Preparing Stems For Mixing & Mastering

Provide 24bit stems in wav or aif format.  Keep the same sample rate as you are using in your DAW (44.1kHz is fine)

Provide as many stems as you can up to a maximum of around 50. The more instrument/drum/percussion/vocal stems I have, the more control I have. I want to achieve the absolute best sound possible.  A typical record shouldn’t need more than around 50 stems including vocals so consider whether certain sounds could be grouped if they are very similar sounding (fx sounds for example).

If the vocal/instrument/drum/percussion track is mono, you can provide a mono stem.

Bounce/export all stems starting at the same bar position on your arrangement.

Include all fx, automation & sidechain compression in your stems. If I need anything dry or unprocessed I’ll ask for it.

Bounce/export the stems at the same volume as they are in your track. This will ensure that I know the general balance that you are looking for. I.e. don’t put all of your tracks at unity gain before bouncing and don’t normalize the stems afterwards.

Remove any type of compression or effects from your master output channel before you bounce/export the stems. Keep the master fader at the same setting for all stems.

Name each stem file as the name of the instrument – rather than including artist name/track name etc.  Please put your newly created stems in a new project to check that they are all as they should be (solo each stem as well as check them all playing together).

Group your stems and put them into folders, i.e separate folders for drums, bass, leads, pads, guitars, fx, vocals etc.  ZIP up your folders and upload the ZIP/RAR file to – let me know when you’ve uploaded it!