Native Instruments Unveils New Audio Format

Native Instruments has unveiled a new file format that enables DJs, producers, and live performers to mix with a track’s different musical elements. The format, which is called “Stems,” was announced at Miami’s Winter Music Conference on Friday.
Their press release says:

“A Stem file allows DJs and live performers to interact with different musical elements of a track independently by accessing four different ‘stem’ parts such as the bass, drums, melody, or vocals. This type of mixing introduces new performance possibilities and enriches the listening experience for music lovers. As a premium file format, Stems can also create new revenue streams for music labels and online retailers to grow their business. Developed by software and hardware DSP specialists Native Instruments, Stems is an open file format designed to benefit the entire music industry.”

Stems is open format, which means anyone will be able to create, perform with, and distribute them. Producers, DJs, and labels will be able to author their own Stem files using a free standalone application. Additionally, developers will have full access to format specifications and code examples so they can integrate Stem support into their products.
Select artists, labels, production companies and Native Instruments will begin supporting Stems in coming months. A website containing all technical specifications, source code, tutorials, and downloads will launch in June.
Here’s what some DJs have said about Stems so far:
DJ Craze
“The Stems format is very exciting to me because I come from the generation where records have 1/Instrumental/Acapella and Dubapellas, so now I’ll be able to get way more creative with my sets and have fun combining elements from tunes I like.”
“Stems is just what the industry needed. It will change the way music is mixed down from a producer’s standpoint. It will make producers think more about what they are actually doing when they make music for DJs to play.”
Related: An Inside Look at Native Instruments’ Los Angeles Office