Is it just me, or does Roger's snare sound very unnatural (and very un-Roger-ish) on the recent live releases?
- Live At The Bowl (the Milton Keynes portion)
- Hammersmith Odeon '75 (2009 BBC broadcast)
- Sheer Heart Attack (Paris '79) bonus track on the NOTW remaster
To my ears this is compression. I understand the loudness war thing for the overall sound, but giving special treatment to make the snare sound fatter actually changes the overall sound of the band. Does Roger Taylor actually approve of these final mixes?
These concerts were played 30-40 years ago, and there's no need to make them sound like they were played yesterday. It's a piece of history and should be looked upon as such. If I were an historian, I wouldn't want to read an old piece of papyrus with flashing lights around it.
Just my $0.02 ..
well maybe they don't master them as if they were a piece of history, but as a music release and a way to gain revenue. They want the product to sound punchy and have a nice bottom to it. I happen to like the compression used on the snare, except for Live at the Bowl. That was just terrible. But everything else im okay with, but that's just my opinion.
Personally, I don't mind. If we were to remain 'authentic' and 'purist' about those things, they shouldn't be released on CD or iTunes as those didn't exist back in the 70's. Only 33.5 rpm vinyls. It's perfectly fine to update those sounds if they feel like it.
If I were a historian researching the Chalcolithic period, there'd be nothing wrong about digitally photographing remains of an ancient civilisation, using a ballpoint pen to take notes, sending my findings via e-mail or listening to Avril Lavigne on my iPod while I'm travelling to Serbia for samples.
Very good point Bob. I think the reason why they did this was because they thought it made the overall sound more "flashy" and maybe in their eyes it improved the quality. Remember, it's come across that QPL are obsessed with the idea that they only release something if it can be shown in excellent quality. I totally disagree with this as some things should just be left alone to show that this footage is not from a few years ago but 3-4 decades ago.
I would say firstly Roger would get to hear and presumably approve of the mix before-hand so yes I guess he does like it.and secondly the snare is indeed a very difficult drum to record accurately. It sounds totally different when sitting behind it to out front and even moving the mic 1 or 2 inches will change the sound drastically (far more than any other drum)
I have the same snare and I have tried to capture that sound so many times I can't tell you.
It sounds just like Roger when played live in the air, but trying to capture it on tape as it were is very difficult, possibly Roger feels the same and he asked the guys to go back and try to change it on the mixes.
The Bowl gig is a case in point, when I saw them on that day the snare was massive in fact it was too loud and dominated the gig I felt....when the first taped versions came out it was very different to my ears, now it feels more in line with what I remember as do the toms, so maybe Roger asked them to try to capture that original sound again.
Personally I think his kits sound better now than they have ever do on live recordings, but that is just my opinion.
Always and interesting debate GH, I think drum sounds in particular are very subjective, I have very defined views about drum sounds which no surprise come from growing up with Queen, if I had my way my kit would sound as close as possible to Roger's early kit sounds particularly You're my best friend' however I was horrified to discover Roger wasn't keen on that sound as it was created by John EQing the kit heavily in the mix... when I heard that I was pretty upset I can tell you.Of course the Bo Rap snare sound is the one most try to get but again that was only acheived by having the tape pass through the tape heads hundreds of times when multi-tracking. So again the snare sound is fairly artificial.
Live the sounds differ a lot, I watched the 75' gig again last night and loved the sound, at the same time I am of the mind the re-worked We Will Rock You DVD has a much better drum sound than the original, but I know I am in the minority here...
The fact is every drum sound you have ever heard recorded is with the mics in the rough position of the drummers head trying to capture the sound he hears, but out front you hear something totally different as the sound is projected away from the audience, a bit like turning your guitar amp away from the crowd. The net result is everyone hears something different form the kit, the band, the crowd and the drummer...somewhere in the middle is the true sound!
For my money I think Roger's recent sound is back to where I love it, I loved it from early 70's, hated it during the 80's and some of the 90's but now it's great IMO.
tcc wrote: Now I know why Freddie sings in a "shouting" style - he has to compete with Roger's loud drum sounds :-)
And the tables turned on the Works Tour--Freddie pulled more chest to compete with those AWESOME, LOUD electronic drums that Roger had--but the results were terrible (AKA 9/5 and 9/7)! :D
TheAmazingEvent wrote: The bowl drums sound shit because there ELECTRONIC.....remember he through them in the lake a few years later
What? The Simmons kit was only used on a handful of songs and only as an accent. He didn't play any song using them alone.
As far as I am aware the lake stayed clean of simmons drums!