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mixing classical/soundtrack music help
Old 23rd June 2014
  #1
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mixing classical/soundtrack music help

hi so i got this gig for a friend to mix 3 pieces of like tv/soundtrack war music, like very hollywood war drums big orchestra type thing. he did them with soft synths so it's not live but it sounds pretty good.

all my experience is with rock and pop music, and short of blending in with other instruments i've never actually mixed JUST orchestral instruments.

to be frank, i have no clue what to do other than just go with my instincts.

any crash course tips? i do have a good amount of outboard gear in the form of eqs and compressors but i choose the gear based on "analog mojo? so most of it is for driving, saturating, coloring, etc. i don't imagine an 1176 or distressors to be very useful for orchestral music.

i'm guessing it's more of a matter of balancing and maybe cleaning up eqs and stuff and i imagine that this sort of mixing is much less processed than say modern pop or rock. but maybe i'm wrong?

sooo any tips?
Old 23rd June 2014
  #2
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I listen back to the first time I did this and the main mistake I made was to make things sound too bright and poppy. It needs to be thick and rich
Old 23rd June 2014
  #3
It all comes down to the balance. Listen to some real orchestral music and try to mimic the levels you hear. Strings will be stronger than woodwinds, and brass will only protrude on louder sections.

A good healthy dose of reverb is appropriate. Forget the outboard gear.
Old 23rd June 2014
  #4
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yeah i figured reverb is the only thing that's gonna be good.

i get the balances, it's more like… i'm guessing it's not appropriate to treat it how i would in other genres where things get compressed, eqd, parallel compressed all this and that. just more balance it nicely and throw some reverb on.
Old 24th June 2014
  #5
Traditional orchestral recordings are typically not overly compressed, if at all. Film scores are another story, especially using sample libraries. Sometimes the levels have to be manilpulated for the usage in the scene, so compression would help drive up the average level to something more uniform and easier to work with. It helps to work with the video rather than blind. If there is no video just try to make it as dynamic as possible.

On the other hand, film music trailers are usually squashed to all holy hell. If you want it to be like that, go nuts.
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