"can you send me the stems?"

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jdo
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Post by jdo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:44 pm

I assumed the original post was talking about a reworking by another artist and not a new mix... In either case we can all agree that communication is necessary -- if it's one song and can be done while mixing, it's quick and easy. More songs / after the fact means more time, digging for files, etc. Finding out the deal early makes things much easier and less frustrating.

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Post by nestle » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:12 pm

PPhhffff I work everyday as an engineer. Stems are an everyday part of the gig, get over yourselves. SHIFT COMMAND 3 I think will consolidate, make them the same length, export, drop them in Dropbox.. 5 minutes, what's the big deal. Part of the session. This is like the people that used to whine about making CDs 12 years ago. Stems aren't going away, and usually I'm the dude getting them making more coin, love em'

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Post by chris harris » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:48 pm

Who's complaining about it? I think that for the most part, consensus here is just that it's part of what you're hired to do as an engineer and that it's billable work.

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Post by chris harris » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:59 pm

This "5 minutes" thing is also bullshit. Since it's been mentioned twice now, I thought it was worth pointing out how ridiculous that is.

I'm uploading a consolidated session tonight. It's a pretty simple song. But, the consolidated session is just under 2 gigs. I don't have any garbage like Drop Box on my studio computer. But, I assume that it's not really smart to go on doing other work while Drop Box uploads in the background. So, the entire time I'm uploading for clients, my studio computer is tied up and unable to be used for sessions. That's billable. I offer clients backups/stems/archives at the end of every session. They rarely take me up on it, either because they don't want to bring a drive, or they don't want to use part of their session for file management. Either way, whether I'm uploading later, or they come back out to get the files, it's work, and it's billable.

Forgive me for making assumptions since neither of you post any information about your studios or your work.... But, my studio is in a commercial space in a small market. I've got to have a lot of bookings between myself and freelancers coming in, just to cover overhead. I'm paying rent every month. I've got all of the bills/costs associated with operating a commercial property... If I'm in here working, it's billable. It doesn't matter how easy it is. That's also why I don't offer "free setup", or any of that other nonsense that people who don't understand or respect WORK seem to believe should be comped.

If I comped everything that seemed "easy" or "no big deal", I wouldn't be able to keep the doors open.

So, yeah. Obviously making stems or consolidating audio is part of the job. OBVIOUSLY. But, as "part of the job", it's either done during a session that has been paid for, or if it's done outside of a paid session, it's billable at an hourly rate.

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Post by vvv » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:51 am

Image

I don't work in the music industry, but I'm paid by the hour, and sometimes provide/require physical items or others' services to complete the job.

If I'm spending money and/or time and/or effort working for someone, I expect to be paid.

In fact, I insist on it.

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Stems

Post by xpulsar » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:42 am

I mix down stems one every album I mix. I have been doing this for the last 10 years.

The reason for doing this is help in the process of the music making its way into a movie or getting remixed and allowing the sound of my mix to be maintained. So when the post house wants to use just certain elements and have them moving around in the Surround-field it is easy for them and my sounds remain intact. This also helps for the Artist to make more money since the Management or who ever is in charge of such dealings can easily hand the stems to a Licenser ,without having to bug me.

Other reasons for doing this is:

1-This is what is expected in the professional music mixing world.
2- Small tweaks to balances of the stems have allowed me to do quick changes ITB when an artists or label person wants to makes a last minute change. I mixed out on
an analog board with outboard gear, so recalls are a pain. Your fooling yourself if you expect to not have to do a recall when the request is put in to do so,you'll build a reputation of not being flexible.

Of course you bill for your time.

I set out a time line of mixing in the begging with the client, that counts for all if the time it takes to complete a mix with all of the stems.
I am currently mixing 2 songs a day in a 10 hour day with complete stereo stems. Drums,Bass, Guitars, Lead Vocal Dry, Lead Vocal Effects,BGV,Keys, Ambient ,Plates or room Microphones (I tend to record Full bands in the live room and use a coup,e room mica to tie them all together), Strings,Horns,Percussion.
I print what ever separate effects onto their respective stems, except Lead vocal.

If a song is more complex then it will usually take a full day. If I am the one tracking it then it tends to be mixed by the time the tracking is done.

-collin

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Post by tjcasey1 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:48 am

Time is money. The client gotta pay for your time, even if they want to hire you to read a newspaper.

One "rock star" (who will remain unnamed) wanted me to do this for free. I told him he had to pay my hourly rate. He complained that I was taking money out of his family's budget. I told him that to do it for free would take money out of my family's budget, and the stems didn't matter to me, so why should I pay for them instead of him?

He paid, though he was pissed about it. I guess he thought I should have felt privileged to be able to do something for him. Christ, he thought I should be thankful that I was actually in his presence.

Hopefully I'll never have to deal with him again....

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:33 pm

Hi,

I typically have been making backups as recommended by the P&E Wing of the Recording Academy. A working copy, plus two backups, one of them off site.

Then, when the mix is finalized and approved, I make stems, print all individual tracks with whatever effects I processed them with, following the guidelines.

When I get the final approved Master CD (if one is made) or whatever mastered final version, I copy it and include it in a Master Backup, which I keep one copy, and give one copy to the client, in whatever format they provide. This is all billable time, part of the workflow.

Sometimes I get clients who don't want their backup / don't want stems / don't want instrumentals / what have you. I make them anyway.

Because half the time, a few months or a year later, they ask for this stuff anyway. And I will not remix stuff if I don't have to.

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Post by JGriffin » Mon May 05, 2014 9:09 pm

quick anecdote: I was overseas for the past two weeks, and while I was gone a client for whom I'd done two film trailers emailed asking for stems because they'd secured international distribution and needed to redub the trailers in other languages. For reasons unknown this had to be done immediately. Fortunately I had already prepped stems (several of my PT templates are set up for stem and mix routing, so it's all done at once), so my relief engineer was able to quickly find and upload the files.
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Post by analogika » Tue May 06, 2014 3:56 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:Hi,

I typically have been making backups as recommended by the P&E Wing of the Recording Academy. A working copy, plus two backups, one of them off site.

Then, when the mix is finalized and approved, I make stems, print all individual tracks with whatever effects I processed them with, following the guidelines.

When I get the final approved Master CD (if one is made) or whatever mastered final version, I copy it and include it in a Master Backup, which I keep one copy, and give one copy to the client, in whatever format they provide. This is all billable time, part of the workflow.

Sometimes I get clients who don't want their backup / don't want stems / don't want instrumentals / what have you. I make them anyway.

Because half the time, a few months or a year later, they ask for this stuff anyway. And I will not remix stuff if I don't have to.

Cheers
Do you bill immediately as part of the original session deal, or do you bill later if/when they ask for it?

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu May 08, 2014 6:58 am

analogika wrote:
Nick Sevilla wrote:Hi,

I typically have been making backups as recommended by the P&E Wing of the Recording Academy. A working copy, plus two backups, one of them off site.

Then, when the mix is finalized and approved, I make stems, print all individual tracks with whatever effects I processed them with, following the guidelines.

When I get the final approved Master CD (if one is made) or whatever mastered final version, I copy it and include it in a Master Backup, which I keep one copy, and give one copy to the client, in whatever format they provide. This is all billable time, part of the workflow.

Sometimes I get clients who don't want their backup / don't want stems / don't want instrumentals / what have you. I make them anyway.

Because half the time, a few months or a year later, they ask for this stuff anyway. And I will not remix stuff if I don't have to.

Cheers
Do you bill immediately as part of the original session deal, or do you bill later if/when they ask for it?
It is part of the original deal. So far, it has been a Godsend. Half my artists have been able to place their music commercially, or have had "different" type gigs which required stems / consolidated multitracks.

:D
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Post by JGriffin » Thu May 08, 2014 10:48 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote: Half my artists have been able to place their music commercially, or have had "different" type gigs which required stems / consolidated multitracks.

As someone who constantly uses music from bands, music houses or libraries in commercials, this is key. I love when I can get stems for a track. I have so much more flexibility in the edit and at the mix. Sometimes I will decide not to use a track if stems aren't available, usually because there's a part I want to be able to omit and I'm not given the option.
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Post by Dunk » Fri May 09, 2014 5:38 am

I was going to start a new topic but i suppose it's best in here.

when bouncing stems what do you bounce?

The project i'm working on at the moment has 36 track and about 8 busses.

Should i bounce all the tracks and the busses or just the busses and the tracks that aren't bussed?

hope that makes sense

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Post by DrummerMan » Sat May 10, 2014 8:07 am

Dunk wrote:I was going to start a new topic but i suppose it's best in here.

when bouncing stems what do you bounce?

The project i'm working on at the moment has 36 track and about 8 busses.

Should i bounce all the tracks and the busses or just the busses and the tracks that aren't bussed?

hope that makes sense

If I'm understanding your question correctly, bounce functionally similar tracks together. Usually, I'll have a rhythm stem, a bass stem, a pad stem, a melody stem, and sometimes some other auxiliary stem if its sound is something that a producer/director/editor might want to have separate control of.

I don't worry about keeping similar instruments together if they're doing different things. Like, chord guitar might go with the pads, tenor guitar might go with an aux rhythm stem, and the face melting guitar solo would go with the melody, assuming there's no actual melody going on at the same time as the guitar solo because I can almost guarantee the solos not getting used...
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Post by DrummerMan » Sat May 10, 2014 8:09 am

At least that would e my recommendation when making stems for film/video placement.
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