The band Queen remains an icon of glamorous, orchestral rock ‘n’ roll, having carved a lasting place in music history with an indelible catalog of rousing anthems and compelling ballads. Queen’s huge fan base continues to devour a steady stream of reissues of the group’s classic recordings. The use of Waves’ renowned digital signal processing plug-ins has allowed those legacy Queen recordings to stay as true as possible to the originals yet still stand up to the sophistications of modern playback systems and current audio standards.
Queen’s Greatest Video Hits 2, a compilation of Queen music videos with audio remixed in 5.1, is the latest release in a series that includes Live At Wembley Stadium, The Game and Greatest Video Hits 1. The new project was remixed by Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Josh Macrae in collaboration with Queen bandmates Roger Taylor and Brian May. Members of the team worked in two different studios in the UK on two identical Digidesign® Pro Tools|HD® systems, both of which are equipped with Waves’ acclaimed Renaissance DSP tools as part of the Gold Bundle of plug-ins. This setup allows Macrae and Shirley-Smith to work on the same piece of music in identical digital environments, trade sound files back and forth and have absolute sonic consistency.
“The Waves plug-ins have been critical to making these Queen reissue projects sound as good as they do,” remarked Macrae. “The processing in the Renaissance bundle is remarkable and we use it on virtually every aspect of the project. I’ll start with the Waves EQ as the primary equalization for everything. I’ll also have the Renaissance compression on individual tracks and then across the entire mix. In between, I’ll apply various other Waves processors, such as the flangers and the delays. All of them are incredible sounding as digital signal processors, but they go a step further: only Waves plug-ins are capable of making tracks that are in some cases 20 years old sound like new, yet still leave in the analog warmth of the original recordings. It’s actually quite amazing — the Renaissance processors color the sound but in such a way that’s sympathetic to the original recordings. That’s not a quality I have found in any other plug-ins, ever.” Macrae concluded, “The success of the Queen reissues also tells us that the Waves plug-ins are the only tool for this job. Simply put, they are remarkable.”