The Complete Stem Mixing Workflow

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Stem Mixing and Loudness Control

Stem mixing has many benefits

  • Faster workflow
  • Easily balance groups of tracks
  • Create perfect separation & clarity between instruments
  • Make things LOUD with less damage

In this video, Fab Dupont breaks down how to set your session up to stem mix and then walks you through his mix of The Arrows Prisoner where he dishes tricks on making louder and clearer mixes.

Stem mixing is one of the best ways to gain flexibility and bigger picture control over the shape of a mix as a whole. Become a pro at managing your mix’s dynamic range and deliver radio-ready mixes.

Fab shows you how working in a stem mixing workflow has the added benefit of distilling a HUGE session down to just 8 channels that he can alway keep at his fingertips.

Plus when it comes time to print a performance track or create a Live session for the artist, his work is already done - no re-routing or repetitive bouncing necessary.

Pay close attention to the details in the routing that make Fab's setup incredibly powerful and easy to use.

P.S. Don't forget the most important detail of them all: always color your stem tracks Baby Blue.

Featured Music

The Arrows - Prisoner on iTunes or Spotify

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

What do you have to say?
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2020 Oct 10
Productivity can be clutch when you have tight deadlines. Thanks for making videos like these.
Oscar Gasch
2019 Aug 22
Hello Fab. I just wonder if its possible to assign faders (like you did on Ucon) on hui protocol. Thanks for all. Also for your sense of humor!
2019 Feb 11
Hey Fab, great video, but still dont understand the difference between stems mixing and just using AUX s for each instrument and VCAs. Thanks!
2018 Oct 26
Hey Fab, question regarding the routing to the stem tracks. I currently send most of the instruments to a rear bus aux for compression which is then routed back to my master bus processing. Should I leave the rear bus routing alone or do I need to have a “rear bus” for each stem?
Stephen Moniz
2018 Jul 23
One more question. So if your vox and or bass lets say or in Mono in the original tracks it is OK to make them stereo and wide on the stem as long as you follow the panning. And how does this affect the workflow using a dangerous 2bus+? Just make everything stereo on the 2bus+? Thanks!
Stephen Moniz
2018 Jul 23
Is there any benefit or difference of having the stems (or even subs) as a VCA Fader rather than audio track?
2018 May 09
Still confused about the need for a group, which then gets routed to a stem (aux)..... and it seems in PT you cant solo the stem , looks like you had to mute the other stems to solo something. On a real console if you have a bunch of tracks routed to a group, can you just hit solo on the group fader? Great an d entertaing video as always, thx!
2018 Jan 15
Hi fab! Would you be able to show us your setup one day? I know that you may say ''it's not about the gear, but about the player'' but it would be interesting to learn what gear your started out with, and what you evolved to and expanded with, and also learning what the gear does, and why you have it. for instance, you faders on the side, which are daw controllers, good for stem-controlling. I never thought of this, but when you mentioned this, I thought that it was genius. Right now, I have some piece of gear, and I want to expand, and also learn what can help me along the way
Fabulous Fab
2016 Oct 07
@Styles: I probably wanted to be able to show with and without limiter in one click across the mix.
2016 Oct 06
Another great video! I was wondering why all the limiters on the stems are grouped. Wouldn't you want to adjust the input of each stem to taste? Thanks
2016 Aug 27
What about using Oxford Inflator instead of the Limitier?
2016 Aug 05
That was spooky. I sneezed and 2 seconds later Fab says "All the sneezes...", I gotta try not to scratch while watching these, apparently they're watching back! LOL
2015 Oct 14
Excellent VID! I will have to watch again and again...It's that good! Stem Mixing...
2015 Sep 14
Still having trouble hearing the difference at 17:06 with and without limiters. I am listening through an RME Fireface 802 into Yamaha HS80M speakers, or Beyerdynamic DT250 cans. I even recorded that part of the video into the DAW so I could AB them and even the waveforms are absolutely identical between the with and without parts. I don't know what to learn from that. If you can hear something that I can't even see between waveforms, you must have superhuman hearing. By the way Fab, you are costing me a fortune in plugins and gear every time I watch one of your videos - and I love it :D
Fabulous Fab
2015 Aug 31
@Kelly777: 'Correct 'printing' means recording. By recording instruments with their processing in several separate stems one can basically have the record as a backing track for live shows, with the ability to mute whichever parts you like. (Mute the bAss is you have the bass player on stage, mute the drums if you have the drums, etc)
2015 Aug 25
Didn't really understand the part about printing the stems at the end for live use. Were you recording the bass drum stem to another audio track? You then went on to say you continue by "printing" the next stem----does that mean you record that track to a separate track as well, like the bass drum? Very interested in the live performance possibilities, any help on that would be greatly appreciated! Great video by the way, thanks!
2015 Aug 13
8 is the key... like octatrack :p
Fabulous Fab
2015 Aug 03
@freewind1974:JUst print your stems thru the whole system. It'll work fine and sound great if you are not being too heavy on the 2Bus processing.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Aug 03
@duguy: I never dither I truncate. On the Sonnox limiter, no dithering and dithering to 24 bit is the same.
2015 Jul 28
PPLP_SMorse's question is interesting, I haven't figured out myself a way to use 2bus compression on stems yet. I sometimes print stems on heavy mixes to save CPU, and I do it pre-2bus processing. If I had to send stems out, ie. for stem mastering and such, and I wanted to use 2bus processing, I would have to find an alternative, besides not using 2bus processing at all. Any better idea? There has to be a way though.
2015 May 26
Hello fab, i noticed that you keep the dithers engaged on your limiters to 24 Bits. What is the interest to keep the dithers when working on stems ?
Fabulous Fab
2015 Apr 23
@chadmauldin: You have to make sure you have the sneds probably activated when printing stems. Or you have to have dedicated reverbs ofr everytihng
2015 Apr 23
Great video, but what do you do about reverbs if a client wants stems? Since they return on an aux, they won't be a part of the stem.
2014 Dec 30
Brilliant! I hope the Mackie MCU can do the same!? //Alex
William Forrest
2014 Dec 29
J'aime la simplicité avec laquelle tu nous expliques ton workflow :) Merci Mr Fab. I like the simplicity with which you explain us your workflow :) Thanks Mr Fab
2014 Dec 20
Merci de vos partages
2014 Dec 20
subtitles french please :)
Il Pianista
2014 Dec 06
Great video as usual! Do you know how I can set up my Tascam US2400 in order to have a bank permanently attached to 8 faders as you did in the video? It looks like you have a dedicated menu on the top right corner of your window, but I don't! Thanks!
2014 Dec 03
I have one question. What about the reverbs. They go also to the stems track?
2014 Nov 29
Thank you very much. I will modify my mix template right now !
2014 Nov 21
Excellent video! Thanks!
2014 Nov 20
Thank you for teaching/sharing these methods Fab!
2014 Nov 14
Where can I find this song?
2014 Nov 06
Extremely informative, you really have to be on your toes to follow Fabrice. I don't work with this many tracks... ever, but the concepts here are very useful.
2014 Nov 06
Hi Fab, what do you recommend to do about mix buss compressor(s) when printing individual stems? I use those a lot for overall tone of the mix and sometimes as the glue (which you already have a limiter for) and I think it would come out very different stem by stem instead of the whole track.
2014 Nov 01
great video FAB!....thanks for the info!
ManRoom Studio
2014 Oct 29
Excellent presentation and great information - as usual.
2014 Oct 21
This video is AMAZING! Well done Fab!