Communicating stems

Increasingly, artists release not only fully-mastered sound recordings but also some of the “stems” that contributed to those sound recordings. ERN-4 allows communicating stems in two ways, depending on the approach taken by the record company and artist:

An artist may choose to release one or more stems as part of a “normal” album or single.

In that case, the stem metadata needs to be communicated in a SoundRecording composite with the SoundRecordingType set to AudioStem. As a consequence, each of the stems is, like any other Sound Recording, provided in a separate audio resource file.

All other aspects of the NewReleaseMessage are the same as for a Release without any stems.

Alternatively, an artist may choose to release a collection of stems.

This “stem bundle” may comprise only stems or a combination of stems and fully-mastered sound recordings – but with the focus on the stems.

In this case, all stems need to be communicated as in the previous case, as SoundRecordingcomposites with the SoundRecordingType set to AudioStem and all non-stem sound recordings need to have their SoundRecordingType set to, for instance MusicalWorkSoundRecording.

In addition, the stem-centric Release must have a ReleaseTypeof StemBundle.

Stem bundles

A record company may also release a stem bundle where all stems are collated into a single file (e.g. as MPEG-4 Audio objects). DDEX is in the process of developing a solution for such cases. DDEX will update this article once a solution has been agreed.