XTRAX STEMS: Tips and Tricks
Choose a song that will be ideal for remixing or sampling. Many users of XTRAX STEMS intend to isolate the vocals of a song and use the newly created a capella stem for remixing. However, if there are no vocals in the selected song you use in XTRAX STEMS, you will still be able to create a drum stem. Because of this, you can also run separations on instrumental songs as long as there are drum elements present. An example of a song that wouldn’t be ideal for remixing would have only piano, bass, and synth because all three instruments would be categorized as the music stem. Import your song by dragging and dropping it into the XTRAX STEMS playlist or use the import command (ctrl+I / command+I).
Try running multiple extractions simultaneously to save time. XTRAX STEMS allows for up to four different songs to process at the same time. To do this simply open four separate windows of XTRAX STEMS. This will reduce your wait time if you need to separate more than one song.
Compare your results with the different Algorithms. Process your song with the Automatic, Automatic HQ, Generic, and Generic HQ Algorithms and listen to all of your results to determine which is best for your needs. When selecting the Automatic separation option, the vocal separation occurs using an Automatic Voice Activity Detection process. Vocals are separated only when detected. This algorithm is recommended as a good starting point, as it is more likely to discern and separate only the vocals compared to the Generic options. With the Generic algorithm, the Vocals stem will be made of the main melodic content extracted on the entire duration of the file. It can be useful when the automatic voice activity detection misses segments of the voice, or when trying to extract a monophonic and melodic instrument, such as a saxophone solo. Use the Solo/Mute buttons to listen to each stem or listen to a pair of stems together.
Save your project with ctrl+s / command+S after you run a separation, if you need to return to the project.
Export your stems into an outside Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Adjustments can be made to the panning and volume parameters inside of XTRAX STEMS, but these will only get you so far. Once the stems are exported (ctrl+E / command + E) and imported into a DAW, you will be able to adjust the stereo separation and add as many effects as desired. Adding a reverb effect to the vocal stem inside of a DAW will help smooth out the vocals to create a more usable stem. You can also edit out instances of unwanted bleed.
Separate 2 Create! The beauty of XTRAX STEMS is that you can use the separated stems to independently adjust levels or take it to another level and create an entirely new version of the original song. Add your own samples and remix the song and create something unique. Create a mashup by using another song in the same key/tempo. With each element available independently, you can also export in the NI Stems format to mix with the TRAKTOR CONTROL series of controllers. The opportunities are endless with XTRAX STEMS!