Rick Beato / What Makes This Song Great / More Than a Feeling

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Rick Beato / What Makes This Song Great / More Than a Feeling

Post by rbc »

Rick Beato pulls apart "More than a Feeling":

It really goes into how the song was put together and into issues like guitar EQ, effects and layering. It's definitely more about production than guitar sound, but I didn't mind. It's not really about Rockman gear, but it sort of goes into the roots of the Rockman sound which I think is interesting.
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Re: Rick Beato / What Makes This Song Great / More Than a Feeling

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

What a GREAT review of an iconic classic!! I did want to add some points that Rick probably wasn't able to pick up on because of his source recording being a submix of the original master tapes.

For the distorted rhythm guitars in the chorus, they are actually quadruple tracked using 2 different guitar tones (one of each on each side). One set was recorded by mic'ing his Marshall 4x12 cabinet which the other set was recorded direct. The tones were such that one set was focused for the lower midrange frequencies while the other set was more on the higher frequencies. By blending them, they created a full sound but left a "hole" in the frequency spectrum for the vocals.

The lead guitars are triple tracked, with the left and middle tracks usually played in unison and the right track being a harmony. When it comes to the last 4 notes of the solo (before they become rhythm guitars), there are actually.... I kid you not.... 6 guitar tracks layered up playing 3 part harmonies in places!! On the last chord of the solo breakdown, a couple of the guitars play a harmonic instead of a chord, which you can hear ring out as the chords fade.

Finally for the guitars, as the song fades out, there is an eerie warbling sound in the background. This is Tom using his "hyperspace pedal" to create multiple "spaceship" effects with his guitar! Unfortunately, the song fades out before we get to hear some of the more interesting and intense effects that were on the master tape. But they are truly out of this world!!

Regarding Brad Delp .... first of all, Brad was probably one of the most genuine and kind people I have ever met. He had a memory like an elephant and would recognize and remember a fans name years after briefly meeting them, even if the next time he saw them it was in a different part of the country! He would take as much time as he could to talk with fans after shows and always made you feel like a person, not just a fan.

As for his vocal ability.... the tone of his voice was so soothing.. it had a quality that very few people have, regardless of the range they may have. Tom said that Brad was a natural overdubber. He could sing the same line multiple times, exactly the same.. same vibrato, same timing and pitch. Or he could vary it slightly, or harmonize with himself with all the same nuances. for most of the Boston songs, Brad would double track his lead vocal. For the harmonies, he would usually quadruple track them with a low and high harmony on each side. Other places he did MUCH more!

For example, around the 24 minute mark, Rick talks about the soaring vocals before it goes into the breakdown before the last chorus. The part he sings here is higher than the already incredible highs that he sings just before the lead guitar solo. But I have to correct Rick about one thing. Where he says that there is a guitar playing in harmony with Brads vocal, it's not a guitar. As impossibly high as that lead vocal line is, Brad actually sings 2 harmony parts ABOVE the lead vocal!!!!!! When I first heard the isolated individual tracks for this, I couldn't believe it!!! But there he is, singing it in sync TWICE, first 1 harmony above, and then a 2nd harmony above the lead vocal line, WITH matching vibrato!!!!!!!!

An interesting side story to this... I saw a video of Brad in his later years as a guest of a high school, where he joins in with the high school band to play "More than A Feeling". In typical Brad fashion, he jokingly warns some of the aspiring vocalists to be cautious about what they record to tape.... because they may still have to sing those parts later in life after time takes its toll on their abilities. I will say though, that from what I could tell, right up till the end of his life, Brad never lost his range. It undoubtedly did become more difficult for him, and he would sometimes pass off a high part to Fran Cosmo on some of their tour dates to save his voice. But there were other times when he would sing them himself, because he still could.
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Re: Rick Beato / What Makes This Song Great / More Than a Feeling

Post by Moonracer »

I watched that video at least ten times since Mr Beato released it. And now, thanks to RockmanCentralBob, I learned even more about that Chef d’oeuvre. Cool stuff!