

      We got that part wrong in the article. Here is an update:

      The stem creator tool ONLY takes .AIFF or .WAV files and then encodes them into AAC with a .MP4 wrapper

      • Tarekith

        Excellent, that makes MUCH more sense. Thanks for the clarification.

      • Elijah Logan

        thanks, I was nervous about my quality on a final mixdown if I had to simplify it into mp3 before it is mixed into this stem file

  • J Crenshaw

    x

    • Think forward

      Not sure what the hate is all about. This is a great tool for producers and people who want to play said producers tracks. Not to mention these files are probably going to be more expensive to purchase which should be putting more money into the producers/labels pockets. This is definitely a positive way forward for the DJ/producer. I’m all in:)

      • J Crenshaw

        Agree to disagree. After spending dozens of hours on a song,.. the last thing I want to do is to hand out for a few extra bucks is what most labels and producers covet.. their stems.

        The only thing this is going to do is flood the market with 2 bit bootlegs and remixes from DJs who think that some how their button pushing skill equates to musical creativity. But hey whatever floats your boat. I dont see to many big name producers jumping on this thats for sure.

        Then go even further with how some people below are trying to imagine this will work. It better not work that way or it would be useless.

  • Rob Ticho,Club mU

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for someone to create this for awhile! I’m sure ableton users will love this too.

  • Fatlimey

    Looks good enough, solves a real problem of synchronizing piles of individual tracks. Now let’s see how open and complete their documentation is – can an average audio programmer use the format without the need for NI’s libraries? That will be the acid test.

  • Levin Lo

    yes

  • Dirty Secretz

    LOVE the idea of this format! That’s mostly how I’ve been using the remix decks to play my tracks out semi-live. Having the ability to mix in and out elements from track to track just feels like the smoothest way to perform transitions, not to mention creating unique live bootlegs and maximising the use of one deck. I’ll definitely be producing all my tracks in that format from now on!

  • Der Langhaarige

    This will either take off big time or – as I suspect – become more of an obscure footnote in the history of music files, depending on how many producers and labels actually bother with producing stems and how many DJs will buy them. Even in our modern world of digital DJing, the number of DJs who actually do some live remixing and stuff where such a format would actually be useful, is considerably low.

    But actually, I think it’s a great idea and keep my fingers crossed for its success.

    • Ryan Ruel

      Not only that, but which producers and labels are going to give out their un-mixed down tracks, so that people can steal their basslines, drums, vocals, etc, and use them without paying royalties?

      • AlsChill

        Yeah. I agree with this perspective. Why would producers make it even easier for people to use their stems.

        • Jayson Joyce

          That was my first thought as well.. Producers make a song with an end result in mind.. Not to have it disected and mixed with other producers tracks.. And if you have a great bass line or chord that makes the song.. Why would I want to make it so that other people can take it.. To me it would be like allowing the mona Lisa to be taken in a perfect Photoshop layer and added over another background that may or not be appropriate… I will have to see it in action but my first thought is that it’s the bastardization of an artists work..

          • AlsChill

            Maybe I’m just not getting it. Each to their own I guess. But I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple. It seems that manufacturers are trying to ‘force’ innovation.
            It certainly won’t be a part if my DJ process.
            Unfortunately Traktor is taking a back seat more often these days.
            I’m just not a part of the ‘tech crowd’.
            ps. Using disqus on an iPhone is the most unpleasant experience EVER.

      • Scottie Pimpin

        Good point. I see more of the sample library people latching on to this format rather than the professional producer/artist.

  • Nick

    Im a serato user but this is dope hmmmm

    • Ryan Dejaegher

      The good news is that this is open format, so maybe that means that Serato could embrace and support Stem tracks in a similar format.

  • Ztronical

    Explains the weird screen waveforms on the d2.