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Mastering from Stems
Old 3rd July 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Baa-hum-bug to all the nay-sayers...

For me, stem mixing works well every time. It's a win win situation. If I don't need to adjust (post) the mix, I don't. When I need options, I got them without a lot of fuss. If I need to sweeten or change an element of the mix, I just remix the stem it's in. Easy fix and you're back in business.

I set my stems at unity gain and mix while listening to the stereo blend of the stems. The only difference -- I got options down the road if I (or my mastering engineer) choose to make them.

For me, it's not about indecision, it's about continued flexibility before, during and after the mix process.

YMMV, but not by much!
Old 4th July 2003
Here for the gear
Remister's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by jazzius

Mixing is mixing, mastering is mastering,, ne'er the twain shall meet!
It's called Mixtering actually.
Old 4th July 2003
Gear Maniac
Jack the Bear's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Messtering actually.


Tony Mantz.
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and Audio Janitor.
Old 5th July 2003
Lives for gear
loudist's Avatar
🎧 15 years
In theory, it is a great option in mastering to be able to process some elements seperately to make the whole collection of songs more cohesive.
I do it all the time in Wavelab.

But as with all things digital, the potential for abuse is high and that potential will be realised sooner rather than later by nefarious characters in the food chain.
It is a shame, because of the lack of respect that people on the creative side get anymore from:
The Producer
The Label
The Artist
The Mastering House
The Management.

Note that there can be disrespect from differing factions of creative.

Everyone in the process is a wannabe something anymore. Its all become a production, mixing, credit grabbing pissing match that hurts the music more than anything.

Bah Humbug...
Old 5th July 2003
Jules's Avatar
My mentor Bob Potter


Used to make me (and supervise) cut out & throw in the trash out-take mixes (including potentially "usefull option mixes") to ENSURE some A&R mook couldn't get it wrong by selecting the wrong mix or think he was some sort of genius and decide on his own that on of the alternate mixes was better.

I still agree with him.

Again, I will repeat my theory on rock band recording -

During recording the Producer makes decisions, by the end of the project, the band, the manager & the A&R mooks can all start to wonder "when will I get the chance to be the boss". I would be AWESOMELY PISSED OFF if some twirp A&R that used to own a project studio, decided, without me present, to re balance the overall gtr level down and push the vocals up.

I CAN however see the advantage in mastering, but only using something like a DSD Genex would interest me.... "mixing back to PT" doesn't have much alure for me....
Old 5th July 2003
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
On the other hand Jules, how many times have I scratched my head and said 'Are the vocals loud enough?'

Do stems for yourself, don't tell anybody about them. Then when you need to change something later (because you have made that decision whether it's from hearing A&R guys chirping on or not) you can.

From recent experience I am now ALWAYS going to do stems, I think it's really useful.
Old 6th July 2003
Jules's Avatar
Hmmm "secret stems" eh?

Now thats more like it...

Hmmm.. it's not instantly obvious to me how to create them using my set up..Nor how to take it to mastering..

But I will have a ponder on it.
Old 6th July 2003
Here for the gear
plenky's Avatar
🎧 15 years
now i always do these steems:

lead vox

i also do these mixes:

full vox
playback(tv mix)
Lead Vox only

this way i am save! and i got something to start with for the clubmixes as well
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