Free Mac App Lets You Create STEMS Format Files

While the official Native Instruments STEMS app is still to be released, developer Alexander Nowak has released a tool for Mac OS X that lets you create STEMS format music files now.

Here’s what he has to say about it:

So far it only runs on Mac and it’s still quite unstable if you do anything but what he says in the video. Some people said you have to be on the latest version of Java and control-click the .jar to make it work, this way it seems to work on all modern versions of OSX.

This version only covers importing the 4+1 tracks into the STEM file, but Nowak plans to include the compressing unit, custom artwork and artist information in the next versions.

It’s a free download (.zip), but is an early beta. The developer notes, ‘ don’t even know if it runs on any other computer but mine, let’s see, good luck. Please also read the README.txt cuz the app is still fragile af, if you do one thing wrong it won’t warn you, it will just fuck up on spot lol.”

If you want to give any feedback, contact the developer directly at mss.geoteach[at]

8 thoughts on “Free Mac App Lets You Create STEMS Format Files

    1. …and I’ll not-so-patiently wait for STEMS to fade into rightful obscurity on the Island of Abandoned File Formats.


  1. How many will be saying in the future, “No – I said send me the stems, not a f*cking STEM format!” For me a new format like this, in both execution and adoption, is just another reason to hate people – I don’t see how I can make any ground in respecting anybody involved in such a base level of dysfunction.

    1. It sounds like you don’t need more reasons to hate people, but have that covered already.

      When it comes to hating on Stems – it’s clear that many have either a complete ignorance of live remixing or just a prejudice against the idea.

      Barring that, it’s impossible to justify the hate for free software and open standards.

      1. Sometimes you need more of a reason than stupidity, but you can always do with a new reason to hate on people transcending that.

        I don’t think you can define how people hate the STEMS idea based on two reasoning, it goes much deeper. It has little to do with live remixing or the fine skills needed to do that without such a system, or a prejudice against a tragic idea for that – considering the world functioned till now without that.

        Given that it is an ill-formed idea, free software and open standards don’t mean much. It is just a land-grab by a stale and deeply unimaginative company trying to leverage the market – fail.

        1. Absolutely insane rant. Basically, you have 4 uncompressed stems that can be played, in time with each other, in a single container that can already play that container. You can take them apart if you want, and it encourages people to experiment more with music. It just encourages musicians to provide separate tracks that can be isolated while inside the container, and demuxed for later use. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Either way, get over it.

          But whatever, hate away.

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