Complicated (Avril cover)

April 15, 2010 5:18 PM

I still don't know why exactly I just did this, but here is a deeply lo-fi cover of Avril Lavigne's Complicated, from vague memory and sight-read lyrics, on an iPhone using the Sonoma Wireworks/retronyms application FourTrack.

Ukulele, acoustic guitar, piano, drums.

I like the idea of this application as a super-quick-sketch tool, and will try and find some use for it in the future, but there's one great big problem: no input gain control + shitty iPhone mic = oh my god what a mess. Good enough for quiet situations I think, but loudness really kind of just destroys it.

And so the drums here don't merely peak, they crash headlong into a wall and crush into a nearly unrecognizable form. And everything else is sort of fighting as well. It's actually kind of a neat effect, but not anything like a controlled one.

There's parts in the recording where I guess the software just sort of gave up trying to render audio for a split-second. Not sure what's going on there, but probably a by product of trying to smash way too much into a small space, as it were.

Anyway, yes. Apparently I did this.

posted by cortex (12 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I can't listen to this right now, but I want to try to relieve you of your shame. Complicated is a deeply catchy song and you don't need any excuse to perform it.
posted by grobstein at 5:26 PM on April 15, 2010

This is incredible. I love the sound. Clean those drums up a little (but keep most of the crunch) and this is a total winner.

With everything so crammed together it really nails the pop feel. Radio-ready!
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:28 PM on April 15, 2010

hell, the bass drum is acting as a gate, that is awesome

you don't need to clean up the drums, it is perfect
posted by idiopath at 5:32 PM on April 15, 2010

Also here is a short a capella improvisation of same because, hey, why not.
posted by cortex at 5:36 PM on April 15, 2010

sorry, I prefer Weird Al's re-interpretation of the song where, in 3 separate verses, he substituted for "Complicated": "Constipated", "We're Related?!?" and "Decapitated" (incredible post-decapitation vocal). Now, if Josh picked up his uke and did THAT lyric, I'd be impressed!
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2010

I like Weird Al's version, too, but this one is awesome because it sounds like the Avril Lavigne team is having an accident!
posted by ignignokt at 6:53 PM on April 15, 2010

This is really cool. I like that it was recorded essentially with a toy, too. On the other hand the audio is a little heart-breaking! Still!
posted by grobstein at 7:41 PM on April 15, 2010

man, i wish i could play drums like this! i think this is how this song was meant to be heard. badass
posted by mexican at 1:14 AM on April 16, 2010

Hello, clipping!

I have a TuneTalk recording accessory for older iPods - I use it with a second generation Nano - & it has some gain control. I can check to see if that works with the iPhone.

Aaand it seems to work if I plug it in before opening Voice Memos, which is good news.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:22 AM on April 16, 2010

I'd be interested to see how the mic behaves a) when facing away from the kit and/or b) right against a facing wall but just not touching it, like a pseudo-PZM.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:05 PM on April 16, 2010

I am just glad I am not the only one dedicated to making their ukuele sound like some beast from hell took the stage with it at the Hollywood Bowl and used it to unleash the war dogs of rock and roll.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:43 AM on April 18, 2010

Your vocals are far more passionate than Avril's ever were and the ramshackle feel is super fun to hear. The clipping gets distracting sometimes but everything else pretty much makes up for it!
posted by cobwebberies at 2:02 AM on April 19, 2010

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