Ladies, gentlemen, representatives from the Walgreens PR department. As you may know, I have been working on an unorthadox recording project. The basic gist is that I’ve been spending many, many hours playing and singing into an iPad, to create relatively low quality recordings of what I hope are relatively high quality performances. Not just acoustic guitar and voice type recordings, mind you. No that would be easy. These are grandly designed, fleshy, waaaaaaay over complicated multi-track recordings. Made with the built in microphone of an iPad. I call it – First World Lo-Fi: The iPad Sessions.
Today, after an unsettling amount of work, I am very happy to share my newest, and most complicated installment yet. I’ll talk a lot more about it below, but for those of you who like to cut to the chase, It’s called A Robbery. And here you go: (Certain browsers will see a player, those like me with IE will probably have to follow the links.)
For those of you who would rather not know a lot of details about how this thing got made, you can go on your way after this paragraph. Before you go, just know that I’m playing a couple shows coming up. One is at Ceol on Wednesday. This is going to be a lot of fun, happiness and good feelings squeezed into a small back room that may remind you of your grandmother’s living room. You should come to that. Tell your friends, and share this song freely if you like it. Downloads are free on Bandcamp and Soudcloud, and if you email me [chrismichaelbrooklyn -AT- gmail.com] with a request I’ll send you an mp3 copy and lyrics. Go now with my blessing.
Now for those of you with perhaps a little too much interest in these kinds of details:
For this project, I used Audacity to edit and assemble all of the moving parts that make up A Robbery. I can understand that an iPad Sessions purist might be offended by this introduction of non-iPad elements. Assuming this person exists, let me assure you that all parts were recorded with an iPad. Only some of the more complicated editing and manipulation was performed outside the iPad. It’s also the case that once you reach a certain number of iPad tracks the whole thing risks getting unlistenable without a little outside manipulation. LOTS of build up on certain frequencies can occur. I’m not saying this track is necessarily listenable. But it’s a lot closer to it than it could have been.
Those percussive sounds are hand claps I sampled with the iPad and then played really low on the iPad keyboard to make a weird cardboard explosion-y sound. They are in fact the same hand claps you hear that actually sound like hand claps, just really mangled.
What I’m most excited about with this recording is that it marks a shift in my attitude towards this project. I was looking at it all wrong. I was planning on making this thing about building some arrangements for songs I’ve already written. There may still be some of that to come, but what this song represents is the first time I’ve written a song for the project. And I think I want to keep that rolling for a while.
I started this recording months ago. I recorded the opening guitar stuff and wrote the first few verses. When I finally got back to it, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I started by finishing the rhythm guitar parts and organ. Then I wrote the rest of the song on top of that. It’s the first time I’ve written this way, and I think I’m going to try it again with another unfinished song idea. By the time you read this I hope to already be working on it.
In the meantime, I hope you like the song. Check out the full collection of misadventures in iPad world here: http://soundcloud.com/eatthatguitarchrismichael. I make a point of writing stuff about each of the tracks on the individual song pages, so if you’ve read this far into the details section be sure to click on the individual song pages for more info on each of them.
Come out to Ceol on Wednesday. I tell people to do this often, and no one has ever regretted taking me up on the suggestion. Wednesday night at Ceol is a really good time.