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Author Topic: Stem Mastering  (Read 3254 times)


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Re: Stem Mastering
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2009, 03:11:59 pm »

we'll I got to admit the master did sound better with changes on the stems as opposed to the 2 channel mix (the client wanted it loud and bright)

It obviously took more time so whether not I would want to do it all the time I don't know. It does allow you to be creative but at the back of mind I'm thinking should I be this creative? I think you would have to have very good communication with the client because you could quite easily take it to a place where the client didn't want you to take the mix. I also felt a bit more pressure to perform as well which was quite strange.

Certainly a lot to think about.


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Re: Stem Mastering
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2009, 09:43:23 pm »

Getting off topic, I know, but Peter Gabriel famously released the individual tracks for "Shock the Monkey" a couple years ago in a Real World remix competition (wicked headphone bleed on the vocal track), and I think Trent Reznor has done it too more recently.


Jerry Tubb

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Re: Stem Mastering
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2009, 11:19:45 pm »

jdg wrote on Mon, 06 April 2009 13:05

i personally hate stems.

Don't hold back john, tell us how you really feel!

Greg Youngman wrote on Tue, 07 April 2009 12:25

a Zappa album of stems, whereby the listener would have control of the mix with 8 tracks.

Reminds of that Todd Rundgren CD-ROM that came out in the early '90s where the user could alter the mix as it played, anyone remember that one?

I always thought it would be a great idea for some of the classic rock albums to be released as tracks or stems, create your own mix of Sgt Pepper, Axis Bold as Love, Disraeli Gears, etc.

But back on topic.

I occasionally get stems, usually vocal level related, can be a good thing if handled properly. Also folks often bring in the entire mix on their laptops for last minute tweaks.

On a recent session, the speed metal band (I love that stuff, heavy rock, freedom rock, etc.) showed up with 1/4" 15ips +6 RMGI tape, and stems on PT sessions, in case there were tweaks needed.

So we put on both versions and AB'd.

The mix from the tape (on my ATR) sounded so much better, the bands eyebrows went up and jaws dropped. So we trashed the stems and went with analog.

Best - JT
Terra Nova Mastering
Celebrating 20 years of Mastering!
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