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Tutorial: Create multitrack stems in Logic Express

If you find yourself collaborating on a project, here’s a quick and easy technique for sharing your Logic projects with other platforms

When working on tracks in Logic, it’s often the case that you’ll need to collaborate with a colleague with a different setup, perhaps consisting of a Pro Tools system. If so, you’ll need to be able to export your project in a format that they’ll be able to work with. Traditionally this involves the creation of stems, which are individually rendered audio files of each track in your song that all start at the same point, usually bar one, beat one of your project, making it easy for a third party to import all the files to the same position in whichever DAW software they’re using. Converting a screenful of existing audio and MIDI regions into stems has now been made significantly easier by the addition of a specific menu command, so here’s how to convert your song quickly and easily into a set of audio files that can be read by any digital audio workstation.

1: Open the project
Launch your project. Our example has Audio and Software Instrument (MIDI) tracks, as both can be rendered to new audio regions simultaneously.

2: Set song end marker
In the ruler bar, to the right of the last region in your project, you’ll find the song end marker. Drag this to a point just after the end of your song.

3: Export all tracks
From the File menu, select ’Export>All tracks as Audio Files. This will bring up a dialog containing a range of options to select from.

4: Choose save location
To start with, browse to the location on your computer’s hard drive where you want to save the files you’re about to create.

5: Choose save format
Three audio file formats are available. You can choose from CAF, AIFF or WAVE formats. All are widely used, but WAVE is probably most universal.

6: Choose bit depth
The higher the bit depth, the better the quality of the rendered audio. CD-quality is 16-bit, but 24-bit is the standard bit depth for professional audio files.

7: Bypass Effect Plug-ins
By checking this box to disable all effects plug-ins, all tracks will be rendered without effects. This is helpful if exporting tracks to an external application.

8: Include Volume/Pan Automation
By the same token, it’s also probably best to render the stems with no volume or pan automation. Leave this box unchecked to do this.

9: Save and render
Click the ‘Save’ button and sit back while the rendering process begins. This can take a while, depending on the number of tracks in your project.