how to export stems in fl studio

How to Export Stems in FL Studio? A Step-by-Step Guide

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Jumping into the world of music production is thrilling, but with loads of tools and features to master, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when it comes technical tasks like exporting stems. “Stems” are simply the individual tracks of a whole mix; for example, the separate drum, bass, synth, or vocal tracks, each as their own audio file. This method is invaluable for remixing, collaborating with other producers, or even for live performance setups. If you’re using FL Studio, exporting stems might seem like a daunting task, but with a little guidance, it’s a straightforward process. Let’s dive into it step by step.

What Are Stems and Why Are They Important?

Before we discuss exporting stems, it’s vital to understand what they are. Stems are the separated audio tracks from your project that can be reconstructed in another setup or used for remixing purposes. For instance, you might have the drums on one stem, the vocals on another, and the bassline on a third.

Benefits of Using Stems

  • Flexibility in Mixing and Mastering: It allows other engineers or producers to re-mix or master the song, adjusting levels and effects to better suit the desired outcome.
  • Collaboration: Collaborating with other artists becomes easier when they can work with individual parts of your composition rather than a single mixed file.
  • Remixing: DJs and remix artists rely heavily on stems to create unique versions of a track.
  • Live Performances: Some performers use stems to control and tweak different sections of their tracks during live shows.
music producer making music in a studio

Preparation: Organizing Your Session

Clean Your Project

Before exporting stems, ensure your project is clean and organized. This means naming your tracks appropriately, removing any unused audio or MIDI clips, and setting up your arrangement in a clear and coherent manner.

  • Name Your Tracks: This might seem trivial, but properly naming your tracks helps immensely in keeping things organized during export and makes the stems easy to identify later.
  • Organize Your Playlist: Make sure all your drums are grouped together, vocals are in another section, and so on. This helps in easily selecting and exporting different sections.
  • Check Levels and Effects: Ensure each track’s levels are balanced, and any effects that should be printed with the stem are appropriately applied.

Properly Assign Mixer Tracks

Each sound source in your project should be routed to its own mixer track. This is crucial because FL Studio uses the mixer tracks as the source for exporting stems.

  1. Route Each Track: Click on each track in the channel rack, then assign it to a unique mixer track by clicking on its numbers.
  2. Grouping (Optional): If you have multiple similar elements (like layered snares), consider routing them to a single auxiliary mixer track. This organizes the mix further and simplifies the export process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting Stems in FL Studio

Now that you’ve organized your project and ensured each track is routed properly, let’s move on to the exporting process.

Step 1: Open the Export Dialog

  1. Click File in the top menu.
  2. Go to Export.
  3. Select Wave file (*.wav) or another format (like MP3 or OGG) based on your needs.

Step 2: Choose Your Destination

A dialog will appear asking where you want to save your files. Select your desired folder and name the base of your files (e.g., MyTrack_Stems).

Step 3: Choose Export Settings

The Render window will now appear, which includes several crucial settings.

  • Mode: Make sure you have selected Split Mixer Tracks. This is the most important setting for exporting stems.
  • WAV Bit Depth: For high-quality stems, use a bit depth of 24-bit. 16-bit is also common, but 24-bit is generally better for preserving audio quality.
  • Resampling: Set this to a high value (like 512-point sinc) for the best audio quality.
  • Enable Insert Effects: Make sure this is checked if you want the effects on each track to be included in the stems.
  • Enable Master Effects: Usually unchecked to ensure the master effects (like a limiter) aren’t applied to individual stems.

Once these settings are configured, click Start.

Step 4: Review Your Stems

After exporting, go to the destination folder you selected. You should see individual audio files named after your mixer tracks (Vocal_1.wav, Drum_1.wav, etc.).

  • Check Quality: Open a few of the stems in your audio player to ensure everything exported correctly.
  • Organize: For better management, organize these files into folders (e.g., Drums, Vocals, Instruments).
Step 1Open the Export Dialog: Click File > Export > Wave file (*.wav) (or desired format).
Step 2Choose Destination: Select folder and name the base of your files (e.g., MyTrack_Stems).
Step 3Choose Export Settings: Set Mode to Split Mixer Tracks, WAV Bit Depth to 24-bit.
Resampling: High value (e.g., 512-point sinc), enable Insert Effects, disable Master Effects.
Step 4Review Stems: Check exported files in the destination folder for quality and correct naming.
TipOrganize Files: Group stems into folders (e.g., Drums, Vocals, Instruments) for better management.
edm producer playing on keyboard in a music studio

Tips and Tricks for Better Results

Stem Naming Conventions

While FL Studio names stems based on the mixer track names, using a consistent naming convention can save a lot of head-scratching later. Consider using:

  • Project Name: Include the project’s name as a prefix (e.g., SongName_Bass.wav).
  • Track Type and Number: If you have multiple similar elements, number them sequentially (e.g., Drum_1, Drum_2).

Exporting Group Tracks

If you’ve used group tracks (aux tracks) in FL Studio, you might want those exported as stems as well. Here’s how:

  1. Assign the outputs of related tracks to a group mixer track (like all percussion going to Perc_Group).
  2. While exporting, ensure these group tracks are also set to be exported by checking their assignments in the Render settings.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  • Effects: Double-check which effects are being applied. Sometimes you might want certain effects printed on the stems, but others left out.
  • Playback in Mono: Listen to your stems in mono to check for any phase issues.
  • Exporting Too Many Stems: Sometimes, less is more. Focus on exporting the most critical elements rather than cluttering up with many minor elements.
Stem NamingUse consistent naming conventions: project name, track type, and number (e.g., SongName_Bass.wav).
Export Group TracksAssign related tracks to a group mixer track (e.g., Perc_Group) and ensure they’re exported.
Check EffectsDouble-check which effects are applied to ensure desired ones are included and unnecessary ones are excluded.
Mono PlaybackListen to stems in mono to check for phase issues and ensure compatibility.
Focus on Key ElementsExport only the most critical elements to avoid clutter and maintain focus on essential tracks.

Quick Tip Video on How to Export Stems from FL Studio

Conclusion: Making Stem Exporting a Habit

Exporting stems is an invaluable skill for a music producer. Whether for collaboration, remixing, or live performance, having clean and well-organized stems can save you a lot of time and effort. In FL Studio, the process is straightforward once you get the hang of it.

  1. Organize Your Project: This goes a long way in making sure your stems are useful and high-quality.
  2. Check Settings Carefully: Ensure you’ve selected Split Mixer Tracks and check other settings for the best quality output.
  3. Review and Organize: After exporting, thoroughly check your stems and organize them effectively for future use.

So, the next time you finish a project in FL Studio, consider exporting stems. It might just open up new possibilities for your music. Whether sharing with friends, collaborating with artists, or preparing for a live gig, having your project’s elements as individual stems is a powerful way to keep your creative options open.

Happy producing!


What are stems in music production?

Stems are individual audio tracks from a project, such as separate drum, bass, synth, or vocal tracks. They allow for flexible remixing, collaboration, and live performances, enabling producers to manipulate and mix individual elements of a composition rather than a single mixed file.

Why is it important to organize my project before exporting stems?

Organizing your project ensures that your exported stems are clean and easily identifiable. Properly naming tracks, grouping similar elements, and balancing levels and effects help avoid confusion and ensure high-quality, usable stems for remixing, collaboration, or live performance.

How do I assign mixer tracks in FL Studio?

In FL Studio, click on each track in the channel rack and assign it to a unique mixer track by selecting a number. This step is crucial for exporting stems, as the software uses these mixer tracks as the source for the exported audio files.

What settings should I use when exporting stems in FL Studio?

When exporting stems, select “Split Mixer Tracks” in the Render settings. Use a bit depth of 24-bit for high quality, set resampling to a high value like 512-point sinc, enable insert effects, and typically leave master effects unchecked to avoid applying them to individual stems.

How can I avoid common pitfalls when exporting stems?

To avoid common pitfalls, ensure that only desired effects are applied to each stem, check for phase issues by listening in mono, and focus on exporting the most critical elements rather than every minor sound. This approach ensures high-quality, usable stems without unnecessary clutter.