Stem mastering - Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by soundfarm, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. soundfarm

    soundfarm Guest

    Does anyone in this forum do much work in terms of stem based mastering? Just looking for insight in terms of individual experiences and some pros and cons that have been realized as a result of that experience.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I've done stem mastering here and there, I don't prefer it and i usually get a little grumpy when it's brought in. Usually the cost would be better spent in hiring a better mixer. will it get better results??? only under the worst of conditions. this usually goes hand in hand with the budget. Couldn't mix it right because of money, so spend way more money to have the ME do it. what I would rather do is listen to mixes after my sessions and get the mixer to do things better. Not only does it turn out good this way, but the mixer learns something.
  3. soundfarm

    soundfarm Guest

    Thanks for the feedback, Michael! :) While I have no real experience with stem mastering, I have a potential client chomping at the bit as they think it will save them time and money, as you so keenly pointed out. I am trying to avoid it and offered to perform some pre-master consultation on the mix for a nominal fee as an alternative. I think once I put some real numbers in front of him showing him the cost benefit of stem mastering vs the consultation route (based on best guess estimates for man hours) , he' may come around. (Let's hope, anyways! )
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    PRO: Might give you 2% better sound over a good mix.

    CON: Will cost you 200% of what you'd spend otherwise.

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