Wet stems (available here) are great; you get all the instrument tracks, intelligently grouped for ease of use, and lots of flexibility when it comes to remixing, or creating a backing track to record your own vocal with. There are limitations though and that’s where dry stems come in. Dry multi-track stems (download here) are each and every instrument track as it was recorded in studio without any Fx processing (things like EQ’s and reverbs or compression and delays etc). With dry stems you still have near complete control over the tracks and can add your own processing and edits while you construct a mix from the ground up.
Also included (as an option & special bonus) in the dry stem download is a special folder of all the electric guitar and electric bass guitar tracks recorded DI into the DAW. This gives you the additional ability to re-amp the guitar and bass signals either within your DAW using a VST or amp simulator, or through actually re-amping using a re-amp DI into your actual amplifier at home. Don’t worry – the dry but printed amplified electric guitar tracks are here too (still without things like EQ & verb) so if re-amping isn’t your thing you still get the tracks that are wide open to add your own treatments to. Only use the DI stems if you need or want to re-amp.
Who should download the dry stems?
- Anyone who has run into limitations using the wet stems and wants more freedom to play within the mix.
- Someone who wants to replace individual instrument tracks with their own, or wants to use them as guide tracks to record their own Stairway Projects.
- Mixing engineers and hobbyists in training who want to try their hand at assembling a Stairway mix of their own.
- Anyone who really wants to drill into the nuances of the arrangement for each instrument.
It’s always a little scary sending out stems – especially dry stems because all the warts and flubs and track idiosyncrasies are much more apparent and obvious. There’s no hiding within the mix and musicians can feel pretty naked when their tracks are revealed this way (I sure do).
As always – enjoy and feel free to ask any questions. The forum is a great place to share your mixes or discuss the tracks or meet other people interested in Stairway.
FYI – Currently the Dry stems DO NOT include vocal tracks – just the instrument tracks. I do not yet have permission to share the vocal tracks and dry vocals are particularly naked for singers to share out.