Mixing Tutorial

Orchestral Mixing Explained®

  4.5   (12)  - log in to review
26 Videos | Length: 4hr 47min 31sec
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  • image description 3:36

    Introduction to Mixing Orchestras

    In this video, Gary gives an introduction to how you approach mixing orchestral instruments. He also breaks down what is going to be covered in this series.

  • image description 6:47

    Explaining the Sections in the Orchestra

    Gary shows you the different sections in the orchestra and what type of players are in each section.

  • image description 8:22

    The Microphones

    In this video, Gary explores the different microphone configurations used to capture the sound of a player.

  • image description 7:17

    The Standard Orchestra Positioning

    There's a standard orchestral seating plan that has evolved over the centuries. This video takes a look at the most common seating plan.

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    Solo Section vs Ensemble Explained

    In this video, Gary explains the difference in sound and quality of an ensemble sections versus a solo player.

  • image description 8:44

    Packing the Sections into Folders

    Here, Gary takes a look at how the audio files are viewed and how you can use the meters to monitor the signal of your audio.

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    Balancing the Sections

    Gary takes you through the steps to balance your sections in the orchestra.

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    Creating Reverb Sends

    Gary shows how to setup multiple reverbs for an orchestra so that all the tracks sound like they belong in their own unique space.

  • image description 15:19

    Mixing the String Ensemble Pt. 1

    In this video, Gary explores how to mix your strings ensemble section. It includes the panning, reverbs, volume adjustments and EQ-ing of the Strings.

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    Mixing the String Ensemble Pt. 2

    In this video, Gary picks up right where he left off mixing the string ensemble.

  • image description 16:00

    The Brass Ensemble

    Gary mixes the brass ensemble section: Including the panning, reverbs, volume adjustments, and EQ-ing.

  • image description 13:19

    The Woodwinds Ensemble

    Gary goes through the mixing of the woodwinds in an orchestra.

  • image description 15:13

    The Percussion

    This video takes a look at the role of the percussion in an orchestral mix.

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    Tuned Percussion

    Gary explores the mixing of the Tuned Percussion elements like the glockenspiels, and vibraphones.

  • image description 14:25

    Piano, Harp & Choirs

    This video looks at extra instruments that could be included in an orchestra like pianos, harps and choirs.

  • image description 12:20

    Enhancing the Dynamics with VCA Automation

    Gary explains how to set up VCA faders and how you can automate these to get extra dynamics out of the mix.

  • image description 8:25

    Mastering the Orchestra

    Gary looks at how to finalize and master the orchestral mix, and what mastering processors are usually used.

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    Smaller Orchestral Setup

    Here, Gary explores a different sized orchestra and compares how it is mixed.

  • image description 17:22

    Mixing the Smaller Strings

    In this video, Gary looks at more chamber style strings and how using different microphone configurations and reverbs can give a different sound to the mix.

  • image description 14:55

    Mixing the Smaller Brass

    Gary follows the same steps here and uses the different reverbs to place the brass in this smaller orchestra.

  • image description 16:43

    Mixing the Smaller Woodwinds

    Gary finishes off with the smaller orchestra showing you how the woodwinds fit into the mix.

  • image description 13:12

    Taking a Look at EaReverb

    Here, Gary explores other tools that can help you with the placement of your orchestral instruments. Beginning with the EaReckon's tool EarReverb.

  • image description 11:36

    Virtual Sound Stage

    Another placement tool is Parallax Audio's Virtual Sound Stage, in this video Gary shows you how to use this tool to help place your orchestral instrument on a virtual stage.

  • image description 9:24

    Hybrid Strings Mix

    Gary shows how you can use orchestral elements with other styes, for example with Rock (Strings in a Hybrid Rock/Orchestral Mix).

  • image description 5:30

    Hybrid Brass

    Gary looks at the brass in a hybrid rock/orchestral mix.

  • image description 11:36

    Hybrid Percussion

    Finally, Gary explores how to use orchestral percussion in a hybrid rock/orchestral.

Product Overview


In this Groove3 video tutorial series, DAW pro Gary Hiebner presents a video series all about mixing orchestral music and instruments. Learn how to approach this artful task and get results that sound both realistic and incredible.

Gary welcomes you to the series and discusses the approach to take when mixing orchestral instruments, as well as explaining the different sections of an orchestra, the different microphones used and why, standard orchestra positioning, and the differences in sound and qualities of an ensemble section versus a solo player.

Next, you’ll learn about the foundations of orchestral mixing such as how to balance the different sections and creating reverb sends for the different instruments. Gary then focuses on mixing techniques for the different ensembles including Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion, plus extra orchestral instruments like Piano, Harps and Choirs.

Moving on you’ll explore how to enhance the dynamics of your orchestral mix with VCA Automation, and the steps to take to finalize and master your orchestral mix, including what mastering processors are usually used.

Gary then gives you more videos on related topics like mixing smaller orchestral setups, using EaReckon's tool EarReverb and Parallax Audio's Virtual Sound Stage for better placement of your orchestral instruments in the mix, and mixing a Hybrid Rock/Orchestral production so you’re ready for any mix task that incorporates orchestral instruments.

See the individual tutorial descriptions for more info. If you’re new to mixing orchestral instruments or just want more tips, ideas and techniques, this is the tutorial collection to watch… Checkout “Orchestral Mixing Explained®” today!


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Orchestral Mixing Explained® is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 12 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Comprehensive! A lot of insightful tips and tricks here for anyone taking on orchestral mockups.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 1.0 out of 5 by from Not so sure about these tips I have been through numerous mixing courses from multiple sites and I'm sad to say that this one just does not measure up to others. I really like Groove 3 and this author, but I will not go any further on this tutorial after the mixing of the Strings section. I know these things are subjective, but the samples used are not great and the mix sounds flat. The narrowing of the stereo field on the string parts is not very realistic, since the instruments emanate out into the space. They do not sound almost completely to one side. The final straw for me was the boost on the strings bus around 2.5k where this is an absolute known zone for "harshness" on many string samples. If you do a big boost like this on many of the sample libraries, your strings will most likely come out incredibly harsh and unrealistic sounding. I always have great hope to pick things up off of groove 3 videos, but I can't continue on with this one.
Date published: 2021-04-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great as always! Groove3 just does a great job on in-depth explanations of everything. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2021-02-09
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great tips and tricks I have a better understanding of the setup in logic. However it applies to any DAW. Placement and reverb techniques are a must learn. I did not realize just how important in order to get that orchestral sound. The explanation is clear and you can hear the difference immediately. It all just makes sense. The end section, working with band and orchestra, was extremely helpful. Thank you so much, I can’t wait to Implement these techniques in my current project.
Date published: 2021-01-13
Rated 1.5 out of 5 by from Sorry, but not at all what I’d hoped for The presentation of the content was fine, and the most basic, elemental advice seemed mostly okay, but too much of the content beyond those basics seems questionable to me. I won’t endeavor to list every suggestion in this video that runs counter to what I’ve heard from multitudes of experienced orchestral engineers before now, but suffice it to say that I found quite a bit of the advice offered by the course to be dubious. Sorry ... I wish I could have said I was impressed, but I can’t.
Date published: 2020-10-13
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very near and helpful Enjoying the clear presentation
Date published: 2020-06-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great course,! I love this course, I have learn a lot, very organized too.
Date published: 2020-04-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from easy explanation for a difficult topic There are a couple of very interesting tools
Date published: 2020-03-26
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Nice :) It’s Easy to understand and inspire me lot of thinks. I am french. French subtitles will help sometime but we don’t have it. You can understand because it is not too fast
Date published: 2019-06-09
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from This course is outstanding. Well articulated, and to the point. For the first time things are clear to me. Totally well organized and clearly explained. .
Date published: 2018-11-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Educational and Thorough This is not a tutorial on how to orchestrate but rather, as the title says, a course on how to mix with special attention given to each instrument’s acoustic space within the mix. I think the one thing that could have been included near the end of the series is a short video encouraging the student to use the final mix as a template for future orchestral mixes thereby saving oneself a lot of work.
Date published: 2018-11-22
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very detailed This is one of the best training videos amongst the many I have purchased from Groove 3. The detail covered is excellent with each orchestral section mixed individually and together. This enables you to see was is going on and to hear the results no matter how subtle. For anyone with an interest in orchestral mixing I can thoroughly recommend it.
Date published: 2018-11-17
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