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There is some great music with orchestra and band and a lot of shitty music with that combination. The success doesn't seem to be much of a question of genre, when I think of Snarky Puppy or Nightwish (which is kind of a semi-cringy guilty pleasure for me, but nonethless the cheese factor, the orchestrations work with the band, while some of it is just a "keys/synth substite" orchestration), which I think to both a pretty good job. The Snarky Puppy is a bit dearer to my heart, because the band and orchestration seems to more intertwined then just putting orchestra on a band (which is something a lot of metal/prog acts are guilty of).
Well anyway, any tips on how to bring these two worlds together, orchestration and mixing wise? Some instruments that shouldn't play too deep like Contrabass? Or should I make some radical cuts in some section, so everything gets space? I actully just wanna coperate just an electric guitar into the mix, but I feel like even choosing with type of amp (sim) is pretty crucial to it working out sonicly.
I feel like both type of ensembles are very rich sounding on their own usally so natuarlly it's hard making space for both of them.
Well any tips would be appreciated as well as examples of Bands/artists, that pulled it of well.
I gave up on this, myself, after several not-so-good attempts! I still love the sound, though. Have you listened to Septicflesh? The Great Mass and Titan are great albums to check out, if you want something on the darker side.
Have you listened to Arcturus? Ad Astra in particular shows that you can make orchestral metal without relying on the Hollywood/epic music/chugga trope at all. IIRC the string quartet is real on that album, whereas the rest is made with synthesizers. Smile
Combining a metal band with a full orchestra is always going to be a challenging prospect since, as you say, both tend to occupy A LOT of frequency space all on their own, and putting them together means things get real messy real quick. I mean, distorted guitars are basically wideband noise and in metal mixing you kind of have to hack away at them with an EQ to make just drums, bass and vocals pop through. To make room for an orchestra on top of that... well let's just say it's challenging and I have no real advice other than "EQ is your best friend". I think it's also important to maintain a clear front-to-back separation between the two, so that the metal band is dry and up front while the orchestra sits much farther back.

This is a track I did for The Horus Heresy that features distorted guitars and orchestra; IIRC I scooped out a ton of freqs from the guitars, and even then the mix still sounds flabby and congested.

Technical things aside, I must confess that "metal with orchestra" isn't really my cup of tea... I love both genres, but together? I dunno. It can sound huge and majestic, but the inherent "looseness" of orchestral timing can also sound really odd when combined with a genre that relies heavily on almost-surgical precision and the whole band being REALLY together. When I hear a band playing with a live orchestra, it always sounds like the band is doing their thing as usual while the orchestra is struggling to keep up. So there's that aspect as well.
(12-21-2017, 08:35 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Technical things aside, I must confess that "metal with orchestra" isn't really my cup of tea... I love both genres, but together? I dunno. It can sound huge and majestic, but the inherent "looseness" of orchestral timing can also sound really odd when combined with a genre that relies heavily on almost-surgical precision and the whole band being REALLY together. When I hear a band playing with a live orchestra, it always sounds like the band is doing their thing as usual while the orchestra is struggling to keep up. So there's that aspect as well.

Perhaps that's why a more "synth orchestra"-heavy approach seems to work so well in metal (at least to me). There is a tightness there that, while some might say sounds cheesy, seems to mesh with the metal ingredients in a way that is not always possible with a live orchestra--lfewer natural dynamics and such. I enjoy both approaches, but there is a difference in direction, even in the writing, between both, as I hear it. Also, with the aforementioned example of Septicflesh, there is certainly some "Hollywood" in the handling of the orchestral recordings; it's produced and edited as much as the metal bits are.
That Horus Heresy track is awesome!

As for 'symphonic' metal, as someone who mainly comes from this genre, I wholeheartedly agree with Nayrb. Synths mimicing 'orchestral' sounds are awesome (and awesomely cheesy) in metal. I think real orchestral metal is almost impossible to arrange well. I've only seen Blind Guardian to pull that off. Their tracks "Sacred Worlds" and "Wheel of Time" are very well orchestrated in my opinion.
My favourite band, Bal-Sagoth, relies on using keyboard/synth patches, especially synth brass to sound lush, epic and majestic and they succeed perfectly. I'd recommend their album "Battle Magic", though anyone with an allergy to milk protein should avoid it, it's full of marvelous magnificent cheese.
(12-24-2017, 03:08 PM)bkemeny92 Wrote: [ -> ]That Horus Heresy track is awesome!

As for 'symphonic' metal, as someone who mainly comes from this genre, I wholeheartedly agree with Nayrb. Synths mimicing 'orchestral' sounds are awesome (and awesomely cheesy) in metal. I think real orchestral metal is almost impossible to arrange well. I've only seen Blind Guardian to pull that off. Their tracks "Sacred Worlds" and "Wheel of Time" are very well orchestrated in my opinion.
My favourite band, Bal-Sagoth, relies on using keyboard/synth patches, especially synth brass to sound lush, epic and majestic and they succeed perfectly. I'd recommend their album "Battle Magic", though anyone with an allergy to milk protein should avoid it, it's full of marvelous magnificent cheese.

Ah, another Bal-Sagoth fan! I, too, recommend Battle Magic to pretty much anyone I talk to anywhere about anything Big Grin I'm also a huge BG fan. Though I say other bands have done a good job with the orchestral / metal mix, I do agree that the aforementioned tracks are nice examples. At the Edge of Time, in fact, has a lot of nice arrangements all over the place. Some great "acoustic" numbers on that one, too.
Thanks to everyone for the tips and recommendetations, been so busy with christmas and stuff like that. The great mass is pretty cool, some of the clean vocals are a touch to power metal for me and some things would be I think even heavier without orchestra, but the overall thing is pretty cool. Battle Magic is some pretty crazy stuff, it kind of reminds me of a far proger and more complex (and more lo-fi regarding the key sounds) version of Equilibriums "Sagas", if I may so. Which is very welcomed, I've been searching for more of that since Equilibrium kind of turned to shit. The Artacus track is not totally my cup of tea, but some melodies are pretty cool and the string quartet is a very cool contrast to always going for an orchestra. Which made me think of grayceon which is also kinda smaller, which just one Cello. The Cellist actually played some cello parts on an Agalloch album.
Talking about Blind Guardian I actually had to think of Sonata Arctica, especially the album "The Days of grays", which is actually accompinied by a cd that switches out the whole band for virtual orchestration.

That Horus Heresy track is actually pretty cool. I feel like i can hear some compromisses, but pretty good ones. Not really what I wanna go for, but pretty cool.

I noticed that some Alcest guitars work the best so far with orchestrations, I guess it's since they are so heavily reverbered/delayed and shoegazy and post rockish and thus don't suffer that much from lowcuts and stuff. Still sound very shiny and add some cool colour and flavour, with chords or melody, blackmetalish tremolo picking.
(12-30-2017, 10:36 PM)Viktor Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks to everyone for the tips and recommendetations, been so busy with christmas and stuff like that. The great mass is pretty cool, some of the clean vocals are a touch to power metal for me and some things would be I think even heavier without orchestra, but the overall thing is pretty cool. Battle Magic is some pretty crazy stuff, it kind of reminds me of a far proger and more complex (and more lo-fi regarding the key sounds) version of Equilibriums "Sagas", if I may so. Which is very welcomed, I've been searching for more of that since Equilibrium kind of turned to shit. The Artacus track is not totally my cup of tea, but some melodies are pretty cool and the string quartet is a very cool contrast to always going for an orchestra. Which made me think of grayceon which is also kinda smaller, which just one Cello. The Cellist actually played some cello parts on an Agalloch album.
Talking about Blind Guardian I actually had to think of Sonata Arctica, especially the album "The Days of grays", which is actually accompinied by a cd that switches out the whole band for virtual orchestration.

That Horus Heresy track is actually pretty cool. I feel like i can hear some compromisses, but pretty good ones. Not really what I wanna go for, but pretty cool.

I noticed that some Alcest guitars work the best so far with orchestrations, I guess it's since they are so heavily reverbered/delayed and shoegazy and post rockish and thus don't suffer that much from lowcuts and stuff. Still sound very shiny and add some cool colour and flavour, with chords or melody, blackmetalish tremolo picking.

More of my favorites mentioned! I love Agalloch and pre-Unia Sonata is some of my high school "essential listening." I'm also a huge Alcest fan. Again, it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I suppose the fact that their tones are a bit more varied leaves room for other stuff. In a way, though, they are a little more of a traditional rock band in the sense that a lot of different guitar tones are used. It's almost a guitar orchestra when it comes to their sound. The same might be said for Agalloch. Tracks often use more dynamics, not just full on metal assault. I think in the case of Septicflesh and Bal-Sagoth, there is a lot of EQing of the guitars to make room for everything else. They tune lower, too, which is going to change the game a bit.