Stem Mixing & Mastering

Stem Mixing or "Stem Mastering" is a hybrid between our mixing package and our mastering-only package, designed for artists and producers with songs which have already been fully or partially mixed.

Mixing from stems enables us to do almost everything we would during the mixing stage–punchier drums, tighter low end, vocals more up front–all while retaining the essential character of your existing mix.

Before (raised in volume for comparison):

After:

Before (raised in volume for comparison):

After:

With stem mixing, you're giving us more to work with than you would for mastering (a single audio file), but less than you would for mixing (all of the track layers separated). You take all of your individual tracks and export them in groups called "stems."

A stem, also known as a submix, subgroup, or bus track, is a single audio file made by combining similar tracks. For example, you can create a "vocal stem" by soloing all vocal layers simultaneously and exporting them as a single stereo audio file. Unlike for traditional mixing, you should leave all of your volume, panning, plugins, and automation enabled when exporting stems.

With Stem Mixing, we literally "fix your mix": we take care of any technical issues while leaving the creative aspect of the mix to you or your engineer.

Stem Mixing Is Great For:

More About Our Stem Mixing Service

Things Generally Not Included

While it's ultimately up to the discretion of your engineer, it's best to accomplish the following before you send your stems, unless you've paid for full mixing or 8+ stems (same price as full mixing):

Note about delays/reverbs: If you're not happy with the ambience you already have, you're welcome to bypass those effects and let us know you want them, but keep in mind that we can only reach a certain level of detail with 7 stems. For example, if you send us an "all vocals dry" stem and ask for echo, we can't make the background vocals wetter than the lead vocal. They will all have the same echo setting.

Examples of Common Stem Groupings

Hip Hop, Pop, EDM, Electro (anything based on electronic drums)

  1. Vocals
  2. Synths
  3. Kick
  4. 808
  5. Bassline
  6. Snares/claps
  7. All other percussion (hi hats, shaker, crash, etc.) and sound effects

Rock, Folk, Jazz, Country (anything based on live drums)

  1. Vocals
  2. Guitars
  3. Bass
  4. Kick
  5. Snare
  6. All other drum mics: rooms/overheads/toms/etc.
  7. Synth/strings/miscellaneous

Rap/Pop with beat NOT separated onto separate tracks

  1. Instrumental
  2. Verse Vocals
  3. Hook Vocals
  4. Ad Libs

Singer/Songwriter (no drums)

  1. Lead vocal
  2. Background vocals
  3. Acoustic guitar
  4. Tambourine

You may also be interested in: Mastering

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