What Are Tracked Out Stems And When Do You Need Them?
By Gamerro Music
If you’ve started recording your music professionally, you probably know something already about tracked out stems.
To be honest, if you’re taking your music career seriously, I’m sure you’re already using them.
But, if you’re one of the rappers out there just starting out with recording, don’t worry.
I’m here to explain.
Read on to find out what tracked out stems are, what you can use them for, why you should use them instead of a WAV or MP3 file of a beat, and why beat licenses with tracked out stems are more expensive than those with WAV or MP3 files (but you should still get them).
What Are Tracked Out Stems?
“Tracked Out Files”, “Tracked out Stems”, or “Tracked stems” are terms that you’ll often find in licensing options offered by online music producers.
You’ll find them typically either as individual tracks or stems or as group stems.
Individual stems are single vocal or instrument tracks. For example, when you’re buying rap beats online, that’s what you’d consider as tracked out stems. You can also find stems for the lead vocal, guitar, piano, backing vocal, etc. Individual stems are usually what is considered as tracked out stems by producers.
Group stems are single audio files that contain a group of sounds of a category, e.g. a group of all vocals, all guitar tracks, all drums, etc. They’re often used by video editors and mastering engineers.
You want to make sure to use individual stems since that is what will ensure a high-quality sound to your song.
Why Should You Use Tracked Out Stems?
Because, when it comes to your song, you can be in control of everything!
And by everything, I mean the overall mix, the song arrangement, the volume levels, beat frequencies, etc.
If you want to produce a song that’s up to the industry’s standard, you need to use tracked out stems to maintain control over your song. Even if you’re an independent or upcoming rapper who mixes his own songs.
Why Not Just Use WAV & MP3?
The answer to this one is simple:
It’s not professional, nor up to industry standard. Their quality is simply too low for an audio engineer to work with it.
Also, you can’t do any changes to them anymore, which leaves you completely out of control about what your final product will sound like!
What’s more, single track beats in WAV or MP3 format have almost always been mastered before they were uploaded to a producer’s store.
And after you’ve recorded your vocals, you’ll need to master them again, together with the instrumental beats.
But – you won’t be able to do that to a beat that has already been mastered! It lowers the quality of the sound too much.
Although mastered versions are usually included in cheaper licenses, you’ll definitely want to avoid using them in your songs!
Are Licenses With Tracked Out Stems More Expensive?
As you might have guessed from the rest of the article, the answer is a definite YES.
Licenses with tracked out stems have higher rates for a reason.
Tracked out stems are essential to make songs that have the potential to be big industry quality records.
They give you control over the instrumental track and better user-rights. That way you’ll be able to stream your song on various platforms, gain more visibility, and a return on the investment you made purchasing those stems.
If you absolutely cannot afford a license with tracked out stems, I advise you to at least purchase the one where you have WAV files included. A good audio engineer will get a decent sound out of them, although he’ll also be limited mastering them.
However, the quality of the songs that are produced with WAV files won’t be high enough to sell or stream your songs on Spotify or iTunes. The competition there is just too big.
Hopefully, I was able to resolve some questions about online beats you can buy.
For more information, check out my other blog posts!
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