• Russ Hepworth-Sawyer

What is Stem Mastering?

Stem Mastering

You could simply send us a stereo file of the mix and we can set to work mastering. However, there are some other alternatives such as stem mastering that might provide a more detailed approach should a specific track require further attention.


Essentially stem mastering or mixing means that you provide the engineer with your mix rendered out into sub groups or stereo pairs (containing all the mixing engineer’s EQ, compression and effect settings), and there are a few ways in which this can be broken down.



An example of stem groups (to address specific elements) might be as follows:

– Drums

– Bass

– Guitars

– Keys

– Backing Vocals

– Vocal


An alternative stem system (to address vocal levels) could also appear like this:

– Your Mix

– Main Vocal (no backing vocals)

– No Main Vocals (with backing vocals)

– No Vocals at all (instrumental)




Any stem system will depend on the requirements or issues of the specific mix, however the use of stems is best considered as mixed by the mix engineer (and it is always preferable to go back and make changes to individual elements/tracks within the mixing session). If in doubt, your mastering engineer will be able to provide detailed notes and help guide you to an improved result before attempting a stem session. Some additional information may also be useful to provide such as track tempo and key.


For more details and to discuss further options, please contact us


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