Okay so hear me out… Fist off I have zero experience in coding or making any type of software so this might just be a fever dream reeee but I do have some understanding of computers enough that maybe I found a way around the hardware limitations of standalone units when it comes to using stem functions.
I was poking around at how the engine lighting setup works, basically using sound switch to pre-fabricate lighting shows on the pc then save the lighting metadata to the individual music files. I noticed how the data saves into a sort of sub folder for the music file.
The lighting thing is important cause I think Engine OS is already doing with lighting what I think they could do with stems. I was using record box on a friends computer just a few days ago just on my pc and trying out how the stems, and immediately I wondered what if you could just use the PC software version to sort of “Render out” an algorithm based STEM and save the layers onto the USB like you would a soundscape light show.
Essentially drop a track into Engine OS, analyze blah blah, but add a feature where the computer could render out maybe a vocal and instrumental STEM version of the track too. you would sacrifice storage space (As you would most likely triple that files size now), but thankfully the beautiful people at Denon have blessed us with so many storage options, especially that sexy SSD slot this idea would take advantage of.
The separate layers of the track could all be saved in the same sub file, when loading the track in you could maybe have 2 options, Original or “Layered” ← this would be your pre rendered STEM. Tap your option and load as usual.
I know there is probably more things to consider like how you would flip into stem mode, How would the unit essentially play multiple layers of audio on a single channel, what buttons would do what on each unit and all that, like I said I’m no expert, this is just an idea that popped into my head and I wanna hear what you all think about it! Best case someone smarter than me on here reads this and figures out a better angle.
Probably best to not spend several paragraphs making assumptions like the following:
Assigning some lighting scripts to a track (that is likely just simple code on an XML) is far different to rendering music into 4 different channels to play it live with the ability to drop any part of it… the two aren’t remotely comparable.
That said, the rumour mill is pointing towards iNmusic adding Stems to standalone devices, nothing concrete but there have been hints. But let’s not start putting 2+2 together and making 10 by linking unrelated items together to justify the addition.
Leave it to the people who are paid to work such things out.
I work in system support so have a little background in stuff like this… imagine the lighting commands being nothing more than simple midi messages being passed to the DMX interface to trigger the lights, very little impact on performance.
They have a big update coming mid June with a few more great features.
Yeah I assumed lighting is just simple commands for things like position and intensity/color that could be represented with multiple single values. I work as a studio photographer for the last 10 years or so now so I know lighting very well. But the audio side not so much.
Yeah its an interesting problem, I though the sacrifice of file storage space / pre render was a cool angle. But either way I’m exited to see what they come up with! Even if they never add a STEM feature I’m fine with that, I’m sure most of us on here mix perfectly fine without it so if Denon has some cool stuff coming in June I’m all for it!
I just imagine Stems as being a simplified version of music production software, imagine each channel in say Ableton is a stem. The computer has to render and play back those channels together to output the music track you’re trying to produce, these computers have to be extremely powerful.
Obviously its only 4 channels but potentially its 8 on a 2 channel unit and 16 on a 4 channel unit, if you start running 16 channels on Logic Pro or Ableton your computer is going to start crying, and this is from someone with an M1 MacBook Pro that eats any DJ unit alive for power and performance.
Processing of tracks on the fly that have not been analysed prior in Engine is pretty quick.
Stems is a different beast that would put way too much pressure on the hardware if it was even an option.
There has been a lot of great updates to the Engine OS and long may that continue, but there will come a time when the OS won’t be able to handle any more ‘major’ updates, that’s when the devs will have to strike a balance between functionality and longevity of the older hardware.
I guess another question could be, what was Phil Morse alluding to when he said the rumour was something that had never been seen before on standalone?? I cant think of anything else, but it does seem a massive stretch, especially with all the performance issues people have been having on these devices.
Traktor adopted the idea of stems but mixing to stems that then make up the final mix is just standard procedure with TV/Film and lots of music. Electronic dance music, not so much but it should be a pretty simple thing to adopt for electronic music producers, if they they wanted to.
I join the discussion, I am currently using my sc live 4 only with serato because for me the use of stems is important, I believe that if Engine for pc created the stems as serato does and only and only in batch, then I think that consoles don’t need that much horsepower to handle them, but that’s just a feeling. the situation is different instead if you want to do them in real time and I think this is not possible, but if there were the possibility, it would be welcome
I think the issue here is the sheer amount of problems being reported on the Serato forum with PC performance, regardless of whether the Stems are pre-analysed or not. We can only go by that experience as a guide to the power needed, and lots of the people are using modern high powered computers.
The line from the industry at present (through the likes of DigitalDJTips) seems to be that the hardware isnt in a position to facilitate it at present, im sure they have some insight which makes them feel this way.
in fact you are right, but it would be enough to tell the truth to make the stems work well, so if you then have complaints because customers have low-powered PCs you will avoid problems later, but I understand that commercially it is better to hit a wider audience
Software development is not my forte but if Inmusic can incorporate stems I would welcome it I just hope they would not rush and release a poor version, the other competitors will improve their stems so the battle for the top spot is certainly picking up pace now RB is involved