Week 18, Foothold

The 18th song is called Foothold.

I’m keeping this post short, like the song. Foothold was written on my baritone guitar in a lowered Half Hour Action Drama tuning (F#-A-D-F#-A-E) – the baritone version is (B-D-G-B-D-A). The track is just baritone, vocals, and digital drums except for during the break where there are a couple extra baritone and guitar layers added. The drums were programed using Propellerhead’s Reason software. The baritone and guitar tracks were recorded using my regular setup – performed using the Orange Crush 30R amp, and recorded into Harmonicdog’s MultiTrack iPhone app (which performed flawlessly as usual). The instruments were recorded using the custom break-out cable, and the vocals were recorded using the iPhone’s internal mic. The song was all mixed together using Reaper.

You will probably notice the new player. I’m transitioning over to a site called for the hosting of all my music. Project 52, Volume 1 is now for sale digitally at most places where people buy music, like iTunes and, but by using Bandcamp I can make all of the Project 52 tracks available for sale or the occasional free download as they go live. I can also make other albums available, like 2005’s Season Tics. You can check out both Season Tics and Project 52, Volume 1 from the embedded players in the upper right-hand corner of the site. I’ll also get around to releasing Meet the Widget, the full-length album with Developer as a three-piece, in the near future. As always, I really appreciate everyone who’s been helping me get the word out about this project. The new player helps to make that even easier – if you click on the share button for any track or album, you’ll find all sorts of ways to pass it on. Let me know what you think about the new player. Eventually I’ll need to start paying Soundcloud, while Bandcamp is free, so that helps make my decision a bit easier. I’ll see what I can do for those who love the Soundcloud player. I really do appreciate everyone’s feedback and support.

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Saturday, January 9th, 2010 Uncategorized 5 Comments

Week 12, On the Rise

This week’s song is called On the Rise

You’ll notice above that I’m finally making good on a request – to make the songs listenable from an iPhone. I know that it’s been a long time coming, and I appreciate your patience. I have the four most recent songs up now, and I’ll keep trying to add older songs as I have time. I would highly recommend listening while your phone is on a wifi connection – the quality of the audio gets pretty low otherwise.

I’m really happy about this one. It’s a good old rock song. The guitar is tuned to drop-D and the amps are turned to 11… well not really. I actually had to keep the amp pretty quiet because my kid was sleeping. How’s that for the rock n’ roll lifestyle? The mean guitar tone that you hear is a result of running my Dean Evo guitar through the Tonebone tube distortion pedal which is made by Radial, and then through the Orange Crush 30R. I initially wrote the song with just the verse and chorus parts, but once I dialed up that crunchy guitar sound, I couldn’t help fooling around with it until I came up with the riff for the bridge/solo part that the song opens and ends with.

I recorded the two guitar tracks and the bass track in one sitting using an Audix dynamic mic into the custom break-out cable for the iPhone, and tracked into Harmonicdog’s  MultiTrack iPhone app. I’m working around MultiTrack’s lack of a metronome (I’ve been assured that it’s in an update just around the corner) by settling on a speed before I start recording a song, and then I make a simple dummy drum track in Propellerhead’s Reason software and then upload it into MultiTrack. That’s a little bit more involved than just setting up a metronome in the app, but it’s worked well enough so far.

The drums and vocals were recorded directly into Reaper on my laptop. This was the first time that I recorded the vocals using anything other than the iPhone. I used my Rode NTK tube mic. Of the mics that I own, it’s my favorite for vocals. The vocals are pretty up front in this mix. I think you can get a good sense of the Rode’s character. The drums were recorded with the same four-mic setup that I’ve used in previous weeks.

I ended up not using the iPhone for vocals and drums on this track for no other reason than convenience. That’s really been the reason I’ve used the iPhone so often on songs – because it’s quick to set up and easy to use. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my little studio room this week frantically trying to make deadlines for a video game soundtrack that my friend David Bernabo and I have been working on. We’ve been slowly putting together a production studio called Woolslayer and Main, where to-date we’ve composed a soundtrack for a Wii Ware game called Critter Round-up and a song for a Delaware TV commercial spoofing the Ghost Busters theme song, called Couch Busters. Right now we’re working on songs for a game by Epicenter Studios – the same folks who were kind enough to hire us for Critter Round-up. I think it’s going to be an awesome game, but unfortunately I’m not allowed to tell you a thing about it. You’ll have to stay tuned. It would’ve been silly for me to ditch the studio in favor of the iPhone when the studio was already up and running, and I was all up in it.

I hope you enjoy the song. There’s not much more to say about it. It’s rock.

I have another short week ahead of me – I’ll be traveling back out to Philly for Thanksgiving with the in-laws. It’s going to be really tight getting songs up on time over the holidays, so I may revert to acoustic guitar and vocals for a couple weeks. I have to make sure to give myself plenty of time to work on the video game because, well, they’re paying us. I’m sure you understand. Thanks for all of the comments. I’m glad to hear from you. Feel free to keep sending in questions about iPhone recording. I’m happy to talk shop.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009 Uncategorized 1 Comment


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