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How to Bounce Stems in Pro Tools – The ULTIMATE Guide

How to Bounce Stems in Pro Tools

How to Bounce Stems in Pro Tools: Pro Tools is a popular music production software that offers a stellar range of music creation functions. If you have begun using this software recently, you may be wondering how to export track stems individually. This process is actually quite straightforward and will be discussed in detail in this guide.

Here is how to bounce stems in Pro Tools.

Why Do Producers Need to Bounce Stems?

If you are new to the music production world, you may have seen other producers “bounce” their track stems at some point. “Bounce” is just another term for “export”. So these producers are essentially exporting their track’s various stems individually. So what is the point of doing this?

Many producers send their track stems to other people for professional mixing or mastering before importing them back to Pro Tools and exporting the full track. In other cases, a producer may need to send their track stems to other producers who want to create remixes.

How to Bounce Stems in Pro Tools?

Pro Tools is a great production software that lets you do many creative things. The software allows you to “bounce” stems in a number of ways. These methods include:

  • Track bounce
  • Solo bouncing

Track Bounce Method

The track bounce method is quite straightforward, making it the most popular method for exporting stems on Pro Tools. This method involves selecting each of the tracks in your Pro Tools project session, right-clicking, and then choosing the Track Bounce option. This route lets you export every single track in your Pro Tools session along with the automation and processing. The only thing that isn’t exported is the bus processing.

This method is great because it prints the processing for each track, consolidates the different sections, and then exports them into a folder for easy sorting. The track bounce method is the favored method for sharing your stems with fellow songwriters or producers.

The only downside to using this method is that it does not allow your stems to pass through the plug-ins in the master bus. This means your stems will sound different from the way they did when they were played in the session. For example, if your mix-bus chain contained an Equalizer plugin that boosted your mid-frequencies, this equalizer won’t be audible on the exported stems.

The steps for using the track bounce method are outlined below:

  1. Open your session in Pro Tools.
  2. Look at the various stems you wish to export. You can use the Audio Zoom function to bring each of your desired stems into view.
  3. Hide any stems you do not wish to export. This includes any muted tracks or unused auxiliaires.
  4. Rename your stems so that they are easy to recognize based on filename.
  5. Select all tracks.
  6. Right-click and select “Bounce” from the menu displayed.
  7. Choose the file format for your stems and a destination on your computer.
  8. Select “Bounce” in the window that follows.
  9. Wait for your stems to bounce.
  10. Locate the exported stems in their destination folder and listen back to them.

If your stems sound the way you would like them to, you can send them off to other people.

Exporting Stems With Bounce Butler

As mentioned earlier, using the bounce function doesn’t let your stems pass through the plug-ins in the master bus. So how can you work around this issue? One solution is to export your stems individually via a program called Bounce Butler.

The method for exporting stems via Bounce Butler is outlined below:

  1. Visit bouncebutler.com and download Bounce Butler.
  2. Install the program and open your session on Pro Tools.
  3. Look at the various stems you wish to export. You can use the Audio Zoom function to bring each of your desired stems into view.
  4. Open the window for Memory Locations
  5. Create two brand new locations. The first one will be for the start of the song, and the second one will be for the end. You can label them as “Start” and “Finish”.
  6. Set a marker number such as “449” for the Start and “450” for the Finish location.
  7. Choose and solo the track you would like to export. This includes solo-ing any effects busses or auxiliaries you wish to be used.
  8. Select “Save As” to save your session and set a name for it.
  9. Repeat the above steps for each track in your session.
  10. Close your Pro Tools session and open Bounce Butler.
  11. Drag and drop all your stem sessions, ensuring you have set the 449 and 450 markers as your starting and finishing points for each export.
  12. Click “Bounce” and wait for the program to complete the process.
  13. Check your stems.

Making the Most of Your Music Production Sessions

As you can see, bouncing your stems in Pro Tools is a relatively straightforward process. You should ensure you use the right method when exporting your stems as the first method won’t incorporate the plugins in the bus processing. You can learn more music production tips by checking out the resources below.

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How to Bounce Stems in Pro Tools