Preparing mixes for STEMS mastering

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The main track fee + R100 per stem. Maximum 6 stems. This is an Add-On and can only be booked with a main track for mastering.

Mixing for a STEMS-master?

Particular care should be taken when preparing a mix for STEMS mastering. The entire mix should be planned as a STEMS project from the start to avoid harmful ways that gain-structure can interact with master-bus processors.

If you sub-mix elements like Drums, Bass, Guitars, Keys and vocals into stems, and then mix them through stereo-buss processors like a compressor for example, the stereo bus compressor will affect the whole mix proportionately to the the signal at the compressor inputs, while, when soloing the stem alone, the compressor will behave completely differently since the signal at the compressor input will be different (lower) to when the entire mix is acting on it. This will happen to all the stems to varying degrees, so, when you re-combine the stems and compare it to the mix on the board they won’t sound the same as when the whole mix is playing through the compressor on the stereo-bus.

If you’ve planned the mix well from the start and can implement the stems mix without anything on the stereo bus then stems can yield very good results when passed on for mastering.

Bottom line: If your mixing for a stems master – DON’T use stereo bus processing! Or, make sure you’re doing it deliberately .