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While there are many different practices for creating stems from a project, there are certain guidelines that should be universally met and used. Before going into specific types of tracks to be exported, the following principles must be met to insure no faults are to be made:


Overlying Principles


  1. All stems should have the exact same start and end times. This will ensure there are no chances of syncing issues.

    • Example: all stems starting at beat one or the one second marker.

  2. Unless told otherwise, do not send comps of overlapping parts and or instruments.

    • Example: do not send a stem that contains “All drums”, “All vocals”, “All guitars”, etc.


Types of Stems


Depending on the project, you may be required to provide multiple forms of stems. These come in the following:


  1. Wet Stems - This includes all effects, automation, track processing, instrument bus processing, mix/master bus processing, etc that was created from your mix.

  2. Dry Stems - Similar to the wet stems, but without any effects (delays, modulations, reverbs, etc). Keep everything else active i.e. equalizers, automations, compression, etc.

  3. Effects (FX) Stems - This includes all of your parallel auxiliary tracks i.e. reverbs, delays, modulations, parallel distortions, etc.

Naming Files


  • For all stems & files, use the following naming convention to keep everything compact and in order:

    • Artist_Song Name_Instrument Name_Type of Stem_Date

        • Example: The Foes of Fern_Bike Song_Guitar Solo #2_3.30.2020

        • Example: Max Viner_New Normal_Hall Reverb FX_2.21.2019


Exporting Files


All stems & files should be stored in a parent folder with the following naming convention:

        • Artist_Song Name_Stems_Date


Once you have made the parent folder, create three new sub-folders with the following naming convention:

        • Artist_Song Name_WET STEMS_Date

        • Artist_Song Name_DRY STEMS_Date

        • Artist_Song Name_EFFECTS (FX) STEMS_Date

  1. From here, export all of your stems to its appropriate folder depending on the type of stem.

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