Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Voice overdub on Hammi ' 79 vid

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magicmatze user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 05 Apr 09, 17:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Again I wondered about the higher vocaleffect in the background in Save Me on the Hammersmith 1979 video (can't be heard on the audience audio-recording). And I am interested in what it is about. Is it just an effect for the TV-transmission or was it used generell on the Crazy-Tour, but can't be heard on recordings?
An when it was used as an effect during the tour, why should Freddies voice beeing pimped?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z8BqmVNtWM

I hope there are some serious information out there.

cheers

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Posted: 05 Apr 09, 21:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi dear!

I can't access youtube now. But I remember the video cause I really dig this performance. :op

I have two explanations for it, and it'd be great to listen to more learned and informed ones.

a) Freddie's handling of the dynamic range in the song - because everything is quieter, and his voice is more prominent, there's a tendency of producing more resonance as parts of the verses get louder - the pattern of the phrases is usually bound to create some resonance: he starts them softly, then he builds them to the climax, reaching higher notes and sounding louder, and then finishing the last beats of the bar or the first beat of the next bar in a smoother, lighter and more delicate way. This may account for the feeling of overdubbing in the voice, I guess.

b) Hammersmith Odeon was a kind of Theater/Cinema which came to be used as a concert house, as far as I remember. The acoustics, especially if one records the concert more distant from the stage, as it is the case of the FM broadcast in comparison with the audience recording, tends to allow for some interesting, natural echoings, which Freddie afforded to explore very well in smaller venues.

c) Similar effects can be listened in audience recordings from the NOTW tour, by the way, especially in songs like My Melancholy Blues, where he plays a lot with the dynamic range, but in a different way: the verses are usually syncopated, because of the jazzy and bluesy approach to them, and the last beats of the bar are really emphasized both with regard to volume and pitch. 

---

d) There's always the possibility I didn't understand your question or don't have the proper knowledge to answer it, so...that'd be my try to be helpful. 

:))

Take care and best regards!



Yara
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Posted: 05 Apr 09, 21:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's a simple octave effect.

Thank goodness they stopped using it.




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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 03:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Goodness, I've always hated that sound... why did they use it??



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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 03:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thats an easy one. Its a harmonizer effect (up an octave)


Thankyou....Thankyou and goodevening everybody.

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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 05:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi, dear!

Would you point me out an exerpt of the video where you think this vocal effect features more prominently? I think I don't know what you're talking about! 

The effects which draw my attention the most are the resonance and the echoing.  

And it comes across as weird that a vocal harmonizer was used - I listened to many later audience live renditions of Save Me and noticed the same effect, that is, if someone is recording the concert in a hall from a certain distance, the sound comes to the taper with much more resonance and echoing, and taking into account that, as the guys said in the Montreal DVD, Freddie always used to set the volume of the mic at the maximum, that was bound to happen. This would, in theory, explain why the effect can't be heard in the audience recording, because, if I remember correctly, the person seemed to be much closer to the stage and unlikely to get to record such effects.

To my mind, it sounds like natural accoustics as far as the vocals are concerned. The instruments feature less prominently during most of the song, the volume of the mic is very powerful, Freddie having to sort out, brilliantly by the way, the dynamic range of each verse - it seems like natural accoustic effect to me, especially because it all drives us, the way the song was performed and so on, to focus on his vocals.  
 
I find it a bit weird that they should use a vocal harmonizer for the broadcast and, yet, there's no significant, if any, pitch difference and/or distortion in the video - up or down. There's, for sure, more resonance and echo.

I have no time to check it all out, if I had I'd be glad to help, or any way of listening to the audience recording again and seeing if I can notice some difference in pitch which could not be ascribed to the transfer or the speed it runs at, and so on. I barely remember the audience recording because I listened to it some time ago and have always loved this video, so... 

That above is the way I can make sense of your question by listening to the video and having in mind some widely-known infos, such as the one given by the guys that Freddie liked the mic to be set really loud.
 
Becaue the effect for most people isn't a pleasant one, as we can see (lol), they usually tone it down when it comes to master a live recording for a release - so even if there's less of such an effect on Rock Montreal's version, it's still there: the better the player and the amplifier, the better you'll notice it. 

But then I have no significant knowledge about Queen and whether they used to employ such effects on Freddie's vocals. 

I hope it's helpful in some way or another - even if as a way of eliminating an hypothesis. :))) 

Best regards!!!

Great thread, by the way. Congrats!



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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 06:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is an interesting topic.

I really didn't know that they'd ever used a harmonizer type of machine on Freddie's vocals.  If they did, it seems very strange to do when Roger and Brian could I'm sure have duplicated that effect live.  Also very odd to do it on literally only a line or two in the whole gig.  The precedent is set however on the Montreal gig (and presumably the other dates on that tour) whereby they use a drum machine or similar to give the handclaps in a part of Another One Bites The Dust, and finger snaps on Under Pressure.

I suppose they were experimenting with synths and electronic influences around that time, and only a couple of years from introducing a live keyboard player, so it may have been a gradual build up to that.

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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 06:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, that has been annoying me as well for years.
Sounds like a Smurf is singing along...

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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 13:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I actually liked this effect. It's like a new "Queen + " project - Queen + Pappa Smurf.


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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 15:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'll be Gargamel then! ;-)


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Posted: 06 Apr 09, 22:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Are we talking about the same kind of vocal harmonizer Freddie used on the chorus of Sheer Heart Attack? I never liked that sound, it had such a processed digital sound.


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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 04:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmmm, it does sound like a smurf. Never noticed that before but from now on i can't miss it. Thanx guyz :-)

It's painfully obvious on the 'i'm naked and i'm far from home'-bit, right before Freddie hits the piano and at the end of the song. There's a smurf for you.


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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 10:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



cmsdrums wrote:

I really didn't know that they'd ever used a harmonizer type of machine on Freddie's vocals.

They also used it on the jazz tour, for the middle section of '39.

For years I thought it was Roger, but then I heard a recording of one of the Japanese shows where Freddie's voice cracked, and the 'higher voice' cracked along with it.




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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 11:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sir GH wrote:







cmsdrums wrote:



I really didn't know that they'd ever used a harmonizer type of machine on Freddie's vocals.


They also used it on the jazz tour, for the middle section of '39.

For years I thought it was Roger, but then I heard a recording of one of the Japanese shows where Freddie's voice cracked, and the 'higher voice' cracked along with it.



I never noticed that. Do you know which show was it ?





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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 11:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I finally managed to re-watch the video on Youtube - it didn't take so long to load the file, but it took longer than usual - and I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I have to thank the dear user for the thread because it's not only interesting, but that was fun to listen to: it does sound like there's a smurf singing along! Hahaha. 

I had never noticed that on the video. It's just priceless, it's like Mickey Mouse having his throat squeezed, haha. 

I don't know what the heck was that, but it was bad...and the delay makes it really creepy, it seems there's a sneaky little creature behind his back. Oh, man...

That was fun. I used vocal harmonizers so many times in local broadcasts but nowadays it's so safe, here it's almost all wireless, the chance of something like THAT happening is, I mean, zero, I couldn't think of something like that happening.

Back then it was not so...geez. That sounds bad, but funny.


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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 13:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The smurfs do backing vocals and then double as dwarves at Queen's outrageous after-show parties. I thought that was well known. Some of you need to read up a little on Queen's history.


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Posted: 07 Apr 09, 14:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Holly2003 wrote:

The smurfs do backing vocals and then double as dwarves at Queen's outrageous after-show parties. I thought that was well known. Some of you need to read up a little on Queen's history.


lol

That thing was creepy and funny at the same time. It does sound like a smurf from hell hanging on Freddie's back...I'd get some nightmares tonight. :))







Yara
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Posted: 09 Apr 09, 13:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I also have made this question to me: "What is that sound in Save Me?" Roger and Brian weren't singing, so I never get a proper answer until now. Thanks guys!



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Posted: 09 Apr 09, 15:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



pittrek wrote:

I never noticed that. Do you know which show was it ?

Nah, I don't remember... sorry!




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