What Are Music Stems? Audio Tips To Take Your Video To The Next Level

Music can set the tone, create an emotional connection with your audience, and elevate your visuals. Here's how 'stems' create an even better audio experience.

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If you're a video creator looking to take your content to the next level, music is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Music can set the tone, create an emotional connection with your audience, and elevate your visuals. But to truly unlock the full potential in your videos, you need to start working with music stems.

So, what are music stems? Simply put, they are the individual tracks that make up a song. For example, a typical stem package might include separate tracks for the drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, and vocals. By working with these individual tracks, you gain control over the music that's not possible when working with a final, mixed-down version of a song.

While some music expertise can be helpful when working with stems, it's not necessarily required. Many of the tools are designed to be user-friendly and can be learned through trial and error. That being said, some basic music concepts can be helpful to understand when working with stems. For example:

  • Timing and rhythm: Understanding essential timing and rhythm concepts can help you to sync up your visuals with the music.

  • Key and chord progressions: Understanding a song's key and chord progressions can help you create customized versions of the music that fit your video perfectly.

  • Mixing and EQ: Understanding basic mixing and EQ concepts can help you to balance the individual tracks of a stem package and create a cohesive, polished sound.

While you don't need to be a music expert to work with stems, a basic understanding of melodic concepts can be helpful. Additionally, don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Sometimes the most exciting and creative ideas come from happy accidents.

Read on for additional steps to use stems from unlocking more creative control over your video content.

Find a reliable source for music stems.

Many websites offer music stems for download. However, not all sources are created equal. Look for sites that provide high-quality stems in a variety of genres.

Track Club is an excellent option for finding stems that you can use in your video content. Each song on Track Club comes with separate downloadable stems for every instrument, so you have complete control over how the song sounds.

Starting at just $12.00/mo, Track Club users can download and use unlimited songs and stems from the Track Club catalog in their videos without risking copyright strikes. Use our referral code to get one month free.

Choose the right stems for your project.

When selecting music stems, be sure to choose stems from a song that fit the mood and tone of your video. Consider the emotions you want to convey and select stems supporting that message.

Track Club makes it easy to refine the catalog and find the perfect songs for your project using Smart Filters. The more specific you are, the more Track Club will zero in on exactly the right song. Head over to the Songs page and start selecting filters from the seven main categories at the top: Vocals, Mood, Genres, Instruments, Energy, Arc, and Length. You can watch the Smart Filters tutorial here.

You can also listen to over 100 playlists curated by the Track Club team to help inspire your sound or head to the Discover page to find more of our favorite music curated by our team of experts.

Use stems to create customized versions of a song.

One of the most powerful ways to use music stems to create customized versions of a song that fit your video perfectly. You can create a version of a piece that complements your edit by manipulating individual stems.

There are a variety of tools available to edit stems. Track Club's built-in song editor MixLab lets you edit stems within your browser window. Users can quickly and easily mute or solo stems, change the volume levels of individual instruments, and even change the BPM of a song to match video edits.

Check out this video for a demo of using Track Club's MixLab tool to edit stems.

Looking to use other tools? Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Filmora are all separate video editing tools with some capabilities for editing audio. While these programs have some audio editing capabilities, they may not be as powerful as dedicated audio editing software. If you need to perform more advanced audio editing tasks, it may be worth investing in a separate audio editing program like Audacity, Adobe Audition, Ableton Live, or Logic Pro.

Use stems to create unique soundscapes.

By layering and manipulating different stems, you can create unique soundscapes that add depth and dimension to your videos. For example, layer a few extra guitar tracks to create a lush, textured sound.

Don't be afraid to experiment with music stems. Try muting tracks or layering stems together to see what sounds good. You might stumble upon a new creative direction that takes your video content to the next level.

Music stems offer a powerful tool for video creators looking to take their content to the next level. By working with individual tracks, you gain control and flexibility over the music in ways simply not possible when working with a mixed-down version of a song. So, feel free to experiment with music stems and unlock more creative control over your video content.

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