Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Capturing songwriting ideas

For several years I've been recording song ideas into the voice memos app built into my iPhone. I've got more advanced audio apps but it's a very quick and easy app to use to get a song idea down so tends to be the one I'll use as an audio notepad. I've not really mastered the art of using either the iPhone or iPad to their full recording studio capabilities yet, generally finding things easier on a Mac. Must be my age getting the better of me. 

I've been trying to get a recent song demo uploaded to the Facebook page from the voice memos app to the page and seem to have failed miserably. I'll probably have to resort to importing the audio into the computer I guess. 

But it's been interesting to go back through some of the older demos I've recorded, going back to 2009. I've had an iPhone since their were first released in the UK in 2007 so guess I either hadn't discovered the audio voice memos app then, or probably more likely it didn't exist. 

I've found songs that I'd forgotten all about, songs I now know well but which sound completely different in their original demo formats, and some which I thought I'd lost. 

I'm not sure how interesting they'd be to anyone else, unless maybe used as part of a longer blog post or podcast with explanations and audio explaining the journey but it made me realise quite how much technology has helped save such snippets, including the date and time of the recording. 

I was clearing my loft out a few years ago and came across lots of old lyrics, the majority of which I'd either forgotten about or turned into 'real' songs. For the ones I'd forgotten about the tunes are now lost - unless I happened to record the idea onto a cassette but suspect that would have been harder than using an app, and they'll also be no date or time recorded even presuming I could ever find the relevant cassette or bother listening through the hundreds I still have filling the loft. 

It's also brought home the realisation of why I'm trying to become better at reading and writing sheet music. I mostly dismissed it in my younger years, thinking it relevant only to more classical music. It's a challenge and one that in some ways is less necessary with the ease of recording into an iPhone app. But that relies on the technology still existing and being compatible, and still being able to work the chords and tune out from the recording. 

It's encouraging to realise that, as difficult as I'm finding it to learn properly, it will be a useful skill that will benefit me in years to come if I can learn to read and write a score with a similar ease to being able to use an iPhone app.


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