Mixing metal with orchestra. Need advice

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by WarMachine, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    Hey doodz. So for the last few years i've recorded video game remixes here and there mostly from Castlevania games. I'm going to do some more serious recordings with them now, taking a little more time, more polish added etc and was wondering; In terms of EQ, is there a good starting point for the orchestra to sit in a mix vs the guitars/bass/drums? I will be using mainly violins/cellos and a brass section. Basically i just need to know if there's a good starting point, eq wise, to help the 2 gel together vs fighting each other for volume.
     
  2. asopala

    asopala SS.org Regular

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    Arrangement is going to be the most important thing. If there's two melodies fighting, they'll fight. The other thing is that it's unlikely everything will be heard all the time, but that's a very small ensemble, so that makes things a bit easier.

    Strings tend to be behind the band usually, and not every part has to be heard, more felt. Think Evanescence's debut or even Nightwish. But most importantly, the parts compliment the band; it's mostly just "ear candy", or the background.

    Brass really can only hold a note for so long, so depending on the arrangement, they play with the strings or stand out as the main focus at points. All that is down to the arrangement.

    EQ wise, it always depends. You generally want to preserve the natural sound of the orchestral instruments, as their sounds don't really change. Automation riding is your friend, but again, a lot of your dynamics are down to the arrangement. That's really the common theme: the parts are the most important bit.
     
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  3. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the input dude :yesway:
    So, basically what i am thinking would be a good starting point is to make the guitars almost feel like how the bass functions in a mix. And let the orchestra shine as the guitars. I know that would be based on styles of course, but most of what i'll be working with will be Castlevania remixes, so they have the orchestra being the "lead guitar" 90% of the time lol. Thanks again for the input, and after i get a track wrapped up i'll post it on here for you (and anyone else that may care) to check out/critique.
     
  4. Lozek

    Lozek Desk Magnetic Contributor

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    I'm currently mixing a live album with guitar and orchestral backing, I'm finding exactly the same that it's all about the arrangement and riding volumes. This is from a tour I did at the start of the year and the arrangements are years old 'fan classics', so they can't be changed.

    Higher strings sit just fine with guitars, lower strings tend to clash a little here and there, brass cuts straight through the mix so you need to really watch the volume. Obviously this all very dependant on your other mix elements too, I'd say get a good balance of your metal instruments, bring up the orchestral and then figure out what needs to change. And absolutely avoid working solo'd, try and fit everything together in the full mix.
     
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  5. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the input dude. Good stuff there! I've got a good feeling about how this is going to turn out now that i'm giving myself a better understanding on what needs to be what. It's hard as a lead guitarist NOT to hear things...lead lol. So i find myself just having all these elements fighting with one another for the spotlight. But i'm trying out how you guys have suggested and i think it's going to work out much better. I'll make sure to post back here with results!

    EDIT: Another thing i think is worth mentioning is that i plan on trying this out; but to treat the lead instruments like a I treat my leads in a mix; Some slight low and high pass filters to give the leads a unique feel compared to the rest. That should help these parts jump out even more while keeping the dynamics (at least on paper that is lol)
     
  6. asopala

    asopala SS.org Regular

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    Usually not necessary with orchestral parts, with solo instruments just turn them up and use higher dynamics. Again, the idea is to preserve the natural sound of the instrument, but give it a try.
     
  7. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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