Free Man In Paris

July 21, 2015 6:42 PM

For the May/June/July Music Challenge, billiebee and I collaborated on a Joni Mitchell cover.

When greenish posted this challenge, billiebee offered to record "crappily iPhone-recorded vocals". After a few emails back and forth, we figured out how to record and share audio files via iPhone. This was the result.

posted by ochenk (14 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Beautiful. A difficult song to perform. Lovely vocal. Nice arrangement. Well done. Hope you get the adulation you richly deserve.
posted by manoffewwords at 12:45 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is LOVELY! I'm so happy you guys coordinated this - what a great collaboration. Beautifully sung, and a really well-suited arrangement.
posted by greenish at 4:23 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

* Heavy adulation *

Huge impact, fantastic performance and arrangement on all parts. Seriously wow.
posted by BlackPebble at 8:19 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Holy crap! Now this is how you do a cover! Care to share how you made the long-distance thing work?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:15 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cheers all! It was fun to do. ochenk did all the mixing (and playing - I had the easy job!) so hopefully he'll chip in with the finer details, but it was using the Take app by Propellerhead which is great. We had a chat over email about what we wanted to do, and then we were able to email each other recordings which we could open in the app, add to (literally just singing into the phone in my case) and then send back. It was all very smooth, I'd definitely recommend it.
posted by billiebee at 2:19 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I use Reason, and it was the integration with their mobile apps that made it work. Propellerhead, the makers of Reason, have launched a music sharing service where if you make something with Reason or any of their mobile apps, you can very easily upload it to their server from right inside each program. You can also download any shared audio into those programs just as easily. One of their apps, Take, is a 4-track audio recorder that can record vocals using the iPhone mic. So I made the backing track in Reason, uploaded it to the server, and shared the link with billiebee. She opened the track in Take, recorded a new vocal track over the backing track, uploaded the vocal track back to the server and shared the link with me. I downloaded the vocal track right back into Reason and mixed it together. It was surprisingly easy to do. Yay technology!
posted by ochenk at 6:44 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks! I can totally see a Challenge based on this: "Long-Distance Turnaround."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:06 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Gorgeous. Vocals are perfect -- I can't believe that's a phone-mic recording. The arrangement is great, too. I really like the e-piano and guitar combo, it has a nice brightness and warmth to it.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:16 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is really good. I'm very impressed with both billiebee's vocals and ochenk's playing, and the mixing sounds great. Wonderful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:50 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

You know, thinking about it for a second, one reason why this sounds as surprisingly good as it does with an iPhone microphone is that the Take app is designed for this and given that there are only a few models of iPhone, they can completely characterize those microphones and accommodate them the best they can in software. Even if the mikes are not good, having complete knowledge of their characteristics beforehand is pretty useful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:56 PM on July 25, 2015

This is so good! Joni's a hard act to follow, both in terms of her charismatic arrangements and her vocal leaps, but you both pulled it off wonderfully. Excellent.

Thanks! I can totally see a Challenge based on this: "Long-Distance Turnaround."

This would be awesome.
posted by invitapriore at 2:04 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by ellieBOA at 8:57 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Beautiful, and such a hard artist to cover. I am also shocked these are iphone recordings, definitely gonna check out that Take app. The voice and guitar/other instruments sound so meant for each other
posted by Corduroy at 1:38 PM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's amazing, for how loosely you play the song, how you shine a new different patch of warm light on it, just by slowing it down a couple notches and making it swing more.
posted by not_on_display at 10:33 PM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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