As any professional producer/engineer will attest to, getting that famous Brian May guitar sound is no small feat. The legendary Queen rocker has employed a number of odd techniques in combination with very specific signal chains over the years in order to cement himself as one the world’s greatest. The folks over at IK Multimedia, however, have now teamed up with May and his long-time technical team to painstakingly recreate his rig for the rest of us. All the details are down below.
The Famous Brian May Guitar Sound:
The new AmpliTube Brian May for Mac/PC and iOS is a series of software emulations designed to help guitar players and home producers re-create May’s iconic sound. “From Brian’s treble booster to his three-amp live setup and carefully curated effects selection”, IK has put together a collection of new software amps, cabinets and stompboxes, alongside a series of presets modeled directly after the man’s legendary discography.
AmpliTube Brian May
More specifically, you’ll be making use of 2 amps, 3 cabs and 6 different stomp boxes to get that Brian May guitar sound. There are a couple notable standouts in the package based on custom gear from the Queen mythos as well. You get a modeled version of the famous home-brew “Deacy” amp. Queen bassists, John Deacon (an electrical engineer by trade), hand-built an amp after modifying an old radio back in 1972 and now that sound is available to you in the new Brian May bundle.
Another special part of the Brain May guitar sound was his Red Special guitar. Originally built out of scrap pieces with his father in the 60’s (and later used in combination with the aforementioned Deaky), IK has created a stompbox “that helps simulate the Red Special’s tone and controls.”
Brian May Guitar Presets
A particularly notable aspect of the bundle, especially for beginners, are the “painstakingly created song-based discography presets”. Jamie Humphries, the guitarist from the official Queen stage production “We Will Rock You“, has created a series of one-touch presets that make use of the aforementioned emulation gear so you can dial up a Brian May guitar sound in seconds.
AmpliTube Brian May for Mac/PC is available for purchase inside the free Custom Shop, on the IK Multimedia online store and elsewhere for $99.99 shipped. It works as both a standalone app or as plug-ins inside your favorite DAW. For the iOS version, you’ll find it via in-app purchase from within AmpliTube CS app for $19.99 (individual models available as separate purchases as well).
Well, faking the Brian May guitar sound is hard enough as it is, actually getting something this close is pretty amazing. Considering May supervised all of the engineering work on the emulations and even the presets, this might be the closest anyone will ever get to his iconic sound for $100 (or much less on iOS). While actually copying the tones from some of the most famous songs in history might not be all that alluring to some, they can be a great jumping off point for your own sound design adventure. Just having a Deaky in your Logic Pro X/Pro Tools library, no matter what you use it for, sounds like a very interesting proposition to me.
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