Creating Stems from a full song audio file?

Discussion in 'Education' started by rem, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. rem

    rem Noisemaker

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    Hello all and almost happy new year.

    Forgive me is this is a really basic and naive question: I'm just a hobbyist with a couple of keyboards doing bits and pieces in FL Studio. I don't have a great deal of technical knowledge. But that's the great thing about this forum is that you feel no shame in asking.

    I have come across stems and loops for a number of older pieces (I'm talking Presley, Queen, Michael Jakson etc). While not particularly interested in those, I really would like to have a go at remixing one song from the 90s, for which I have only the original audio file. The question is: are these stems and loops I have come across engineered from the full song audio files, somehow, or did they artists have access to original multi track material? Typically, for remixes as opposed to bootlegs at least, I suppose there is always access to separate tracks. But when I look at some of the much older songs for which I can see stem packs or hers remixes, I suppose some of these at least were constructed using only the full song as a starter.

    There is a blues song from RL Burnside from the 90s I would really like to have a go at. No stems, no loops, just the full audio file. Would you please give me some pointers as to how you would organise a project like this? In particular:

    Would you have a go at separating main groups of instruments and vocals or is that near impossible in practice?
    If it is worth attempting, what tools would you use to isolate vocals, guitars or percussions to create loops for a remix?
    Or would you not bother to try and try to recreate each part (in effect not a remix but a cover)?

    All tips, suggestions and comments welcome.

    All the best
     
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  3. Futurewine

    Futurewine Rock Star

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    Hi there,

    As of today, I haven't come to any software that can split track by instruments from a full song of any audio files. Two audio formats that I've known , STEMS and MOGG, can do that but unfortunately it's not available to all songs. Those stems and loops that you came across probably original stems from official sources, re-made, or some reverse engineering applies to it to get its acapellas.

    IMHO, to isolate tracks from full audio source is impractical and not worth it. Maybe transcribe the part that you like, record it or programmed it, find the closest VSTi that best matches from its original source, and when you happy with it, you can do remix upon it later on. Sooner or later, upon doing it countless time, maybe the benefit you gain by doing this will entitles you to transcribe and remix any songs. =)

    Just my random thoughts and opinions. Maybe there are better option to do it. I'm interested to know too.

    And a happy new year to you too.
     
  4. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    You can "extract" some tracks from a stereo file with m/s processing and filters, if high quality isn't that important.
    For instance lower side, add low and high cut and you get the vocals. Phase invert this along with the stereo file and you lower the vocals and get a kind of karaoke version (maybe have to adjust the level of the phase inverted vocals due to artifacts). Use high cut at low frequency (< 200Hz) and you got bass and bd. And stuff like this.
    There's some software for making karaoke version out of a stereo file, too, but I can't remember the name (karaoke-maker?). A search engine would probably help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  5. rem

    rem Noisemaker

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    Thank you both. I have found some good tuts on extracting some portions of an audio file. There's a good tut on extracting audio when the original file has good panning (using a plugin from Brainworx, bx solo, but can be replicated using many other plugins, I'm sure, but bx solo works great and it is free). I will try phase inversion too: I can see that it forms thee basis of some tutorials on YouTube so I'll check them out.
    There is nothing ideal, of course: I will check karaoke software but I don't expect great results from any method. Just trying out a few things so please keep the tips coming if you have any. In the meantime, I will get what I can from the original audio and set about reproducing the rest (which is good learning too).

    Thank you both for your comments.
     
  6. santillana

    santillana Ultrasonic

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  7. rem

    rem Noisemaker

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  8. rem

    rem Noisemaker

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    AAgh! MAC only...
     
  9. Futurewine

    Futurewine Rock Star

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  10. Brian Code

    Brian Code Newbie

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    XTRAX STEMS is now available for windows and mac. Here is my tutorial that I made for it!
     
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