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This article was published on August 3, 2015

Stems, a new open file format for DJs, makes mixing easier than ever

Stems, a new open file format for DJs, makes mixing easier than ever
Amanda Connolly
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Amanda Connolly

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Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter

Native Instruments announced earlier this year that it was working on a new open music format designed for creative mixing and DJing called Stems.

The new format lets you split the tracks into four elements – usually bass, vocals, drums and synths – so you can control each one independently. This means you can add effects to individual elements, mix specific parts of different tracks together and get instant access to acapella or instrumental versions of tracks.

The stem file format isn’t new for anyone who’ve used Ableton Live, but now it’s a way for DJs and producers of all levels to experiment with their tracks.

It’s not just DJs and producers that can benefit from the open format though, labels and retailers could potentially start offering stem versions of tracks at a premium price to make some more revenue as well.

Stem tracks play on any software player that supports MP4 formats, making them iTunes-compatible as well.

Stems is available today on music stores Beatport and Traxsource.

➤ Stems

Read next: Edjing’s wireless crossfader will give DJs even more control, even fewer reasons to own turntables