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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Killer Queen" Queen Multitrack

"Killer Queen" by the band Queen was a 1974 hit off the band's Sheer Heart Attack album, and marks the best example of a record from that era using what we consider the modern technique of recording. What's the difference between the "classic" recording method of the 60's and 70's and the modern method? Take notice that the kick, snare and toms are on separate tracks, and the bass is recorded both direct and miked, to name just a couple of things. Here are some things to listen for.

1) Freddie Mercury plays two pianos on the song that give it a very full sound. The second piano was an upright that was credited as a "jangle piano."

2) Take notice to Roger Deacon's 2nd bass overdub at 1:17. The reason why it works and doesn't make the part muddy is the fact that it's is played high on the neck. Of course, it's short too.

3) Check out Brian May's guitar tones at 1:39. The tone of the 2nd answer guitar is so different from the first (actually all the guitar parts sound different) that they not only fit together well but stand out as unique too.

4) Queen's terrific harmony vocals are an excellent example of stacked vocals to make the sound fuller. Another technique that was quite forward thinking for the time.



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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny thing... I was actually listening to this song today and realized that there's two pianos and thought about how badass of an idea that was.


Also, I bought Music 3.0 a few weeks ago and it was a good read. I will prolly buy the music producer's handbook soon too.

Brandon said...

Bobby - I love this blog. I am learning a lot about what I think I heard vs what I am really hearing in these classic recordings. Thanks for all your work on them! One of the things that stood out to me when the drums were soloed was the distortion on the toms. I have noticed distortion on drums in general on other multitrack studies you have done too. So I am wondering the source of the distortion (over driving the preamps, an artifact of hitting the tape too hard, etc.) and if it was an intentional stylistic choice or an unwanted limitation of the recording technology. I am thinking it sounds like tape saturation, and I am hoping that you can shed some light on why it is recurring in these studies. Thanks!

Bobby Owsinski said...

Brandon,
I'm not sure of the cause for the distortion, but I'll ask around and find out.

Turnidoff Productions said...

That outro guitar sounds so bizzare by itself. Great stuff.

Peter T said...

Great one, I love these. It is John Deacon, though. :)

Anonymous said...

Great Find Bobby!
Only think is that the bass player is called John Deacon, not Roger!
this just shows how underrated he is both as a bass player and a songwriter!

Doug Darrell said...

This has probably come up lots before, but: What DAW is that?

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