Native Instruments has officially launched its Stems file format today and announced Traktor 2.9, which is the first DJ software that can play Stems.
There’s something about this that doesn’t sit quite right with me. So, there’s this new format, “Stems”, that provides 4 separate tracks within a finished tune for DJs to mix with. All fine, so what’s my problem with this?
It’s like this: as things stand at the moment, if I want to remix someone I have to a) get their permission, b) obtain stems from them or c) painstakingly reconstruct the parts that I want to use. If someone wants to remix a piece of mine, they have to go through the same process. Along the way, there’s a critical part where each party assesses the other and decides whether they want to go ahead.
I feel that the risk with this format is that there will be an additional commercial or creative pressure on producers to make their music available for remixing through the Stems format, with none of the communication and quality-control that’s presently available.
Not that I get remixed that often, though…