‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Sound Engineer Reveals Secrets Of Live Aid Concert


Paul Massey is a sound engineer extraordinaire who’s been nominated for seven Oscars during his career. The expert was in charge of working on the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Massey has revealed that it’s a modern crowd heard during the reenactment of the Live Aid concert that is the film’s climax.

Massey set microphones all over the O2 venue in London when Queen and singer Adam Lambert played there back in July 2018. The captured ambient audio was then used to beef up the original recordings from 1985. Then the newly recorded sound was used as a foundation layer for the movie soundtrack.

Speaking to Hollywood Reporter the sound engineer revealed his tricks, “I managed to get two hours of time with no audience and have all of the songs played through the Queen PA at full level. We mic’d all around the stadium.”

That meant Massey could reproduce that “acoustic stadium feel” he was looking for. During the Queen and Adam Lambert gig at the O2,  “Brian May stopped the concert at one point and said, ‘Who would like to be in the film?'” Massey explained that they “had 10,000 people doing a single clap and then another and another.”

The only time the live recordings weren’t used was when Bohemian Rhapsody had its world premiere at London’s Wembley Arena in October. Massey worked out the added layers of audio would go against the film in the massive venue.

“It would just be a big reverb wash going on at the premiere because we’d be playing back something that was including stadium reverb and then that stadium itself was going to create its own reverb.” The mix he created for the premiere was the only time it was used.

Meanwhile, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek who just bagged a Golden Globe is expected to receive an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury

Image: Gwilym Lee (Brian May), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), and Joe Mazzello (John Deacon) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Source: Ultimate Classic Rock.

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