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Using the Harmonizer / Queen project

Rich G.

Experienced
I'm doing a one-off project from my band where we're doing a bunch of Queen songs. A lot of Brian May's solos contain inter-weaving harmony parts. My Best Friend, for example, sounds like it contains 3 or 4 harmony lines at various points in the song.

I haven't used the Harmonizer all that much in the AxeFx other than for some basic tunes like Round & Round and Take It On The Run. Anyone have recommendations on how to set up the Harmonizer for intricate harmony lines? A simple example might be the very last solo of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Also... Can the AX8 handle this? Not sure if I'm going to use my AxeFX II or AX8 for this project.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
Check what Brian does live, rather then what he does on the album. Albums can contain so many overdubs its next to impossible to cover it. Live is where they often rearrange the songs to make them actually work in a live setting. Basic rule of tribute/cover bands, always go for the live version.

As for which unit could handle it best? Brian doesn't use that much effects in his rig. There are some guitar rig run down vids which are interesting. Other then using a treble booster to boost his Vox amps into overdrive Brian seems to be using the TC G-Major 2 for almost all of his FX sounds, including the harmonizing. So I reckon he's not going all out on the harmonizing live. Probably 1 or 2 additional harmony voices.
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
Two pitch blocks on the Axe II would probably make some things easier to configure.

The "how" might take a while to explain but you could keep it as simple as something like this. This is C harm. minor, 3rd down then (switched during slide up) G melodic minor, 3rd up. The first lower notes aren't even on the recording but they'll fit the chords.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/8peytg2s6krk010/bohemian-harm.mp3

Or you could try to get closer to the recording. This would use at least 4 different pitch settings. The part in brackets might not be worth the trouble to set up.

 

stringrazor

Inspired
Read up on using custom-defined harmonies. I found it easier than trying to find pre-defined scales that worked. I created a couple of harmony definitions that I could switch between as needed (for verses of Hotel California). It's not hard. For each of 12 notes, you specify a + or - offset. You can create up to 32 custom harmonies. Using the pitch block you can specify which harmony is active via MIDI. Works really well!
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
Could you include the preset by any chance @Bakerman?
I didn't save it but the pitch block is pretty easy to set up. It was some factory preset with pitch added between amp & cab. Intel. Harm. type, turn down Voice 2 level, set X & Y to keys/scales listed above, Voice 1 harmony at -3 then +3.
 
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