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Thread: Stems or no stems when going to mastering?

  1. #1
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    Stems or no stems when going to mastering?

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    I know there are a lot of mastering engineers on here and I was just wondering what do you guys prefer, a stereo mix down of the song or separate stems for say drums, bass, instruments, and vocals?
    Thanks for any answers
    Matt
    ART DPSII> FIREPOD>LAPTOP. BCF2000 control surface and toooo many mics. KRK RP5's. Logic Pro 9
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    I don't think you'd ever find a mastering engineer that would actually prefer to receive stems...

    Most of us prefer that the mixing engineer can actually commit to a mix.


    (Not counting goofy things like instrumental and a'capella versions and such, of course)

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    And on the other side of the coin, most mix engineers would prefer *not* to provide an unfinished mix to the mastering engineer.

    Additionally, it's not necessarily an either/or choice, either. Often times the mix engineer will provide both; the 2mix being the mix engineer's (or the producer's) "close enough" sample version of how they would like the mix to sound and the stems giving the mastering engineer something more raw to work with should the 2mix itself be problematic.

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    Personally if I feel the Master will be better via using stems rather than just a stereo Mix then I will ask for the stems.
    I tend to give Mix critique when clients send me mixes, but if for any reason they cannot change the mix then I will happily take stems. Anything to make the final outcome the best.

    Eck (G)

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    Cool thanks guys.
    The way I was thinking is that you have a mix that is commited but you take the stems along incase the mastering engineer feels on their system that more of a certain part is needed and that it would translate better onto other speakers and stuff.
    Thanks for the replies guys its nice to hear coming from you masterers
    ART DPSII> FIREPOD>LAPTOP. BCF2000 control surface and toooo many mics. KRK RP5's. Logic Pro 9
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    I'm with John. Not preferred, but have no problem working with them.

    I'd rather have the artist, producer, and engineer set with the mix and go from there, but there can always be a whole bunch of if's, and's or but's involved.

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    The current issue of MIX magazine is devoted to the ever-growing "blur" between mixing and mastering...and most of these questions are covered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    The current issue of MIX magazine is devoted to the ever-growing "blur" between mixing and mastering...and most of these questions are covered.
    Surprisingly, not a bad issue (got it a couple days ago)...at least they don't make it more confusing.; )

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