You are here

How to most effectively mixdown multiple stems at once?


I'm going to need to mixdown many individual tracks for an upcoming project and realize I could probably use a bit of help understanding if I'm using Qtractor effectively. It's probably worth mentioning that all my tracks are routed like so:

1. Track sends MIDI OUT to a unique MIDI Bus
2. MIDI Bus connects to MIDI Input of a plugin hosted inside Carla
3. Plugin's audio outputs connect back to a dedicated Audio Bus inside Qtractor
4. All dedicated Audio Bus outputs route to L/R Inputs of a Audio Bus named MixFinal
4. MixFinal outputs route to Master Input L/R

I'm leaving out details about how I manage Aux Sends in order to blend effects since they eventually just end up in that MixFinal bus.

Using this setup, I've been able to mix down all (or solo'd) tracks to a single track with the following procedure:

1. Mute/solo tracks accordingly
2. Create a new audio "Mixdown" track setting Input to Master and Output to Mixdown (this is the same bus mentioned above).
3. Bring fader of Mixdown track down to 0
4. Arm the track and record

I'll also mention I've gotten into the habit of adding a limiter plugin directly into the Master input (using Qtractor's mixer).

So the above approach has worked very nicely. From there, I'm able to export the resulting clip.

Of course, this is a very tedious process for 2 reasons: 1) I have to play through the entire length of the song and 2) this work needs to be repeated over and over again if I'm creating stems rather than just mixing down the entire song.

I suspect I am not doing this correctly and wonder if someone could school me on how to work more efficiently? That said, I have a sneaking suspicion that any method people might be using to tackle these tasks more effectively assume plugins are hosted within Qtractor itself rather than externally. Maybe I'm wrong to be suspicious though...

Looking forward to any tips. Thanks in advance :)

rncbc's picture

hi, as it seems I think you're doing all fine...
I believe and happy to tell that your suspicions are maybe unfounded :)

wholly thanks for an excellent summary breakdown to your own workflow

on the other hand, may you consider to help contributing to the wiki, user manual and how-to's, please? that would be awesome!


Thank you for the vote of confidence. I don't believe I'm doing anything special though.. certainly nothing that hasn't been covered in the awesome tutorial created here:
I was just wondering if there was a known method to extend the "track by track" method I'd need to use in order to create individual stems but it doesn't sound like there's anything readily available. I almost wonder if I can hack around it by creating a new audio bus for each track and then for each one, selecting the target return audio bus as the input. Clunky and tons of labor that would have to be performed each and every time but perhaps there's an idea there. I'll play around with a small proof of concept tonight just to see if there might be a future with that method.

Nah, that was a bad idea since I wouldn't get anything from a track's aux send.

Add new comment