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Making stems ought to be a step in your production workflow

Forget about whether anyone is going to listen to that release, let alone whether you’ll make money. Finishing is a beautiful feeling. Something happens when you get to that phase of adjusting the final mix, bouncing for mastering. For many of us, that last step involves a stereo bounce. But I think it’s high time to start thinking in terms of stems (both in the lowercase, and the all-caps STEMS Native Instruments is keen for you to use).

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Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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NASA Posts a Huge Library of Space Sounds, And You’re Free To Use Them

Space is the place. Again. And SoundCloud is now a place you can find sounds from the US government space agency, NASA. In addition to the requisite vocal clips (“Houston, we’ve had a problem” and “The Eagle has landed”), you get a lot more. There are rocket sounds, the chirps of satellites and equipment, lightning on Jupiter, interstellar plasma and radio emissions. And in one nod to humanity, and not just American humanity, there’s the Soviet satellite Sputnik (among many projects that are international in nature). Many of these sounds were available before; I’ve actually used a number of them …

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Wu Tang Debuts Song in Hackable Form: New Track on Blend First

If the album business model is collapsing, the frantic rush to everything else is at least interesting. Hip hop as a genre, of course, came from a deconstruction and reconstruction of the album, from the early evolution of DJ techniques and sampling. So, the fact that Wu Tang is skipping the conventional release altogether is new, but it’s also connected to history. Sure, plenty of artists have gone for remix contests and the like. What’s different in Wu Tang’s case is that this time, the debut track “So Many Detailz” from their Parent Advisory will head straight to Blend as …

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Moby Opens Up Project Files for Remixing in Ableton, Pro Tools [Exclusive Details, VIP Code]

What do you do when you’ve been one of the biggest impacts on electronic music, outlasting a succession of trends and fads, remaining one of the best-known names in sound? I mean, you can’t just start giving things away, right? Actually, if you’re Moby, that’s exactly what you do. He wants you to collaborate with him – and he’s made it really easy (even if you want to get something out of the result). It’s safe to say Moby is different from many of his peers. At the young age of 48, Moby has managed to be a presence in …

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Belgian Gabber Music, Rehabilitated by Playing it at Half Speed

Yes, in addition to the revolutionary step of playing audio in reverse, you can radically alter music by playing it at half speed. And so it is that Belgian gabber tunes many would fine unlistenable suddenly sound fresh, grimy, contemporary, and irresistible. Who knows what other life experiences could be transformed by simply altering the speed? (Maybe we need to be half speed.) Not embeddable, so listen here: This Is Belgium: Conceptuele Post-Hipster Neo-Gabber By Radio Soulwax [Light Sound Dimension] The “remixers” explain: Even though these Belgian records sound very “now”, they are actually 20 years old and were meant …

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kelp

A Remix Crosses the Globe, 64 Bars at a Time [Ninja Tune forum Release]

Come on in; the water’s fine. A chain of remixers cross oceans as they remix “Oceandrift,” by Kelp. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Derek Keats. The opening track is aptly-named, a diving bell launched into aquatic depths of ambient sound. But on this release, it’s just the beginning of the journey. From Kelp’s track “Oceandrift,” a set of remixers chart very different musical worlds. They connect across geography via the NinjaTune forum. It’s the latest proof that electronic production need not sound like cut-and-paste templates and presets – and the most recent example of the phenomenon known as the remix chain. What’s a …

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remixdeck

Traktor 2.5, Kontrol F1 Arrive with Live Features; Hoping for More Live DJing

Features come and features go. As upgrades go, Traktor 2.5 has plenty to recommend it – plus, it’s free for current Traktor 2 users, meaning you probably don’t need anyone’s advice to try it out. So, then, the question is: will tools mean that the DJ gigs you hear be any different? There’s nothing wrong with DJs who simply smoothly mix records, whether on vinyl or digital. But that doesn’t stop music fans from sometimes longing for more of a performance. Traktor 2.5 is clearly focused around those “live” features – remixing music rather than just beat-matching and playing. As …

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willits

From a Wide Palette of Sound, Christopher Willits’ Remix Project, Sample by Sample

Christopher Willits playing live at San Francisco’s Public Works in October of this year. Photo courtesy the artist. Sound and light artist, guitarist, Max patcher, and all-around sonically-fascinating guy Christopher Willits has opened up his “Tiger Flower Circle Sun” record on Ghostly to remixing. Halfway through the project, we talk to Chris about what’s going on – and what the results so far sound like. And we share, from earlier this fall, a composition in which you can recharge. The project begins not with stems, but with samples, the raw materials on which the album was based. Christopher walks CDM …

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Video Mashed Kutiman Funk: What if All of YouTube Played a Song?

It’s the soul of YouTube. Or at least, YouTube soul, mashed together. In case you haven’t already seen this making its rounds, an epic collection of instructional and jazzy video clips get mushed together into a colossal, remixed funk band. What’s lovely about this is that the results don’t sound like a mash up: they sound like these clips somehow sprang to life and joined a soul band, playing live. And then the Theremin arrives. You watch one video. And then you find there are seven more. ThruYou is a complete YouTube video album, complete with glitched bits of interface …

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