Getting Started With Stems & Traktor, Part 1: Choosing Stems

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 11 April, 2018

In this, the first video of a new series on DJing with Stems, we take you by the hand and get you started using Stems on your Traktor controller… starting with buying half a dozen Stems files to play with.

So many of you have been asking us how to get started DJing with Stems files on your new Traktor hardware. Stems is the new multitrack DJ music format that controllers like the Kontrol S5 – which we use here – are designed to let you play in whole new ways with. But to help you have fun quickly with them, we have some pointers, gleaned from our experimenting with the format from months before i t went public right up to now.

About the series

In order to make this mini series as useful as possible, we’ve picked half a dozen tracks from those currently commercially available that have a nice contrast (different genres, keys, different types of vocal, and so on), to use throughout the videos. That way not only will you hopefully be much clearer about what it is we’re doing (after all, if we picked six very similar tech house instrumentals, we’d struggle to demonstrate an awful lot to you), but also you’ll get some ideas about how to choose tracks yourself to make the most of Stems.

In today’s tutorial, we’ll simply head online together and choose those tracks (and more importantly, I’ll talk you through my thought process for doing so). The idea is that you’ll then have an idea what to look for yourself when buying your first handful of Stems. In the next tutorial we’ll cover the basics of playing elements of one Stems file over another using the Kontrol S5.

For now, though, let’s go Stems shopping!

Tutorial video

Remember, As I say in the video, you don’t have to buy the same Stems files I bought, as long as you understand my thinking – although if you did want to experiment with a few or even all of my choices, be my guest! Remember, just go for contrast, a range of genres, and get a few vocals in there too – and try and buy some in the same or harmonically compatible keys. It’ll make what’s coming next more fun.

Check out the other videos in this Stems series:

• Quick links: Go straight to the Stems Music site, Traxsource, and Dubseed.

Got any questions about Stems, shopping for Stems, or getting them onto your machine and into Traktor? Ask away, we’ll be more than happy to help you out. Erm, just to be clear, that doesn’t mean we’ll be buying them for you. You have to do that bit… 😉

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