Recording—Simplified: Ryan Montbleau on Mobile Recording

July 5, 2017 | by Jon Simmons

Ryan Montbleau BY SHAUN O'ROURKE

Ryan Montbleau | Photo by Shaun O’Rourke

 

Recording music shouldn’t be complicated. In this ongoing series, we’re asking musicians to offer their tips for simplifying the recording process. Folk singer-songwriter Ryan Montbleau shares his advice.

What techniques work for you to capture song ideas?

The voice memo and notes apps on my phone have become pretty essential. I tend to get a lot of ideas when I'm driving, or I'll work on older ideas as I go. I like to turn phrases over and over in my mind until I get them just right. Sometimes it takes years to get a song out. Keeping those files really allows the whole thing to happen for me. I use notebooks too, but much less than I used to.

What mobile recording challenges do you run into?

I'm a total a total novice when it comes to recording, so I guess for me the challenge would be my lack of knowledge! GarageBand is still this new, big thing for me, so the usual problems that come along with that.

Where do you find inspiration for songwriting on the road?

I really don't write much on the road, to be honest. I'm just trying to keep up physically and keep my mood up to perform every night and to try to be good human being to the people around me. I think the experience always sinks in on some level though and maybe it won't come out until much later. I try to listen to tunes more than I would, keep the juices flowing and just try to take in the experience without the whole thing passing you by. But the writing tends to come at home. Solo touring too, it's easier to write. Much more headspace, and I can sing out in the car and keep those notes on my phone and my voice memos. Voice dictation helps a lot.

Catch Ryan Montbleau on tour.

Be ready to record your song ideas wherever you are. Download the Spire app, a free, multi-track recording app for iPhone.