What is it about?
Stem mastering (maximum 10-12 stems) is a combination of mixing and one-track stereo mastering. Based on the song and its genre, your original tracks are grouped in a way that mixing methods can be applied during mastering. In this manner, sounding can be still imrproved in an effective way while we are already in the mastering phase.
When is it recommended?
For songs having quite many tracks (20+), especially in electronic genres; if you have some experience in mixing and therefore understand the potentials and limitis of stem mastering. In addition, you have to be able to prepare your stems in advance.
How to prepate your stems?
Please limit your number of stems to a maximum of 10-12. A possible grouping is (please use these similar file names for the WAV files):
- 01 Kick
- 02 Snare / clap
- 03 Hihats
- 04 Crash
- 05 Percussions
- 06 Bass (if you have more then one bass then separate them into different stems)
- 08 Other instruments (further splitting is possible, e.g. short and long release instruments)
- 08 Effects
- 09 Vocals (further splitting is possible, e.g. lead and back)
Format: WAVor AIFF/ 24bit / 44.1 , 48kHz 88.2 or 96Khz sample rate Preparations: WITHOUT MasteringEQ / MasteringCompressor / MasteringLimiter on the stereo track; NO Dithering. Naming: Please make sure that your track is properly named, including the artist, title AND the bpm of your song. Example: Artist-SongTitle_(Stems)_XXXBPM.zip File Compression: All WAV/ AIFF files above 150 megabyte should be compressed into APE (prg:WIN,OSX) or FLAC (prg:WIN,OSX) format, and these should be together archived into a ZIP. Please send your zip file via WeTransfer (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org). Sound Alike: If you have a favourite song that sounds similar to what you would like to achieve, please also send this referential track (minimum format: 192kbps mp3). Name this track according to the following example: Reference_Artist-SongTitle_XXXkbps.mp3 (or .WAV, or .AIFF)
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