Mixing 101: What Is a Stem

You want to learn how to mix hip-hop, mix rap and mix r&b so you gotta know the lingo. Today we answer what is a stem.

a stem is a single element of a multi-track production

What is a Stem?

A stem, like we said before the jump, is a single element of a multi-track production. A beat could consist of a kick drum, a layered snare, 808, and a few samples with each one of those elements by themselves being considered a stem. A stem is literally just an audio file for what you consider a piece of a production.

Why Use Stems?

Stems can make it easier to mix by giving you flexibility to tweak individual elements. Using stems can also make mixing easier on your computer. Your computer doesn’t have to work as hard to playback audio files as it does to render MIDI through Virtual Instruments, freeing up valuable processing resources for other things. Using stems also helps you mix more effectively because you’ll be more likely to make decisions that move the mix forward rather than trying to re-produce the song you’re working on.

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Hip Hop Mixing by TeslaThemes