Well lets say you sell a beat….COOL! You sold a beat, Great! Congrats! You must have some HEAT! Now be sure to make sure your money is right…Then they ask you for a “tracked out” or “stems” version of the beat. I’m sure you have heard of this and wonder “What does that mean? “Well it is not as complicated as you might think. When you hear a song you hear a bunch of sounds mixed together to compliment each other. Now if that song is mixed well everything should “fit”. Nothing should be hard to hear and nothing should be overbearing. Now this single song when recorded was recorded with tracks usually. Whether it was vocals on one and bass on another and drums on yet another there are usually tracks in these DAW days. After all is recorded it is mixed to fit together and then mastered to sound great on multiple systems anywhere and everywhere.
Well when you record an instrumental or a beat you eventually burn it on cd or export as wav/mp3 right? as 1 stereo track. Well when your mixing your song you have all the elements on separate tracks. That’s all they want. They want the instruments on a track separate from the rest of the other tracks, that gives them the ability to mix the song themselves! Now I’m sure you have heard on mix tapes when your favorite rapper raps to a beat. No matter what it never sounds as good as the original. The only way it does is if the instrumental was tracked out individually. The reason for this is because when all you do is sing, play along with or rap to a already mixed song it is harder to make the vocals “fit”. Everything has been mixed to sound good together-WITHOUT the vocals. When you have everything tracked out to individual tracks it helps them “glue” everything together. Now I know what your wondering…”I use software. So how do I make all my tracks separate!? I don’t want to solo each track and wait for the whole song to export!” Well guess what? YOU DON’T! Just about every DAW I have seen has a feature to export each channel or track individually, pretty cool huh? Now I usually hold of on tracking out my songs for people unless they buy the song as a exclusive. No leasing here. If you lease you get a stereo wav or mp3. That way if they are serious about their music and getting a good sounding song they are willing to pay for it. Now take advantage of the new found knowledge!
Now get to separating those stems!