NI STEMS Support: Possible future feature?

When NI announced it’s STEMS format a couple years, ago, I got excited. This format is much simpler than what they had previously attempted with remix decks (which required a lot of setup work).

I was also impressed (as a Software Engineer myself) NI’s approach to the STEMS format: It’s based on the completely standardized MP4 file format, and they’ve published an open spec so that anyone can go off and implement support for the format.

The SC5000 seems like a potential great fit for this format. Imagine loading up a STEMS file, and then having virtual faders available on the touch screen to adjust the different components of the track. Drop a vocal, play just a bass line, the possibilities could be great.

With multiple vendors supporting the format, it might also increase it’s popularity.

Currently, STEMS selection is rather limited, but it shouldn’t have to be.

Something to add to the feature list… (which I’m sure is already pretty long!)

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The fact that STEMS never really took off (no other companies making products, very limited sources for tracks) is a bit indicative of it being a solution for a rather narrow segment of DJs.

By the same token, if you can build in the functionality and not have it bother those that do NOT want to use STEMS, why not. Of course, the effort to program this in will always be checked against what else is on the wishlist and how big a group of DJs you would please with that. Which means any STEMS compatibility might just stay firmly in the future

Yes, I think NI didn’t quite do the release right. When they first came out, of course they only worked in Traktor (and still do).

The initial release also required special hardware for them to even work (F1 or S8), which again limited the market of DJ’s that would use the format.

With such a limited market, what is the incentive for producers to create STEMS tracks?

I also wonder how many producers don’t actually want to produce STEMS tracks. All of a sudden your beautiful creation is being hacked up by any DJ that downloads the file and messes with it :slight_smile:

Still, with a club standard-ish player supporting the format, I can see it’s utility.

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I agree with your notion that it does open up the road to severely mutilating a track from the way the producer intended it.

It’s not that technically challenging thing to make STEMS. All tracks are produced in DAWs these days as multi-track recordings (actually that is where the name stems come from, a stem being a discrete or grouped set of tracks to be handled as one downline in a recording/mastering situation). So it should be easy to create the 4 groups needs for STEMS. That said, it IS extra work and you ARE giving insight into your production methods to a point I guess.

And as it is indeed an open format, everyone is allowed to make STEMS. The fact that so few people do … well …

I think that STEMS never really took of is because even the major player behind native instruments, richie hawtin, and other big names that are famous for their live performances like Chris Liebing an so fort, never really used the STEMS at all. Also the limitations by native instruments to make STEMS only usable with NI hardware only is frankly a bit dumb. The same happend with the remix decks and it took the nearly 2 years to open them up to other midi controllers.

Back to the topic: i would like to see this feature or maybe denons own spin on this kind of media format, because i am always looking for easy ways to add loops an snippets to my sets.

Hi all - thanks for the comments and feedback. Our Product Team always have eyes on what you guys are thinking/wanting…

Was there ever more than about 50 tracks kscreleased as stems ?

Lol, there’s quite a bit more than that. Check them out on beatport.

I played with stems for a while even bought a kontrol f1 for Traktor. But after a few month i sold it cause there were to less new stems files from the “big players”. As I’m working for a local radio station we play mainly commercial bigroom music and there’s to less stems music available.

Had a look at beat port and theres about 40 “singles” broken down as stems and what seems to be about 20 albums of stems. when you then think about which ones are tracks that anyone would play in their set then its not all that good either. maybe it was one of those things that the record mkers would have made more stem releases if more people bought more stem hardware but more people would have bought more stem hardware if the record makers had released more stems haha. may be. the moment has passed now and i guess that we will never now know

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Stems were great in theory and offered a new route, but more for producers rather than working DJs.

Just another one of these things that could have been groundbreaking if supported by more people.

yeah stems was of little interet to me as I DJ rather than remix or produce. As tractor have had a lump sum investment recent I hope they spend the investment on things other than yet more midi hardware or stems. theyve ok on software but with so much interest in stand alone solutions i dont know what tractor and the rest would see as the right future for developments.