Drum Machine

Serious discussion about the band known as QUEEN.

Re: Drum Machine

Postby Pingu » Sun May 27, 2018 3:05 pm

This was a draft that I didn't post.. curious to see if I agree with Seb.

Going completely from memory, I listed everything that IMO used machines/programming/e-drums and underlined tracks where I felt there COULD be no acoustic drums at all..

Staying Power, Dancer, Backchat, Body Language, Action This Day, Cool Cat.
Radio Gaga, Tear it up, Machines, Break Free, Hammer to Fall.
One Vision, Magic, One Year Of Love, PISCTP, FWBF, Don't Lose Your Head.
Party, IWIA, Invisible Man, Breakthru, Rain Must Fall, Scandal, My Baby Does Me
I Can't Live With You, Ride The Wild Wind, All God's People, TATDOOL, Delilah
Mother Love, You Don't Fool Me, Beautiful Day (reprise).

Will do a quick comparison and see what the main differences are. nb I have no investment in this other than the fun of it.. :)
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby sebastian » Sun May 27, 2018 4:50 pm

I agree about:

- Back Chat
- Radio Ga Ga
- One Year of Love
- My Baby Does Me
- I Can't Live with You
- Delilah
- Mother Love

The ones I disagree with are:

- Cool Cat: While definitely looped, I think they're looped from Roger actually playing the beat once or twice. The somewhat 'light' sound (compared to his usual big and slightly distorted drums) is a combination of John's unique approach to EQ, probably some blankets put on the drums to mute them a bit (as, I heard, they did on 'Dust'), and probably some varispeed (wasn't the original a bit slower?). I think it's an 'Another One Bites the Dust' situation, rather than a 'Back Chat' one.

- A Kind of Magic: When Frederick and Roger sing that climactic 'gone' and John's bass is briefly left on its own (starting off the jam that goes on a fade-out to end the track), there's a snare roll. It could've been sampled from elsewhere or simply programmed, but I'd say there's a chance Rog actually added it.

- Pain Is So Close to Pleasure: The hi-hat/shaker is quite obviously programmed, as is the basic beat. I'd say the fills here and there also sound a lot like they could've been added from a midi sequencer. When Brian's guitar enters, I'd say there's a chance Roger actually played those little fills in there, but again, they could've also been programmed. My only doubt is the part just before the modulation. It sounds to me like those fills could've been acoustic, though it's the same as 'Magic' in that they could've been sampled from elsewhere. I'd say the ending has Roger playing on top of the programmed track, though. I can't be 100% sure... I'm more like 50.0001% sure :p

- Don't Lose Your Head: Again, most of it is a combination of programmed layers, but some of the fills on the instrumental bits (e.g. just before the second cycle) sound like they're a mixture of human and machine. Listening to 'A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling', there are some of those fills as well, but again I'm not experienced enough to tell for sure if they're some really good samples or some quite processed live things. I still agree that the overwhelming majority is programmed anyway, but perhaps not 100% of the record.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby Pingu » Sun May 27, 2018 6:03 pm

Righty ho!

Cool Cat - well I still can't hear it, but that does't mean it's not there. BTW try the Bowie version which has some possible giveaway different electronic drum sounds at the outset.. though what they give away, I couldn't tell you.

AKOM- yeah I hear the little roll there. Always thought it was e-drum- maybe.

PISCTP - now then. Listening again, on headphones, I'd say there's very possibly some real drums during the guitar outro and almost definitely some real hi hat in there, right in the centre (while the programmed hi hats are panned hard L and R). With (what sounds like) Rog's trademark closing hi-hat accents, just before the off-beats. Lovely stuff I'd never have noticed before.

DLYH - again I can't hear anything 'real' but then some of the fills again in the outro could be live. Hmm.

And just to finish off -

- could that be a bit of real Roger cymbal hits/hi hat at the end of Radio Gaga, starting with the panning cymbal hiss which concludes the post 2nd chorus percussive synth part?
- could that be a bit of real Roger drums in 'Staying Power' accompanying the very end of the horn break?
- could that be a bit of real Roger drums in 'Break Free' - four snare beats after each 'God knows'?

God knows..
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby sebastian » Sun May 27, 2018 6:10 pm

Hmmm, interesting!

I've definitely got to resurrect my website... some day, one day...
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby fosterol » Sun May 27, 2018 7:16 pm

Sebastian thank you for the wonderful detailed response. As a musician and 45 year Queen fan I suspected or (thought I) knew a lot of this, however some interesting tracks I didn't realise. It does make you wonder how often band members fell out over the writer wanting a sound that meant either excluding a band member, or asking for them to play in a manner alien to their style.
I know Back Chat and Break Free caused arguments with Brian and Roger didn't like the Bites the dust drum loop, indeed John seems to have been quite anti the rock sound in many of his pop sensible tracks. I wonder if one year of love upset Brian, who I'm guessing was quite precious about his guitar role. I don't think Brian played much bass and only Roger played drums, as far as we know. it appears Brian was the one whose role was often sidelined.
Back to the thread, I wonder how much drum machine, pads etc was Roger, or how much was the rest of the band. Anyway cheers again folks
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby Kes » Sun May 27, 2018 7:49 pm

Reference "Party".

I was certain it was John who'd got pissed off and fucked off to Bali, just before the other three arrived. If so, that would mean it was Roger, Fred and Brian who recorded "most" of the song.
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby sebastian » Mon May 28, 2018 12:29 am

https://youtu.be/9Mdb6Hz8YY0?t=8m23s

Roger Taylor: 'Well actually, that was, that was really I think, er, I think Freddie and Brian, I think I was having a skiing holiday at the time actually, and I came back and they had the ideas for, no I think Khashoggi's we were all there, weren't we, but er, Party arose when I wasn't actually around.'
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby Action This Day » Tue May 29, 2018 6:26 pm

I'm a drummer who has experience of recording both acoustic and programmed drums. This is my opinion:

Party is completely programmed until 2:05 when Roger comes in with real drums until the end.

The Miracle is completely programmed until 3:55 when real drums start. I don't believe that's a click track btw, to me it sounds more like Freddie tapping his fingers into his palm in time to the beat.

AKOM snare roll is 100% programmed, definitely not Roger.

Action This Day is programmed drums and real drums combined, you can hear it in the intro. The song starts with four bars of programmed drums then the real drums are overlaid.
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby Action This Day » Tue May 29, 2018 6:40 pm

sebastian wrote: 'I Want It All': Mostly live, except for the double-time part, which Dave confirmed to have been programmed. Which, again, makes me wonder, as I could've sworn it sounds live - it goes to show, my ears are not to be taken too seriously.


It's strange, for years I had the complete opposite view - I thought the whole song was programmed.

The double-time part is obviously programmed but it was only after hearing the isolated tracks that I discovered the drums in the rest of the song are real. A very clever piece of recording, most people wouldn't notice.
 
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Re: Drum Machine

Postby sebastian » Wed May 30, 2018 4:02 am

Thank you, that's very informative.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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