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Tweaking Guitars & Orchestra

Lesson 3 from: GearGods Presents: Mastering Metal Mixing: Finalizing Your Mix

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

3. Tweaking Guitars & Orchestra

Lesson Info

Tweaking Guitars & Orchestra

So I have them all bust to aki's track. Um, this isn't just orchestra aerial quick, there are a lot of this is really no low and in that at all, um in the chelsea grand there was more low end but also it's not nearly as fast. Um, this is way, way faster and there's more elements here than in the chelsea grand. The chelsea grin is more, uh, let's say more sparsely arranged this basically has everything going on at all times like it. Check it out. I mean, these horns go from beginning to end just about, um, so I basically did have to cut out all the low end. Yeah, pretty much as you can see here's one thing that I think, uh, really helps since tracks in general said tracks orchestra tracks some sort of saturation somehow, just like we're talking about that with clean tracks, getting them to blend in uh, a little bit of dirt goes a long way for getting things tio to blend together lots of times when here a bad mix of an orchestra with metal or synth with metal. One of the biggest problems...

that the sounds don't, they don't blend together to sound like a metal song with a scent over it. O r, a metal song with a plastic orchestra, the casio castro symphony orchestra um and uh your challenge sometimes is tio de casio it and one of the best things you can do is to add saturation and I'll see if I did it in more than one place I don't think I did but sometimes you do have to add your own re herbs to yes so I just added this uh saturate er right here not much though same with the music playing it's very slight but try to listen to the difference it makes subtle but let me play with the mix adding a little bit of saturation to these tracks over noise is not meant to be like a uh a distortion pedal on a on the guitar it's ah it's meant to be just a little bit of a bush to just get it to kind of pop through just just a hair so listen to it to get with and without the saturation and ah some of us may need to turn this up over you know over an internet ville were put on headphones or something because this is a very, very subtle thing it's like I said it's very, very subtle but the difference to me is that it just pops through just a little bit more by adding that in and another another good plug and do that with is ah decapitate err sometimes you have to go a little bit more over the top than that uh tio get the to get since to pop through but that's basically your magic best friend for getting this stuff to pop is a distortion. Okay, so that's one thing so let's take a look at these leads that go it's the same time as, uh some sense I like these leads by though I think they're very, uh very tasty socially the ones at the end how's uh how's the internet doing oh, god here still there that I'm gonna just ah turn them all on real quick she had no that's that's a cool little lead I definitely wanted to make sure that that didn't get loss at all and then they have this going on at the same time bringing tracks one by one reasons playing that all the way through so they can kind of hear that you take away the band and you just listen to the lead with the orchestra you could just listen to that and it sounds good it's well arrange it goes back to what you were saying like the musical content works there's nothing clashing between those leads and the orchestra so that right there is set up toe work it's a ranch in a way that's going to work the orchestra is supporting the solo very very nicely if solo was in a different register or if the orchestra was doing cem lead stuff that clash with it wouldn't it wouldn't work so well, but one good way to go one good way to basically find out if if what you're working with is even workable is to kind of kind of take the orchestra and your lead guitar whatever and play them like that and it sounds like it could be a section of song in and of itself without the metal band you're on to, you might be on to something. It looks like you're about to ask me a question or not. Um, no, we do have we do have questions in the chat room do you wantto take? Yeah, I'd love to take gila wants to know dee's saturation for guitars like vcc or there or is there any additional drive? They sound amazing in the track. Thank you. Thanks. Yeah let's take a look. Where's gtr don't talk about about this one. I think this is a great blufgan for these kinds of tracks and there's a reason for it it's not a very good high gain amps. Um um at least. And mike and I have never heard it used well with super high gain sounds, but the kinds of sounds that I've always found that it works for our buttery, buttery kinds of leads basically, uh I that's just the word I use is but does that make sense? Everyone know what I mean by buttery it sounds buttery to me that's the one thing I think that waves gtr is good for I have not heard it sound good with any other application try to get a good rhythm tone out of it you're going to fail try to get a good like screamingly taught of it you probably fell even harder to try to get a cool buttery tone you might win uh so it's just the amp a little bit of the q and, uh it is fairly fairly simple just cut out a lot of the lows and, uh just a little bit I a little bit of mids to help it cut that's it and then the they're going to a guitar bus the melody of us which added just a little bit more u q more and that was more just for because there's so many gets hard tracks here I just kind of wanted tio give them their own little space anyways, aside from their individual human that's it that's all the others to it nothing, nothing fancy wish I could say there was more fancy stuff in that but there isn't anything else. Yeah giovanni wants to know how do you make orchestral river fit well without making it sound to washy? Well, first of all, use your own that's ah that's typically a good thing I tend to ask bands using orchestra to not send me reverb on their tracks unless unless there's just a special situation like yesterday, we were looking at, uh, the female vocal over the chelsea grins song that already had its own river. Um and I added some to it anyways, but it had its own river of on it, and it just kind of sounded great. And so that was ok, but that was one single like lead voice that's kind of like with the whole idea we were talking about when you're printing tracks down, if you have an effect, uh, like a single effect or something on a track that's just part of the sound, ok, print it down, but when you've got a whole orchestra, don't print down the river bs that come with the virtual instrument, uh, because you're going to be making a decision about the sonic room that the mix is going to and have it for the mixer, and that might not be compatible with the room that he's going to create for the band. So, uh, first of all, do it yourself and, uh, in this case, see, I sent them to as I suspected, I was just for stem I just did it on as an insert on this I just gave it its own ah so in vintage for sometimes I'll do that this is one of the types of situations where I'll do that is sometimes just put you know, send all of the scent all the strings to one ox and give it its own river been that's it it's not really it's not really it's not really that complicated it's more of a matter of just not doing the wrong things like getting pre reverb tracks that you can on river um the idea is that you choose your own criticism only thing I was going to add is that in my experience having a really good sounding reverb is essential because if you just have like a really cheap poorly coded digital river oh yeah you are absolutely never going to get it to work nicely you're just going to be constantly fighting the horrible you know, overtones or whatever it is that the river is creating it just doesn't work so hence valhalla vintage for I think I don't know if you're familiar with their plug ins but they make some killer killer killer river bs er they've got a few other ones like um shimmer and room give you guys give us a quick demo of shimmer it's a modulating river um and it sounds like what dreams are made of a second it does you're going to you're you're about to hear what I mean look, get rid of these melody guitars were about to get a dreamland weii river that's not the orchestra thing they make that and then they make the vintage one which I was using on the track and they have one called room that's you know for like drum for drama river that's really, really great as well so I agree completely uh uh is sometimes almost sounds just like an extension of the source that you reverberating you know, it doesn't sound like well, what is that thing in the background it's almost more just like well, not now my sound is bigger get it sounds awesome and you just don't even have to fight it yeah, like uh this is a case where stock plug ins probably are not a good idea. Uh, so you know, we're talking yesterday about how great mixers can you stop plug ins for everything you may not be able tio really get away with stock plug ins on an orchestra you may need tio invest in something better that is for a holiday invested a good reverb that's something you're you're not going to be great having in your toolbox these air only fifty bucks these well, hollis so um you know, investing in a good river is not that much so one hundred fifty bucks and you have three really great ones it's pretty good day my kind of go to verbally they discovered a couple years ago is the q l spaces it's east west que el spaces it's called is this a river plugin? Yeah, it is. So the convolution river plug in it's got a whole bunch of modeled spaces and modeled gear and and stuff I think is maybe only one hundred fifty bucks and the first time I loaded it up and used it on the source I liked laughed out loud. It sounded so good, it's just like and a lot of immediately. Yeah, so were we ever made me laugh that it was sending so good that's how you know it's good when you're just like, oh, what have I been messing with this other crap all these years? You know, you should text me that later. I used this river tonight. Hello. L'd see what rivers we got here? You know, I've got a lot of river bs right here and some of these are pretty good, but out of all these, that I've got the ones that I keep going back to every single time happening either hollow ones, they're just really, really good and you a d ones are pretty good, too uh, but, you know, for people you ladies uh, slightly more expensive stuff, um so for people that air more on a budget anyways in the hall is good and I'd be really curious to try the one you were talking about as well, so yeah get a good river um any other questions? Yeah, one that's gotten voted up um there was asked by branson they'll do have a preferred virtual instrument for orchestral where richard branson, lane branson, branson lane and and I was gonna ask you like you get a free space flight out of this at least the trip to the island. I like vienna. Um, yeah, I think that's the best stuff out there, it's not the most affordable, but I think that's that was pretty good, though I've got the east west stuff, but I'm really not that crazy about it because I feel like their microphone options our kind of weird and there's just too much, too much room and reverb on their sounds that you just can't get rid of. Yeah, I think you know, you were telling me about some other ones that you thought were cool that might be a little more affordable, the symphonic orchestras cool. I hear what you're saying about the mike position choices and stuff, but the hollywood strings one that came out with a few years ago sounds really, really good and there's a lot of really, uh cool patches like I was telling you that the day how you can kind of ah if the velocity on amid the note is below a certain threshold then it will slur to whatever note comes next so you can do a lot of really cool I mean, I'm sure there's ah uh whatever the company you were just talking about your favorite the stuff yeah have you know I'm sure there's be anyone's that do that same kind of velocity dependents and tone changing and stuff but um yeah, the hollywood strings I've been pretty happy with the spades I'm just I think that vienna's out of a lot of people's price range that was good toe recommend some other stuff I think it's like I don't remember but like four five grand or something like that is that right in that it's in that range I'm looking on the web site and it looks like it's sixteen hundred euro so that's like two to one almost they have cheaper ones that air five hundred really, this is of the vienna library but you want the full thing I think it's I think it's a lot more than sixteen hundred day that like a special edition? Yeah, I seem to remember something in the four five grand range for forgetting the full deal yeah, that sounds right was also won by spitfire audio they record in london at air lyndhurst but what's it called um there's I'll be in and then there's ah mural they're all pretty good I have both of those and five hundred five hundred censoring so hans zimmer percussion packed too it's I think it's like the same same people who recorded a bunch of hans zimmer's on personal drum samples and then they re created a new library like with hans zimmer's blessing that has his name on it and everything and I don't know if it sounds he actually uses but it's like from his same team that's what they won't spit fire yeah I've heard of him he's done some some good work if you think it's all right um I mean you know the thing is with orchestral instruments the good ones do cost some money and uh you really do need to buy them because they are they're very very huge so if you if you're serious about orchestral stuff like this and you and you want to buy a big library that's you know hundreds of gigabytes which divina stuff is definitely hundreds of gigabytes you can't be streaming it off your system drive on your mac book you know no no dex thank you so don't go spending that much money on something that you can't actually run so make sure and just raise which is to give you guys uh an idea of how I have my stuff set up on this computer I do have my my system drive so I brought my drives here you know, this is technically the shell of a creative live computer the only one of my drives I didn't bring was my backup internal so I've got my system drive right here got my sessions drive which I run all my sessions off of and then my samples drive which is where my samples are or that's where they're castro's stuff would be um and then I'd have an internal backup drive that auto backs up every night and I think real quick uh should take a moment to just talk about backing up um all of you guys should invest in a program called crash plan uh got it running right now it will back up your computer every night to the internet so that if your house burns down you can keep your mixes which is pretty pretty good thing basically I have on internal back up inside my computer that's set to back up before am and then crash plan as well and then I do manual backups and that's kind of ah how I think everyone should do it you should the losing data is unacceptable in two thousand fourteen there's no reason for why you should ever lose data back to this so all right let's keep talking about this there's a uh this is a mix where did use more than one kick and look it's late kick even I believe that doesn't happen very often that's it that's why point in your second guys and just uh loading up automation land second show you guys what I did so way go this is actually a little bit more complicated of a of a kick set up the no normally dio but uh had to be done so once again right here uh as you can see uh low a high pass filter on the kicks coming in and out now on ah a song like this is super super important on the kicks because you have even more to get uh them out of the way from but we'll just uh until this loads back up and uh oh get this song back this is ah anybody out there who uh has pro tools? Ten let me just tell you you really should upgrade to eleven and I realize that the plug ins issue might be an issue for you but there is a plug and called the blue cat patchwork it's ah rapper meaning that it will it will let you load other other format plug ins in there like v esteves our test plug ins so approaches eleven which doesn't take our test plug ins anymore or vsd pro tools never took via cities you can actually run those of you want to run your waves, plug ins and protests eleven you can with the blue cat plug and uh s so there's no excuse not to go to eleven and now the great thing about eleven is it doesn't crash like this sometimes you'll be working on a ten session and it'll start crashing every ten minutes ended the way that it handles rams it is pretty horrible all those problems have been fixed with eleven now the reason that of opening these sessions and ten is because I would have had tio I would have had to take this mix and transfer everything into blue cat and then find the settings all over again and basically recreate them from scratch it just wouldn't work otherwise I would be using eleven exclusively so in the kicks as you saw there's that those accused automating in and out as usual just like I always do but I think that we cover we covered that a lot yesterday I'm talking with snares so warm so in this song in particular because there's so much stuff going on one thing that I really thought would be important to do would be to print the dynamics very, very close to the real thing um and as you can see so that I wouldn't have to automate like crazy um I I made the mini already very close to what I thought it should be in the mix allowing me teo not have to worry about the automation too much so if you look at this snare samples uh, these air hard hits this is these air the blast beats right here. It's already has already got the volume change that I was going for anyways, saving me from having to do tons and tons of little moves. So that's one thing that you guys should do if you're anticipating that you're gonna have a very, uh, automation intensive session, right that into your medieval aasif he's already, when you're bouncing, when you're bouncing your samples and save yourself a little bit of time and trouble because you can see that this is not as crazy on the automation as a lot of the sessions that we looked at yesterday's because already bounced the samples down with the volume changes in mind. Um, as far as generally q and stuff goes, I mean it's the same thing just different ways of with the overheads, for instance, just different ways of cutting out crap you don't need and that's especially important when you've got when you got an orchestra going on at the same time because they are inhabiting a lot of the same space. So if, uh given general say you cut your overheads too two or three hundred in the mix with an orchestra, you might want to go even further and make your symbols the smallest possible um, let's take a quick look at the guitars, too where yesterday, when we were talking about sending everything to a guitar bus and just using one e q, here we go, um, basically well onto these tracks. I did, we've got we've got four rhythm tracks to them or duplicates, and I know there's audio one audio tune there, so you consume me. I don't care you won't win to these tracks. I didn't need to do a good amount of corrective q on, um, I think I use I used basically to the tracks that they sent me because actually kind of like them, uh, once I once I notched out a bunch of problems, um and cut out a ton of low end that didn't need to be there. Um and then I did two of my own with the camper, which have, like nothing on them and then were sent it to a group bus, which is, again, not much e q it all just cut out some of the bottom and add just a tiny bit of top and that's it, and I added a tiny bit of top, uh, on this just so that we could hear the guitars a little bit more over the orchestra, you know, someone asked me this online yesterday, they're like, why are you boosting frequencies because I guess somewhere on forums people say that you shouldn't ever do added the vic. You don't know where the hell people get that idea from there is the most ridiculous thing on earth. You know, I should stop saying that shit there's a there's a reason for why the knobs go up on the cues because sometimes you need to raise frequencies. Um, I understand that sometimes when you're when you're just boosting frequencies too much, yes, you are. You're messing with the head room and you might be raising a little bit of distortion and stuff, but sometimes you just do need to raise some frequencies and that's all that's happening here listen to the difference with and without that by that with the orchestra the way the reason that that's something that I chose to do is because since this is ah mix that the rhythm guitar has to sometimes take the background role because there's an orchestra going on and we talked about yesterday out sometimes you have to be prepared to move the rhythm guitars to the back. I wanted to have a little bit more high end so that even when you turn it down a little bit still pops through so that's that's something that you guys may want to think about getting your guitars too teo sit nicely was an orchestra's. Yes, your volume may need to cut you come down at times to allow the orchestra to come forward. But you make changes to compensate for this, that even if they're quieter, they're still poking through. Um, and I think that unless there's, any questions, it's, kind of all I really want to talk about with this song.

Class Materials

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Bonus - 1-on-1 Mix Critique with Eyal Levi.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mastering Metal Mixing - Mix Finalize Slides.pdf
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptx
Eyal Levi - Mix Template Routed.ptxt

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Eyal Levi - Syllabus.pdf

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