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Sparks - iOS only Indie Rock album - Richard Yot.

edited July 5 in Creations

https://richardyot.bandcamp.com/album/sparks

This is my fifth iOS-only album. I've released one every year since 2018, picking the best songs from my SOTMC contributions for that year.

I love iPad-only production. I have no desktop DAWs or instruments, I prefer to work exclusively on the iPad despite the limitations. I spend all day in front of a computer for work, and the iPad lets me get away from that for leisure.

For tracking and mixing I find Auria does everything I need, and for composing and arranging I like to use a variety of different apps, mostly GarageBand and Nanostudio 2.

There are some plugins I find essential and use on almost every track: DDMF MagicVerb as the vocal reverb (using the amazing chamber IRs), IK Multimedia MixBox (specifically for the LA2A emulation, again for the vocals), Overloud TH-U and Nembrini Cali Reverb for the guitars, DDMF MagicDeathEye for bus compression, CHOW Tape, Pro Q3, Saturn 3, Timeless 3, Other Desert Cities - and many others.

I had a lot of help from the very talented @JanKun who provided additional guitars on Sparks and I Just Fell For A Lie, and wrote all of the music for Boudleaux and Felice (I provided a vocal for which he composed a beautiful musical backing).

I spend a lot of time crafting the vocal melodies, so I hope that some of you will enjoy these songs.

And finally, the first four tracks were mastered by the most excellent @Tarekith at Inner Portal Studios for a final bit of spit and polish, and I can highly recommend his services.

The album is out on Bandcamp now and is slowly being submitted to streaming services, I'll update the post once it's out on Spotify and iTunes.

Two of the songs (I just Fell For a Lie and Sparks) were played on BBC Radio Kent earlier this year.

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Comments

  • Congrats on another release! I look forward to checking it out when I can give it a proper listen later this week..

    We are much aligned in our thinking - I also feel passionately about iPad music making (and use GB & NS2 most often too)

  • Congrats! Nice cover art. Mirrors starts it off with a bang. I look forward to listening to the rest when I'll have a chance.

    What was your process for performing/constructing the drum parts on Mirrors?

  • Congrats Rich, it was a fun album to work on!

  • @Halftone said:
    Congrats on another release! I look forward to checking it out when I can give it a proper listen later this week..

    We are much aligned in our thinking - I also feel passionately about iPad music making (and use GB & NS2 most often too)

    Thanks - looking forward to your next release as well :)

  • @espiegel123 said:
    Congrats! Nice cover art. Mirrors starts it off with a bang. I look forward to listening to the rest when I'll have a chance.

    What was your process for performing/constructing the drum parts on Mirrors?

    Thanks. The drums were performed using the GarageBand touch kits, it's actually a great way to make drum tracks. You have total control over the arrangement that way. I usually build the parts up one by one and then go back and add fills where appropriate.

    On other tracks I've used NS2 instead for the drums, again building the parts up from simple performances using the touch pads (with Y axis velocity). In NS2 I've built a bunch of custom kits for this purpose.

    Since drums play such a vital role in creating the dynamics of a song, this for me is the most reliable way to get the results I want.

  • @Tarekith said:
    Congrats Rich, it was a fun album to work on!

    Hopefully there will be another album this time next year :)

  • @richardyot said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    Congrats! Nice cover art. Mirrors starts it off with a bang. I look forward to listening to the rest when I'll have a chance.

    What was your process for performing/constructing the drum parts on Mirrors?

    Thanks. The drums were performed using the GarageBand touch kits, it's actually a great way to make drum tracks. You have total control over the arrangement that way. I usually build the parts up one by one and then go back and add fills where appropriate.

    On other tracks I've used NS2 instead for the drums, again building the parts up from simple performances using the touch pads (with Y axis velocity). In NS2 I've built a bunch of custom kits for this purpose.

    Since drums play such a vital role in creating the dynamics of a song, this for me is the most reliable way to get the results I want.

    Thanks for the breakdown. Do you start with a scratch drum track and fill in as the rest of the parts are done?

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @richardyot said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    Congrats! Nice cover art. Mirrors starts it off with a bang. I look forward to listening to the rest when I'll have a chance.

    What was your process for performing/constructing the drum parts on Mirrors?

    Thanks. The drums were performed using the GarageBand touch kits, it's actually a great way to make drum tracks. You have total control over the arrangement that way. I usually build the parts up one by one and then go back and add fills where appropriate.

    On other tracks I've used NS2 instead for the drums, again building the parts up from simple performances using the touch pads (with Y axis velocity). In NS2 I've built a bunch of custom kits for this purpose.

    Since drums play such a vital role in creating the dynamics of a song, this for me is the most reliable way to get the results I want.

    Thanks for the breakdown. Do you start with a scratch drum track and fill in as the rest of the parts are done?

    I track the guitars in Auria using a basic scratch drum track, and then once they're recorded and arranged I'll export them as an audio file that I import into GarageBand (or 4pockets Multitrack in NS2) and then I slowly build up the final drum parts over several days.

  • Awesome well done

  • Like it very much Richard. Great recording! frenq

  • I had this evil spark of hope that I just fell for a lie would be about Bitcoin but it was not to be 😁

    Very nice, again, this time I don't have my favourite yet.

  • @Poppadocrock said:
    Awesome well done

    @Frenq said:
    Like it very much Richard. Great recording! frenq

    Thanks for listening 🙏

  • @ervin said:
    I had this evil spark of hope that I just fell for a lie would be about Bitcoin but it was not to be 😁

    Very nice, again, this time I don't have my favourite yet.

    Ha no! However Crows is about the war in Ukraine, albeit in a very abstract way.

  • edited July 6

    I listened and liked. It’s is all really well recorded. Seriously great job there. Wish I could get that sort of mix myself. Great arrangements too. Never left waiting for something to happen.

    Take it for what you will but this is just my perception. The tone of your voice sounds really nice and well suited for this type of music. It does however sound a little weak, shaky and possibly lacking confidence. There are notes here and there that are not spot on and they really stand out to me. Maybe most people don’t notice that. There were also places where I thought the vocal was screaming out for a harmony track to give it a lift. Overall the album sounds fantastic.

  • @Ailerom said:
    I listened and liked. It’s is all really well recorded. Seriously great job there. Wish I could get that sort of mix myself. Great arrangements too. Never left waiting for something to happen.

    Take it for what you will but this is just my perception. The tone of your voice sounds really nice and well suited for this type of music. It does however sound a little weak, shaky and possibly lacking confidence. There are notes here and there that are not spot on and they really stand out to me. Maybe most people don’t notice that. There were also places where I thought the vocal was screaming out for a harmony track to give it a lift. Overall the album sounds fantastic.

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to comment, I really appreciate it.

    And you're right, my vocals still need some work. I only learned to sing in my forties (started in 2014 at which point I sounded like a strangled cat). I've made a lot of progress since then, but my technique has a long way to go still. I work very hard on improving my singing, but progress is slow. But as long as what little technique I have gives me a chance to record my own songs, it's worth it for me :)

  • Congratulations Richard!
    Mirrors is very enjoyable.
    And your vocals are very good on this track.
    Thanks for sharing this recording.
    Rene

  • @richardyot said:
    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to comment, I really appreciate it.

    And you're right, my vocals still need some work. I only learned to sing in my forties (started in 2014 at which point I sounded like a strangled cat). I've made a lot of progress since then, but my technique has a long way to go still. I work very hard on improving my singing, but progress is slow. But as long as what little technique I have gives me a chance to record my own songs, it's worth it for me :)

    Vocals are tough. At least you have a nice sounding voice. I've been working on my nasal whine for over 30 years. Although probably only the last 10 years I've put much effort in. Practice and exercises make a huge difference. It feels great when you notice a small improvement. I can't imagine how good it must feel to just let it all out and have this wonderful sound come out. I envy vocalists more than any other musician.

  • Great songs. I let it play during my start in the day this morning. Dreamy creamy indie. Well recorded and mastered. Clearly shows what an iPad is capable of.

  • @ReneAsologuitar said:
    Congratulations Richard!
    Mirrors is very enjoyable.
    And your vocals are very good on this track.
    Thanks for sharing this recording.
    Rene

    Thanks Rene, coming from one of the best singers and performers this forum has ever seen that means a lot!

  • @Ailerom said:

    @richardyot said:
    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to comment, I really appreciate it.

    And you're right, my vocals still need some work. I only learned to sing in my forties (started in 2014 at which point I sounded like a strangled cat). I've made a lot of progress since then, but my technique has a long way to go still. I work very hard on improving my singing, but progress is slow. But as long as what little technique I have gives me a chance to record my own songs, it's worth it for me :)

    Vocals are tough. At least you have a nice sounding voice. I've been working on my nasal whine for over 30 years. Although probably only the last 10 years I've put much effort in. Practice and exercises make a huge difference. It feels great when you notice a small improvement. I can't imagine how good it must feel to just let it all out and have this wonderful sound come out. I envy vocalists more than any other musician.

    To be fair I don't find your voice nasal sounding at all, in the two tracks you've submitted to the SOMTC recently your voice sounds great and your singing is excellent. It's very hard to be objective about your own voice, but as a listener I think your voice sounds great.

  • @krassmann said:
    Great songs. I let it play during my start in the day this morning. Dreamy creamy indie. Well recorded and mastered. Clearly shows what an iPad is capable of.

    Thanks for taking the time to listen, much appreciated 🙏

  • @richardyot said:

    @Ailerom said:

    @richardyot said:
    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to comment, I really appreciate it.

    And you're right, my vocals still need some work. I only learned to sing in my forties (started in 2014 at which point I sounded like a strangled cat). I've made a lot of progress since then, but my technique has a long way to go still. I work very hard on improving my singing, but progress is slow. But as long as what little technique I have gives me a chance to record my own songs, it's worth it for me :)

    Vocals are tough. At least you have a nice sounding voice. I've been working on my nasal whine for over 30 years. Although probably only the last 10 years I've put much effort in. Practice and exercises make a huge difference. It feels great when you notice a small improvement. I can't imagine how good it must feel to just let it all out and have this wonderful sound come out. I envy vocalists more than any other musician.

    To be fair I don't find your voice nasal sounding at all, in the two tracks you've submitted to the SOMTC recently your voice sounds great and your singing is excellent. It's very hard to be objective about your own voice, but as a listener I think your voice sounds great.

    Well I appreciate that and it's great to have other points of view. Like you said though, it's hard to get past your own opinion. I've learned a bit about recording and eq which also helps with the tone I dislike.

  • The album is now live on Spotify:

    https://open.spotify.com/album/4TLapGMIC8pDpRWG0fRZ8z

    And I've also got a HearNow page that will link to the other streaming services when the track propagates to them:

    https://richardyot.hearnow.com/sparks

  • @richardyot said:
    Thanks Rene, coming from one of the best singers and performers this forum has ever seen that means a lot!


    You are so kind Richard!!!
    Thank you.
    Rene

  • Hi Richard!

    Congratulations for your fifth album !
    It has been a pleasure collaborating with you. Really hope this is just the beginning !

    @Tarekith , you did an amazing job on the first four tracks.

  • @richardyot said:

    @Ailerom said:

    @richardyot said:
    Thanks for taking the time to listen and to comment, I really appreciate it.

    And you're right, my vocals still need some work. I only learned to sing in my forties (started in 2014 at which point I sounded like a strangled cat). I've made a lot of progress since then, but my technique has a long way to go still. I work very hard on improving my singing, but progress is slow. But as long as what little technique I have gives me a chance to record my own songs, it's worth it for me :)

    Vocals are tough. At least you have a nice sounding voice. I've been working on my nasal whine for over 30 years. Although probably only the last 10 years I've put much effort in. Practice and exercises make a huge difference. It feels great when you notice a small improvement. I can't imagine how good it must feel to just let it all out and have this wonderful sound come out. I envy vocalists more than any other musician.

    To be fair I don't find your voice nasal sounding at all, in the two tracks you've submitted to the SOMTC recently your voice sounds great and your singing is excellent. It's very hard to be objective about your own voice, but as a listener I think your voice sounds great.

    It is so hard to be objective about one's voice that John Lennon sometimes begged George Martin (who ignored the requests) to bury his voice in effects because Lennon thought his voice sounded awful.

  • Woah I’m really digging this. Gives me late 80s/early 90s vibes. Like Pavement, Slint, etc. Great stuff!

  • @HotStrange said:
    Woah I’m really digging this. Gives me late 80s/early 90s vibes. Like Pavement, Slint, etc. Great stuff!

    Thanks! You won't be surprised to hear that Pavement and Slint are two bands I really love. I was listening to Slanted and Enchanted earlier today :)

  • @espiegel123 said:
    It is so hard to be objective about one's voice that John Lennon sometimes begged George Martin (who ignored the requests) to bury his voice in effects because Lennon thought his voice sounded awful.

    I never knew that and yes, it's hard to comprehend. If I go back to my mixes from 20+ years ago the vocals are very very low in the mix. A symptom of being your own mix engineer and worst critic. I think that is one of the awesome things about this music. Despite @richardyot not being 100% happy with the vocal it is still mixed well. A personal challenge I have not easily overcome.

  • Good song! A bit too much of reverb for my taste. Like it.

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