Dissident93, on 08 December 2011 - 07:00 AM, said:
Aren't stems just some of the multitracks set aside during mixing/mastering, for the sole purpose of having them available for remixing later down the line?
Stems generally would sum to the pre-master, and its main purpose is remixing, yes. It's also become the industry standard term (... as far as two companies go. They're pretty much the entire industry anyway. Oops, wait. One. Guitar Hero is no more) for what eventually are the files that get distributed on games like Rock Band and DJ Hero.
In this context of wanting instruments, or at least logical parts separated, yes, the same stem term applies. Especially when used in an interactive context which is pretty much on-the-fly automated remixing.
edit: Being a little more true to my nerd self, the industry standard description for 'master' is- the final stereo (or 5.1, or whatever) track, which is sent out for duplication, produced by a mastering engineer. In that context, any further changes to it means it's not a master. Constituent parts are similarly not considered a master (or masters), as typically summing them won't yield a bit-for-bit duplication of the master, (since the master was processed by the mastering engineer).
Also on that note a mastering engineer works with a stereo mix. If you're lucky, he works with a vocal-off + vocal track. No more constituent parts than that. The process of mastering describes taking a pre-master stereo mix
and making sure that it plays back as well as possible on a widest variety of playback systems, and is of appropriate volume level. A 'remaster' is taking that stereo file and doing another mastering pass. Single stereo file being key, as the process of mastering is basically the final-step cherry on the cake. Someone re-mixing (not remixing) a track from its multitrack doesn't make a 'remaster'. He makes an alternate mix. Even further back in the pipeline, someone rendering an existing midi using another set of soundfonts/instruments does not make a remaster. He makes a new version.
Further nerdreading: http://en.wikipedia....Audio_mastering
This post has been edited by Falk: 08 December 2011 - 11:52 AM