When I was young, I used to make home recordings of pop songs by layering track after track on a karaoke machine. By the time I got the drums, bass, rhythm guitar, lead and piano, and vocals there was eerie bleed through on the cheap Memorex tapes I was using. It would take me an entire day to get one song down.
I recorded Radiohead’s Weird Fishes yesterday in a similar way, layering track after track, but instead of using my karaoke machine, I used my iphone’s voice memo app and my internal laptop mic with garage band. I recorded the drum track on the voice memo app on my iphone and playing it back through an amp while recording the guitar with the internal mic on my laptop in garage band. Then I did a second track of vocals in garage band with the “live rock” preset. I got some fun quirky crackly worbly artifacts — for instance, I didn’t have any trem on the guitar, but there it was, even before compressing the file.
Part of the game I constructed for myself this time was to do it in one take without edits and let accidents add to the wacky artifacts. Instead of taking an entire day, it took about 30 minutes. Ain’t digital technology grand?
Carey’s home recording of Radiohead’s Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
[Thanks to Wendy Hsu for hosting the file!]