Traktor 2.9 + Stem Decks Launch: Details + Videos

This morning Native Instruments is launching the Traktor 2.9 update, which is the first software on the market to use their new Stems audio file format. The update is free for all Traktor users and is rolling out in Service Center now. Read more about the update and watch them in action inside.

Traktor 2.9 Update: Key Features

Stem Decks are now supported in Traktor 2.9

Here’s the rundown of the main new features in Traktor 2.9. We’ve only had access to the software for a few hours, but here are the major new features in the new update to Native Instruments’ DJ software so far:

  • Stem Decks: This is the new “deck flavor” that you can set any of the four decks to. In our testing you’re only able to view the Stem view when you have a compatible controller plugged in – by default, it just looks like a normal track deck. In order to load Stems into a Stem Deck, you have to analyze them first – so make sure you do that before loading some in on-the-fly.
  • Stem Display Support For Controllers: The Kontrol S8 and Kontrol D2 units have 4-stem visualization of Stem Decks on the built-in displays, and the buttons above and below the displays control the sub-mix elements of the Stems – including volume, filters, and FX sends.
Stem Decks breakdown diplays are now visible on S8s and D2s
  • Stem Controls in MIDI Mappings: For other controllers, the MIDI mappings for Stem Decks and Remix decks have been combined – now referred to as “Sub-Mix” controls in Traktor’s controller manager. If you had MIDI Mappings for Remix Deck mix controls previous to this update, those controls are now automatically mapped to the Deck Common Sub-mix controls.
  • Performance Optimizations: The use of Stem decks requires more CPU power, so NI has apparently implemented a number of  performance optimizations to reduce the overall CPU load. According to NI “These optimizations can be enjoyed even when not playing Stem files […] CPU savings will vary depending on the computer and operating system in use. Most of the optimizations were done around DSP (such as the output limiter), the audio graph (Traktor’s internal audio mixer), and waveform rendering.”

Want to see more of Stems in action? Ean’s put out a brand new performance video on Facebook with a Kontrol S8, Kontrol D2, and two Roland AIRA production machines, the TR-8 and System One:

Testing a new way of djing: STEMS

Posted by Ean Golden on Monday, August 3, 2015

One important other thing to note: there are a few issues with Traktor 2.9 that NI has admitted to out of the gate. A big one for many users might be that there’s no longer official support for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) – and users on that OS might experience high CPU load when loading tracks.

There’s another note that we’ve never seen before in the Readme file included with Traktor 2.9 all about using Traktor on two screens:

When moving the TRAKTOR GUI TO to a secondary screen, the CPU load increases significantly.

MIDI Mapping Stem Decks

If you don’t have a controller that has Stem Decks functionality built into it, you’re a bit out of luck in terms of viewing Stem Decks. There’s no way to control individual Stems that we’ve found so far from just the computer mixer screen – it seems to rely on the heads up display on controllers.

That being said, you can still MIDI map Stem decks easily – Ean shot a video a few months back that we’re releasing now showing how it can be done with a Midi Fighter Twister:

We’ve put together a mapping for the Midi Fighter Twister available here on and you can also watch it in action in this video by our own Matias:

Who Is Selling Stems?

One of the biggest questions is: where will we be able to get Stem Decks? Six major online retailers are signing on starting today: Beatport, Bleep, JunoTraxsource, whatpeopleplay, and Wasabeat. We’ve seen individual Stem tracks range in price from $2.99 to $3.49. If you want a free set of Stems, the ones used in the performance video at the top of the article are available here.

We asked NI about the continued rollout of content – they shared with us that:

“Today over 600 Stems tracks are available from partnering online music stores, with new Stems releases coming out every week. When the Stem Creator Tool comes out in a few weeks, the number of Stem releases should again increase rapidly.”

Stem files in the Beatport Pro desktop app

Interestingly enough the Beatport Pro desktop software will soon have complete compatibility with Stems files, allowing you to quickly check out each element/track of the Stem file with ease – as well as check out the individual Stem files of tracks that you’re considering purchasing.

Twister / Kontrol S8 / D2 / F1 Discounts

To celebrate the launch of Traktor 2.9 and Stems, both Native Instruments and DJTT are offering discounts on Stem Deck-ready controllers. They’re significant discounts that are super rare on these controllers – all with stock ready in the DJTT store if this is enticing to you:

Stems In Action

Have you had a chance to use Traktor’s new update yet? What are your experiences? Let others know in the comments below! 

kontrol D2Kontrol F1kontrol s8midi fighter twisterNative Instrumentsstem deckstraktor 2.9Traktor Tipsupdate
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  • calkutta

    ok,will post video soon…but instead of stems,I used acid and mapped my F1 to 4 instances…im running traktor with acid in the background and am able to switch back and see the 4 samples and use the faders to bring in and out the sounds…the effects and the whatnots arent available,nor do i care to even use stems…but for those that wanna work around..try it…its pretty cool….

  • LT

    dayum i just bought 0 psytrance tracks in stem format, oh oh… also 0 hip-hop stems. maybe drum and bass? i don’t think the big selection of dnb tracks has grown up since the release of stems… why should i pay for expensive hardware to play um 3? 4… maybe 5 stem tracks -_- . NI stems is a FLOP unfortunately. it seems like nobody gives a damn about stems except dj’s, and by nobody i also mean labels.

  • ItsWesSmithYo

    EG for president;). Always staying busy! So much potential here by making the live remix concept more accessible.

  • FoxyInCharge

    Oh yeah and with this update you will no longer be able to use the DJM 900 nexus as your sound card so there’s that… Wish pioneer would take a little bit of time to make a 64bit update or something.

  • Junior Versianni

    So, the only change in this update is all about STEMS? Nothing else to mention? :/

  • J Williams

    Djing is not the same anymore. Too much gear is made for pop EDM.

  • Fabio Lopes

    Just tried in F1 and it’s great with the VU meters corresponding to the 4 elements of the track. Tried to isolate each one and apply effects but I couldn’t. It only plays the effect selected as a regular track. Do you had this problem? It’s a configuration issue?

    I used this video:

  • Fabio Lopes

    Hello guys. Just 2 noob questions:

    1) Can you see the stems display on Traktor software (the 4 lines display) without having a D2 or S8?
    2) Looking for a F1 mapping for stem control? Is there one already out?

    Thanks in advance!

  • RT

    Can you all relax a bit on the bitching? How about reserving some space for tips, mapping, how to, etc.

  • Loop BlueMonday

    Ive upgraded to the S8. I now have the dilemma of having to update Mac OS X to Yosemite before I can update to T.P. 2.9.0 otherwise Ive got myself an expensive ornament! Anyone got any advice before I do?

  • Ztronical

    I tested out my F1 with the demo Stems and basic filtering and faders, no visuals needed. I could watch the waveform on the laptop(i use spectrum view it shows frequencies) I could tell what the track was doing just fine. I have the S8 as well, but I think I will actually stick to demoing and checking Stems out with the F1.
    My reason for this is to hopefully mix the same as I would any track or sound. I usually only glance and have one waveform, to me it is still high, mid, and low which I don’t need to see separated, I just blend of cut based on the flow and timing of the tracks.
    Btw I still have a lot to learn and am no pro,
    I’m saying this more as an observation, not how it has to be done.

    • Fabio Lopes

      Do you recommend a F1 mapping? Where can I get it?

      • Andreas Fleury

        The F1 get an enhanced mapping with the 2.9 Update.
        With a Remix-Sample-Track it work’s as before, when you load a stem you see the difference.

      • Ztronical

        The F1 map is already part of Traktor 2.9 it works with no mapping needed.

  • Jon E

    So it seems my Z2, both my X1s and my Maschine do not enable me to have visual feedback for STEMS, what a joke! surely my Z2 at least should have STEM integration. Id rather pay $50 – $100 for a plug in which enables STEM feedback than have to fork out for another controller i don’t need for any other reason!! No more Native Instruments hardware for me I’m done! DJM-S9 and Serato come at me!

  • K-DUST

    Biggest flops of 2015: apple watch and stems.

    Don’t get me wrong, it looks fun, but now I would need to upgrade my OSX to a version that slow down my machine (I had to wipe and fresh install last time I’ve tried that), and start lugging an F1 around in addition to the rest of gadgets and cables I already pack.

    Remember Beta vs. VHS? Beta format was unique to Sony, was expensive with not enough content. The hardware was unique (just like NI’s D2/D8) and that whole thing died a slow and expensive death.

    Keep it simple and steady and give us features we could use, such as cloud sync for Traktor collections and seamless integration with Rekordbox.

    • Ztronical

      I wouldn’t call it a flop just yet, the Content is not what I want, but the flow and length of mixing and background sounds this creates is nice.
      The problem with making a mix sound smooth seems to be easier this way, then adding samples or other tracks doesn’t sound as busy/muddy.
      I am not totally sold either and yes it might just flop, but maybe content and some tutorials for drops and more energy could impress the masses.

      • K-DUST

        You’re absolutely on point I just can’t see this catching on for so many reasons. Nevertheless nice to see evolution of digital DJing and be able to be a part of it.

  • Caleb Kent Grayson

    my S8 is not controlling CUE or Filter buttons in deck B&D since 2.9 update.
    anyone else having this?

  • Jacob Stadtfeld

    Really interesting thing I found when playing with the NGHT DRPS stems that I haven’t noticed anyone mentioning. When routing each stem to FX, it appears that the drums, bass, and lead stems are set up to interact with the FX units in an Insert behavior, while the vocals track is set with a Send behavior, or at the very least a limited dry/wet setting. It looks to me like the producer, when bouncing their tracks, can actually specify not just the compression settings for Traktor, but the FX settings as well. Specifically, Beatmasher functions at full wet setting on the first three stems, but only sounds like 50% on the vocal stem. Anyone else notice this?

    • Andreas Fleury

      I think the beat masher shows more effect on percussive/staccato tones.
      And it’s called beat masher 😉 Just my guess.

  • killmedj

    Tried this last night with my F1. I loved it! the problem now is that tracks are costing nearly $5.00AUD!!!! At that price it’s inspired me to write more music and make my own STEMS! =)

    • Jon E

      Vinyl used to be $20 a record, real lovers of music see it as an investment

      • Unreallystic

        Yeah, but the cost of investment can really hamper creativity. The cost is a large turn-off, especially if you already own the song in other formats. And with this format, the more STEM files you have, the more you can do with it.

      • killmedj

        I still have those days firmly in my memory =)

      • killmedj

        Yeah I checked that out, it’s not too crazy price wise. Just getting started with a full STEMS set will be a pretty expensive affair. I would like to see a bulk discount set up so you could at least get a full 30-40 repertoire without it breaking the bank. After that buying 4 or 5 tracks a week won’t really be too bad.

  • Scott Rohrer

    Can you control multiple stem decks at once with one midi fighter? I dont own an f1 or d2 and would rather pick up one controller then multiple f1s or d2s.

    • DJHighline

      The Samson Graphite MF8 Looks like a great controller for mapping two decks of stems.

    • Andreas Fleury

      Watch Ean’s video about working stems with the twister.
      You can use the buttons on the side to chance decks of function.
      If you have the right mapping or can map – yes.

  • Greg Lane

    I’m gonna try out stems but can somebody please tell me how this is better in anyway than remix decks? I don’t really see any added functionality if not less because you are only getting 4 layers where with a remix deck you can get a track and all it’s parts.

    • DJHighline

      You got it. Its not about added functionality its about streamlining and simplicity. The problem with remix decks is that it was too complicated and too much of a workflow shift for regular A to B DJs. Producer DJs loved it because they could produce on the fly. For us A to B Djs this gives us the ability to control layers of sound while sticking with a workflow that we are still very used to.

  • Danny

    There is no reason for NI to make this into a custom file format. There is already a perfectly good format for stems called WAV. It works with every DAW, DJ software, and hardware controller on the planet.

    Why would you combine 4 stems into a single file? What if you want to have more than 4 stems available for a song? Oh yeah, to sell more hardware and software.

    • untiground

      oh… f..k off

    • Jacob Stadtfeld

      They’re making it open source. Yes, this is pushing current NI hardware, but they’re not setting this up as an exclusive feature of their corner of the market. This give the DJ a single file that they can either use normally, or as a stems mix, but it’s not being forced on anyone.

    • Andreas Fleury

      It’s not just a reply on your to-sell-notion:
      They have done a lot of work (and developed one if not the first professional DJ-Programm). The price for Traktor Pro is more than fair. What wrong with (try to) selling some hardware. Everyone need a job. And theres is to make (good) tools for us DJs. So people stop complaining about the matter that Ni is trying to make a buck.
      PS: And yes the D2 is a bit overpriced (especially when you need also an F1 to get ALL Remix-Deck functions, like individual slot nudging).

      • Danny

        It’s not the make a buck I’m complaining about. Their products are very good. I use Traktor myself as well as many other NI apps and hardware.

        My complaint is with the format they chose. I consider that a fault. Although they claim that “they hope other vendors will adopt it”, It’s very wishful thinking. It’s a very limited use case. But more importantly, until they do, stems are very limited in any other application or without their hardware. Had they released stems as a wave file and sold each channel independently, you still could have used the file with traktor, both as a stem or with the existing remix decks. However you could have also used them with maschine, ableton, cdj’s, etc…..

        I appreciate the effort to help dj’s be more creative with their sets, I just think their choice of format is limiting.

        • DJHighline

          The problem with that idea is that you would now need to manage 4 individual files for 1 song. You think producers arehaving a fit with the idea of compression now, If they released it the way you are suggesting, there would be no control at all. There is no reason you couldn’t use the mix recorder to record one stem into the remix deck if you wanted to.

          • Danny

            There is no control with the .stem format. If you’ve released something as a stem, you’ve accepted that people are going to create something new with it; Weather you are a dj using Traktor or a producer using Ableton to dj. So why would you limit it to only Traktor users?

      • Eonkenshi

        Wait what? Seriously? Why do you still need an F1 for all the functions for the rmeix-decks? I thought the D2 is capable of that? Didn´t NI siad it themself, somthing like, the ultimate controller or so? Why would they do this? Can someone please help me out, I am really confused right now?!?

        • Andreas Fleury

          D2-Bonuses on the Remix-Decks:
          + Big (but just 8) Pads
          + Fx-Send-Amount J
          + Display where you see details of the remix-samples
          + long Touchstrip to nudge the whole remix deck
          + better overview and access to the fx-section

          What the D2 lacks compared to the F1:
          – No slot-gain-functions
          – no individual temposettings !
          – no BPM at all (enable “remix deck can be tempo master in Traktor Settings has no use) -> I think this is a bug
          – no individual nudge L (so you can’t correct samples out of the grid nor can’t I create interessting off beats on the fly) L !
          – no sample-quick-overview-function (that shows you what sample on what page – without scrolling trough every page)
          – no function-overview
          – no sample type (play,
          trigger, loop) settings (only via App-GUI)
          – change sample-color (only via Software-GUI)
          Some of them are notdramatic, but yes the D2 (and D8) are (for my taste) not the ultimative remix
          decks controllers.

          The concept of the D2 is more luxury, more surface but lacks the brilliant concept of the F1 (every detail was really good thought out).
          The concept oft the D2 seems like developed by some iPhonefanboy-Teenagers (or by some marketing guys) in one long weekend. It seems more about chic and colorful simplicity without depth. This sounds a bit harsh, but com’on for this price… And NI can do better (F1, X1, Machine, A8&A10)
          It seems like a rushed product for the impatient, won’t-read-any-manual-or-study-the-device generation who wants to be a star-dj by tomorrow.

          The big win for me on the
          D2 are the (individual) Fx-Send-Knobs J for the remixdecks, the FX-Sections, the longer touchstrip, a
          bit rotary-knob for the BPM (you don’t have to worry about resetting like on faders and it’s more subtile) and the display.

          The Editmode is also a good thing. The Browsemode is not optimal in my opinion (not very flexible and the change
          of the sort-by-criteria is to slow).

          The D2 comes with some bugs.
          For me the big bug is:
          that the tsi for the NI-Kontrols with display (the D2 and also the S8) causes a problem with the shortcuts (no matter of mine or the default ones): if I open a second window in traktor („seach in playlists“, settings or an infowindow, and no matter how I close it, after that, the programm dosen’t reactivate the mainwindow and so the shortcuts didn’t work, until I click with the cursor
          somewhere in the Traktorwindow. (I have this problem on a mac).

          • Eonkenshi

            Andreas Fleury, thank you for this epic response!!!
            This is hands-down the best comparison I’ve read.

            This is kind of sad, I don’t understand Native Instruments’ decision and I’m a litte afraid that the remix decks wont have a long and bright future.

            Right now I’m using my Maschine as a remix deck controller. I’m not sure whether I should get an F1, and as far as I know I would need two of them for controlling deck c and deck d as remix decks – with Maschine I can handle both decks.

            Some design choices NI did and does are baffling to me, like:

            -No Midiport for the Z2 which would be awesome for using Maschine as a live instrument. Right now I gotta save up some bucks for the Scratch A10 because the Scratch A6 DOESN´T have a Midi In/Out (and I own one).

            -The Macro FX knobs on the Z2 are nice but I also own an X1 MK2, and if you own two of them you can control all four FX units. So why can’t we have that feature too? I would love to control FX Units 1 and 2 with my X1 and 3 and 4 with my Z2, but nope.

            -Or using Maschine as a drum computer in your live set like Ean Golden does with his Aira TR-8 would be awesome, so you think NI would try something like seemless integration in Traktor, because Maschine is an awesome piece of gear and you can do so much epic stuff. So it should be a logical design decision, but nope.

            I really thought the update for stems would be more extensive, maybe Traktor 3.0. They should have made an incredible update, newer looking (and customizable) GUI, Maschine integration, Stemdecks with visual feedback IN Traktor, better Beatgrid engine and a flexible Beatgrid. This would have been a perfect window of opportunity.
            Why right now? Pioneer’s DJ-Software is coming and Serato looks really good. NI should have stepped up a little bit and thereby could have blown their rivals out of the water. But sheesh, what do I know.

            Anyways, thank you again for your amazing response! I really want to implement remix decks and stems in my sets and play them live, but it seems like I should wait and see. I was thinking about buying one or two D2s but with your points in mind maybe it should be an S8? And should I get an F1 or not because I use Maschine for remix decks? Any suggestions for me?

          • Andreas Fleury

            I highly recommend the Kontrol F1 as best controller for the remix decks.

            Check out the manual and compare the functions to the midi-mappable remix deck-commands. Some of the functions are only possible with an F1 – specially the individual nudge function.

            In my opinion the F1 has the most practical and brilliant concept of all original NI-Traktor-Kontrols!

            You can switch really quick between decks with one controller (Shift+Encoder).
            If you wan’t to control 2 remix deck at the same instance you really need 2 of them. And If you switch between to playing remix decks, then you have the problem with the values of our faders and filter knob (there not relative encoders).

            If your not a heavy stem user buy 2 F1s.

            Maybe you know someone who hast one to test the unit.
            Or when you have practical experience with remix-decks read the F1 manual

            I’m using 2 D2s and when I plan to use remix decks 1 F1 in addition for the detail settings that the D2 is lacking.
            At the moment (and not using stems) I try to avoid my 2 D2 until the shortcut bug is solved (as a mobile dj, I often use the “search in playlist” funcionallity – that’s what blocks with the D2/S8 tsi the shortcuts).

            One big thing Native screwed up with the remix decks is:
            in internal mixing mode, you can pre listen individual remix slot while the others playing (so you can prepare your pitch, nudge, filters etc. before you throw it at the crowd).
            In external mixing mode it isn’s possible (not even with the original NI Soundcards (Audio10) and as I hear also not with the S8 (but it definitly works with my S4 mk1).
            The strange thing is the F1 and also the Trakor GUI hat designated buttons for it… (if heard it was possible in the earlier versions of Traktor).

    • Ztronical

      Well you have a point, but…I think it is just to be a basic high, mid, low + one more frequency, to mix with, and you do get more (sounds not same track) than 4 if you use more than one track.
      I think the point of this format is to get the control over a track that is closer to a studio remix but live. For the average user.
      Yes there are those out there that can make amazing music and have years of experience. But even then, this may just cut down on preparation and get ideas and better mixes for even them.

  • Ztronical

    I’m kinda bummed, the selection of stems tracks on all the supporting sellers sites are not what I was hoping for… In fact many are just remix deck sets changed to a “stem” file.
    Don’t get me wrong I would still have fun mixing and testing it all out. But there are only a couple I like, my taste in music is usually a bit more energetic or strange. Examples would be in no particular order.
    Shadowdancer, Infected Mushroom, Dj Wicked Wes, Mustard Pimp.
    The selection needs a bit more evil to it. Or a bit more happy fluffy.
    Not just sitting in the middle with a percolating drip. I don t hate the tracks its just that once I have maybe 5 of the 100+ available I would start mixing in other music to get a wider range of emotion.
    I was ready to spend some money and didn’t even bother.

    • untiground

      so contact your favorite artist and ask them to make stems.

      • Ztronical

        Nah that’s a bit mean, I am very open to music, but without more selection I won’t buy, the same thing happened with the remix sets, all the same type I ended up not buying much. Nice goto response and insult thanks dude.

        • Nicky H

          Where does he insult you & why is it mean?
          What’s wrong with emailing the labels you like asking them to create stem packages?

          • Ztronical

            So yah both have no issue with the available content or the fact that much of it was already remix sets, that’s fine.
            But the mean part? Well have either of you ever been told to contact artists for their music and have them make it the way you would like? And even if you have did you get very many tracks?
            So the mean part is being very ignorant to a simple comment that there is not a wider range of music and mostly just reworked remix sets. Kind of a let down for me. And the goto response is just do it all yourself?
            Maybe I have the money and was ready to spend it on some stems?
            Not conact labels or artists and beg for them to maybe release content over the next 4 years or so.
            Plus maybe just maybe a post like this on a legit site as djtechtools might just get more attention than anything else a speck of dirt like me could create. Thanks for putting more light on a topic you may not care about.

          • Be

            Artists generally like hearing from their fans. Stems is such a new thing that they probably haven’t even considered publishing in the format and likely won’t until someone asks (life pro tip: you are someone).

          • Ztronical

            Not to be at all insulting, but have you ever tried what you are suggesting, and how did it work out?

          • Be

            Not with Stems because it is so new. But I’ve asked some artists to put their music somewhere I can get it in FLAC and they’ve responded positively.

          • Nicky H

            Mate if the artists/labels you like don’t have stem formats available then it’s for a reason.
            The reason may be they don’t know about them or don’t know if anyone’s interested in them and an email from you might change their mind.
            You hoping they see this post & suddenly decide to do it because of that is unlikely.
            And it’s literally only a few days since launch, give it a chance to get going.

          • Ztronical

            Yeah it has only been a while, my main point was just a repeat of the Content the remix decks had and the hopes of change. As far as contacting artists you all may be right, but I would much rather just. Go to a distributor like Beatport not having to do all the legwork.
            And really that is what most would want as well.
            You may misunderstand I don’t need any specific track, I would just like a wider range of genres.

  • Dubby Labby

    New pio from instagram deleted and the releaked so…

  • garyewells

    I have been waiting for the day that I can use my Midi Fighter 3D and my Midi Fighter Twister “together” with NI Stems. The day has finally come. The Twister allows for those of us who don’t have and S8 or a set of D2’s to use stems (less the waveforms of course) on up to four decks visually by seeing the pulsating wave forms and control volumes, filters, and fx’s. The 3D allows for additional controls of up to 4 stem decks with the added functionality of controlling filters by tilting the controller. If there ever becomes a way to see the wave forms actually in Traktor itself, there would be almost no reason at all why i would want or need a stem supported NI controller.

    • Ean Golden

      The guys added some cool VU meter feedback on the STEMS mapping for the MidiFighter Twister so you can see the parts on each knob now.

  • Colin Reed

    Can we download from somewhere some demo stems,just to try ?

  • Steve Akoi

    Looks like the F1 died a quick death then.

    • evolakim

      I know right. I had a feeling that would happen. I’ve had an f1 since the day it came out. Haven’t touched it in years.

    • w00t

      Why’s that? It’s still perfectly capable with remix decks isn’t it?

      • Andreas Fleury

        In the the decks change their flavor to the kind of the loaded track (Stem, Remix, Track).

    • Orlando Walker

    • Greg Lane

      F1’s work with remix decks and stems. It didn’t die lol

  • William C Brown

    I currently work with Maschine and Traktor. The drag drop capability to the remix decks is the key point to my workflow… I’m terrified to upgrade to new Traktor versions due to prior diasters…so I have a couple of quesitons

    1) Is it possible to drag and drop to a stem, at least like a drum pattern to one track of the stem?

    2) Can cells of the remix decks be be moved into a stem then saved for use later?

    • here_comes_the_sheik

      1) no you need to compile the stem file with the soon to be released stem creator tool as the whole thing needs some processing and sound treatment
      2) same here

      But… it’s not that they kill remix decks now. They will still be there. If you don’t need the added features you might just wait a bit till you upgrade!

  • Ztronical

    I wonder does the visual feedback really matter?
    Much the same as any eq frequencies you are just removing or adding, so as long as you hear the result any controller could work?
    I guess watching the vocal or hats for parts of the track may be useful, but my guess is that most will just be listening and mixing much the same as an eq, just more precise.

    • Dan White

      It’s very useful because as far as we’ve found you’re not able to cue unplaying Stems – so it’s hard to tell what is going on at all times…

      • Ztronical

        I see you can’t cue the what you are about to add. But still if you know the track or its just a basic sound, and from what I have seen for the demos, they just move the fader in and out basically just as if pushing a pad on the f1.
        But I am definitely putting a ? Here?
        I haven’t tested it out yet and I have the s8 so all may be well.
        Without visual it may be hard to get timing right but if it’s all fades and filters things might be easier than expected with an f1 or other controller.

      • Gary MacGregor

        What do you mean, can’t cue unplaying stems?

  • Softcore

    Just watched an introductory video about the format in and cant help but wonder how exactly are engineers gonna make 4 stem tracks sound exactly the same as one mastered track. Dynamic processors are input-related. You cant expect a compressor or a limiter to have the same impact on the bass of the full-track mastered tune and then have the same impact on say the stem track of the bass alone. The way I see it, its nearly impossible to achieve the same sound between the full track and playing all the four stems at once because dynamics will have been processed differently.
    Really dunno whats gonna happen there…..

    • Prof_Strangeman

      This is the single biggest argument I see against STEMs and the answer is, you don’t. When I get sent stems for a remix I NEVER expect them to be mastered, just normalized, I want to mix and mould them my way.

    • Tarekith

      There will be DSP tools in the stems creator to help increase the loudness of the stems, improve the balance and so on. It’ll never be the same as a mastered stereo file, but it should still be competitive in terms of loudness and sound. I know myself and other mastering engineers are waiting ourselves for access to the tool so we can see exactly what will be involved too. My clients are already asking me about this, so I hope NI releases it soon.

  • Ber Lin

    Updated to Traktor v2.9. Loaded example Silk.mp4 file into Stem Deck. Can only play the song – no four layers to see or play separately. Thats disappointing but I can imagine the benefits for dijing w/ access to bass/vocals/… of a stem song…

    • Prof_Strangeman

      You will only “see” the stems on an S8 or a D2.

    • DJHighline

      Yea unless you have an S8 or D2 you won’t see the stems. I wish they could have made stems viewable in this release. If you have an F1 or mapped another controller to the stems decks, then you should be able to control the volumes of them.

  • jeremysexton

    Now we just need that Stem creation tool!

    • Dan White

      “in a few weeks” – wish NI were more specific!

      • Unreallystic

        Aye, to be honest, I’m thinking of plunging on the D2, but (1) I know I don’t need it with the gear I have outside of STEM use, and (2) I’ll have to make my own stems and I know it…just like Remix Decks. But right now, I can’t haha. When it comes out though, you guys should think of doing a contest…because ‘why not’ haha.

  • deejae snafu

    excited to try this as i have an s8, but have 3 big gigs this weekend and cant chance it.

    • Dan White

      Yep, better safe than sorry 🙂

    • DJHighline

      Yea…I upgraded last night and something went wonky with my install and Traktor stopped responding to MIDI from the Z2. Plus windows took it upon itself to upgrade itself from 8 to 8.1 Anyways I reinstalled Traktor and it went in clean and is now working as expected…but yea wait until after your gigs.

  • Grant

    so remix deck mapping now works under sub mix deck but new mappings needed for stems, they admit to issues out of the gate, why release it then, will give it a miss for the time being as excited as I am to play with stems

    • Dan White

      All old mappings should be fine according to NI…

  • Chris Wunder


  • Nacho Thompson

    Hey Dan, thanks for the update.

    What I’m not sure I understand is this: for now, you need an official Stem-supporting control to fully use the new deck flavor? Id est, if I map my LaunchControl faders to control each one of the Stem deck faders, it won’t work? I am truly hyped about stems and this new approach, but I’m not sure I want to spend about 1 grand in new controllers (besides, in my country, NI stuff’s very expensive, because of the conversion rate).

    Thanks again!

    • Gary MacGregor

      Yeah, mixed messages in this article. It says you need a device with a screen, but then says there’s discount on compatible devices, and lists the F1 and the Midi Fighter Twister?

    • mark dek

      Stems are midi mappable. What you want is entirely possible.
      What you won’t get is visual feedback. Traktor GUI will display stems as usual, so one waveform, instead of waveforms per stem. This you’ll only get on a D2 or S8.

      • CUSP

        Visual feedback might not be omitted. There are tools in the Traktor Controller Editor that are not “turned on by default”, and it is possible that your controller can work with these tools.

        • ???? ????????

          can you tell me more?)

          • Andreas Fleury

            Traktor Pro-Settings; Controller Manager; Add In/Out; Deck Common; Submix (it chanced since Eans video, at that time there was a separate stems-section).
            And don’t forget some Out: you want to have feedback about filter/FX-amount and on/off (you can’t see this in your software).

            Best not NI-controller to map, I think are the Xone K2 (or K1 both have 4 faders) or DJTT Twister (even better because you can better work with different colors and feedback around the knobs).
            The Xone and the DJTT have a good layer system – even I have mapped all transport-funcions, EQ, filter, fx, hotcues and stems on one layer (used almost every modifier and there values to get it; the whole mapping has over 1200 midi-command-lines) 🙂 Proud 🙂

      • Nic Boileau

        so you have to buy their hardware to get the full experience?.. that was a half hearted way to implement a new ‘open standard’