Native Instruments has released more info on its new Stems format – an open audio file format that basically contains four ‘stem’ tracks (for example – bass, drums, melody & vocals) along with the full mix. The format is designed to simplify live remixing of tracks, because it provides a standard way to deliver remix-friendly audio.
Here’s their video overview of Stem files:
Stem files use the .mp4 container format to store the four individual stems of a track within a single file. Using the file extension .stem.mp4, this single file can be managed just like an mp3 file.
A standard master version of the track is also included in the file and can even be played in stereo with any compatible audio player following standard mp4 specs, like iTunes for example. To play with a track’s individual stems, Stem-compatible software or hardware is required.
Native plans to make its Stem Creator Tool available as a free download later this summer. In the meantime, they’ve introduced a new site, Stems Music, as a repository for information on the new format.