If you’ve been following the progression of DJ apps lately, you’ve probably noticed that extracting stems on-the-fly from your existing library seems to be trending. Serato DJ has now joined the game, offering its own tool for doing just that: Serato Stems. While the final product is slated for a release later this year in both Serato DJ Pro Lite 3.0 and DJ Pro 3.0, existing users can test drive it with the public beta that’s available now. This lets users kick the tires on the upcoming release and provide feedback to help improve the final result.
Serato DJ’s stem-isolating tools are similar to other offerings, letting you separate vocal, melody, bass and drums from any track. Additionally, you get effects including a vocal echo, instrumental echo, instrumental braker and drums echo. These can be accessed directly in the desktop app or assigned to the slicer or sampler performance pads on supported controllers. As you use these tools, you’ll see grayed out or highlighted portions of the waveform corresponding to your selections.
The stem analysis does take a fair bit of processing power, so it’s ideal for users with an M1 or M2 Mac. However, for those on slower laptops, you can pre-analyze select files by dropping them into a “Stems” folder in the crates sidebar. This can take care of the heavy lifting in advance so you don’t have to worry about analyzing tracks as you go during a live set.
Serato has said the company didn't use AI for their results. Instead, it developed its own algorithm to handle the audio separation. We had a chance to briefly test the new Serato Stems feature and the results are promising. They do vary depending on the tracks you're using, but even on muddled tracks the quality of isolated segments sounds good and any sound leakage for the various channels seems minimal.
Overall, the Serato Stems feature is fun and easy to use. Plus, it opens up lots of creative opportunities when you consider both the stem isolation and the related effects. There will be more information about this new feature when it's officially launched later this year. For now, existing Serato DJ users can find the public beta on the company's website.