Forums > Queen + Adam Lambert > Justin Shirley Smith Ruins Roger's Drum Sound??

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cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
cmsdrums
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 08:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Probably a topic for audiophiles and drummers, but am I alone in thinking that the overall drum sound on 'Return of The Champions' (and On Fire Live At The Bowl ' as well) just doesn't come up to scratch? The toms on ROTC sound good, but both the snare and kick are just not loud enough in the mix, and the snare just doesn't have that Roger 'crack' to it. Trip Kahlaf produces a fantastic live sound for the kit - the best live drum sound I've ever heard - but somehow JSS just seems to completley nulify this when mixing the live material.

I just think that JSS's personal preference seems to be for the drums to blend in with the rest of the mix, and not be a little more upfront to drive the song, as I believe they should be. His overall sound seems to be a little bland, and a bit messy.

My personal opinion is that David Richards worked far better when mixing Queen's overall sound, and I'm not sure as to why they have stopped using him - anyone know? (I know he did the 46664 live CD mixes).

Anyone agree/disagree with me?

Cheers

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 09:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like his drumsound. And yes, the bassdrum kick is a bit weak, but this was also during the concerts I've been to. Roger didn't have great bassdrumsound during his whole career, only during the jazz and grazy tour.

Most this sleischman kit sounds great. Even the rototoms have some depth. I don't like his cymbals choice. They are far too big and even his 2 crashes sound like an ride. The sound takes too long if you know what I mean. But this doesn't have anything to do with Justin. I think he mixed it pretty wel.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 11:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote:

Probably a topic for audiophiles and drummers, but am I alone in thinking that the overall drum sound on 'Return of The Champions' (and On Fire Live At The Bowl ' as well) just doesn't come up to scratch? The toms on ROTC sound good, but both the snare and kick are just not loud enough in the mix, and the snare just doesn't have that Roger 'crack' to it. Trip Kahlaf produces a fantastic live sound for the kit - the best live drum sound I've ever heard - but somehow JSS just seems to completley nulify this when mixing the live material.

I just think that JSS's personal preference seems to be for the drums to blend in with the rest of the mix, and not be a little more upfront to drive the song, as I believe they should be. His overall sound seems to be a little bland, and a bit messy.

My personal opinion is that David Richards worked far better when mixing Queen's overall sound, and I'm not sure as to why they have stopped using him - anyone know? (I know he did the 46664 live CD mixes).

Anyone agree/disagree with me?

Cheers


I totally agree. I also think that David Richards was better in getting the distinctive "Queen sound". Somehow I feel like Queen hasn't sounded like Queen since JSS has been around. It's a shame they stopped working with David Richards.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 12:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

JSS is a waste of time when it comes to producing or mixing. He manages to screw everything up, when he really shouldn't be. The new live CD sounds really muddy and theres no definition in the mix at all.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 14:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm not so sure. I can't comment on JSS's past performance, but I have to say, a fellow Queenie and I sat in my living room last night with the volume waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up on ROTC.

Thankfully, i live in a detached house, though i thought the neighbour's curtains were a-twitching. Perhaps it was only the vibration.....

We actually commenting on how well the drums sounded in Fat Bottomed Girls.

Roger always had a huge sound, and I think it's nicely captured here. But that's only my opinion. I'm only a bass player.


"Just tryin' to have a little fun, folks..."
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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 16:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote:

Probably a topic for audiophiles and drummers, but am I alone in thinking that the overall drum sound on 'Return of The Champions' (and On Fire Live At The Bowl ' as well) just doesn't come up to scratch? The toms on ROTC sound good, but both the snare and kick are just not loud enough in the mix, and the snare just doesn't have that Roger 'crack' to it. Trip Kahlaf produces a fantastic live sound for the kit - the best live drum sound I've ever heard - but somehow JSS just seems to completley nulify this when mixing the live material.

I just think that JSS's personal preference seems to be for the drums to blend in with the rest of the mix, and not be a little more upfront to drive the song, as I believe they should be. His overall sound seems to be a little bland, and a bit messy.

My personal opinion is that David Richards worked far better when mixing Queen's overall sound, and I'm not sure as to why they have stopped using him - anyone know? (I know he did the 46664 live CD mixes).

Anyone agree/disagree with me?

Cheers



Yes, I think the drums get a bit weak on this recording. They should have been more in front instead of in the background. With a more powerful snare and bassdrum, especiallly on TYMD I think the result would have been better..

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 18:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Its strange but uring my 30 years of Queen adulation it was always Rogers drum sound that galvanised the sound more so than the predictable media shout of May / Mercury. On tour also he always hit my ears. I was never happy (and i've mentioned this before) with the drum sound on Wembley and the MK release is weaker than the original television release.I totally agree with the 'crack' conept although there is tremendous 'whip' on the kit during Let There be Drums. I guess there was more room in the soundfiel there so you ouldn't really fuk that up. I loved Dave Richards production after the dismal Mak efforts whih did nothing for drum sound at all. Maybe the dvd due to 5.1 sound will bring the sound out more. I understand fully the ompression argument and all i can think is its maybe covering up some less than ideal moments.

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 18:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Funny, I didn't mind the drum sound from Mack, always thought it sounded crisp, I just think it was the radical change in direction that made id seem different.

But other than perhaps on Let There Be Drums, when he kicks in with that awesome beat, his drums just don't sound right. Not that it's bad, but I find id just... different.

I'm used to that crisp opening of the hi-hat slightly when he comes down on the snare, though I think it is missing slightly. But, maybe it has something to do with the fact of Rog's new fascination of holding his snare stick the other way round, with the head in his hand, and the grip-end used for hitting?

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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 18:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I take on board what you are saying and i think you make very valid points.Interesting drum stick points.
Let me quantify....
I felt the whole sound of the band was difficult to listen to from the early to mid eighties. I had the privelage of having around £3k of Hi Fi in the mid 80's and the albums sounded great but still very bright, but i wondered if this was part of the problem? (the dave richards tracks on AKOM are far easier on the ear at volume than the Mack tracks.

Is Roger Taylor so not involved that he doesn't realise how much better he may have sounded??

I dunno but i stand by that Wembley was a mess. To quote one magazine...'' great performance but it sounds like it was recorded in a petrol station 5 miles away''





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Posted: 20 Sep 05, 19:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jimi

As I said earlier, I'm no drummer, and before writing any more, I love big hollow sounding drums.....but apart from the snare in Wembley, I found the sound to be quite acceptable. Perhaps I'm the odd one out here, and if so, I accept that!!!

Surely, and this is my own relatively uneducated ear (the biggest gig we ever played was 2000 at a festival in Portrush) but:

every venue has its own sound;
every soundboard set up surely has its own processing capabilities, constraints, advantages, disadvantages etc;
every musician changes gear, even if its an upgrade in model rather than a change of make; and

Every engineer is going process all this to the best of his ability before putting it on to a final hard copy. So every engineer is going to produce a different sound....but surely what we get is the best that that engineer can get with all those constraints....

Essentially, what I'm putting forward is that JSS hasn't ruined Roger's sound - he's just done what he can with what he has....

Like I say, Jimi, I'm an amateur, but will follow this conversation with interest. I still think that Roger is one of the most expressive drummers I know.

Cheers

Paul


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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 02:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I wouldn't blame JSS that much, I think Roger's drums do sound a lot weaker than in the Queen era (bass drum & snare) although his performace was stunning.

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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 09:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've been experimenting with playing my snare with the thick end of my drum stick, and although in the room where my drums are it doesn't make that much of a difference to me, it still does give a difference, in fact make a much thicker, heavier sound - damper almost. In fairness, I'm not too fond of how it sounds (well, for me, anyway).

But Roger's drum sound recording wise has definitely changed. I know some people don't, and Queen especially, don't like the sound of Live Killers, but I think it's great. I just love the sound of his toms. And at Brixton and Wembley Arena Shithouse (the only two I was able to see), in my opinion, it was a similar sound too. Just, recording wise, there's something missing slightly.


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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Have to admit they do seem buried in the mix a lot of the time. I didn't notice until it was pointed out though.. I guess I was blinded by the kick-ass guitar sound :)

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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 18:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is one of them posts where we all seem to agree in varying degrees and all have a valid input.My favourite point is that Taylor is syill one of the most stylish drummers around.Car is awesome and his delivery of the Free / Bad Co numbers is teriffic.You can tell they are not just 'making up numbers' on Pauls songs but really getting off on them - and quite rightly too...
I was always puzzled by the bands reaction to live Killers and that it didn't sound good. I thought the drum sound was amazing by far the best of any Queen live album yet Rog was the greatest detractor. What i would say is that it was at LEAST one tour too late and plays on the JAZZ album far too much as a body of work of Queen to that point on stage...but i digress. Having played back ROTC a few times and been thoroughly impressed (you must be a fool not to be) i do fel that the emphasis is on the band in this order sound wise

May
Rodgers
Taylor

thats fine but a better job would have been to split the cd show a la downloads and let the dvd run free from one gig.The drum sound seems more intense on some earlier recordings.

Discuss!!!

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Posted: 21 Sep 05, 23:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ok.computer wrote:

Roger always had a huge sound, and I think it's nicely captured here. But that's only my opinion. I'm only a bass player.


Don't say "only". Bass is a very important asset (as long as you're your own instrument!)


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



http://www.queenlive.ca
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Posted: 22 Sep 05, 04:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jimi, not sure if I mis-read your post mate, but I have to disagree with the statement that Live Killers was one tour release too late and relied too heavily on the Jazz album.

In my opinion, despite that [not necessarily bad but] odd sound the Jazz album has (especially drum wise), I always thought that live those songs really came to life. It's a shame that the album didn't have a clearer feel to it (don't get me wrong, Jazz is one of my favourite Queen albums), and I do like the drum sound on it, but sometimes I wish it wasn't as damp as it sounds.

But, I just love the live sound of the songs from the album. All his fills on the toms, the way his hi-hat sounds when it opens up as Rog touches the snare - I just think it's a great sounding album. In fact, the sort of tour I'd like to see on DVD.

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Posted: 22 Sep 05, 12:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think you are right Greatkingsam. I just alluded to the point that by leaving a live album as long as they did it meant a hell of a lot of the 'essence' of Queen was missing from the album. For example the US Tours of 77 would have been a far better starting point. As for Jazz its my favourite lesser known Queen album(if that makes sense!) superior to all the 80's albums in my view.I think the drum sound on killers is awesome. The drum fills on the first piece of Brighton Rock are superb.Dae on Time would have been interesting!!

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Posted: 23 Sep 05, 05:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, alaways wished they'd done something like Dead On Time. Then again, I love More Of That Jazz, and I know they probably never even considered it, but I think this could have been good live - great beat, great riff, love the vocal - just a good solid rock n roll song (although I know some people hate it, much like Get Down, Make Love).

But you're right, Brighton Rock sounds good, an overall good sound to that song. It always fascinates me the ease with which Roger can play and sing.

Slightly off topic, but recently I've been trying to get hold of a rack of toms - anyone know of a good place to get them internet wise?