ClearTracks does not require you to convert stems into a Native Instruments stem format. We provide FLAC and WAV files which can be used on any DAW, mixing hardware, or software that supports WAV of FLAC.
If you wish to use your stems with the Native Instruments hardware, you can use their stem creation tool located at http://www.stems-music.com/stem-creator-tool/
Native Instruments is pushing a format for stems that allow users of certain NI hardware to mix song stems more easily. This allows for a new level of creativity while mixing.
In order to make for effective use of it's hardware, NI is supporting a method that combines up to 4 stems into a single mp4 file. Each of the mp4's audio channels contains a stem and their hardware allows you do fade each channel in independently.
Unfortunately, this only works for users with NI hardware with stem functionality. Producers users various DAWs, as well as users mixing with more traditional hardware and software are out of luck. NI hopes that other OEMs will jump on board.
Stems have actually existed long before Native Instruments started promoting the format. Producers have long broken down their tracks into multiple stems. Additionally, stems typically exist in an uncompressed format. Producers and artists have always been able to exchane stems as wav files and used it with any hardware or software tools.
Additionally, a given song may have many more than 4 stems you may want to work with. An artist my decide to provide more than 4 stems for any given song.
We will continue to watch for mp4 stem adoption and consider it's use in the future.
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