When Stem Creator will be upgraded? Bitrate of the stem file is 256kpbs max since 7years

Wades Member Posts: 22 Member
edited December 2022 in Traktor Software & Hardware

Hi everyone,

I don't know if some of you still use or at least know the Stem Concept (from Traktor S5/ S8 and F1)?

If you do not, it supposed to separate your track in 4 different audio tracks and give you the ability to add effects or play with the volume on each one, which was a pretty cool concept when it was released (in 2015) and could be a good solution for producer to play live (by making gap and playing the gaped section instead for example).

Virtual DJ and Serato also propose the same concept nowadays.

So if you are a producer and you would like to use this format with Traktor, you have to use a tool call Stem Creator, which has been devlopped by NI and released at the same time as those controllers I mentioned above. This tool is used to make a .stem.mp4 file which will be recognize by Traktor (and it's the only tool)

The problem is: Stem Creator hasn't be updated since its release (it has been 7 years!) AND it allows you to create your own stem files BUT the audio quality of your sound will be 256kbps maximum so it makes it unusable..

Some of us already talk about it in another discussion but we do not have answers, here are the details if you want to have a look: https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/2480/how-do-i-prevent-stem-creator-from-compressing-the-audio-quality-so-badly

I'm a big fan of NI products but this problem has never been solved and I think it's not really fair from them to make people dream with super commercials and ads.

For example they provide few stems files made by artists with a 'normal audio quality rate' to make a demo of their controller and it's super nice, really! But they explain you can do your own without precising the render of your track won't get a bitrate above 256kpbs...

And I'm a bit pissed to realize I get naive and you took my money for one expensive controller which was based on this concept..

I really count on the NI community to bring this problem up to make them treat it asap so if you have the possibility to let a like or participate on this discussion to make things change please do it!

Thank you if you took time to read all the topic, and your support

Wish you the best!



  • Demus
    Demus Member Posts: 137 Pro

    Google Nuo stems. it cost $30. I haven't used it personally. Because I am waiting for NI version to see how good it will be and see if there will be a buy option

  • Kayya
    Kayya Member Posts: 171 Advisor

    There are two phases of creating stems files. the first is to separate the sounds, the second is to reassemble them in stems format. If I'm not mistaken, the stems creator application only acts as a combiner.

    How about the rest of the work?

    Are we going to use another program?

    How do we do batch processing instead of creating individual music files?

    so i always stay away from stems creator app. On top of that, if there is talk of poor quality, I read with amazement.

  • Wades
    Wades Member Posts: 22 Member

    Thanks @Demus for your answer! Yes I discovered it just this week when I went to the old NI forum, thank you for the feedback but what I've seen about Nuo Stems: it does directly the 4 stems for you from the master file. Which is not what I'm looking for. I'm also a producer so here is what I do :

    • I produce a track
    • I regroup all my tracks into 4 BUS (Drums, Bass, Synth, Others)
    • I use Stem creator to import my Stems (the ones I exported from my BUS) and the master files
    • Stem creator makes the famous .stem.mp4 file to be played in Traktor

    The problem is the audio quality audio of the final .stem.mp4 file which is 256kpbs so it's clearly indecent to play, it sounds like an mp3 you donwloaded in the 2000s.. So it ruins complety the mix and the mastering process you did to your track and makes the stems unusuable/not playable at all.

    @Kayya I hope I help you by explaining my work process?

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,571 Expert

    From manual, page 29:

    Supported Files Formats There are only three acceptable audio file types for Stem Creator:

    ▪ WAV

    ▪ AIFF

    ▪ ALAC

    If you import WAV or AIFF files into Stem Creator, Stem Creator will create an AAC-quality Stem File upon export. If you import ALAC files into Stem Creator, Stem Creator will create and ALAC-quality Stem File upon export.

    ALAC is looseless, so if one imports STEMs in ALAC, one should get looseless STEM file.

  • Wades
    Wades Member Posts: 22 Member
    edited December 2022

    Hi @Kubrak as I said in this topic here: https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/2480/how-do-i-prevent-stem-creator-from-compressing-the-audio-quality-so-badly

    I'm a PC user and when you use ALAC format in Stem Creator, the final file .stem.mp4 is not analyzable in Traktor, so not playable at all..

    And if you use .wav format for Stem Creator you get a .stem.mp4 playable but with a 256kpbs..

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,571 Expert

    What about installing ALAC codec to Win? Wouldn't it be solution? Otherwise you have to switch to Mac, or use loosy format. Or NI has to update Traktor for Win to be able to play ALAC...

    The problem is not Stem Creator, you may create losseles ALAC STEM file in it, the problem is possibly Traktor for Win....

    Maybe STEM file could use flac encoding inside, but I am not sure, if Traktor would be able to play such format. Beside fact, that SW making such STEM would be needed. But maybe it would not be that difficult to write it, if the imput would be flac files....

  • Demus
    Demus Member Posts: 137 Pro

    The only other Program that I can think of to do what I think you are looking to do is RipX


  • Mutis
    Mutis Member Posts: 472 Pro

    Maybe let’s unmix app could too. I should do some testing to match your desired specs… but will be more productive get nuo stems sw or wait until NI finally release its own solution.

  • Tellmeaboutit123
    Tellmeaboutit123 Member Posts: 493 Guru

    Nuo stems is really good. Not a lot of bleed. I would say on par if not better than the current best - virtual DJ

  • TurnedTables
    TurnedTables Member Posts: 30 Helper

    Until the new Virtual DJ stems came out, nuo was definitely the best out of the lot. Shame NI didn’t opt to include nuo stems as a pre-processor for Traktor a while back, they could have kept up with vdj and serato a little more. (Live splitting doesn’t excite me).

  • Kayya
    Kayya Member Posts: 171 Advisor

    thanks for sharing, a must have path flow for the manufacturer. For DJing, I prefer to stay away from engineering and focus on art. we shouldn't hack by drowning in the details, like in mapping issues.

    Trying to produce stems files for thousands of archives and providing up-to-date ones is a big workload. Therefore, it is best for a DJ to have channels through analysis until the produced files become the channel owner. sound quality is an uncompromising red line for me. so i am waiting for the step of NI company for usable stems.

    I think the issue that the whole community needs to talk about is that it will be sell for money. and I don't see that in the agenda at all.

  • Wades
    Wades Member Posts: 22 Member

    Hey Guys, sorry for the late reply and thank you for yours.

    I think there is a big misunderstood here, I'm not trying to make stems from a song. I'm a producer so I already have my stems ready in .wav format direclty exported from my DAW (and I also already tried to convert my steams in .aac (which is ALAC)). I explain all cases below

    I use Stem Creator to make the stem file for Traktor -> Stem Creator works, it's okay BUT when I play the stem file on Traktor, the audio quality of my track is bad, I mean really bad, like if I exported my track in 256kpbs in MP3 so it doesn't make sense to use the stem format.

    I don't know if I'm clear or not about my intentions.

    As I said I'm on PC and here is the problem cause apparently Mac users don't have any trouble with the audio quality of their .stem.mp4 file when they play it in Traktor.

    🔷 Mac users: use .aac stems in Stem creator> make their .mp4.stem with it> can play it in traktor with good audio quality ✔️

    🔶 PC users: use .wav stems file in Stem creator> make their .stem.mp4 file with it> can play it in Traktor without a good audio quality

    🔶 PC users: use .aac stems file in Stem Creator> make their .stem.mp4 file with it> Traktor doesn't want to analyse it so it's not even playable

    The problem is apparently not new (it has been reported few years ago on the old forum).. So when would it be fixed please???

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,571 Expert

    The best would be if STEMs could be also in flac, ALAC probably will not work on Win, unless MS will change the mind.

    Does anyone know, if the STEM file for Traktor may contain flac coding, instead of ALAC one? If yes, it might be possible to make simple utility to convert flac stem files to Traktor STEM fife with flac coding...

  • Wades
    Wades Member Posts: 22 Member

    @Kubrak It's not possible cause Stem Creator has not been developed this way as you can see in the manual:

    So even if you can put flac inside it will export it at 256kbps so it won't change anything.

    There are only 2 solutions:

    • Stem Creator should have another development to export at least at 320 kbps with .wav (but is has not been changed since it was created in 2015 so I don't hope anymore)
    • Traktor needs another development to be able to analyze .stem.mp4 file (made with .aac) on PC
  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,571 Expert

    One thing is what does STEM Creator, another thing is, what may be included in MP4 container and what is Traktor able to decode in such a container.

    I have looked in the thing and it seems flac is not option for MP4 container. NI could add it to MP4 specification and implement it in Traktor, but it would bring other problems. General players would not be able to play it, unless they would be extended to MP4-flac.

    I guess, there is some kind of problem with ALAC on Windows....

    There is another thread on topic and one guy tries to create NI STEMs under Linux. If he succedes, he might try , if mp3 or higher rate AAC would work.

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