SMALL AMOUNT OF STEMS from a MIX of 50 tracks

Hello People,

Can anybody help? I have a mix which I’m happy with and I’d like to break it down into just 10 WAVE STEMS with all audio FX and SENDS included, so it is complete copy of what’s in the mix - there are lots Youtube videos on batch exporting or rendering - but I don’t want all 50 tracks as Wave files - I only want a small number to make MASTERING easier. Anybody got any advice? I tried rendering but it seemed a very long winded process, and didn’t sound like the mix. Thanks very much!

There is a couple of ways to achieve that.
You could use additional Group tracks, as per your example 10. Then route the original tracks of your project to these Groups. In the Export Audio dialog you then export the 10 Groups.

If you have Cubase Pro you could use Direct Routing in Summing Mode. Create 10 additional output busses in the Audio Connections but set them to “not connected”. Then route each track to the desired output bus additionally to your Master Out. You can then export any of the output busses individually. However, this method would not include any plugins used on the Master Out itself.

Follow up to this. In both situations, you’ll have to duplicate your FX tracks (if you have any) per group/output.

For instance if you’re using the same Verb for both guitar’s and bass on an FX send, and then route the guitars to one group and the bass to the other, you won’t get the verbs.

So you’ll have to duplicate the FX track(s) and route the appropriate tracks to the new FX track and then those FX tracks to the groups.

The above assumes you are using FX tracks at all, which you might not be.

Good point. The duplication of FX tracks could be avoided by using Direct Routing in Summing mode. This allows you to route the output of the FX track to two or more destinations.

But wouldn’t the sound of the FX plug-in be split across the groups in that situation?

If guitar and bass are both being sent to the same reverb FX track, then regardless of how you route the FX track, both instruments will be present right?

No, because Cubase exports each selected output bus sequentially. This is true whether you use output busses or Group tracks as a destination for the stems.

@Georush , I made a little demo setup to show what I mean with Direct Routing:

The green channels contain the sound (audio tracks or in this case instruments). The lilac channel is the FX to which both green tracks get sent.
The grey channels are the not connected output busses from the Audio Connections dialog.

Now you can go to Audio Export and create a multiple export, selecting the busses.

Okay, so I just tried your example with Piano and Drums and ran into the issue I was expecting.

You can clearly hear the verb from the piano notes on the drum export and vise versa.

I have no idea how two signals fed into one reverb could possibly result in two discrete reverb paths. I’ve uploaded a screenshot of my routing. Please let me know if I missed something.

Maybe Cubase 13 is different from Cubase 12?

You mentioned sequential exports in an earlier post. Are you using the Export Queue?

Thank you Johnny - yes I have Cubase Pro 13 - you reply is very helpful

Hi Rockdude. Thanks for you help - it is quick complex isn’t it?!! I am going to work through the help you’ve both given above.

Here’s a question to Johnny too -

Let’s say we are trying to do the easiest way - and I don’t care about the number of tracks I prepare for Mastering ( I can easily group them into 10 stems - e.g. Drums, synths, ear candy etc

The big question is how would I export all 50 tracks and get all my inserts, FX and sends to be as they should be?

Do I have to click on Bus or VCAs and export them too? Isn’t that just automatic when you export Wave files using the Multiple section of export?

So it depends on how complex your mix session is. Do you have a lot of side chaining? Are you sending bus’s into bus’s into bus’s. If not, if it’s a relatively simple session (routing wise) then it’s possible Johnys method would be faster.

Although full disclosure, I can’t get it to work yet.

The third option which might be simplest (if you’ve only got one session to export) is to solo the tracks you want then bounce. Then repeat 9 more times.

My personal setup is as follows. I have 10 Groups and for each group I have 3FX tracks. So that’s 30FX tracks. I’ve set this up as a template with all of my orchestral tracks pre-routed to their appropriate groups. I write a lot of orchestral music, and having a template setup in advance like this allows me to export everything quickly and easily. Because it is pre-routed.

If you’re converting a session, then the fastest way will depend on the complexity of your session.

Hi Rockdude,

Say I had 5 items in my DRUMS and a solo each one of them on the Inspector and then export them as one wave file - or STEM - do I get all their effects, sends too?
Also, bounce is same as export, right?

Lastly, surely I don’t need to solo VCAs or group tracks and export them separately do I? Thanks again.

One more thing,

Does rendering in place say the five elements of the drums, hi hats, claps, snare etc - would that make a drum stem that had all effects, sends etc and sound the same as it does in the mix?

I have three things sidechained, bass to kick, vocals to synths, and a guitar track to vocals.

There are several definitions what a stem is but the ‘old school’ goes like this: A stem is a submix of tracks that belong together (e.g. all strings). Think about an analog desk and a tape machine. You would route individual tracks to a bus and record that bus on a track of the tape. Furthermore you would start at the beginning of the project and go until the end.
The last point is more important for DAWs - all stems should go from project start to project end. This way you can send the stems to any other DAW and they all line up correctly.

Use the Export → Audio Mixdown function in Cubase in order to create such stems.

I made the screenshot of the export dialog. You can see that I use “multiple” and then select both output busses but nothing else.

By setting the audio export dialog to “multiples” and then select every track/group/bus that you would like to export.

Hi Johnny,

Thansk as ever but just to get it super clear. When I go to Export audio and I see the Channel Selection, I click Multiple, and then I check every Fx, Every Group, Instrument, and every Audio channel that I have used in my song.

Essentially, if I have used it in the track then I must click it.?

Finally, when I import all these wave files into my new MASTERING project - I just group them into things that go together in the ‘old school’ sense, say, colour them differently, and proceed to do my MASTER like that?

(I have been experimenting with Rendering In place - groups of audio that go together - say exporting my 6 Drums elements into one Wave file - but after much work I am not sure if I did capture all the Group channels or VCA components. One thing that others might find helpful, if you do it using RENDER in place, create a SILENT audio track that is the length of the track - and put it in all the Rendered groups - this means that all the files you make are always the right length, otherwise some tracks will just start say, at the chorus, and be the wrong length so don’t sync.

Cubase knows the routing of your tracks. When you export a bus you don’t have to select all of its sources. You just export the bus. Same applies to Groups.

However, if you like to have really every track as its own wave file then you’d select every single track. Sometimes this approach is useful. More often tracks that musically belong together will get exported together.

It is up to you what you like to have.