What's new

Overall mixing and mastering


New Member
Hey All

I am still beginning my journey as an orchestral composer and have trouble with getting the overall mix and content as accurate as I would like it. I am working through a few courses in production and composition for orchestra and wondered if anyone could listen to my track here and give me more pointers.

Please be kind as I am starting out and understand my harmonic progressions may need work here, but I am also looking for advice on mastering and mixing to get the correct levels etc. This mix is unmastered

thanks a lot



Senior Member
Hi Marky,

It's not a terrible mix. That said, if you want "big" you have some homework to do to get there not just mix-wise but compositionally as well. One way to try tackling this is to really listen carefully -- both through headphones and with speakers -- to some existing piece you admire in the genre and see if you can mock it up so it sounds exactly like the original -- as close as possible. How much reverb (yours sounds dry to me)? How far away do the players appear to be sitting from you? What is the range of the brass, the strings? Do you double the bass with a synth down an octave? Does everyone play all the time together or are some sections used as ornamentation for climaxes? Are the percussionists playing "real loud" -- hitting the drums hard -- or does it just feel "big" because you're hearing a lot of large percussion in a big room?

Compositionally, it sounded a lot more interesting to me up to about 1'00" when you added the drums and "Hans Zimmer" stuff, then after that section it comes back to something interesting. Then the end sounds like another effort to bring off someone else's ideas.

The trouble with trying to work in an idiom that's been done really well, whether it's Bach or Beethoven or Hans or Williams or what have you, is that it's so hard to be interesting at all. On top of that, the listener instantly thinks, "ah, the original was so good and this is just a beginner's imitation."

Don't get me wrong, imitation is a great way to learn. I'm not claiming for myself or for film / media music in general any originality since that's not the chief feature for which the genre is known, but the point is if you're going to go that direction you need to try to really nail it.

Another argument that is a challenge is to recognise that, if you want to do something professional in music, imitating someone else is a way to get the worst possible gigs. Low pay, low respect, and also the director / writer / producer, if he or she is wanting imitation, maybe isn't producing a very original work either, so how are you going to get noticed that way?

Do what you do well and what you think is cool and you have a much better chance than trying to guess what everyone else wants more of.

Kind regards,



Senior Citizen
your frequencies are clashing, spend more time at the eq i can give you some specifics tomorrow if you pm me, it's late and i'm out of brain power

duck your reverbs, those long tails are muddying your mix all over piano especially

use parallel compression i can tell you're overinflating your stems

study more on phasing, your mids are all just blending together making the mix sound more soft. listen to zimmer, everything is clear and in it's own space this is achieved by, well a lot of things - but a big part of it is watching phase cancellation of frequencies. I can't go into it, search gearslutz

Lacking dynamics, ride the fader more, make stuff quiet, you need to feel some parts not hear them your whole piece is a wall of sound violently shaking my ears

modulate your eq, everyone does it now, it's kind of cheating if realism is your goal - but it is amazing for creating movement in a piece it can sort of make up for your lackluster progressions (no offense, they aren't that bad but im planting the seed to help you improve). you can even modulate your compression i do this especially on drums, again movement in a piece is key. I don't want to fall asleep listening to your stuff sit at the same volume for 30 seconds.

don't be afraid of high frequencies it sounds like youre missing sparkle on everything, highs bring life to a piece just like lows, just don't throw your dad off the ship with oversaturation. speaking of saturation, distort some shit - hans does it so that means you have to too!

mixbustv, pensado's place, therecordingrevolution,realathomerecording (all youtube), proaudiofiles.com, gearslutz.com (not youtube) - your university from your own living room. visit all of these. happy mixing.
Top Bottom