This morning Native Instruments has released a brand new video showing the exact workflow of the Traktor Stem Decks on one of their Stems-compatible units, the Kontrol D2. Watch now to get a sense of the visual feedback, mixing style, and possibilities that the new file format might offer. Also, did you know that drum and bass is making a comeback?
Mixing Traktor Stem Decks
When playing around with the Traktor Stem Decks, it’s pretty clear that there are a few key “added-value” mixing activities that the video suggests to make it fun and interesting for both the DJ and the audience. In the video, these include:
- Cutting Out Instruments: The Stem Decks seem to be grouping instruments pretty well based on the few we’ve seen so far, so bringing in and out parts like drums, bass, vocals, etc on the fly is easy. If you hit a cue point, it jumps all of the Stems to that specific cue, so it’s easy to do a custom breakdown and then return to the song’s drop.
- Filtering + Effecting Individual Elements: This takes it one further – meaning that if you just want to apply an effect on the vocals (more reverb!) or the drums (high pass, please!), it’s very possible. This is one step beyond isolator based effects (only effecting one frequency range of the track) which we’ve previously shown how to do in Traktor here.
- Mixing Tracks With Stems Instead Of EQ: This is where the fun really starts – taking traditional DJ mixing techniques and applying them to Traktor Stem Decks. If you’ve got the bass as it’s own Stem on two tracks, you don’t have to EQ out the low end on the outgoing track – just swap the basslines entirely, as demonstrated in the video. This is powerful stuff and could lead to a lot “cleaner” mixing with some practice and enough content.
One thing is for certain – this video makes using Stems for DJ mixing look like a lot of fun. What we’re really waiting on (besides Traktor 2.9 to come out) is a full reveal of the available content for Stem Decks, because ultimately that will be what makes or breaks this format.