Balum using Kuassa Ampsim

Balum talked about his solo project and his latest single titled “Another Next Time”

We had a chat with Adityawarman Balum, acknowledged as the guitarist of Alone At Last, one of the prominent emo/punk band from Bandung, Indonesia. Also known as a guitar teacher and a rock instrumentalist. He talked about his solo project and his latest single titled “Another Next Time”.

D : How was the process of writing for “Another Next Time”? We heard that you recorded everything at home?

B : Yes, “Another Next Time” was recorded at my place, so you may call it ‘home recording’. From the initial writing, recording, mixing to mastering, all executed at home. My reason to recorded it this way was just because I feel more relaxed. It was also more economical, in terms of budget and time spent. I’m very grateful for the development in technology (that made it possible to record at home), especially for those who develops software and plugins. I think the latest state of plugins sounds and feels really good, and Kuassa is one of them! Personally, those helps a lot. I didn’t have to push my amps to get the sounds I wanted. But of course it depends on your preference.

D : Is there any message that you want to deliver in this new single?

B : The real message i want to present in this song is about to ‘wake up and move on’. At a glance, maybe this song sounds about a broken heart. But the point is about what we should do after a broken heart. Will you stay sad or move on from that. “There will be another next time”. Another message is, I think we should not hold over to release our works of art. Today, creating your work (music) is not as difficult and complicated as previous time where we should do everything in analog.

D : Did you find any difficulties or excitement in this home recording process?

B : There were troubles, but I consider those difficulties as part of the excitement. I can say the whole production process, from the initial search for sound to the mixing step,  were actually pretty quick.

For “Another Next Time”, i tried a new approach. This time, I record the whole song in one turn, from start to finish. Then if I felt there are parts needed to be fixed, I only record that one part. In total, it only took 5 takes to finish the song.

If you listened closely, you’ll find a few parts with unequal dynamic or slightly off tempo. I prefer to let it be like that. For me, it has more ‘feels’ and sounds more natural.

The mixing process took a took of time because I had some revisions, but thanks to the current technology, I can do a lot of tinkering without having to re-record the tracks.

D : How did you find out about Kuassa?

B : I was told by Agung ‘Hellfrog’ of Burgerkill. That time, he needed to record a guitar part for a song of HMGNC. I assisted him during the record, that was the first time I see the plugins from Kuassa. Then I tried it myself. It sounds and feels different, in a good way, from any other guitar plugins that I’ve used before. I can feel it on my hand.

D : What drives you to record this new single at home and using Kuassa?

B : I just built a special working room for producing and mixing. It’s like a mini control room or recording room. ‘Special’ in terms of acoustically treated, probably not looking very good aesthetically, but it serves a purpose. Because of those treatment I can hear the difference in sounds of the softwares I used.

I said it before, “It sounds and feels (different). Well, you may not notice the difference from how it sounds. At least you (should) listen in a proper room or speaker. But it really feels different in your ears and in your hands, (it) feels more organic.” I think your product’s interface is very simple and easy to understand. So even if someone had not used it before, I believe that person will still able to use it.

D : How big did Kuassa took part on your new single? What is your favourite feature from Kuassa plugins?

B : All guitar and bass tracks in “Another Next Time” uses Kuassa. For clean and distorted guitar, I used Amplifikation Creme. The bass recorded with Cerberus. Some may think that I used Vermilion for the clean sound, which is really good, but for this song I prefer the Amplifikation Creme.

I think one specific feature from your plugins is the “stereo split” feature. I used to record lead guitars in mono. For “Another Next Time”, I took more experiment with M/S (mid/side) technique rather than standard left-right. Later I tried the stereo split feature, and that’s the one ended on the single.