Darkart Stem Mastering Service Now Available

We’ve provided stem mastering for select clients over the years but never offered this service publicly. After continuous requests, we’re excited to announce that it’s now available.

The reason for this post is to explain the service in detail and quell any confusion on what to expect.

What Darkart stem mastering service is:

A way to allow us to adjust elements in the mix internally rather than globally which ends up being a better quality master. 

For example, your kick is too loud and distorting when pushing into loudness. With normal 2-track stereo mastering, we can eq or compress the entire track to correct it. This would affect other elements in the mix rather than just the kick. With access to stems, we can turn the volume down of the kick and fix the problem with no degradation to other tracks.

Another example: your drums sound great but the vocal is peaking all over the place and needs control. Rather than processing the entire track to make the vocal sound better and degrading the quality of the drums, we can go in and process only the vocal with stems resulting in a better master.

What Darkart stem mastering service is not:

Don’t confuse this service with being a way to get a cheap mixdown. We expect the stems to sound good when we import them. The mix should be as close to finished as you can get it.

Don’t look to us to add coloring, bus processing, or fx. The stems are provided to us for mastering adjustments only. All creative decisions and vibe should be intact before they reach us.

Example of stems in a House track:

kick, clap, bass, synths, percussion, fx, vocals, music

Example of stems in a Drum & Bass track:

drums, bass, synths, percussion, fx, vocals, music

The stems should be exported to give us options for adjustments but not too many options. Don’t send us 20 drum tracks, send us a good sounding drum group.

Please contact mike@darkartmastering.com for any questions, rates, or details on how to get started with the service.