The era of artists regularly releasing stems for remixing seems imminent. In the meantime, we see occasional examples of artists who get it. Radiohead have a new feature on their tune Nude, promoted with Apple. Purchase stems of a song (that’s by stem, so you pay US$0.99 * 5 stems + 1 full song if you want everything), and you get audio via iTunes Plus. Purchase the full set, and you can also download a GarageBand / Logic Pro-compatible project with all loop, tempo, and key information embedded, as pictured at top. (Unless I’m mistaken, that’s also the ideal way to get uncompressed audio for use in other tools.)


If you happen to prefer another tool for remixing (say, one that rhymes with Mabledon Dive and is often seen running on computers from Apple), these are just DRM-free audio files, so the choice is yours. Upload the finished results to the Web, and the band will review submissions and open them to votes. There are already a number of remixes up at the moment.

NUDE RE/MIX on iTunes

Radiohead Remix Site

Hmmm, nude remixing? Brings new meaning to “bedroom producer.” Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Radiohead does specify that you can’t use these for commercial purposes; it’s too bad they didn’t choose to apply a Creative Commons non-commercial license, which would formalize essentially what they’re saying. But this is otherwise done quite nicely, nonetheless, and I hope we see more of this.

Like remixable music? Nine Inch Nails has a whole remix site, and indie label Magnatune lets you remix all their artists’ work via a Creative Commons license (though they typically don’t offer stems). Online music outlet Dance Tracks Digital goes beyond stems with full Ableton Live-ready projects, suitable for DJs. That’s just for starters; if you have other favorite remix resources, let us know.

  • As far as I know, The Ableton Live-ready tracks sold by Dantracks Digital are not stems, they're just regular tracks with .als files so you don't have to warp them manually. I know they've had remix competitions in the past, however, and Beatport has them regularly as well. A good place to find contests is

  • That's right, DTD's Live-ready stuff tends not to include stems. It's ultimately up to the artist/label to do that, and they've tended not to — with some exceptions, correct. I do think it's a trend we'll see grow over time, though.

  • Matt

    Peter Gabriels Label Real World Records has a special remix site:


    This is pretty interesting stuff. Especially number 3. This in itself would probably be the reason for not releasing it under Creative Commons license. Under CC you can take credit for your remix (but not sell of course), you would just have to credit the original makers of the 'samples' or whatnot. Here Radiohead not only owns what you submit, but takes credit for it outright.

    Although its not a contest (see terms again), it sort of reminds me of the American Idol way of thinking: Water it all down until it is even more pop-fantastic than before. Include your audience and make them think they are part of the group, decision making, scene, etc. Then sell the 'experience' to them.

    It would be interesting if, say, Radiohead would voice an opinion on which remix they 'like' the best. It may, after all, provide some sort of point to this gratuitous remixing, other than that sexy feeling you get while 'bedroom producing' Nude.

    Again see the terms page and look for a point to all of this – if you find it please post a reply. And for all you Casey Kasems out there please don't say its to get popular on the top ten list on the remix website (see American Idol point above).

    It seems to me the point of all of this is not to empower, or enable the 'remixer' to do anything interesting at all. It seems more like a way for Radiohead to sell this track again at a premium.

  • Another very interesting invitation for remixes is the one for Jamie Lidell's A Little Bit of Feel Good.

    My version of it plays on; the original is on Jamie's site.


  • @TranceiverHead: I just read it as lawyers, well, acting like lawyers. You need to have some kind of copyright release that allows your site to redistribute submitted remixes. And you want to avoid adding any further liability. But they do go far, I agree — and it just seems overly protective when things like CC provide an alternative.

    Mind, CC hasn't been without legal challenges (most recently, an ad campaign failed to get model releases from Flickr — not CC's fault, but a misunderstanding of other parts of the law).

    That said, thanks for reminders of these other competitions, and I'd be interested if anyone knows how they differ (or not) in legal terms. I think as the legal area gets better explored, artists will feel more open about doing this sort of thing.

  • Psykohed

    Things sure have changed since back in 07 when they wouldn't sell their album on iTunes because they are not a "song" band and refused to break up the album into songs to sell. Well, now they are not only selling a song on itunes, but charging you 6 buck for it!!! Can you say SELLOUT! If your going to put yourself out there to stand for something, stick to it or you look like an ass.

  • Well, maybe they still don't like the idea of selling as songs. It's stems or album, nothing in between. 😉

  • velocipede

    I was underwhelmed by buy 5 stems and then get access to the uncompressed files (looks like caf in the GB screenshot above). Why not just charge 4.95 for one magic download? I suppose there are diehard fans who might listen to the aac stems independently.

    Since the band is going to evaluate the public's favorite tracks, I'm sure this non-contest will kick off the career of a remixer or two. Overall, though, I think the NIN approach is more fan friendly.

  • velocipede

    Reconsidering my last comment, I suppose a remixer could get by just dl-ing the vocal stem, so it could be better that the stems are not bundled.

  • bliss

    @velocipede (2nd comment)

    I was thinking the same thing. Seems like a great idea.

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  • Seppe
  • Kyran

    There used to be a great series of monthly remix competitions on but about a year ago they just went mia, with no winners announced for some of their competitions etc.

    Does anybody here know what happened to them, I seriously liked their concept (and the music you could remix, discovered some gems through their competitions)

  • fudduf

    too bad i refuse to install itunes on any computer i own, or else i'd jump on this.

  • matt milton

    why charge anything at all? No way am I paying for the 'privilege' of being part of a joint marketing campaign for iTunes/GarageBand/Radiohead's new single.

    I urge everyone reading this to upload their OWN music to that Radiohead competition. Just stick up your own songs, your own beats. Just make sure they don't feature any Radiohead samples. At least, not ones you've paid for.

  • GaryG

    Not sure if I'm against charging for the stems per se but this goes against the perceived way they've been doing business recently. So many people are releasing stems for free nowadays (I always champion Kristin Hersh) I can't see this RH offer as anything but a marketing move.

    I approve of matts suggeastion to upload your own music. Petition Fibboks to upload a cover of Nude too. 🙂

  • Well, they will own the copyright to the resulting music… and they did say you were supposed to use their stems. So what you could do is take a one-second sample from the song, stretch it out to a four minute song, and then add your own music. 🙂

  • Oh yeah, and if anyone does successfully get that up there, I'm sure we can enlist CDM readers to vote it up. 😉

  • Jimmy

    Johnny must need a new ondes martenot or something… Great idea but truely disappointing execution.

    As an aside, you can find a lot of free stems and notices about various remix competitions on

  • Feel free to grab these vocals (of two complete songs by Mandyleigh Storm) for yourselves to play with… CC non-commercial licence:

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  • I thought I would have a go at having a go myself! <a>here. Its pretty short, but takes the song in a whole other direction.

    If you like it you can even click on the + sign which adds a vote for me



  • Bricks

    the only thing I used from the session was thom's voice. built a minimal beat, tons of dark synth stuff.. I'm pretty happy with how it come out – its glitchy/malevolent…

    Shot for Burial glitch vocals meets asian horror flick tension. micro edits, intentional superquiet noises. minimal.

    Mine doesnt have repetitive song structure, but its short and has little sections.

    massive cred to anyone that can name the modular synth filters used / general effects!

  • Bricks

    D'OH. wrong link… my dyslexia! I'm actually

    But the #247 one has some neat stuff going on in it too!

  • I posted one too 🙂

    im here

    give me a vote if u can! 🙂

  • Rans Lirpa

    Any one willing to upload the files?

  • Alan Molina

    Here's my Nude (Strings Remix). It was mentioned on Stereogum!

  • Hey everyone, check out my remix if you get a chance:

    Radiohead – Nude (Minty Fresh Remix)

    <a&gt <a href="http://;” target=”_blank”>;


  • My band trifonic released stems for most songs from our album "Emergence" under CC non-commercial license. I think many of you will enjoy checking out the stems. If you are in to remixing check them out at:


    brian trifon

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  • heretic

    I did a remix which you can here, but too late to vote now. Never mind, it's not a competition anyway apparently!

    If you are not already familiar with him, check our Roger O'Donnell (.com). His ablum 'The Truth in Me' was recorded entirely on a Moog Voyager and he's made some of the tracks available to download as Garageband files. Remix to your hearts content. Roger also has a myspace page worth checkingout.

    Ah yes, my mix:

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