Assemble the Chariots Mix Challenges
We're using pro tools ten right now um a lot of these mixes weren't done on pro tools stand they were done on pro tools eight tdm system and uh you know, those days air now over so the compatibility sometime between the sessions can be a little a little shaky so here and so far we've been lucky but just let you guys know that you know, every once in a while something may crash and don't be scared so you know, you guys hear a song by a band called assemble the chariots there an unsigned band from europe and uh they like to do the orchestral metal thing and, uh a figure that would be good to show so that you check out their song and then we'll get into it wait wait. So you say I was going to say first of all, not bad for a high school band uh which my high school band sounded like that uh technology and the band sure have changes that would ban sounded like when I was a nice guy I think those kids were eighteen or something like mix that can you imagine uh I don't know like when I realiz...
ed there eighteen it really bummed me out listen to just what I was doing when I was eighteen it's like man times have definitely changed it definitely sucked back then but so I'm gonna go around the room and put you guys on the spot you're going to start with you uh want to hear what what you think would be tough to mix about that, but we just listened to well, I was thinking relative to all the other stuff that we listen too so far that sounds to me like it would've been the easiest thing to makes it felt to me like everything was naturally sitting more where it should if if you will like the the orchestral stuff, the choirs and stuff, the way that they were naturally sitting, I think the the register and in which they were written seemed to fit without really fighting too much with what the guitars were doing, and I mean at least is how are actually pretty impressive, like perceiving it from here anyway and hearing it there could be a lot of stuff that you filtered out that I'm just not aware of, but, uh you will be we're pretty sure yeah, yeah so you just do a good job? No, thank you, but uh I mean, it is well arranged, which is why why I decided to bring it but that said there still is a lot going on at the same time you got like lead guitars going on was since that air matching them going with choirs that air behind them with rhythm guitars, a double bass and blast beats and yeah, very ongoing together the orchestral stuff sounded to mostly be just like just like cord basic not even complicated courts but you know, like ruth third five kind of that good stuff yeah look very good right? And it just just kind I held I don't know it just really held hands with the guitar is quite nicely naturally I think and I think just so you guys know uh and this is a topic that andrew waiter and I are going to discuss later um I cut out a lot of stuff okay uh that's what sometimes you have to, uh you're given the clay and you kind of got a mold it and find what it's supposed to be like not but what what I did keep I think ah worked really well for the reasons you and it actually reminded me of some some damn you stuff where just the way it sits sounds right it's ah and I'm sure that's a mix between the the composition itself and of course the mixing. But well, if the but I can tell you this even if the mixing was really good and all the extra tracks that we're clouding everything, we're still in there you and you probably wouldn't think that you and so I think that the point and you see me make that if, uh you're the mixer and you're given an orchestra to go over a metal song and something is just not working because it's just too much cut it out yeah make or they make a really strong case for cutting it out um lots of times bands don't actually know music theory, so though they'll give you orchestra tracks or center acts with tons of wrong notes in them and stuff that clashes with guitars or, you know, different different notes going on the brain like a major third in the choir and a minor third in the guitars oh yeah, all kinds of stuff like that or uh um you know, a tri tone going on in the orchestra while there's a perfect fifth going on and they get tarr's lovely yeah things not saying that happened here just saying that's normal normal kinds of things that happened when you get this from this sort of thing from people who don't no, their theory make accord that sounds evil with orchestra and not realize that it completely clashes of what the guitars air doing and then you get something that just doesn't sound the way they imagined it would sound and I think that's another thing that it is important to realize when you're mixing and orchestra with medals that you might have this fantasy in your head of what it should sound like the fantasy and reality two completely different things there is what's possible and there is what's in your head sometimes and, uh, we had to make very, very smart arrangement choices in order for this to be mixing bowl, put all kinds of clashing notes, wrong notes a stuff stepping all over each other. It just won't be mixing well, no matter how much, how much do you think it will be what you do you think, sir, I thought part of the hardest thing was just similar to some of the other songs as faras when you have really fast double kicks going on that well in balancing is always going to be a challenge. So, um, from my perspective, I think that would be the hardest part. Um, I tend to agree with matt, although arrangement stuff, at least from what I could tell sitting here seemed pretty pretty solid. It didn't sound like they're trying to pack in more than they should there's a lot of ambient type synth pads, almost, you know, that we're just sort of just filling up space up in the top and it just kind of making the music sound more expansive and that stuff's really not too hard to mix I mean, as you demonstrated on the chelsea grand stuff, is just a bunch of filtering, really, um so there was some since flaring with the lead parts but that's really not too difficult either you know it's just again just party some filtering and then making sure that understand what the client wants as faras do you want the lead more forward or do you want the synth more forward it's a good point right there is uh that's that goes back to what we talked about day one with getting a rough mix from the client and making sure that you know exactly what they want because when you get a session like this and this is you know this is after I cut it down I mean a lot of stuff in here you know, this's some tracks in there and this is cleaned up um without without getting some direction from the band as tow what's what everything is supposed to be then it's then it gets it ends up to you to guess and you shouldn't be guessing with this kind of stuff there's too many details but what you're but the thing is I think you're making it sound simple, you know, like doubling a lead with the sense with an ambien pad going over it and stuff like that uh yeah I mean, it is just that but I think that the more elements you start adding in uh the more complicated it gets to make them all work together even if they're arranged well especially when you have your shooting pad sounds and stuff too, because there's there's, you know, probably something that's really way, way too airy. You're not going to even hear that once symbols and stuff we're going on. So you got to try to treat it, you know, choose sounds that have actually relevant content in the frequency range that allows it to be heard, you know, against all the other tracks and that's something that, you know, if a band is sending you distract, they might not really even know what would be audible on what's not so you could potentially you could have had to do some pretty creative, equally and stuff just to get something to kind of punch through, you know, when the band just kind of would think it would magically appear or something. I remember everything I did, but you know what? We'll check it out a little bit and see how much what about you? Do you think kicks keeping him a consistent level one the fast of comes in that's I mean, that's so is kind of a thing you have to really get into. And then I'm like the pads and the since I know I like to add a lot of that stuff into my music, and, um even though a lot of its top end airy kind of stuff there, a lot of the harmonic content you want is in the mid range and that can get really cluttered, especially when you're dealing with guitars, yeah, guitars to rhythms and then a lead guitar and then vocals and all that stuff. Yeah, and, uh and I mean, some of this stuff is really flying fast like that blast feet section is no joke is there's a lot of drums have to deal with. So what do you think? Anything different than everyone else? Um would probably like balancing the strings inquire with the guitars and the lead vocals, thank finding which one dominates in which one doesn't because I know some clients were like no, we need the orchestra to sound huge, but it's got to be a fine line that you balance all that it was hardest is when you have one band member that wants the guitars to sound here is and the other one that wants to orchestrate a sound huge another one that just want their vocals to be the loudest so you can't have all three happening at the same time, so just let's show you guys real quick what the challenges were for me on this stuff uh, pretty much what you guys said superfast drums to tame um there's orchestra over everything and tons of tracks having to work together, uh, s. So basically it's. Just. It could have been a gigantic mess.