LA Singer Songwriter Resurrects 4-Track Recording Process With His iPhone

NNot many iPhone owners are aware that they are carrying a potential recording studio in their pockets.

However, LA-based singer-songwriter Chris Price recorded his full length album – Homesick – using an application available via the iTunes store.

Chris Price

He discovered the recording potential of his iPhone when he uploaded to Youtube a video recording of himself singing.

Praising the iPhone’s mic quality, Price said, “It has a fantastic mic.

“It’s not necessarily the best mic suited to record every instrument, but if you know a little something about mic placement then you can pretty much do whatever you need.”

Realising that he could exploit the iPhone’s recording potential, Price downloaded a digital 4-Track recording app in order to simulate the analogue recording process of home multitrack recording, popularised by the proliferation of commercially available devices like the TASCAM Porta One in 1984.

“I wanted to make a record the way they did it back in ’64 — with four tracks, no overdubs, no punching in and with complete takes.”

Price was able to integrate cutting edge technology with traditional recording techniques in order to achieve an album that is as enjoyable to listen to as it must have been for him to record: “I could record a vocal on the top of a mountain if I wanted to.”

But Price’s recording is not interesting only as a recording – his well-documented use of Apple’s iPhone to record his album has resulted in a marketing campaign strongly emphasising his dependence on the Apple product, resulting in his promoting Homesick in an Apple Store in May.

In a blog post, Price wrote: “Because I made the album on what is essentially the world’s smallest mobile studio, it allowed me to find interesting and, dare I say, exotic locales to make music in. I could choose places for their acoustic qualities in order to get more unique sounds that would need to be artificially manufactured otherwise.”

And Price is proud of the immediacy and intimacy of his recording, especially since the music is comprised solely of “complete, unedited takes from start to finish of each instrument”.

“[There is n]o cutting and pasting. No pitch correction or Auto Tune. Basically no artificial enhancements of any kind. I am extremely proud of the work, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!”

Knowing the story behind Homesick is hardly insignificant in being able to truly enjoy the album. In fact, Price’s project wasn’t met with enthusiasm everywhere he went.

“Not all the places I went were, strictly speaking, friendly to our project (I hopped the fence of the Greek Theater to sing a lead vocal on stage, for example), and I was determined to have as much to show for these daring feats as possible. So I enlisted my good friend Kyle Safieh to follow me into the breach and he filmed everything that happened (all on an iPhone, of course).”

Whoever said that technology results in a propensity to stay indoors?

Chris Price’s Homesick is available via the iTunes store.

Samuel Agini is the Editor of Andrew Apanov’s Dotted Music blog.