Native Instruments today launched Stems, their multi-track audio format. Stems introduces what NI is calling “enhanced performance possibilities” for DJs and a “new paradigm” for the greater music industry.
Stems is an open file format which allows the user the ability to manipulate (and, in NI’s words, “freely interact with”) a track’s four different musical elements – such as drums, bass, keys and vocals. The volume, filter, and effects settings of each stem can be controlled independently, enabling creation of “instant” new mixes, mashups, instrumentals, a cappellas, and more.
Concurrent with the format debut, several major online music stores (Beatport, Bleep, Juno, Traxsource, whatpeopleplay, and Wasabeat) are releasing tracks in the Stems format from “top artists and labels.”
To support hands-on control of Stem files, there is a free update for Traktor Pro (v 2.9). (Information on the software update here.)
For Traktor Kontrol S8 and D2, the Stems View provides a color-coded overview of a track’s four stems as stacked waveforms, allowing DJs in-depth, multi-channel control over a single track. DJs with a Stems-ready controller will be able to start playing Stems right away.
Stems are now free to download in Stems format directly from the Native Instruments website. The www.stems-music.com website will provide information and support for playing and creating Stems.
In addition, later this summer, Native Instruments will release the free Stem Creator Tool – a standalone application that opens the door for anyone to create their own Stem files. [NI also says, “DJs can also follow the global discussion online by using and searching for the hashtag #playstems” -ed.]
To mark the launch of the new technology, Native Instruments is offering special pricing (through September 30, 2015) on Stems-ready DJ controllers, Traktor Kontrol S8, D2, and F1. The offer is available via the NI Online Shop and at participating music retailers.
More information is available at the Native Instruments website.