Native Instruments are always looking to push the art of DJing forward. They were among the first to allow control of digital sound files via timecoded vinyl with their Final Scratch package, and since then have provided a myriad of other controllers, giving DJs an increasingly wide range of instruments on which to perform their music and hopefully come up with some next-level sets.
The basic idea is as old as DJing itself; namely, to blend two or more records with the intention of creating something new in the process.
Innovative DJs like Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Claude Young, Dave Clarke and even good ol’ Carl Cox were famous back in the day for progressing from two to three turntables in order to create more complex blends and unexpected combinations of music and rhythms.
With Stems, NI have gone back to the source of the music and asked the question:
“What if, instead of having to EQ out the Bass Frequencies on one record so you could blend just its vocal part with another record, the track itself was split into Drums, Bass, Vocal and Melody and you could select any one of these elements for mixing with other tracks???”
So that’s what they did. At the track’s production stage, in addition to creating a Stereo Master for normal playback, the artist will group together the different elements of their track into these Stems and make them available separately for digital download through Beatport and other digital music stores. Native Instruments have made STEMS an open file format so anyone can use it without license or cost so it should start appearing as an option in your favourite music software pretty sharpish.
It’s a fairly radical idea and one which will of course require the artists and labels in the electronic music community to buy into the concept in order for it to be a success, but it has the potential to really open things up for creative DJs.
NI have created a website which delves into the details: http://www.stems-music.com/stems-is-for-djs/index.html
There’s also a video on the subject here:
And even better, for a limited period Native Instruments are giving you the opportunity to dive into the possibilities of Stems by offering products such as the Kontrol D2, Kontrol S8 and Kontrol F1 at discounted prices.
Click on the banner below to check out the range of Stems-ready special offers here at Rubadub.