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The 88 use iPhone and ProTrack to record album

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 1:30 PM - by Bryan Chaffin

The band The 88 has just released a single called "Love is the Thing," a song the group recorded entirely on their iPhone. Using an iPhone app called FourTrack from Sonoma Wire Works, the band was able to lay down some 13 tracks (plus one track for a cymbal crash added later), which were then imported to a Mac for final mixdown.

"This Spring, we were on tour opening up for the B-52s, with shows all around the East Coast," the band said in a post on its site. "One day while we were driving, Keith was browsing through the applications on the iPhone and came across FourTrack. We thought this app would be a great way to record song ideas while we are away from home."

Once they downloaded it, the band decided, "it would be a neat experiment to record the full band on a phone." Better yet, they documented the process in a video posted to YouTube.


The 88's documentary of recording "Love is the Thing" on an iPhone.

The recording process involved using a child's toy drum set covered with a sheet with brushes in order to produce a sound level that wouldn't overload the iPhone's microphone. The backup vocals were recorded, "like they did in the old days -- we all gathered around the phone and sang all the parts onto one track."

Each instrument was recorded to its own track, and the band used an Alesis ProTrack to connect a studio mic to the iPhone for recording the lead vocal track. Those tracks were then exported to a Mac for mixing, for a total of 14 tracks (including the crash cymbal added via the Mac).

"Love is the Thing" is currently available on iTunes as a US$.99 download.

[Author's note: To mix in some editorial with this piece, it's an awesome song!]
Thanks to Jimmy D at LoopInsight for the heads up on this project from The 88.