Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Capturing the Queen sound at home

forum rss feed
Author

Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 22 Aug 12, 09:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm interested to know how many have tried to capture the queen sound within there own band/studio/home and what equipment and lengths you have gone to?

With over 30 years of playing I have personally amassed a fair chunk of equipment for use live and studio over the years.

I play drums and collect guitars (as well as play them of course)

I have a large amount of gear not Queen related but ever since Wembley 1980 I set about building a collection of Queen related instruments with a view to being able to get close to the sound.

So, I have the full ludwig Silver Sparkle classic maple kit, not all is vintage, I have Bass drums from 70's and 2011 for instance, toms from 80's - 90's and a large collection of Zildjian and Paiste cymbals, basically I can put together a full size kit, same spec as Rogers 80's kit.

I also have a rather poor set of simmonds electronic drums but they are pretty crap to be honest and not up to the spec he had. Timbales and wind chimes, cowbells and rototoms are all in the collection, sadly no Gong!

Guitar wise I have of course the BM version, plus Vox AC30 and Fryer treble boosters. Also the Digitech pedal and Vox Deacy amp. Bass wise I have a black Fender precision

I also have a number of other guitars including Telecasters 12 String accoustics and Stratocasters. A Rickenbacker and Les Paul.

When not in the studio I have a number of recording softwares for home demos including Pro Tools lite, but i tend to use Adobe Audition as it's much more flexible.

All of this has been built up over 30 years, it's been expensive but when you have been working 30+ years you too will find you build up a good collection if you set aside money to do it.

Capturing teh Queen sound has been an on/off affair, most of the time it has been simply for fun on the odd track as the band is most definately not a tribute band but occassionally we like to try to get close to original sounds when recording say a 60's or 70's inspired song.

In the right environment the kit naturally sounds very 'roger' the large toms and Bass has a massive ring and obviously the cymbals are pretty true to his.

I once played it in a hugh almost warehouse like space where it sounded like the thunder of Gods and a recent gig in London at a ballroom was interesting as it was largely marble walls/pilers and ceiling so that had a very early Queen sound stright away drum wise.

The BM guitar + the vox and booster does a great job of getting the sound, albeit loud! I think the digitech is pretty good also for lower volumes, I have also found an Electro Harmonic pedal that makes a good stab at the Queen tones and this can be used at low volumes also which is good for home practice. Of course without Brian's fingers it's all still a close approximation, but I'm pretty happy you have to go a long way to better an AC30. I have a nice Fender amp for more US based tones but for everything from Queen to the Stones to Oasis it's AC30 all the way.

I realise this is a rather unusual collection but I suspect there is a fair few on here who have similar collections or are in teh process of building something like it over years, remember this has literally taken 30 years of collecting, so whilst it's a lot, spread it over 30 years and it's not out of reach...assuming you have an understanding wife!

So how has what? and do you try to get the Queen sound? what's worked best? maybe there is equipment that in not Queen related but does a great job of getting the sound?

Anyone got a similar ludwig setup of DW?


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
cmsdrums
Deity: 3040 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 22 Aug 12, 11:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You'll need Brian's hands and brain to get his sound spot on - good luck with that!

master marathon runner user is on Queenzone.com
master marathon runner
Royalty: 1237 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 22 Aug 12, 15:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have a John Deacon Xmas '75 Hammersmith triangle.


Master Marathon Runner
Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Aug 12, 03:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote:
You'll need Brian's hands and brain to get his sound spot on - good luck with that!


Indeed, it's really interesting how much a different person can make, even playing the same notes on the same equipment. Even if I were to stand on stage with Brian playing his guitar and teh same notes it would still not sound like him. I think that is true of most guitarists, from Hank Marvin onwards. The only consolation is they couldn't sound like me either! ;-)


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
whynot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Rocker: 42 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Aug 12, 13:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Don't forget the Pete Cornish treble booster. He was the one who build it for Brian in the early 70's.

Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 03:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ha, yes, well maybe one day I will add it, I only found out you can get hold of them a while ago.

So come on who has tried to get the same or similar sound, with or without the same equipment? I am interested to see how close people have got with different instruments / effects


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
cmsdrums
Deity: 3040 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 06:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I do search to reproduce Roger's snare sound, but so far haven't been able to invest in any replica gear - although a Ludwig Classic Maple Snare is on my 'to buy' list!

Purely from having been influenced by Roger since I started drumming 25 years ago, I do play with the slight hi-hat opening on most snare beats.I must make it clear though that this isn't me trying to 'copy' or pretend to be Roger, but simply that he was the main person I watched when I learnt (I am purely self taught), and so I just assumed that it was how you played; it is now a natural part of my playing and not forced or thought about.

If you ever feel like giving away the silver sparkle kit I'll take it off your hands! :-)

Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 07:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Hi Hat thing is interesting, I naturally did it when I started and was told I shouldn't so I stopped, when I realised that was the way he played I did start to do it again. To be honest I dont have an issue with copying his style, after all he was the reason I started playing, and I try to do my version of a number of musicains, from Brian May to Hank Marvin.
Drumming wise I find playing the style of say Stewart Copeland the most difficult, I just dont naturally play in that way.

One thing I have always struggled with is getting a tone I like with thin heads, Roger plays with Ambassadors where as I find they are too thin and dont give the depth, so I use coated Emperors which have a slightly darker tone but still have a good ring.

I use no damping, I occassionally have a protection racket pillow in the bass drum it's a 26x16 so it has a mighty ring, but often I leave it out.

In my band we play a large number of styles so I am called on to play a sizable range of styles everything from heavy rock to dance.

If yo get a chance to get your hands on a classic maple snare go for it they are wonderful.

I have a two ludwigs a 6 1/2 one and a 8" deep one
I also have a 402 metal ludwig snare and a DW metal snare which is pretty amazing, but the old 6 1/2 maple is by far the nicest sounding snare I have ever played. I have never got on with metal ones, the DW is nice because it's very thick metal so hugely heavy and a deep ring, the 402 is almost uncontrolable, way too loud and with a ring that lasts for days, I drag it out only about once a year


When I started drumming I was all about sounding like Roger, then I went through a stage of thinking that was bad and I should concentrate on getting my own style. However as i grew older i realised his was the sound and style I liked best so why try to do anything different, I am not bothered that some might see that as being unoriginal, the fact is I will never be him and i will always add something that is all mine. but at the end of the day his style is the way i feel happeist playing, just as thousands want to be Neil Peart for example.

When you listen closely to him he is in fact hugely infuenced by John Bonham, in fact I would go so far as to say a lot of what he has played over the years is very close to the way Bonham would have played the track had it been his.

I think we all take things from others that then become ours and you can clearly see where Roger has come from. He doesnt have the speed of Bonhams right foot, but then who has?


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
Micrówave user not visiting Queenzone.com
Delilah, on Medium Power
Micrówave
Deity: 7037 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 10:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Once you have the treble booster and maple snare in place, you've accomplished about 30%.  Queen was a show band.  It was all about the look.  

I'd say these guys are way ahead of you all...

Attachment: 1203241802200285.jpg 52 KB
This has been downloaded 16 time(s).


Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 10:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ha...maybe


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
Togg
Deity: 2393 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Aug 12, 10:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I guess this must be about 45% then...

Attachment: 125724485937779.JPG 859 KB
This has been downloaded 14 time(s).



"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"