Pocket-sized studio

"Roll over Beethoven"... again. An Israeli duo has recorded the first song solely using sounds from iPhone apps. And it’s a YouTube hit.

iphone song video 311 (photo credit: Adam Shuldman)
iphone song video 311
(photo credit: Adam Shuldman)
Ilan and Sipo, a couple of self-described techno geeks, as well as seasoned musicians, have created an Internet first – they’ve recorded a song using sounds available exclusively from iPhone and iPad apps. Their cover version of the song “Blanket” by Urban Species utilizes 24 instruments and sounds from 17 iPhone and iPad apps, including such intriguing names like iShred, Thereminator and Thumb- Jam.
“The goal was to make a song of studio quality using the apps, the kind that could be played on the radio or in a club” said Ilan Dorot, the Ilan of the duo along with Sipo (Sivan) Porat. And according to a 30- second sample video that they released on YouTube last week attests, the snappy futuristic dance production certainly achieves its aims “I got my first iPhone about a year ago and started playing with the apps and really loved it,” said the 35- year-old Dorot, who until six months ago had worked for over a decade in the hi-tech industry.
“I quit my job and started a new life – if it’s not a dirty word – as an entrepreneur. I’m working on three projects of my own – including a music application for Facebook – and the iPhone project just came about for fun. I really loved the challenge of using the apps to actually produce a song0.”
Ilan & Sipo weren’t the first to come up with the idea of recording a song using iPhone apps, but they’ve taken it the furthest.
“There are plenty people on YouTube playing the iPhone but most of what’s out there couldn’t be played in a dance club or on the radio, or even in your car,” said Dorot, who credited his partner Sipo with masterminding the composition.
“He’s a real musician. I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 10, but I have no formal education. But Sipo’s really schooled in music, plays the keyboards and works as a DJ.”
THE DUO spent their spare time downloading the apps, examining different sounds and recorded them to see what sounded best together.
The whole process took three months on and off. But then came the video – or rather, the trailer for the video, a 30-second clip which when released last week began spreading virally.
“The response has been really amazing, and the video isn’t even out yet,” said Dorot. “We had 7,000 views in the first four days and the blog TechCrunch wrote about it, which for a hi-tech guy like me, is a big deal.”
Dorot expected the video, directed by Noam Vardi, starring Idan Alterman, filmed by Adam Shuldman and featuring singer Reut Tayar, to be completed and released this week, and called it as innovative as the music it illustrates.
“We had the challenge of visualizing each instrument and giving the viewer an idea of which app is playing right now and how it impacts on the song,” said Dorot.
“Noam decided to do it as if it were a live broadcast – five cameras and the editor sits and decides in real time when to switch cameras. So when the keyboard comes in for instance, he’ll switch to the camera on the keyboard. Working with Noam was amazing.”
While the feedback so far may have been encouraging, the duo has no plans to continue mining the same vein for electronic gold.
“I think it’s a novelty and will remain a one-time thing. We’re not going to start and iPhone band and go on tour,” said Dorot with a laugh.
In their attempt to perfect a new music platform, Dorot and Porat were most intent on innovation and proving a point.
“I think the essence here, the basic idea is one of no boundaries,” said Dorot.
“You can do anything you want with any instrument you find next to you. You could say it’s the punk ethic. Be creative, do whatever feels right for you with whatever means you have.”