A stem is a mixed audio file containing anywhere from one instrument to several groups of instruments. This could be as simple as a dry lead vocal, or an entire drums and percussion bus. When I drop all of the stems into my session, they should amount to the rough mixdown, so please include fader levels and any gain automation.
Most songs have somewhere between 7-14 mix stems depending on the arrangement. If you are sending submixes for a given stem (e.g. kit pieces in a drum stem), please include them in a sub folder or mark the files clearly. Please do not send me every individual track for your song. If there are any individual audio tracks you know ahead of time we’ll want to highlight, feel free to include those in a separate folder, otherwise we’ll discuss this. Everyone’s mix stems look a bit different, but here’s an example:
- Lead vox wet
- Double or Background vox
- Harmony vox
- Lead Guitars
- Background Guitars
- Lead Keyboards
- Background Keyboards
- Melodic fx
- Drum Kit
- Rhythmic fx, noises
If you have significant sidechain compression on a stem, I leave it up to you whether to keep that included or not. You may also include a folder of alternate stems without the sidechain. Please keep delays and reverbs baked into each stem file, rather than as a separate file (ie. Do not use the default Ableton Export Stems feature).
Please send stems as lossless, uncompressed audio (wav or aif), 44.1 khz sample rate, and 16 bit depth. 48khz and 24 bit depth are fine, but if you send anything greater, I will downscale.
Early Demos & Field Recordings
Early voice memos or demos include any audio that was recorded in beginning phases or previous iterations while making this song. This could be anything from rambling into your phone or rough draft mixes trying out different melodies, lyrics, or chords. Since Genre Therapy is a show about growth, please share as much as you’re comfortable, so I can build a better picture of the development of this song. Any audio quality, ranging from pristine to potato is acceptable.
The final/stereo master should be the finished product you sent to streaming services/uploaded to Bandcamp. I don’t have a specific LKFS target, but most people shoot for somewhere between -9 and -12db. In the edit, I will not be adding any effects to this, aside from very light limiting.
Please send the master as lossless, uncompressed audio (wav or aif) in the highest quality as provided to you by your mastering engineer. Ideally 48khz/24 bit, or higher, but 44.1khz/16 is fine.
The press photo should prominently display your face. Anything greater than 1200px width @ 144 or 300dpi, jpg or png, will work.
Please provide a list of anyone whom you wish to be credited in the making and distribution of this song. Names can appear more than once. Depending on the complexity of the list you provide, and the remaining time in the show, I might condense a bit.
You can choose to be specific e.g. Violin: Person One, Cello: Person Two, Contrabass: Person Three; or you can simply provide a list of performers. It is conventional to use artist/performance monikers in this section, especially in electronic/pop productions.
Writers & Arrangers
You can choose to be specific e.g. Songwriting: Person One, Arrangement: Person Two, or simply provide a list of writers and arrangers. It is conventional to use names as registered with Performance Rights Organizations (e.g. BMI/ASCAP).
Producers & Engineers
Generally a producer is someone involved in creative engineering, or executive choices on what to include in the song. If you outsourced something like mixing, mastering, or vocal recording, these are generally credited separately as engineers.
Cover Art Designers
I would recommend being specific e.g. Graphic Design: Person One, Photography: Person Two.