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:
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.
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.