New Album!

Posted on September 14, 2011

I have completed a new collection of tunes.  Yes!  As mentioned in a previous entry, I have been barred from using my old name, The Constellations, so here is the world debut of my new and improved fake band name.  And here is the cover art for the new album.  Whoa!

It’s by Triumphal Arches (NB: me) and it’s called Romance Languages.  The cover image is a mountain range in Canmore Alberta, photographed by me.  This album returns, after my recent piano and electronic sidetrips, to good old rock and weird roll.  I’m going to put the whole thing on bandcamp, where you can stream it or buy it if you’re feeling loose with the pursestrings.  However I haven’t gotten around to that just yet, so you’ll have to settle for this exciting free sample!

Here is a track from the new record.  Most of the songs are abstract love songs, with a bit more rocking than usual.  This one, though, is not a representative sample by any means, rocking like a mofo and all, but it is a good time.  It features a couple of cranked guitars, a drum machine, and scream singing.  And nothing else.  It’s called I Want You Bad.

Click here to listen to it ->  I Want You Bad


All of the guitar tracks are doubled, hard panned left and right.  Gibson SG with antiquity pickups, through a Carr Vincent (best amps ever!).  I think I might have run it through a Moog lowpass, as a distortion pedal (this is a good trick with the Moogerfoogers – put in bypass but dime the drive).  Maybe!  I wish I could remember, because I love how it sounds.  Oh well!  The vocals are run through a plugin called the Vintage Warmer, by a company called PSP Audioware, which I think is based in Poland.

My new favourite musical tool

Holy crap is it ever good!  Pretty much every digital plugin ever sounds awful to my ears, not that I have a lot of them, but still.  This one, though, what a revelation.  It’s a compressor which is designed to emulate analogue tape saturation effects and it does a masterful job.  It is exceedingly useful in that it’s perfect for processing individual tracks, and is equally well suited for processing entire mixes.  The drive is such that it can obliterate things if necessary (though I find the extreme drive settings to be not so hot), or it can easily be configured to balance out a mix and just make it sound… great!  Without doing a lot of work.  I have gotten into the habit of creating vocal submixes in my songs, and running the whole thing through one of these, to compress it a bit and add a tiny bit of drive, while boosting around the 10k band.  But the real moneymaker with this thing is bass.  Oh my god!  The default bass guitar setting on the Vintage Warmer is insane!  Run a DI wimpy MIM p-bass into that and out comes something awesome, let me tell you.  If you are recording in the digital world and have been looking for something warmer / punchier, and especially if you have trouble (like me) with bass guitar, then check this thing out.  They have 14 day demos for all of their stuff, and sure it’s $150 but it is 100% worth it.  If you like it buy it, don’t steal it.

Big ups to Jason Loewenstein for tipping me off to this.  How cool is it that one can get tips from one’s adolescent music hero?  For those who don’t know, Loewenstein was the best part of the legendary band Sebadoh, whose tunes played on endless repeat during grades 10-12 for me.  His website is rather informative too – with some tips on recording, and a forum where you can ask the man himself questions.  He’s a really cool, nice guy.