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Rhapsody in Pieces
July 23, 2012 7:10 AM   Subscribe


 
And of course the famous LEGO version!
posted by Vindaloo at 7:14 AM on July 23, 2012


Offered without comment.
posted by schmod at 7:19 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Perhaps this should be part of... I don't know... A MeFi music challenge in the future.
posted by hanoixan at 7:38 AM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some of those vocal tracks become instrument tracks for the big anthemic finish. No wonder that part sounds so huge.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:43 AM on July 23, 2012


Some of those vocal tracks become instrument tracks for the big anthemic finish.

Interesting how differently things were put together when tracks were a limited commodity. From the wiki:
May, Mercury, and Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day.[6] The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs.[11] Since the studios of the time only offered 24-track analogue tape, it was necessary for the three to overdub themselves many times and "bounce" these down to successive sub-mixes. In the end, eighth-generation tapes were used.[1] The various sections of tape containing the desired submixes had to be spliced (cut with razor blades and assembled in the correct sequence using adhesive tape). May recalled placing a tape in front of the light and being able to see through it, as they had been recording so intensely.[12]
posted by swift at 7:51 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rule 46u:

If it exists, there is a ukulele version of it.
posted by Danf at 8:06 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's always interesting to me to listen to isolated solo vocal tracks for these sorts of things. Sometimes it's much easier to hear just how much processing and effects were added, for example. In this case, it's remarkable to hear Freddy Mercury's voice, which sounds massive in the context of the full recording and which has been described as "powerful," but when heard all by itself with relatively little added sounds positively thin and anemic.
posted by slkinsey at 8:12 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of those vocal tracks expose a really tired and off-key Freddie Mercury. Makes him feel more human, which is reassuring.
posted by hanoixan at 8:13 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I downloaded the project, this is amazing. :) Audacity works great you have all the tracks lined up to adjust or "solo" like the voice or piano.
posted by KHinds10 at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2012


Bohemian Rhapsody: The Commercial
posted by fairmettle at 9:18 AM on July 23, 2012


So where do these isolated tracks come from? I noticed in the related videos on Youtube that there's the isolated 4 tracks for Sgt. Pepper's. Nowhere in the comments do the uploaders say where they got them.
posted by zsazsa at 9:27 AM on July 23, 2012


So where do these isolated tracks come from?

Usually it’s that at some point someone got their hands on the original multi track tapes and made a copy. Even though this is not kosher and could possibly get you some trouble, it’s hard for people to resist hearing the original tracks. For music fans they’re interesting, for engineers and producers they're fascinating bits of gold that allow you to analyze how classic recordings were made.
posted by bongo_x at 9:56 AM on July 23, 2012


Bohemian Rhapsichord (Chrome Only)
posted by brianwhitman at 9:58 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


yessss sorting by loudness creates my twitch-inducing summer jam.
posted by SharkParty at 11:28 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am curious to hear that, sharkparty
posted by victory_laser at 11:47 AM on July 23, 2012


NICE!
posted by zarq at 12:27 PM on July 23, 2012


A slightly more pessimistic version of Brian May is Brian Can't, who's sadly missing from the isolated tracks. Oh well, good stuff anyway!
posted by surrendering monkey at 12:59 PM on July 23, 2012


Queen: The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody is great to watch as well.
posted by mrbill at 1:06 PM on July 23, 2012


OH MY GOD YES. Forget doing data entry and organizing my stupid lab notebook - I AM GOING THROUGH THIS POST TONIGHT.
posted by sc114 at 2:49 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Got my plans for the evening now, thanks!
posted by Occula at 4:07 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


nile_red: "Bohemian Rhapsody. Piano. Drum. Bass. Vocal Choir 1 & 2. Vocal Track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. Freddie's vocal track. All vocals. All instruments. Video and links to an audacity project where you can download the workings yourself. Previously."

There's one problem: The song is Bohemian Rhapsody, the most loathsome piece of music on the face of the planet after "Who let the dogs out?".

I don't know what it is, exactly. It's like when you're watching a sitcom you've enjoyed forever and suddenly there's this episode where everyone's singing. I like rock. I like theater. The combination of rock and theater (err, opera) is like toothpaste and orange juice.

But as I look at it, I start seeing this as a challenge to me as an electronic musician. Is there any way I can warp, process, and completely recontextualize Bohemian Rhapsody so it's actually a good song? I might actually have a go at it.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:40 PM on July 23, 2012


Wow. It's amazing how cut up and scattered some of these are. The vocal tracks, for instance -- they'll just cut in or out in the middle of a note. (Vocal track 1 has the syllables "Mag" and "o" from the word "Magnifico," but not the middle part of the word!) And I guess between the 13 of them they have the full "choral" part of the song, but it's nothing so straightforward as "The highest harmony part is on this track, and the next-highest is on this track..." It's all just sort of jigsawed together.

I dunno, all I know is digital recording, so I have no idea how things were done back in the days of tape, much less back when 24-track tape was normal. But this seems like a bizarre way to work.

And here's the part I was looking for. Probably everyone's got a different bit of the song that makes the top of their head come off, but that one's mine.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:43 PM on July 23, 2012


Hell, Boards of Canada sampled Hair on "Aquarius", and Music Has The Right To Children is one of the top ten albums ever in my book.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:46 PM on July 23, 2012


There are some bits of Brian May's guitar making That Distorted Noise that are totally sample-worthy.

Like that right there is an excellent note. You could make a whole Doom Metal album out of that note if he'd just held it for a bit longer.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:50 PM on July 23, 2012


There's one problem: The song is Bohemian Rhapsody, the most loathsome piece of music on the face of the planet after "Who let the dogs out?".

WHAT
posted by tantrumthecat at 5:55 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


That 2 1/2", 30" ips tape is resilient stuff. At $250 a 15-minute reel (last I was paying for it back in the 90's) it had better be.
posted by sourwookie at 7:40 PM on July 23, 2012


I have to link to this in every BR thread. Out of season, but what the hell?

Bonus: Firewoks!
posted by wheelieman at 8:30 PM on July 23, 2012


What, no dubstep remix?
posted by Apocryphon at 9:08 PM on July 23, 2012


For Sgt. Peppers, the isolated tracks may be ripped from the Rock Band game. They were painstakingly separated using audio forensic software IIRC (I don't think the 4 tracks are still around for every track)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:25 PM on July 23, 2012


Thanks for mentioning Sgt Peppers, so I can link to this version featuring a combination of the vocals for "She's Leaving Home" with the music of "What's Going On." Flawless and sick!

It does make me wonder why isolated instrument tracks are so hard to find in "conventional" channels. There's the Youtube stuff, other clips floating around the internet, amateur covers, and those "Classic Album" documentaries (where a producer messes around with the mixes). It's fascinating to listen to, even inspiring for musicians, so why is this the case? Is it a matter of the suits fearing the tracks would be used for unauthorized productions. Of course, people do anyway, but I guess they just don't want to make it easier?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 5:33 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, that She's Leaving Home link is magic.
posted by nile_red at 8:05 AM on July 24, 2012


It does make me wonder why isolated instrument tracks are so hard to find in "conventional" channels.

Besides the legal and financial part, I think most artists would rather you concentrated on the final product than the process. I don’t see a lot of other arts supplying the building blocks for others to use either.
posted by bongo_x at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2012


Wow. I love listening to these. So rough in places.

And who knew there was a "Wilhelm-Scream" in there.
posted by JBennett at 11:29 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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