Workshop 5 - Native Instruments: Stems - A New way to play with Sian


Decibel Conference


Lesson Info

Workshop 5 - Native Instruments: Stems - A New way to play with Sian

I'd like to bring out the lead us product specialists for native instruments and a good friend of mine mr brian coolest he's going to be talking about the new native instruments stems format which is really a brand new way for for djs tio interact with the music and he's going to tell you more about that and also bring out some special guest artists as well to talk a little bit about how they play one of those artists cy in will be playing tonight at rebar at at twelve o'clock so you should check out his set as well. Warm welcome for branko is already how is everyone doing today excited to be here awesome cool all right, so today what we're going to be talking about is stands his new open audio format that we've created here at native instruments so exploring stems so extends this term has been around forever you know, we've heard the term stems you know, stems in music production we use stems tio mix tracks down stand mastering so the word's been used a lot. So for example, you know, ...

we have uh using a mixing console to mix stems where we have, you know, maybe sixteen, thirty two parts of the track that we're trying to blend all these parts together, you know, we have you visual stems pro tools where you're able to group different parts together, you know, you it might have sixteen different drum samples that you're using in attract and you kind of compress them all down into one drum audio tracker one drum stem and then that brings us to our stems what we've created now with this stems format it's basically we've created this system where you're able to drop in this track a dot stem track and once you bring it into tractor, you're able to manipulate each individual part before stands using the controllers now before we kind of got into doing it ourselves and mixing stems inside of tractor this has been done before with dubbed mixing so for example this is the scientist doing a dumb performance using a mixing console he has a bunch of different stems he has drums, vocals, baseline and some effects as well and he's just recording and mixing this stuff life you can kind of see what he's doing you know the movements he's making the left fader he's adding effects there but then all of these these down here those are the different elements off track with drums bass in the melody so he was just doing that all live so in terms of extends with d j you know, this is also people have been doing this for a while for example, the image on the on the left here that is jeff mills and he's performing with four turntables so each each turntable has a different record he's trying to blend in four different records together. Andi, have something on the right for example, like dead mouse is set up here where it's kind of a combination of performing stems performing his own stems, as well as adding other elements to it, such as adding a keyboard, you know, a lot of a lot of stuff in that deejay booth, but that brings us to today where we're now deejaying with stems it's a lot more accessible. You don't have to have this crazy able to live session where you have thirty two different tracks you still with tractor and stems. Now you have this great hybrid still being able to mix still being able to mix tracks together, but now we're able to start manipulating each individual part separately, so wait, basically, what that was doing marriage is kind of a just a very brief demonstration in kind of the things that I could do in terms of controlling my stands. So sorry about that. So with stems, when I drop in one of these tracks into tractor, what will happen is tractor breaks it up what's already been broken up for you, but visually, it breaks it up on the screen here so that I'm able to see all four elements inside of my stomach so if I hold shift and then hit the square button here it compresses all of these stems so that I just see one hallway form but if I hit shift in the square now I'm able to see all four stands now stems you're able to mix stems and see it on the screens on the the d two as well as the new s five which we actually have set up in the demo booth which you should definitely check out after the workshop andi also we've retrofitted the f one in order for you to perform stands now on all of the systems what I have right now is so d two I have four volume haters which allowed me to control the volume for each individual's then so I can feed in the drum sample if I wanted to just go so I have control over four volume favors for each individual stem now by using these two arrows up here I'm able to navigate between two pages the first page I have is my filter section on which allows me to have a filter purse ten so I could filter the drums so I hit the on one low pass culture turn to the right now it's a high pass filter on aiken filled their multiple parts at the same time nothing on the night so I have volume volume fades for each individual stem I have filter control purse ten and now I also have an effect send purse ten so for example, if I want to use the gator effect on this intro part here, so well, I'm on my effects sent page the's on bones dictate which which stemmed gets the effect applied to it, so I just wanted on this one here you can hear the gator effect, it kind of sounds like this it's overpowering the sample, maybe I want to back it off a little bit, so using the effects, senate control how much of that effect is being added to that stuff like this? You know, it kind of takes away from the clarity of that sample, but if I dial back the effects and just a little bit, I still get the desired effect, but it's not as overpowering. So again, I have been able to add effects unable to add filters, and I'm also able tio mix the volumes of each individual stem now when we're mixing between tracks are also now mixing between stems. What stands now gives us the ability to do is essentially what we've been trying to do a cz djs for a very long time. Now what we're blending between two different tracks were using the cues we're using the the low he accused to try to swap the baselines and swapped the drum samples when you're using those issues they only do so much you would concern down the base on one track, but you're still able to hear the drums you're still able to hear some of the baseline, but with stems, you're able tio actually substitute and swap out each individual part. So for example, if I have this track plane wait, so this actually is a perfect opportunity going to move over to the f one to do this? So the f one ous said, this has been kind of retrofitted in order for you to form stems if I just switch this over to deck a you can actually see the stems are now eliminated on the pads here, so when I lower the drum volume fator like, become more dim filters first, so if I want to mix between two tracks to do stem tracks, essentially what I'm gonna do is just sloppy, huge part individually, so its first maybe swallowed the drums that stopped the baselines, the melody and then maybe the vocal or whatever stems that I'm using. Wait, what I was doing there was I was just swapping, swamping the parts of both stand tracks. There was some swapping a little bit more quickly instead of just swapping the elements for example, just slapping the bass lines, there were points where I was just bringing them in and out you know, trying to create create something new created live remix but essentially the root of it all was just swapping each part separately so you know I could have all the volume haters down and then maybe the first thing that I transition transition drums so I bring the drums down on deck a and then increase the volume on the drum stem on deck b and then keep just keep going with that swap the baselines, solve the melody or solve the vocal you can do this in any order that you want it's completely your choice but they showed the same before the f one it's a it's a great tool to use for stands you can you can't see the stands on the screen like you do on the detour the s e but you still have some very good uh some really amazing control just using the f one again volume fades filter and then also you have a new a new bond for each individual stem, so instead of having a throw the volume fator you could just mute the part and, uh, bring that element out very, very quickly. All right, so in terms of getting these stems there's a couple ways that you can get them the first way is you can purchase them so you can go on be poor juno, for example and then you're able to go to there they have a stem section where you're able to purchase these stem tracks now it's unique for example on b port if you go onto their web site and you purchased one of these stands, you can actually see the four stems that are included in your purchase and you're actually able tio commute in solo each individual stem so before you purchase it you know exactly what this stems are you're not downloading in your favorite track that's now instead is format and you're hoping that you got the vocal and they're hoping that you got that filthy baseline in that track so you're able to purchase them but you're also now able to with the creator tool create your own stems out of using your own productions so awesome so this is the this is the stems creator tool so basically the processes once you've created your production, you figured out what are the four main elements that I want to include in the stem track so maybe it's bass drums, bass melody and vocals so that's the force sense that you're going to use in this package then you also need to make sure that you have the master file the misterio mix now all I have to do is just drag them into the individual slots all right? So I dropped in all the parts here now at the top here, I can I can do my tagging, so aiken label the name, you know, artists label on I can also add tracking on here is well, um, so I have the stems in here, so a couple of things that I could do is I can change the color of each individual stem s o in that color reflects what I see on the screen, and then I can also label it, so I know what each individual stem is. So what I was sitting up here is I have I been switching and be between the master file, the stereo mix and then the stands as well. So what I have at the bottom here is I have a dynamic setting so I can add a compressor in a limiter to the stems themselves. So essentially, what you're trying to do is use the compressor in the limiter you're trying to bounce the mix between the stems, the stem mix, all the four stems that I dropped in here. I've been trying to compare it to the to the stereo mix that I dropped in the stereo mix that's what allows a stem file to be played inside of itunes or played on your iphone, so a stem track, once it's exported, creates a dot stem dot mp for and that mp four allows this file to be playing you know you're on your computer itunes iphone so you're able tio listen to like any other record but once you drop it in a tractor then you're able to mix each individual step so I could just do some basic uh compressing limiting on here so just as an example just make it really drastic so right now we're listening to the stem mix that's the master file so you can hear how there's a difference in volume so I'd be using the compressor and limiter on the stem mix to try to bounce out the difference between these two tracks sounds good in many areas so then I just export the export the track that minute basic give perhaps it for you into this into the dots stem format the dot stem dot mp four so before I drop it into one of the decks inside of tractor, I just have to analyze it first just to make sure that in you is able to detect all the transients I'm able to see the whole way form correctly so just the base there's my affects just the pads and the drugs that way. So it's it's very easy tio to create your own your own stem files all you need is just the four stems and then the thiss stereo mix and then once you drop it into the stennis creator tool and export and it's all good to go but right now I'd like to introduce graham sion sion who's uh artist octopus recordings and carmen result is two time grammy nominee still italy wait a box right here health screwed over can you just say well its accounts searcy it's all about graham here so thank you for coming and thank you brian for that so I just wouldn't talk a bit about yourself and your career and kind of educate the audience about your background because uh and and then after he will get into stems and we'll talk a bit about his his label and how you're using tractor so the party just started all right I didn't play that um so you recently just moved to los angeles because you were born in doubling your raise in spain you've been here for how long? So I kind of between los angeles europe still so have quite a tour for an album which is going like thirty two days in the states so I decided to do space myself another we'll do that ok so you've been attractive user for awhile yet like restrain enough almost four years okay so doing technology can you meet me kind of explain what the climate is going from europe here maybe technically even musically is the same is different basically I think it's specific to techno in the way that you can strip things down especially now it stands you can get a little bit more minimal, which is kind of you know anything about techno was always having that option to be able to pull out you know, the cake or the baseline to reduce things to those kind of four or five elements is really amazing. I think that you know, there is a parallel between, you know, european techno stuff from detroit or new york or l a I think there is it's kind of like a global scene but you know, one of the things I find you in the states is that edie em with bigger commercial music is actually helping plus so power visits from europe are kind of getting the benefit ofthe kid is being pulled into electronic music by more commercial rising out of the picture. So, um when we had met you were really interested in your label, right? So because, as you know, brian said you can buy stems on sort of be porter juno or you can sell them yourself, but I think you know, graham was really interested in his label and making stems for his artists. I mean, you can talk about that. One of my favorite things about it is that you can basically work on a track in the studio and then decide ok, I want to test this truck out in a club at the weekend and just go ahead, make your stems you know, I kind of have this version of your own truck that, you know, maybe you don't give it out, maybe you don't sell it, but it's really nice to have that option off making something different on the fly with the chalk. So you used I think you got the same creator tool quite early. Yes. Oh, yes, pretty. So I do fill in ruin? Yeah, ok, so you guys already saw that that works with the tool it's very simple it's you could do it in minutes and you can make your own stuff. Are you finding that the other artists on the label are starting to ease into? Yeah, I've been encouraging everybody that we work with, we're actually going to try to d stands for every single release. Sometimes it doesn't work out moos files, but we're worlds of going back to buy catalog and put in a stand parts for things that, you know, the more well known tracks there. Maybe someone would want tio deejay with an element of a track that would have had, like a big simp line or a big fall colors. Ok, so your normal set up before stands was a two decks for dex? I was yeah went the traditional route of final seed e j and dr so then I first started with to see djs as my as my controller's then I moved on to two x one's on now my set of his two ex wants to details usually so your hip that you can use the pioneer hardware to control tractor in case you didn't know that okay but you use now the ex ones and yeah dd two's yeah two days visiting one or t two is dependent on in this room in the booth for everything okay, so you're familiar that with stem is you can use the s eight d two in the f one did you show the f warner? Yeah okay also the five as well and the five thank you there's so many you can just kind of show the audience a little bit of have you're doing it in your world because it's works different for everybody so if brian scare was set up so I'm not sure if we're on the same channels but wait just when you're single but I just have a recently that is like divided into four parts already just so basically if you can hear they're pulling out of television so I'm just living it over for sixteen fours so they're pulling that part you can see this is kind of the recognisable part the vocal ah job I can for cushion so it's just based on its own as exactly same is brian went through earlier but this was actually something that I really wanted to do with this track is just keep this because it's kind of the recognizable part so I would also put even always be able to strike out on its own my own personal set up preference is to use my use my x one's for basics like sending um to the fore effects eudes looping on dh transport so they might use this for control and the actual individual uh, divisions of the parts that make sense okay and then using the audio six of the audio audio for your for your car okay um actually just it's worth mentioning that this is powered off thirty two so I have a one power supply going into detail you right on the interface is powered off, which is really useful when you explaining in what they're using to excellence so salty clean I use these for like, two standard transport so I'm I'm playing on four channels, right? Um and I liked the fact that I had four channels which for effects units I'm sending I can use whichever effects you that I want on on either the parts or the trucks something sense yeah, ok, so I was just used to this blair and to be honest, I'm still kind of in a transition off, you know, maybe our might end up working on two d two's you know or still keeping the x one because they're really useful for things like just you know, I know exactly where my two points are my paws or my my loop stuff is so I think that's just the way I started fiddling around with it but yes, constantly evolving so are you stems that you're making? Isn't mohr exclusive that you don't want people to so it's a let out or is it something that you want people to find with people having them but there's a couple that I wanted to make sure the custom off trucks that aren't idea for example, yeah, so it could be nice for djs to be able to testify it and also, you know, have something a little bit exclusive like that yeah, I mean, I think, you know, if you have one deck stereo, one deck stem one can be a remix deck, you could have really what you want I mean, it's just it's a really, uh, performance tool, in my opinion, I mean, you know, not not to say that you can't perform with just two decks, but you can really perform, you know, with four decks, ok, did you want to show anything more about the labou are well, yeah, I mean, basically, this tractor you're just here in this one is is from a yeah see you back here for a second so on here where is it there's a step that I just made you today actually which is it's actually the first time that I started tiu the stems myself um someone from the label was being done by the by the native cars on report but um I've been encouraging the artists to do their own mess around with it so I was also I also kind of figured it that I have to get into things like the color coding and tried to get a format in my head that you know it's it's okay when you're playing around at home and you kind of can you know start saying ok this this baseline could work with this picture on ball a lot but when you're on a stage and you're performing in front of like a big crowd it's really, really hard to keep track of everything when you've got like, a channels of off sam's going off so I found that the color coding was really useful on doing things like always keeping your drums one color always keeping your your base a certain category that you can you know visually when you're just kind of jumping around the stage you can just put your hand on it and so you're by using the d two and you're looking at the screen on the hardware you're not looking at the monitor as much a lot less yeah, which I love because the only thing that really spoke to me about these in and with ex ones with a lot of the time I find myself watching that a computer which is really boring for a crime. I mean, they think you're checking your email. This isn't, you know, um, so this took me away from that and it's, more like a traditional deejay set up for your kind of more focused on the crowd and less squirreling away behind a screen in front of your face, which is really, really nice because it's display, I'm not sure if you can see it, but you know, the display is very, very close to what I was used to with, for example, cpj's better than better than what we're talking about. The color coding when you're given stem created tool in the kit trump's ready, you have read the screen. Yeah, she always know that. You know, when you pull out that red channel, your your picture, I want to thank science.

Class Description

The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.