NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

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bytheriver
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NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by bytheriver » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:20 pm

In case you've not heard of it, NI has released this new 'stem' file system today, where the file extension is .stem.mp4, and the file includes a mixed master which will play on any MP4-capable player, but also 4 separate stems that make up the track. They are selling it as a DJ-tool mostly, but I've love to import some stem-files into ableton and have a play with the individual stems.

Apparently it requires 'stem compatible hardware or software' to read those parts of the files though.

NI have said its an open format and anyone can include stem-compatibility into their software, they are even providing a dev toolkit to do it.


So... how about it Ableton?

beats me
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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by beats me » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:32 pm

While we’re waiting for Ableton to chime in on this…

Looks like stems file format will be about $3.50 per track. Very reasonable.

Also NI is offering decent discounts and their stems capable hardware until the end of September. $100 off the D2 single deck controller, and $200 off the S8. Sweet.

Angstrom
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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:55 pm

Ableton are traditionally quite conservative about implementing "competitor" formats. They don't really like inter-operability and model themselves on the "walled garden" strategy of Apple.

I wouldn't hold your breath on this

beats me
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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by beats me » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:18 pm

Plus it’s not just a matter of reading it but also how to implement it. I’m thinking it would have to be some kind of new closed group track that mimics a multi out plugin. But people are also going to want some kind of clip creation that would be able to access all 5 stems separately. And it’s making my head hurt trying to figure out how you would give hardware access to all that on top of all the other DAW stuff you want it to pull off.

I’m thinking we might sooner see compatibility with Maschine and all other DAW developers will have to look at that for inspiration.

beats me
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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by beats me » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:42 pm

Just realized that if NI wanted to play nice (and they probably don’t) they could just release a stems vst/au player. Hell, implement a player in Kontakt as an incentive for people to buy or upgrade Kontakt. But as they’ve never released a plugin version of Traktor I don’t see them wanting to do this either.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:45 pm

Would Live convert the file into multiple wav/aif files?

bytheriver
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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by bytheriver » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:22 pm

I just figured you'd drag it in from the browser and it'd create 5 audio tracks, one per stem and the master. That'd be fine for my needs.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:36 pm

I really hope that people abuse stem file applications in the future. I'm only mildly excited about singling out parts as an application, but you could have a multi-layered track release that is sort of remixed within the parts, or has alternate variations :D

Like, chorus with synth stabbing, or chorus with same synth but arpeggiated with pitch bends. So you don't have to commit to one version.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:59 pm

At the moment it will be tricky for any dev to incorporate as the specs aren't yet available.
http://www.stems-music.com/stems-is-for ... index.html

I wouldn't be surprised if all this format comprised of was a zip folder container with a naming strategy and an xml manifest.
If that's the case then opening them or creating them won't be too hard. It might require a bit of manual Labour to get them into Live though. Unpackaging an packaging in an external tool for example.

I still bet Ableton wont incorporate it though. I mean - OMF is a passably supported attempt at an inter-operability format, but not in this DAW it ain't. Not even partially. How about Melodyne ARA implementation?
Nope. Etc. etc.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by H20nly » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:15 pm

yur2die4 wrote:Would Live convert the file into multiple wav/aif files?
that would seem to be the easiest way... the same way Live creates a analysis file... when stems are dropped into the set a back ground process would render them into a supported format.

but... i agree with Angstrom. don't hold your breath. Live 10.1 or 11 at best, IMO.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:27 pm

Maybe similar to the old multi-channel midi implementation. In the browser you can hit the arrow box to see a drop down of all the channels in the browser. This allows you to drag all clips, or just a certain channel.

I don't think it is a zip. Stereo files are not a zip of two mono channels. It is probably just a 10x (5 stereo) channel mp4. Like surround soundish.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:41 pm

yur2die4 wrote:Maybe similar to the old multi-channel midi implementation. In the browser you can hit the arrow box to see a drop down of all the channels in the browser. This allows you to drag all clips, or just a certain channel.

I don't think it is a zip. Stereo files are not a zip of two mono channels. It is probably just a 10x (5 stereo) channel mp4. Like surround soundish.
Aye, yes, I forgot which century I was in for a moment.
I downloaded their free ones and sure enough, MP4 containers.

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:56 pm

Your reply reminded me to dig into this just to double check if my assumptions were off:
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/08/n ... more-38711

Yeah, the standard is 5 stereo tracks, but it's open for alternative options.
And the files are huge. Eh....

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by Angstrom » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:31 am

yur2die4 wrote:Your reply reminded me to dig into this just to double check if my assumptions were off:
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/08/n ... more-38711

Yeah, the standard is 5 stereo tracks, but it's open for alternative options.
And the files are huge. Eh....
yeah, big-ish. But to be expected ...
31meg per example .stems.mp4 file
31/ 5 = 6.2 meg a unique stem file (eg "drums").

assuming these example files are 3 minutes long (I can't play them) that's 2meg a minute. Probably a reasonable AAC size.

One other interesting thing is that mp4 is of course streamable, opening these up to services like partycloud

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Re: NI's new 'stems' files in Live?

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:07 am

You can't open them? I thought they intended to have he files universal and playable on standard players (for the common mixdown channel). That was supposed to be part of the incentive for getting people interested in buying them. Both for personal and dj use.

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