About Brian May
'The Show Most Go On', 'We will Rock You' and 'I Want It All' are classic hits that we have all sung our hearts out to at some point, and all of them have the signature of world-renowned guitarist Brian May.
Brian May really needs no introduction as one of the worlds most influential guitarists. His work with Queen and beyond over the last 40 years is virtually un-paralleled in the history of popular music, with the band having hit after hit album and singles, as well as sold out tours around the globe. Their legacy cannot be described fully in words, one can only admire their talent.
After the untimely death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, Queen went their separate ways for a while. Brian decided to focus on his solo career and in 1993, he published his first solo album, 'Back to Light', which was a sizable hit across Europe. In 2005, Queen was revived, this time with Paul Rodgers as the lead singer.
Brian has a proven talent as an excellent songwriter and guitarist and he has collaborated with numerous recording artists like Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga to mention a few. His past and present influence as a rock guitarist is a constant encouragement to artists around the world and we are extremely proud that an icon of Brian's magnitude uses TC Electronic's flagship guitar effects processors to perfect his sound.
Pete Malandrone is the tech that sets and tunes all of Brian's gear and we asked him a couple of questions about Brian's rack:
TC: How did you hear about TC's gear in the first place?
Pete: When I took over the tech responsibilities - after about a year of working mainly in the studio - I set about improving the guitar rig in as many ways as possible. One of the things that used to bug me was the 'glitching' in almost any pitch changer I tried. I nailed it down to processing speed, and then called a few people to see what they thought was the best and fastest guitar processor I could get my hands on. The name TC came up in a few conversations, so I got hold of one, and found it to be perfect for what Brian needed.
TC: How are you using the gear and how has it changed the way you work?
Pete: Once I got my head around the menus, I found that the G-major's were better than the gear I was using at the time for a lot of effects, not just the pitch shift stuff. I like the chorus, and now the G-major 2 has a longer delay time, I like that too. The main thing is I know them inside out and I trust them. I have never had to send one back and I have never had one go wrong on me. That counts for a lot in my line of work. You have to be confident in the equipment as well as the sound they make.
TC: What do you find most useful about the gear in terms of features?
Pete: The 'kill dry' option is brilliant for me. The way I run the rig makes it so important that I don't get any original signal to the effects amps. I really love that I can hit that button and know I don't have to scroll through pages of menus trying to find a bit of spurious dry signal from somewhere.
The 'phase reverse' option on the chorus is a great feature. It basically stops the phantom center of the effected stereo signal from interfering with the center dry mono signal in the three-amp setup we use.
Pete sums up that retaining Brian's classic sound is the most important thing - and TC's gear allows him to spike Brian's tunes without tainting his tones with unnecessary processing noise or gain structures.