Stems

You must provide stems of your compositions when delivering your final mixes. Editors and production houses utilize stems frequently, and having these ready is essential. Stems are the individual tracks grouped by instrument and exported as stereo files. So that when played together they recreate the original stereo mix. They should not be confused with “multi-tracks” which are every individual track, that make up a composition. These will generally be used or requested if a mixdown of the composition is required

STEM GUIDELINES: 

  • Individual folder for each composition (e.g. Sunshine_Stems)
  • Named audio files prefixed by composition title (e.g. Sunshine_Drums, Sunshine_Guitars)
  • Separate instrument groups (e.g. drums/keys/guitars/vocals) 
  • Separate melodies from the background (e.g. rhythm guitars/lead guitars) 
  • Separate instruments with movement from static ones (e.g. sequencers/pads) 
  • Due to legal reasons samples/loops cannot be isolated in a stem and need to be merged with another track
  • Adjust Stereo buss processing if needed
  • Check playback of files does not exceed 0dBFS 
  • If using samples with “round robins” either bounce these sections to audio within arrangement before exporting stems or set up your session so stems can be exported simultaneously with the final mix. This will ensure round robins are identical
  • Within your DAW please export files so when re-imported they all start and end uniformly, as demonstrated below:

Here are some examples of how to divide stems, they usually should have between 5-10 stems per composition:

Legal
Timeline
Edits
Stems
Do's & Don'ts
Final Delivery & Checklist