How do NI Stems work exactly?
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Tech Convert
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default How do NI Stems work exactly?

    So, here we go, Traktor 2.10.1 is out so I decided to give a try to the Stem format by creating my own Stem file.

    I'm trying here to figure out exactly what is going on with audio, since I consider that it's a big deal to make a special mastering of your track in a software you don't especially want to use : why would I use a NI not-specialized-at-all tool to master my track if I'm used to professional mastering?

    For those who don't know at all how it works, quickly : the master file you are adding has nothing to see with Traktor, it is for your media/mp3 player, so you can apply the mastering you want it won't be heard in Traktor.

    As you don't want your track to sound too different in both cases (ie club vs home), you have the choice between:

    1. Mixing perfectly your stems in the DAW so you don't have to apply any mastering fx and thus bypass NI mastering tool.
    2. Using the NI mastering tool and it's "comparison" function so you try to get the smallest gap possible between your officially mastered track (the master Stem) and your Traktor version (4 Stems mix).



    The option 1 feasible but quite difficult to achieve since it requires some mixing skills. Also you have to know that "bypass" in the Stems Creator Tool only affect listening. If you don't touch anything in the mastering section it is ANYWAY going to apply some compression. So you have to deactivate compressor and limiter ("off") in the "Expert" mode.
    I tried that but, for some obscure reasons, it peaks at very low levels. So it appears that the rule is the following : the more you use the NI mastering tool, the higher you will be able to push the volume in Traktor without clipping. I'm not an expert in mixing/mastering tho, so maybe it is possible to get something sufficiently thick without using the NI tool (waiting for some input from you guys on this).

    The option 2 is actually the main reason of me writing this thread . While using the NI tool I saw that it thickens the resulting waveform (ie the Traktor "master" track, not the 5th file) but also the 4 tracks individually. So my question is what kind of mastering is this ??? here is all the sub-questions i have in mind, if some of you could bring some enlightenment to this...

    • Is it adding compressor/limiter on the stems individually, or on the stems individually AND the "master" ?
    • Is it real time or written ? Like... is it calculating the compression/limiting depending the amount of tracks playing or something ?
    • Hence, is it better in terms of performance if i choose to not use the NI mastering tool?



    That's it for now
    P.S. : there is a bug when you use accents like "é" "É" etc. in the stems names, Traktor literally crashes hard.

  2. #2
    Tech Convert
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Ok so noone knows, noone cares lol

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    6,470

    Default

    It's not straight forward.

    When you master a track, you master the combined parts of the track.

    When you create a stems file, you're planning to play only certain parts of the track - a high hat pattern, or drums only, let's say.

    So - if you were to master ONLY the hats/drum part, it would be mastered to be played ALONE, and not to be listened to in the context of a finished track.

    The stems creator tool (I guess) must add different levels of compression depending on how many stems you are playing at any one time...
    Last edited by Patch; 03-02-2016 at 04:09 PM.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

  4. #4
    Tech Convert
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Mastering isnt supposed to be something you do on individual tracks or even group of tracks (that is mixing), that is not the concept, that's why I find it quite disturbing.

    By the way, if what you say is true (different levels of compression depending how many tracks are played) it means that the mastering is done in real time, which is pretty huge to know. Especially if we think about the fact that we are waiting for a comp/limiter section on the traktor out for ages.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    São Paulo - Brazil
    Posts
    778

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aken View Post
    Mastering isnt supposed to be something you do on individual tracks or even group of tracks (that is mixing), that is not the concept, that's why I find it quite disturbing.

    By the way, if what you say is true (different levels of compression depending how many tracks are played) it means that the mastering is done in real time, which is pretty huge to know. Especially if we think about the fact that we are waiting for a comp/limiter section on the traktor out for ages.
    What he saying is right.
    13" Macbook Air i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD | Traktor 2.7.1 | Ableton Live 9 | DJM-900 Nexus | NI Audio 10 | A&H Xone:K2 | Oyaide USB & RCA | HDJ-2000 | Odyssey BRLDIGITAL Bag

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    6,470

    Default

    But a "part" (stem) is not supposed to be played on its own. It would sound too dry if we tried to dj with parts/stems that had not been treated to allow them to be played as stand alone elements...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Default

    The acapellas (vocal track) are the only thing I'm interested in.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    São Paulo - Brazil
    Posts
    778

    Default

    Last time I used Stems (before this "stem view" update) they where getting out of sync. Like the individual stems of the track getting out of sync inside a single deck lol.

    I this problem still happening?
    13" Macbook Air i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD | Traktor 2.7.1 | Ableton Live 9 | DJM-900 Nexus | NI Audio 10 | A&H Xone:K2 | Oyaide USB & RCA | HDJ-2000 | Odyssey BRLDIGITAL Bag

  10. #10
    Tech Convert
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Yes it is happening a lot to me too :/

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •