Native Instruments launches open file format Stems


Native Instruments announces Stems support in TRAKTOR software and hardware and a catalog of Stems releases

Berlin, August 3, 2015 – Native Instruments today proudly launches Stems – a new multi-track audio format that introduces enhanced performance possibilities for DJs and a new paradigm for the music industry as a whole. The format has been widely embraced throughout the industry, and major online music stores are already set to release hundreds of tracks from top artists and labels in Stems format. To mark the launch of the new technology, Native Instruments is offering special pricing on TRAKTOR KONTROL S8, D2, and F1 – the first Stems-ready DJ controllers.

Developed by Native Instruments, Stems is an open file format providing the ability to freely interact with a track’s four different musical elements – such as drums, bass, keys and vocals. Each stem’s volume, filter, and effects settings can be controlled independently to create instant new mixes, mashups, instrumentals, a cappellas, and more. Since Stems was announced in May 2015, six major online retailers Beatport, Bleep, Juno, Traxsource, whatpeopleplay, and Wasabeat have officially begun stocking hundreds of releases from prominent artists and labels in Stems format on their respective sites. From some of 2015’s biggest albums to favorite hits, the list of labels releasing in Stems format is continuously growing. Some quotes from leading early adopters and online stores:

Beatport – Clark Warner (Executive Creative Director): “Native Instruments’ Stems format is a groundbreaking step in the evolution of DJ technology, and Beatport is proud to feature tracks using the technology. Hundreds of tracks from the likes of Joris Voorn, M.A.N.D.Y., and Kaiserdisco, as well as from labels like Toolroom, Minus, and Spinnin’ Records, are available in the Beatport Pro store today, and we encourage all labels and artists to support this multitrack format going forward.”

Traxsource – Brian Tappert: “NI has launched exactly the right product at exactly the right time. Traxsource is behind Stems 100 percent and we are extremely excited by the possibilities.”

Label Worx (UK) “Label Worx is very excited to be part of this great new format for the launch. We are fully supporting this new format with our Distribution, Promo and Mastering service all ready for the launch date. We believe there is a lot of potential in this new format and are excited to be part of it.”

Paradise Distribution (Germany) “The NI Stems format is a radical but logical step towards the next level of creativity & exploitation.”

Symphonic Distribution (USA) “Native Instruments is no stranger to amazing innovation and they’ve stepped it up a notch with the new Stems initiative. With the download market in a state of decline, they’ve created a new and effective method for many Djs and Producers to make revenue but also for fans of these Djs and Producers to be able to express themselves through music in ways that nobody has been able to emulate. We’re extremely thrilled to be a part of Native Instruments’ Stems project and will definitely see a lot of the music industry in terms of EDM going this route as this truly is something that we think will not only grow, but become MASSIVE.”

Finetunes (Germany): “As one of the leading distributors of Electronic music, finetunes is thrilled to be part of the Stems launch. The potential we have already seen in Traktor Remix Sets has now, with Stems, been taken to the a whole new level – providing an exciting tool for professional and bedroom DJs and live performing artists alike. We are looking forward to a whole new business opportunity evolving around this new audio format and will be encouraging and supporting our artists and labels to help them get involved with Stems.”

The rapidly growing Stems community will come together at and followers get the latest news via hashtag #playstems. For more information and to see the new file format put in action by leading DJs, go here.

How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry

This …

“Most of the equipment required to create music has been absorbed into the DAW, while the software continues to get easier and easier to use. The end result is that artists can create music more quickly, more efficiently and less expensively than at any other time in history.”

and this…

“You have the power now. What are you going to do with it? For the first time in its long history, the American music business is firmly in the hands of the artists and the consumers. You have the ability to lead the industry wherever you want it to go.”

gave me an enormous natural high of enthusiasm and energy back in 2009, when I recorded “I Count on U“, which was quickly picked up by independent promoters, web radio stations and social media friends and fans. Now, if only I managed to lose this deeply ingrained concept of inadequacy I might get to dust off that excitement I then felt and along the lines of what the article says and maybe take another stab at it (I felt exactly the way the article proposes when realizing for myself for the first time in 2009 that I had my fingertips on most of the recording tools I had been dreaming of since age 16 or so).

Apart from just me and my gazing at my belly-button, all of this actually sounds like great news for any aspiring artist/composer/music producer. In a nutshell: Write that attention-capturing hit song, pitch it to a major corporation and start counting the money… or something like that 😉

Thanks to Paris Cesvette for bringing this article to my attention!

via How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry.

▶ TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 – the future is now – YouTube

This company – NATIVE INSTRUMENTS – are so creative and innovative when it comes to creating a DJ’s heaven on earth! Killer products, check this teaser out!

via ▶ TRAKTOR KONTROL S8 – the future is now – YouTube.


The backdrop to this story is different from where I’m going to set this image against. And writing a blog post like this, where it’s supposed to be about music, is – I think a first for me. (I think… it’s not that I sit down at night going over all my other blog posts from the past…)

Seeing the picture and reading the story about the controversy surrounding it’s coming about had me remember a personal anecdote in my earlier, post-teen life. It had me remember Glenny, a US citiizen, living and working as a DJ in Sweden and occasionally taking jobs elsewhere in Europe and Scandinavia. Like so many US citizens working in the music business back then, he had come to Europe with the US Army and stayed after having completed his contract with US Forces. What made him different from most other American GIs and former military personnel was that he seemed to be more adventurous than most others I had met so far. At the very least, falling in love and moving in with a girl from Sweden – far away from more familiar surroundings – had him stand out in some way – or so I thought back then.

The other thing that had me become friendly with him was that – much like me – he enjoyed turning the night into day, often preparing a full-fledged meal in the early hours of the new day, heating up the kitchen stove in the appartment we inhabited together with the other musicians in my band along with the girl-friend I had chosen to more or less “abduct” from whatever she called home in the French part of Switzerland. Needless to say, as we were travelling and never stayed more than 2 weeks in one place, she depended upon me – entirely. Food, lodging, health care, your occasional shopping. (In hindsight: Jeez – I made some good money in those days, or else, I wouldn’t have been able to afford two people living this kind of life. We didn’t lodge in exactly the most shabby abodes where we performed and I had to cover her accommodation at the usual rates, sometimes in the hundreds per night). So, like me, Glenny wouldn’t go right to bed after the job, but fire up the stove, fix himself and me all kinds of gumbo, we’d pop a couple of cold ones, and when he’d start to dig in around 2 am, I’d keep him company, listen to his stories and ramblings and we’d talk and discuss all kinds of things – most often until the sun came up. I must have loved it or I was overly polite – or maybe a mixture of both. But somehow, I enjoyed his company a lot more then the company of my fellow band members, who’d be satisfied with either watching porn at night or trying to “score” a minor… you get the idea. I wasn’t big on either, so I’d exhale whenever the job was done for the night and they’d go about whatever business they were after, while I enjoyed some cooling off with Glenny. (On most nights, girlfriend had long gone to sleep and would barely snort in my direction to acknowledge my presence.)

Until now I hadn’t mentioned that Glenny was black, have I? Because it never mattered in whatever regard to me. It wasn’t until him catching hell with the boss of the establishment we were both hired for that I got introduced to the fact that racism is real and happens just about anywhere. I didn’t know any of this at the time and took it for a random occurrence. Gosh, I was so naive… but I’m digressing. Glenny was a DJ, as I said. Back then, being a DJ meant hauling your vinyls all over the place. In Glenny’s case these came as two humongous flight cases, each probably weighing some 150 pounds or more. I was used to carrying and setting up heavy equipment at the time, seeing as the Porsche-loving guys in the band rather saved money for gas then affording us one or two roadies or stagehands. Anyway, I just meant to say that Glenny’s cases were really heavy! (and it was me at most times, who’d kneel and crouch down in the tour bus to accommodate all the speakers and amps and whatnot and then drive that mother to the next venue…). I began to wonder, how he’d be able to travel alone. What about his clothes, suitcases and other “road-gear”? Anyway. We’d sit down and talk a lot. And sure enough, at some point Glenny confided in me that the owner of the establishment we were working in had a problem with him. And somehow it seemed to revolve around the fact that the boss had eyed a particular lady at the club, who – on the other hand – had layed eyes on Glenny. Beginning of drama – and you’d think, only ladies do that? No, Sir, sorry to burst that bubble!

Long story short: Our contracts had a catch. You had a kind of probational period during the first three three days of the contract. In other words: Club owners were given the opportunity to check you out for an entire three days until they were supposed to commit to the contract. I had never been aware of this as I was touring with a band, who apparently had risen above those standards as far as contracts were concerned (P.S. Do I want to know exactly how our manager had established this situation? I probably don’t want to know. But I have any number of ideas in that regard…) Anyways. Glenny caught hard times, because this cheap fuck of a club owner had gotten jealous of him. And as naive as I had been around that time: It was plain to see and hear. Whenever they talked to each other – which was rare -, not one kind word was said.

Come day three, Glenny was fired. No more late night meals, no more bonding in the wee hours of the morning over a couple of beers. I saw a different Glenny. Despondent. Scared. The same person who had boasted statements like “Most white people wonder, why we’re still around” had trouble suppressing his tears and fear. Because he hadn’t gotten paid yet. No advance and what little money he had brought along he had spent on calls with his far away girl friend and food and supplies during the day. He was effectively stranded in a foreign country with barely any cash on him.

I talked to my girl friend about this. We’d have to make some more cuts into our budget in order to afford him a train ticket back to Sweden. But it didn’t take too long a discussion until it was a done deal. We’d – make that “I” – would buy him a ticket, so he could at least get home. I will never forget this moment. He barely kept it together and so did we. We’d drive him to the train station in that Swiss town and all of that was against the express consent of my band. They threatened me, too. They’d say, we’d be kicked out as well and there would be a fine, which I would have to cover all by myself (fines ranged from a couple of thousand Swiss Franks to several tens of thousands, depending on the contract). I didn’t listen nor care. So, on day four we had arranged to pick up his baggage, including these two flight cases, each holding about 100 vinyls and weighing a perceived ton, haul all his shit into the truck I drove at the time, take him to the train station, pass some time together for the last time over a cup of coffee and wait for the train to take him home.

About two months later – I had a few days off – I receive a phone call on the rotary dial phone at my aunt’s, where I stayed over. Glenny was on the phone. We had exchanged phone numbers and he had insisted on taking down my bank account information. I was more than happy to help out and didn’t even want his money back, knowing it’d probably be another few months until he’d make just enough to pay for the ticket. (there was a “tops” cap we had agreed on and he had decided to get some small things for his girl friend, which I was more than happy with). So the phone rings, Glenny’s on the phone and inquires, whether the money he had sent was put in my bank account. I confirmed to him that yes, all the money had arrived.

So, the moral of the story: You think an ill-fated photograph is a problem? Or the media’s and social media’s response to it? Well, baby-girl and -boy: In the real world it’s about despair and not knowing where to turn next instead of egos getting mildly bruised with questionable “art”. Eat this for a change.

Alexander Kargaltsev antwortet auf Foto von Miroslava Duma und Zhukova – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Panorama.