Native Instruments Releases STEMS File Format with TRAKTOR PRO 2.9 Update

Stems-ready TRAKTOR software and hardware are here! Native Instruments announced today the release of their STEMS multitrack audio format to the public along with TRAKTOR PRO 2.9. The free TRAKTOR PRO 2.9 update brings full STEMS control to TRAKTOR KONTROL S8, D2, and F1. 

STEMS + Traktor Pro 2.9

Native Instruments announced today that they are releasing their STEMS multitrack audio format to the public along with  a new version of TRAKTOR PRO 2 that will support the new format.

Press Release: Berlin, August 3, 2015 – Developed by Native Instruments, Stems is an open file format providing the ability to freely interact with a track’s four different musical elements – such as drums, bass, keys and vocals. Each stem’s volume, filter, and effects settings can be controlled independently to create instant new mixes, mashups, instrumentals, a cappellas, and more. Since Stems was announced in May 2015, six major online retailers Beatport, Bleep, Juno, Traxsource, whatpeopleplay, and Wasabeat have officially begun stocking hundreds of releases from prominent artists and labels in Stems format on their respective sites. From some of 2015’s biggest albums to favorite hits, the list of labels releasing in Stems format is continuously growing.

Hands-on control of Stem files is now possible with the TRAKTOR PRO 2.9 update – the first DJ software to support Stems. For TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 and D2 the Stems View provides a clear, color-coded overview of a track’s four stems as stacked waveforms – granting DJs in-depth, multi-channel control over a single track. DJs with a Stems-ready controller will be able to start playing Stems right away. Three Stems tracks played by Berlin-based DJ-producer NGHT DRPS in a new performance video featuring Stems are now free to download in Stems format directly from the Native Instruments website.

To support the online community of DJs, as well as producers, developers, and industry professionals, will act as the official home for important information about playing and creating Stems. Later this summer, Native Instruments will release the free Stem Creator Tool – a standalone application that opens the door for anyone to create their own Stem files.



Dubspot instructor ENDO told us about this format back in April when he explained:

Stems is a new open audio file format that contains an audio track split into four musical elements. For example, you could set up a drum stem, bass stem, synth stem, and a vocal stem. It also contains the full stereo mix of all four Stems mixed together. The stem file is a container that holds all of these elements into a single file with the .stem.mp4 file extension. Since Stems is an open audio format, it can be supported by any DJ software or hardware. The code and format specifications will also be available if anyone wants to integrate Stems into their future music performance and production tools. The open file format also allows anyone to create Stems without paying licensing fees for creation, distribution, or use. As of now the only program that supports Stems is Traktor, but I’m sure we will see others supporting this new file format very soon.

Stems files can be played back using any audio player or DJ software that supports MP4’s such as iTunes, Serato, and even a CDJ. You can also put Stems into iTunes playlists just like they were any other song in your collection. If you play the song in iTunes, or any program that doesn’t support Stems it will just play the mixed stereo file like it was any other track or MP3.

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