DP’s extensive Bounce options make exporting stems a breeze.
The audio production term ‘stem’ generally refers to a processed, self‑contained stereo mix of an instrument or family of combined similar instruments. For example, a stem could consist of a solo trumpet or an entire brass section. Stem breakouts are usually dictated by a project’s specific delivery requirements. In post‑production, greater flexibility is often required because musical elements are mixed with dialogue and sound effects. In song production, stems are a common delivery format that allows for variations across distribution and deployment scenarios, such as licensing and live playback. Some mastering engineers will request stems from the mix engineer to create a final master. In addition to processing, stems usually include all rendered edits, pitch and timing adjustments, as well as volume automation and processing. Stems can be dry, with separate reverb‑only stems being additionally created, or stems can be printed with all effects baked in. Through the use of bouncing tracks and outputs, Digital Performer 11 can bounce stems, tracks, buses and outputs, all from one window, all at the same time.
Bouncing is an essential and efficient way to finalise mixes and stems for delivery, especially for film and TV composers. Bouncing files for delivery has the potential to be a tedious and time‑consuming process if projects and templates aren’t set up correctly in advance. You should carefully decide what breakouts will be necessary for a given scoring project, and design and modify track routings before your writing process begins. When the time comes to send reference mixes, or final exports and stems, the routings and selections will be ready to go.
When designing a comprehensive DP template, it’s important to know what kind of tracks can be included in a Bounce to Disk operation. Individual audio tracks can be bounced separately, and will include all track insert effects, soundbite edits, and automation. This is also true for aux tracks and combined instrument tracks.
Digital Performer 11 can bounce stems, tracks, buses and outputs, all from one window, all at the same time.
Here’s an important tip: audio tracks and virtual instrument tracks can be assigned to stereo buses that feed aux tracks. Because aux tracks can be bounced as tracks, this is a way to combine audio tracks and virtual instrument tracks into stem groups.
When using reverb plug‑ins on different families of instruments, it’s important to create separate reverb plug‑in instances for each stem group. Otherwise, common‑use reverb returns could bleed into multiple stems from unwanted instruments using the same reverb. Separate reverbs, created using aux tracks, can be bused to their corresponding stem aux tracks so the audio and reverb are both sent to the same destination stem. Use the stem aux tracks for overall level control,...