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Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 18 Sep 06, 08:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Can anyone remember an article detailing Brian's recording technique, I am particularly interested in what microphones have been used to capture his sound and placement etc.

Not sure if I've ever seen an article that talks about this, I know he often used an SM57 on the Deacy amp but what about the AC30's? any ideas


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FriedChicken user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 18 Sep 06, 09:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't know if he always used the same mics.

All I know is which microphones were used on Bohemian Rhapsody and most of A Night at the Opera



Which are Neumann U67's and U87's on the tom-toms and overhead and D12 (AKG) on the Bassdrum

The bass was Direct Injected and when the cabinet was recorded they used a Neumann U67 or a Electro Voice 666.
Freddie's piano was picked up with a pair of U67's and also set up a Shure microphone at the piano to pick up his guide vocals.


For the guitar they used different microphones for different parts and sounds. They would set up lots of microphones and pick one, or blend a few to make a specific sound. Also they put microphones everywhere. (at the back of the amp, under carpet, on the window, down metal, in concrete tubes etc.)







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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 07:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I strongly suspect there was a mic in Freddie's pants as well.


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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 07:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you Mr Chicken that was very interesting, and you to Zep your comments are always helpful ;-)


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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 08:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:



Freddie's piano was picked up with a pair of U67's and also set up a Shure microphone at the piano to pick up his guide vocals.



Meuh? Wouldn't that mean the guide vocals ended up on the final recordings, as they were bound to be picked up by the U67's?

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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 09:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes that did happen sometimes, however, more often than not he simply did it twice, once with a guide vocal, then again just piano listening to the previous track in headphones.


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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 11:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie would never sing the entire song during the recording of the backing track.

Just a word or 2 in the beginning of the sentence. So he and the band knew where they were in the song.


But yeah, the guide vocals did leak into the Neumanns occasionally. But because it is so soft it's not a problem when you are going to record the rest


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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 11:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And mastertape of Bohemian Rhapsody has 2 lead vocal tracks. And from both takes the voice was compiled into the vocaltrack which ended up on the record.



"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 15:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the heads up, gents. I'm still used to tip-toeing around a studio whenever the red light is on or there's a mike in sight.
But if Freddie didn't, then who am I to disagree?

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Posted: 19 Sep 06, 20:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Uh what do you mean?


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 03:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

Uh what do you mean?


That I'm surprised everyone wasn't dead silent when Freddie's piano was recorded. Is it that difficult to understand?

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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 03:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think your misunderstanding this.

In the studio Freddie would be in the main studio and everyone else in the control room (most of the time) on occasions they recorded live effectively, but most of the time on a piano based track he would go in play the piano with some form of guide vocal, which was either re-done later or simply got lost in the final mix as it was very low.

One way of doing this is to play the song through live, then re-record over the top starting with usually drums and bass, this is common practice in studios and the best way to make sure you are in time and the track has a live feel.

But it doesn't mean everyone can be in there with you chatting, you still have to have separation between instruments to get the best sound.


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 05:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In the recent ANATO docu, Roy said that the piano was in one section of the room and the drums were behind a separated part of the same room. Also, the piano had a carpet thrown over the top to further help separation from the drums. And they even demonstrated that you can still hear the drums over the piano mics, very slightly.

And usually with Queen, this live track would be THE track used. No re-recording here! This was further demonstrated by Brian when the piano was solo'd and you heard Freddie's minor mistakes. Warts n all.

Adam.

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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 05:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam is right.

They kept the live take and only stopped recording to do a new take when there were big mistakes. In some songs you can hear minor mistakes in the backing track. For example the piano and the drums in Borhap.

But they didn't re-record bits of backing track. Because then the whole idea of having a band play live would be distroyed.
They do did sometimes drum overdubs when this was nessecary for the sound


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 06:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sure the early stuff was certainly done that way I agree, the documentary on Bo Rap was most interesting, however, I am given to understand that later on they did record in many different ways, sometimes only one or two of them was present at a time, in fact some of the later recordings do feel more 'studio' if you like, they later returned to more of a group feel. And went back to playing the songs together.

With the obvious exception of their final album which by all accounts was peiced together a seperate times, first Roger and John and later Brian.

I find it very interesting to listen back a try to work out which song has been done in which way, for example large parts of Hot Space, The Game?, The Works, and maybe even Magic have been done in a very different way to the early albums, However by the time Innuendo was being done I think whenever possible they were all there for the backing tracks at least. Just my supposition but I think you'll agree that those albums don't hav the same 'band' feel to say ANOTO etc.


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 07:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Actually Togg, on the MIH material, there were times when they recorded a live backing track. Mother Love being the main example I remember from Dave Richards.

Adam.

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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 08:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Look, i'm not saying the whole of any album was done one way or the other, i am simply stating that they used multiple approaches to recording a track on many if not most of the albums.

Some of the tracks on MIH were originally done live, then later scraped completely or they did indeed use the backing track, most of it as we know was recorded separately, the bulk of it by Brian much later on, and sure some of it is still the original live takes from long distant sessions.

My point here is there are dozens of tracks recorded throughout their career in ways other than all playing live.


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 11:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah thats right. But that certainly wasn't the case before drum machines were used.


Except on some stuff where they used looping. For example the drums in Dragon Attack and Coming Soon where looped. But in the 80's a lot of stuff was recorded on top of drum machines and bass synthesizers (which where probably recorded as a demo rather than a real part of the music) and then a lot of stuff was reecorded on top of it (drums, piano, bass etc)


"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 12:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Do you know if the drums were looped on Another one bites?

When you say "it wasn't the case before drum machines were used"

Take a track like 'Fun it' now I doubt that was done live, but I guess it could have been.


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Posted: 20 Sep 06, 12:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Togg wrote:

Do you know if the drums were looped on Another one bites?

When you say "it wasn't the case before drum machines were used"

Take a track like 'Fun it' now I doubt that was done live, but I guess it could have been.


I've heard Roger say on several occasions that the very tight beat on ABTD was really hard to reproduce in a live environment. That either means the studio part was a one off, or he was using a drum machine, although I seriously doubt drum machines sounded that natural in 1980.