In August, I remember seeing YouTube links for the band One Like Son, who recorded an entire song using only their iPhones and a few iPhone peripherals (in addition to their instruments and drum programs). Today, I received a press release indicating that the band have finished recording an entire 10 song album using the same setup.
Intrigued, I contacted Stephen Poff, the mastermind behind the record, to get a few more details about the impetus and methods behind the project.
The 10 song record was an intentional project by Mr. Poff that started on January 1, 2011 and was recorded, mixed and mastered right up until December 31, 2011. So it took a full year to complete this side project, amidst an undoubtably busy day job as a videographer/photographer at the agency LWT in Montgomery AL.
As a former “four-tracker” myself, I have to say the results are surprisingly good. Poff clearly has a flair for writing pop punk/rock songs and he and his remote bandmates are adept at using some of the audio tools we have reviewed here at TechCrunch.
Here is an example from the new release so you can hear the quality – Glory Days by One Like Son
Remote bandmates? It was interesting to hear that Poff and fellow musicians Bill Rester (Bass and Backing Vocals), Perry Brown (Backing Vocals), and Bryan Segraves (Piano/Organ) crafted these songs together in different locations using Dropbox as their repository for adding their parts. Apparently, Poff would lay a MIDI drum part, guitar riff and main vocal line, then upload the file to Dropbox where his bandmates would download, add their parts and then put the files back into Dropbox.
The main technology the group used in the recording process, other than iPhones included:
GuitarJack, AmpKit and the AmpKit LiNK, FourTrack, Multitrack DAW, Pocket Organ, ThumbJam, the Moog Filtatron and GarageBand.
One Like Son are not the first band ever to do this (see The Gorillaz and The Ultramods—both using iPads), but they may be one of the first groups from more of the “Pop/Rock ‘n Roll” tradition to attempt recording this way. I would estimate that tracking analog riffs this way could present many different challenges than music styles rooted purely in synth pop, mashup, or minimalism. So props for this effort!