Mixing with Stems in Post-Production

The Music Telegraph | Text 2021/07/09 [12:47]

Mixing with Stems in Post-Production

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2021/07/09 [12:47]

 

▲ Stems

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Mixing with Stems in Post-Production

 

We have been dealing with individual elements that make up your soundtrack: We have been conforming them to separate tracks. It is now time to mix them together.

 

All the audio in a mix is in some way interrelated. In music recording, for instance, a typical mix will include mutiple tracks of drums, guitars, bass, vocals, etc. Each instrument group will most likely be recorded on separate tracks. Drums, for example, will have at least one track for each, the kick, snare, toms, and overheads. Each individual track will have its own level, but the engineer will also want to change the overall level of the drums as they as a group are combined with other instruments. He or she will need to sub mix the individual tracks to a master fader for ease of mixing.

 

In post-production, the mixing process is very similar. In a typical soundtrack, there may be hundreds of tracks, which will need to be sub mixed into master dialog, music, and sound effects tracks. These are called 'stems'.

 

There is an added value to mixing with stems, and that is the flexibility it offers when doing alternate mixes. You can do remixes without having to return to the individual tracks and reconstruct a complicated mix. For example, if you wanted to replace the dialog in a soundtrack with another language, all you would need to do is record and mix a new dialog stem. Then, you would simply mix it with the original music and SFX. In the end, you would have a new soundtrack with the dialog in a new language but with the rest of the mix (music and sound effects) indentical to the original. 

 

Besides adjusting the levels, you have to clean up your tracks (i.e. you will have to trim your audio regions and get rid of undesired noises, etc.) and apply equalization, dynamics, reverb, plus any other processing that may be needed. You may also apply automation on volume and other parameters that need to change throughout the soundtrack (for example, when the dialog comes in, the music might need to get softer). You have got to get your mix right at this stage. Later on, it will be too late to make any changes inside the stem mixes.  

 

 

 

 

 

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