Send project to friend for mixing and pre-mastering

Hi everybody,

I want to send project to a friend for mixing and pre-mastering.
There’s two important points:

a) he does not have all VST instruments/sounds I used.
How can I make the instrument tracks be converted audio tracks (I then would delete the instrument tracks before I send), but keep the project as is regarding the rest (effect track, etc.)?

b) I use Cubase Pro 10.5, he uses Cubase Pro 6.x
Will that work?

Thanks in advance…

one word: stems:

export each track as a wav file (for instance, but .wav seems to me… and of course in your favorite “setting”).
in pro (and artist?) you can batch process, so all tracks are stems in export.

You can also use Render In Place, just to turn any VSTi into audio before exporting.
Just to be sure there are no nasty surprises.
If using .wav files for exporting stems, you could create a new project using those in a fresh folder.
Then 7zip the content of the folder to reduce its size to about half, if you plan to up/download it.
Flac support was first introduced in Cubase 6.5 if I remember correctly, so probably not a valid file-format option.

Thanks to all. One question: what does “stems” mean?

“Stem” is a not well defined and superfluous term for a “meaningful piece of audio” in separate tracks. A kind of “pre-mixdown” before the actual mixdown happens.

It originates in film music and games music production.

The term is not needed for explaning what you have to do in your situation (it would not have been needed in the first place, but this is another story.Audio industry - like others - tends to mystify things by creating not well defined terms that vary in meaning depending on what products you use - see e.g. “comping”, etc.).

BR, Ernst

Agree, but the term stems are so widely used now that even I am starting using it.
So Stems are mixdowns of individual tracks, say a full drumset mixed down to a stereo track.
But could also be separate mixdowns of OH, Tom’s, snares etc. You decide what is useful to mix down.
The mastering engineer does not need 100 audio tracks, limiting it to something more manageable will help everyone involved.

Peakae, you are of course right.
The term is well established in no way to avoid it :slight_smile:.

To Northunder: basically a stem can be any partial mixdown that makes sense - just like peakae explaine. If you want to have a closer look, wikipedia is your friend. There you will find the background of my “rant” (actually it shouldnt be a rant) - the term is used for different things in different contexts. We can find this language phenomenon more and more often: New words with no precise meaning, homonyms from the very first seconds of their existance. This goes hand in hand with a significant decrease in language understanding and correct expression. This phenomenon is universal (globally and applies to all languages). You see, I am getting old ;o)))))

Multitracks = Individual tracks sent to mix engineer for mixing.

Stems = Usually stereo group bounces by the mix engineer (E.G Drums, Bass, Keys, Guitars, Vocals, FX) for archiving and for the mastering engineer.

That’s how I try and explain it to people, but it seems almost everyone in the biz is deferring to calling both stems these days.

Thanks for the many and valuable explanations - very appreciated.
Shall I include the send effects like Reverb etc. as extra tracks/stems mixdowns then?