Native Instruments Announces Stems, New Audio Format for DJs

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Atmosphere as Dash Berlin performs during the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park Amphitheater on March 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. 

As more electronic musicians are relying on do-it-yourself approaches to solving their genre's most pervasive problems, like collaborating with peers and licensing issues in mixes, another tool was announced at Miami's Winter Music Conference on March 27 that will make creating tracks and remixing them that much easier. 

Slated to launch in June of this year, Stems is a new audio format created by electronic music hardware and software maker and distributor Native Instruments. The multi-channel, open-file mp4 file format makes it possible for DJs and producers to separate tracks into their musical elements, or "stems" -- percussion, bass, melody, and vocals, for example -- and mix them separately using Native Instrument's Traktor software. Beatport, Juno, and Traxsource will be the first online retailers to offer Stems, which anyone can create (and sell) using its parent company's Stem Creator Tool. More information is available on Stems' FAQ.

“The world of electronic music is always evolving, both culturally and technologically," says Beatport chief product officer Rich Ziade in a release. "Beatport is therefore proud to support the new Stems initiative as a retail partner to continue serving DJs in any format they desire.” 

A host of electronic musicians, labels and personalities like KCRW's Jason Bentley, who was at the announcement on Friday, support Stems, which will hopefully provide a legitimate, free alternative to bootleg or illegally downloaded ProTools, Logic, and other programs currently fueling the majority of aspiring producers.