Archive for June, 2010

Week 42, The Game

To listen on an iPhone, visit my Bandcamp site, or download the SoundCloud iPhone app.

There have been a few times throughout this project that the song that I recorded doesn’t end up being the song that I thought it would be once it starts coming together. Usually I’ll run with it and make the most of it because I kind of have to due of the time constraint, and it usually works out all right. This week’s song was just too long, and it had a really awkward change in the end part. With a little creative splicing and editing in Reaper, I was able to drop a verse and completely make over the end of the song.  I love how easy it is to seamlessly rearrange and augment a recording of live instruments. I’d love to be able to get every song just right every week, but it’s nice to have a back-up plan because I really don’t have the time to start over.

This is also one of those songs where I would really love to go back and re-record everything in higher fidelity. Not to knock the great sounds that I’ve been able to get out of my iPhone, but some songs lend themselves better to phone-fi than others.

With all of that said, this version of the song was recorded completely on the iPhone using the Alesis ProTrack with the MultiTrack DAW app. The drums were recorded with just the built in condenser mics on the ProTrack, and the guitar was recorded with the CAD E200. The vocals, which I’m dying to re-record, were done with the iPhone’s built-in mic. I spent a good bit of time applying EQ, mixing, and editing in Reaper.

Recording challenges aside, the song itself is solidly in the vein of bands like The New Year and Seam. I hope it doesn’t go as far as being derivative, but rather serves as a bit of homage, since these are a couple of my favorite bands. Seam hasn’t been around for years, but The New Year (formerly known as Bedhead with a different line-up) is still cranking out great records. Do yourself a favor and check them out.


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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 41, Garbage Out

To listen on an iPhone, visit my Bandcamp site, or download the SoundCloud iPhone app.

Happy Father’s Day weekend everyone. Here’s to my pops, and here’s how I’m celebrating: I’m getting this post done early so that I don’t have to worry about it this weekend. I hope you’ll understand if I keep it to the basics.

To make things easy, this song was recorded identically to last week’s song – I wrote them together and recorded the drums together. For more detail on the recording process please reference the post for “Nothing Left”. Basically, “Garbage Out” was recorded on the iPhone using the Alesis ProTrack into the MultiTrack DAW app, and mixed using Reaper.

Eleven songs to go. This was a fun one; I hope you enjoy it.


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Friday, June 18th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 40, Nothing Left

To listen on an iPhone, visit my Bandcamp site, or download the SoundCloud iPhone app.

Welcome to the home stretch. There are only twelve songs left.

This week’s song was again almost entirely recorded with the Alesis ProTrack, with the only exception being the vocals. I started out recording the vocals for this song with the Blue Mikey, but in the end I didn’t love how they sounded and went back and re-tracked them with the iPhone’s built-in mic. For whatever reason, I’ve found that the iPhone’s mic is usually just what I’m looking for. I EQ a little and drop in a bit of reverb and an occasional delay, and that’s what you hear on most of these songs.

The drums were recorded using the same idea as last week, but instead of using the built-in XY pattern mics on the ProTrack, I used a pair of condenser mics in the XY pattern out in front of the drum kit. I ran them into the preamps of the ProTrack and got decent results. I’ll keep playing around with it. For this song I kept two drum takes in, with one close to the center and one panned all the way to the right.

The acoustic guitar track was recorded with with the ProTrack’s built-in mics, and the rest of the guitars and bass were all performed through the Orange Crush 30r and recorded with my CAD E-200 condenser mic. Everything was recorded on my iPhone using the MultiTrack DAW app. The new version of MultiTrack is absolutely fantastic and poised to get even better. It’s really taken the leap to functioning like a true digital audio workstation while remaining intuitive and uncluttered. There isn’t another app out there that comes anywhere close to taking music making as seriously as this one does. It sounds like individual track EQ and effects are coming up next. I still have to pinch myself when I think that all of this is available for less than $20.

That’s about it for this week. Thanks as always for dropping by.


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Sunday, June 13th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 39, Alas

To listen on an iPhone, visit my Bandcamp site, or download the SoundCloud iPhone app.

This song marks the three-quarter point of Project 52, and it feels good. I can see the end.

This is also my first song using the Alesis ProTrack to record the drums as a single stereo track. It was the first try – basically placing it on a chair about five feet from the front of the drum kit and going with it. I think the drums came out sounding pretty good, all things considered. It exceeded my expectations, and I’ll be testing other ways of using the field recording mics as well as the dual mic inputs in the coming weeks. This is really the first time since week nine that I’ve recorded a full-0n rock song using the phone for everything.

The guitars and bass were recorded using my CAD E-200 to mic the Orange Crush 30r via a Presonus BlueTube preamp into the ProTrack. It was nice to change up the guitar recording just a little. I think they came out sounding pretty strong on this song. The vocals were recorded using the good old iPhone mic. Everything was recorded into the iPhone using the fabulous MultiTrack DAW app, which is now officially more fabulous as of yesterday, when the new version hit the streets (or app store as it were). I didn’t get a chance to upgrade yet, but check out the Harmonicdog Forums for info about the new version.

That’s about all that I have for now. It was a good week here in Pittsburgh. I hope you had a good week wherever you are as well. Oh, and if you are here in Pittsburgh or if you fancy a road trip, the Karl Hendricks Trio (in which I play bass) is playing a show on Friday night, June 11, at the 31st Street Pub. It’s the “The” bands showcase featuring The Karl Hendricks Trio, The Kyle Sowashes, Thee Shopkeepers, and The Sexy Accident.


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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 Uncategorized 1 Comment


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