Stem paths are for effects sends, shared signal processing, parallel processing, audio sub grouping, etc.
They share the functionality of both traditional audio group busses and Aux sends because of their independent source send levels. Think of them as the ultimate audio bus!
The power of Stems lies in their flexible sending, bussing, and/or routing. Stems can be sent to Auxes and other Stems, bussed to Masters, and routed to Matrix channels and/or directly to outputs.
Stems feature significantly more feed points than Auxes. These are: Pre Fader, Post Trim, Post Insert A, Post Insert B, Post Fader and Post All.
Stems differ from their channel path equivalents in the following ways:
You can define whether or not sends to the Stem follow the channel Pan using the Follow Pan button in the Eyeconix page of the Stem's Detail dialogue.
When Follow Pan is off, Pan controls are added to the send controls in the sending channel's Detail Dialogue for that Stem. Only the Pan controls relevant to the combination of source channel format and Stem format will be available.
By default, all Stem sends are muted by the channel Mute button, regardless of whether they are pre-fade (and therefore pre-mute) or post-fade. To leave pre-fade sends unmuted when the channel Mute button is on, deselect Follow Mute in the Stem's detail dialogue.