Tape Stem Mastering (8 stems)




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Send us your stems for the tape-mastering! Make sure it’s at a maximum of 8 Tracks!

Stem Mastering is half way between a stereo 2 track master and a full mix down.  It is quite common for mixing engineers to send mastering engineers the main parts of a track bounced into separate stems for mastering. For example, the main stems may be Drums, Bass, Synths & Guitars and Vocals.  The idea behind is that you give your mastering engineer more flexibility & control over the total sound and more options to creatively adjust the complete track.

Stems should be sent as Stereo WAV or AIFF files.  Usually 24 bit and 44.1 kHz or higher.  Label them clearly and ZIP them together as a single compressed file.

If your track is mixed ‘perfectly’ then stem mastering is certainly not as valuable. But more often than not mixes are sent to us with obvious problems and flaws.  A stem master can be a good way to alleviate this problem and in the end give you a better result.

As this process is more complex and time consuming for us, we do charge a higher rate per track.

As you read earlier, we integrate the tape machine into the signal flow of your session with a specially-measured mastering tape (RTM SM468 for more Mojo), thus utilizing the warm, powerful, analog sound we all know and love.

The level for the tape master itself is adjusted by means of VU meters and by listening, depending on the material. There are no fixed values, but you can choose the character by choosing the speed of the reel measured in “inch per second”.

  • 7.5 ips (dirty texture – when you gain for some extra vibe),
  • 15 ips (reliable and balanced – our vintage recommendation!),
  • 30 ips (crisp hi-end – we figured that this speed is perfect for cold styles like electro or IDM).

Frequently asked questions:

In what format do I submit my audio data?

TailOut prefers WAV or AIFF in 24 bit (not dithered!) or 32 bit. 16 bit might be OK for the listening pleasure from consumer media, but is not sufficient for digital processing.
The sample rate is dependent on your project rate, however we recommend the standard that is 44.1 kHz. Please be aware that two different sample rates (like 44.1 and 48 kHz) on one side on vinyl is not easy to cut (or more expensive). The work-around of conversion deteriorates the quality of the converted file.

What does the tape machine do?

Harsh, digital sounding heights are smoothed out, the depth increases thanks to saturation effects, which also improves the transparency of your mix. The bass range is compressed in a pleasant way, depending on the tape send level, without having an actual compressor in use. Bass and bass-drum blend together to create a fundament that improves the groove feel of your songs. Especially the drums get more volume through a tape transfer and remain in the foreground, especially in times of high sums limiting.

Please make sure to provide us with your previously uploaded material via the “Additional Information” field on the checkout page or our: