Ancst released their 13-song album, In Turmoil, on August 13th, 2014. The new disc, as the band notes on their Bandcamp page is a “compilation of…out of print tape releases from 2012 – 2014. It contains all [their] songs from The Humane Condition EP, the splits with Hiveburner and Smuteční Slavnost, [their] first demo and one unreleased new track. All songs have been remastered.” Loaded with some brutal, anti-fascist blackened death metal, we checked in with guitarist “Tom is the Bastard” to talk gear.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Tom is the Bastard: Our M-Audio Fast Track sound card. cheap, shitty but reliable. It’s not really responsible for our signature sound, but that small piece of plastic makes DIY recording affordable.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Tom is the Bastard: We recorded all our previous releases with it, except the first demo. guitars, bass or vocals, luckily the fast track could handle it all.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Tom is the Bastard: We are still experimenting with the live sound after the first show had been rather undifferentiated sound-wise. compared to our other bands Ancst isnt just plug and play and we are still working on getting as near to the album sound as possible. When we recorded the songs that ended up on In Turmoil we were not planning on bringing Ancst to the stage. Hitting the stage with a drum computer and real amps was tricky and different to playing shows with a more traditional line-up. the whole process of optimizing the sound has just started and we already learned a lot about our own disadvantages. You never stop learning.
What are the major pros and cons?
Tom is the Bastard: Like I said, the Fast Track is the one of the cheapest and most minimalistic sound cards I could find. When I got it we were far from being a real band. With just the two of us at the beginning its sole purpose was to record some demos. We really had no intention to keep releasing stuff constantly or even to play live. The Fast Track is easy to handle although it’s hard to get the right recording level sometimes, especially when recording vocals. At first I had issues getting it to work with my recording software, but after searching for solutions on the net, it worked out as well. That sound card is definitely nice for beginners or people with no patience like me, but if you are after a professional sound card I wouldn’t recommend it to be honest.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Tom is the Bastard: I bought it around 3 years ago after I was totally fed up with recording the first demo with a laptop on-board sound card. Believe me, that really sucked. I’m thinking about getting a better one in the future, but will keep on recording with it for the next album. Never change a running system 🙂
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Tom is the Bastard: One of the biggest disadvantages of the Fast Track is that I need to close my recording software via the Windows Task Manager otherwise I would get the blue screen of death but that’s what you get for 80 bucks.
Check out the album ‘In Turmoil’