Archive for August, 2010

Week 51, Get On

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

Well it’s week fifty-one! I can’t believe it. I’m still running short on time and I have a lot of ground to cover with this post so I might skip on some of the regular stuff about the recording. A couple of notes about that – the female vocalist in the harmonies is my very own sister Brooke Layman. She deserves a much bigger part than buried in the mix, but that’s what was called for on this song. I was very happy that it worked out for her to be visiting while this was going on. We’ve had very few opportunities to collaborate in our adult years.

Show Flier

Show Flier

In just a few days I’ll be taking the stage for the first time with the new band version of Developer. I’m really excited about it. The show features some great local artists, and it’s at a great venue. The night will culminate with a live recording of the final song with audience participation and something like fifteen guest musicians by the end of the song. If you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, please drop by. It’s easily worth the five dollar admission. But for all of you who’ve been following the blog for the last year and who aren’t in Pittsburgh, the whole show will be broadcast here as live streaming video thanks to the incredible folks over at Incredibly Thin! Just bookmark it and tune back in after 8 pm EST. The rough band start times are as follows: River is to Train – 8:30, Karl Hendricks – 9:10, Pairdown – 9:50, Endless Mike & the Beagle Club – 10:30, Developer – 11:10. I’ll hopefully be posting a remixed and recut version of the final song on Monday, September 6, which is the one year anniversary of the project, and yeah it’s my birthday too.

Front Cover

Front Cover

Inside Spread

Inside Spread

The grand finale show doubles as a CD release for Another Song for the Weekend, a newly remastered nineteen-song collection of some of the best tracks of Project 52. I’ll get the CD posted on the Developer Bandcamp site in the days following the show for sale as both the physical CD package or as a digital download.

Now on to the song itself. This track was heavily influenced by the band Polvo. I couldn’t help it. I was so thrilled to have been able to see them live here in Pittsburgh on August 12 after having never had the opportunity before, and they killed it so hard that night, that it was inevitable that the Polvo sound would creep back into one of my songs. I say “back” because oddly enough, nearly a year ago I had just acquired the brand new Polvo album and had been playing pretty much nonstop. It’s subtle, but that definitely influenced the song for week two, “Left to Chance“. So, it turns out that both the second song of the project and second-t0-last song of the project were pretty heavily influenced by one of my favorite bands. It’s bears mentioning too that I credit that second song with setting the bar for the project and forcing me to take every week seriously.

Thanks again everyone. I’m thrilled to be sharing this all with you.


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Sunday, August 29th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 50, Coming Out with the Screws

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

This week’s song was one that I’d written and began recording a few weeks ago, but it hadn’t really fit in until now. It’s a very simple setup with just one guitar track, one baritone track, and two drum tracks. The guitar and baritone were both performed on the Orange Crush 30r, and miked with my CAD E200. All sounds were recorded with the iPhone using the Alesis ProTrack and the MultiTrack DAW app.

The drum setup is one that I’ve been fooling with for the last couple of songs, and I think is the best that I’ve been able to get out of the drums with two mics into the iPhone. It’s pretty much a mono-style setup, but recorded as a stereo track to get two distinct channels. The left channel was a relatively close overhead mic and the right channel was the CAD E200 (which has a nice bass response) placed with the diaphragm just above the kick drum by four inches or so and out from the set by four inches and aimed down under the cymbals and toward the snare. Once I brought the stereo track into Reaper, I used the nifty option to “explode multichannel audio or MIDI items to new mono items,” which does just like it says and leaves me with two independent mono drum tracks which I can EQ and mix separately. I ended up panning them slightly just to expand the drum sound a bit, but it’s ultimately a mono drum recording.

I can’t believe I’m at week 50. I’m starting to think that I’d be feeling sentimental and regretting the end if I wasn’t so busy trying to hold everything together in preparation for the grand finale. I have some big news on that front as well: For better or worse, the live performance of the final song and possibly the whole Developer set will be available as live streaming video so that everyone who’s not here in Pittsburgh can catch the show as well. As a recap, the show is set for Sunday, September 5, and features great Pittsburgh-area acts Endless Mike and the Beagle ClubPairdown, Karl Hendricks (solo), River is to Train, and of course the band version of Developer (that’s me). I hope that everyone that can make it out does, as the final song will have an opportunity for some audience participation and should be something to behold (one way or another).

The final show is also going to be a CD release show. I have just one more pass to make on the masters and the artwork for the album, which is titled Another Song for the Weekend, and features 19 of my favorite songs from the project remastered to sound way better than they ever have before. Stop on back in the coming weeks for more information about the show and the CD. I promise to have approximate band start times by next week.

One last thing: Please grab this limited time free EP that I put together of great songs that I couldn’t fit onto the CD. It’s a nice little six song collection that’s worth your hard drive space.


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Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 49, Cold Again

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


The Bitter Pill EP

This song is a simple little rock/pop ditty. I hope you enjoy it. It marks the return of the Blue Mikey, which I used to mic all of the instruments and one of the vocal tracks, and the introduction of a new distortion pedal, the Maxon OD808 reissue, which I was prompted to pick up to get the live guitar setup up to snuff in preparation for the grand finale show. This pedal has the same design as the original “Tube Screamer TS-808″ as Maxon was the original equipment manufacturer for Ibanez. I absolutely love the sound of this pedal, and it’s even better when paired with my Fender Blackface Twin.

I wanted to share a free EP with everyone as a thanks for sticking around for so long. Head on over to my bandcamp site and pick up The Bitter Pill EP as a completely free high quality digital download.

Also, a quick update on the grand finale show: it looks like I may be able to have the whole thing broadcast as a live streaming feed so that friends and followers from all over the world can catch the show. I’ll have more info coming very soon.




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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 48, To Sleep

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

This week’s song is a little different. It’s pretty thick-sounding, but at its core is a simple little finger-picked guitar part. I recorded just about everything using the Alesis ProTrack. The acoustic finger-picking was with the built-in mics, though there’s way more hiss and noise than I would’ve liked. If I had more time I would’ve gone back and re-recorded the guitars, but I had a lot of humming to track. Many of the other tracks, including the drums, were recorded using the mic preamps on the Alesis. That continues to be a godsend. I’m sure the preamps aren’t of the highest quality, but to get a nice large-diaphragm condenser mic directly into my phone, I’m not complaining.

The details continue to come together for the grand finale show. It will be Sunday, September 5, at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh. The show feature local acts Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, Pairdown, Karl Hendricks (solo), River is to Train, and the band version of Developer. We’ll be performing the 52nd song of Project 52 and recording it live to post here the following day.

I hope to see a bunch of you there. Have a great week everyone.

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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Week 47, Devil’s Snare

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

All you need is love.


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Sunday, August 1st, 2010 Uncategorized 2 Comments


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