A One-Man-Band's DIY Production Journal.


“Wake Up” Music Video shot on iPhone 4S


Hello everyone! Check out the video to my newest song from the upcoming album Destiny coming this summer! This video was filmed completely on an iPhone 4S, using tools such as the Olloclip 3-Lens system, the Glif + tripod mount and the Manfrotto Modosteady!

“Wake Up” Music Video:

iTunes $.99

“Wake Up” SoundCloud stream:

iPhone Video Gadgets Review:

You want fries with that?


After an on and off schedule, I’m finally done working on my mini-project, Fast Food. It was originally slated to be a 6-song release, but for a couple of songs, I just wasn’t feeling the source material. It was way too teen-angsty for me.

Overall, I’m happy with the outcome, although I think it could sound a lot better. There were some limitations that I definitely take for granted when I’m producing on a full computer… There was no automated volume/EQ, no pitch correction, I was limited to 8 tracks of audio, limited vocal and guitar effects… On top of that, the vocals were recorded inside a closet with a heavy blanket over me… I was concerned over my neighbors hearing me sing take after take. And I was definitely not all there in terms of tuning. The vocals were pitchy at times and the guitars might be off.

I tried to setup one ground rule for this project: the music cannot be edited on a PC/Mac AT ALL. So, from conception to distribution, the entire album can only be produced on an iPad or iPhone without the aid of a computer.

So I recorded all of the music directly on my iPad using GarageBand, edited the final mix in an app called MultiTrack, directly uploaded to SoundCloud for streaming, and shared on Facebook for people to hear.

I like how it still sounds raw. These were some of the first songs I had written and recorded back in the 2000’s. It was back to recording on “a budget” and the source material reflects that.

Listen and download on SoundCloud:

Fast Food Back In Production

I spent the past two weeks putting together my latest project titled “Fast Food”.

To recap, Fast Food is a 6-song album. The songs? These are songs I wrote from high school. The rules? Use only an iPad and an iPhone to record and edit.

I’m recording using GarageBand for iPad, which allows a maximum of 8 tracks, no volume automation, no manual EQ, no pitch correction, little mastering.


So now 8 tracks… That’s room for: Drums, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass and 4 left for vocals and harmonies. Sounds like it’s enough, right? Not quite. I’m a 16-24 track kinda guy. I layer my guitars nowadays and go nuts with the vocals.

And as I said before, no volume automation, which means no fading out of vocals or guitar sustains. And no pitch correction, so I really gotta be on point with these harmonies.

I have 3 songs done so far… they’re far from perfect, but that’s what’s to be expected for my experiment. I wanna see how far I can go with the iPad.

Since it’s a return to the days of teenage angst, singing songs about heartbreak and broken dreams, it’s also a return to the days of limited production tools.

I’ll have these three songs available later this week on YouTube, “Unrequited Love” “The Glory Days” and “Dream Girl”.

I’ll also be giving the music video for “Unrequited Love” the same production treatment. Nothing but an iPhone and an iPad.

“A Night on the Town” music video!


Filmed and edited at studio923, here’s the newest video from the album King Friday:

This was filmed with Sony’s Bloggie Duo and edited with Apple iMovie HD 6.

Mobile Vocals

Last Sunday, I found myself at 8AM, in a parking lot of a hotel off of Route 17 in Mahwah… recording vocals for a song on my iPad. I’m taking this mobile/minimalistic recording approach seriously. Since I’m kinda limited in the amount of singing I do in my apartment (due to the thin walls and my neighbors), I took the recording on the road. I figure since I’m the type to wail out and sing-a-long while driving, maybe a car was my perfect comfort zone.

I was singing to the new version of “At The Bridge” using the built-in mic of the headphones that came with the iPhone. It really sounded like shit.

The other night during my midnight window shopping at the 24-hour Best Buy in Union Square, I found the Samson GO MIC

Tiny. Mobile. Capable. PERFECT.

Here’s my overview:

I’m gonna try my luck with this thing later this week.

Making Fast Food

It’s time to go to work and use my iPad 2 for the reason I bought it. I’ve tinkered around with the new GarageBand app, just to see what I can and can’t do.

Just this past week, I was able to hook up my electronic drum kit to the iPad as a midi controller! For my technically challenged friends: I can use my physical drums to control and record the software drums on the iPad. No more tapping beats on the screen 🙂 Using Apple ‘iPad Camera Connection Kit’, I can add a USB device to the iPad. Then, using an old MIDI to USB cable, I can interface the drums into the GarageBand app. So awesome.

Here’s a tutorial I made:

I started recording for my mini album called “Fast Food”, which is a compilation of 6 songs that will be recorded ONLY on an iPad. They’re going to be re-recordings of songs I did back in high school. Going back to those teen angst years, I suppose.

So, I’m already able to input my guitar to the iPad, and now I can input drums, vocals should be a no-brainer.

When all that is done, the next step is cutting an entire music video with the iPad. Technology is great.


Best of Both Worlds

So was able to scrape up enough ::ahem:: pocket money to pick up a new drum set…

To solve the problem of shitty sounding drums, I had to go the electroinic route… That compromised not just the “live” sound of drums, but also the “human” sound of drums, it really sounded like I just pushed buttons to make the beats… which I did.

So now, I present my latest haul: the Roland TD-3SW V-Drums.

Now I can actually play the drums and record any hour I want without disturbing anybody. Although a part of me regrets not tracking drums the traditional way, using my 6-piece mic kit, mixing and all that fancy shit, this new e-kit should be the most efficient way for me to cut this record.

It’s got a mesh drum head on the snare, which gives it more of a realistic, snappy feel that a snare drum needs (compared to the rubber pads of the tomtoms) and a “choke” feature on the cymbals; so I can hit them, the physically grasp them to silence them instantly. Also the TD-3 sound brain comes with 32 different drum kit sounds to beat off to. Wait, that sounded wrong.

Financed with no interest for 12-months at Guitar Center.

Studio away from studio…

I spend a lot of time away from the studio… this is what makes me such a gadget freak.

I crank out the PSP when I feel like kicking ass in Tekken, or the Nintendo DS when I want to race some Mario karts, or if i have some lyrics to type up, i whip out my new macbook… but when I get a little inspiration for a melody, I can’t exactly bring around my guitar or drumset, or voice record myself singing that melody… so I spent $1.99 on my iPhone and purchased this app called “Band”.

it gives me a drumpad, a piano and a bass guitar that I can tap with multi-fingers… it can also record whatever I play (in layers) so I can punch up a little song demo right on my iPhone.

pretty sick if you ask me…

Recording Process, Drums

The first half of production of face:the.music was recorded on my old XP computer, using Sony Vegas.

The hip-hop beats were built using FruityLoops and my cheapo Yamaha DJX II. As for the rock songs, I attempted to record everything live, but the end result were weak sounding drums. This is something I’ve been trying to tackle for a few months now.

For the tech-savvy people, I’m using an Alesis Multimix for my preamp and FireWire interface, and these Audix Fusion 6-piece stage drum microphones that I won off eBay. I’ve studied live drum miking in school, and recorded live drums in the studio I used to work at, but it’s been so long and I’m a bit rusty.

Since I was so anxious to lay down the guitars and vocals for some songs, I ended up building the drums on fruityloops temporarily, but i’ve decided to stick with them even though they sound kinda fake and processed.

“Just a Little Ode to Her” “Rush” and “I Need Today” might stay as is, but im going to attempt live drums again for the remaining 4 rock songs.

Since I got myself a Mac running Logic or Garageband now, I’m hoping the audio processing on those programs will give me a little more fidelity and headroom so my drums can sound better than my last attempt.