09 December 2019

If you hadn’t noticed…


I’m in the process of going through my archive drives and emptying them out onto my live recordings blogs. Recordings that I just never got around to posting in the first place, or recordings that have some sort of technical difficulties or some sort of compromise that dissuaded me from posting it. For some reason I'm finding that many of these recordings don't have the first song, or first half of the first song, or the first two songs. I have no idea how that happens, but I've decided that this won't stop me from posting it now. Or maybe the board feed is in mono, not stereo, which totally bums me out, but I just don't care any more, because they still sound pretty damn good, so those I'll post as well.

Mostly industrial, but a good mix of breakcore and idm and ambient / noise / experimental.

The good news is that I already have about 40 recordings to post, and my plan is to post two per week, so that gets us well into spring 2020.

I post all the audio to HearThis and Mixcloud. In the past, Mixcloud has occasionally prohibited listeners in the US to play my uploads, citing some US copyright law. HearThis has never killed any of my uploads for anybody worldwide, so that might be the more reliable place to listen to them.



And I post everything to my blogs, and everything is mirrored exactly on each of them, so pick your poison.-




I’ll occasionally post updates to my Humorless Productions FB, but not always, so those links above are better places to follow me if you want immediate updates for when I post new audio.


And, I'll occasionally post the original jpg flyers or pictures or artwork to the blog posts, and there's no way to do that on the two sites where I post the actual audio. So if you care about that sorta stuff, make sure to check the blogs as well as the audio sites.

Thanks, Brian.



07 December 2019

[audio] d'Arcangelo live in Vienna, 20 March 2004

d'Arcangelo live MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, 20 March 2004.



Mirrored here-
 

Tracks-

(0:00)
(4:12)
(8:30)
(11:00)
(15:23)
(17:57)
(21:57)
(26:32)
(31:12)
(35:43)
(39:25)
(41:22)
(46:06)
(52:09)


[audio] Hakuin live in Oakland, 1 June 2019

Hakuin live at SIDEREALÂș2 at Oakland Secret, Oakland, California, 1 June 2019.


Mirrored here-
 

27 November 2019

[audio] Hecate and Nihil Fist live in Berlin, 27 Nov 2009


For my friends in Berlin. Tenth anniversary of this show, first time posting this.

Hecate and Nihil Fist, live at Cosmic Devastation at Raum 18, Berlin, 27 November 2009.

Even by Hecate's standards, this one was a rather experimental show for her I think.

It was Hecate on electronics and vocals (sounding a whole lot like Nivek Ogre on the Ain't It Dead Yet? recording), and also somebody playing electric contrabass through some effects like distortion, delay, etc..., and there might have been a third person on stage with her. I forget. It was a long time ago.

So this one leans more toward ambient noise doom drone, but it does get a bit rhythm-y in the second half. More industrial than breakcore.

Nihil Fist opened the show and just about blew the doors off the place. Hell ya.

Also playing this night was Christoph da Babalon. I did get a recording of his set as well, but his laptop was having that RAM overrun audio hiccup thing happening every 30 or 40 seconds during his entire performance. So unfortunately, that one I won't be able to post.



Mirrored here-







Mirrored here-




22 November 2019

[audio] Genesis P-Orridge live in Los Angeles, 17 July 2014


Genesis P-Orridge live at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 17 July 2014.

Genesis came to LA to raise money for a documentary film he was trying to make in Africa. His presentation featured a brief, live musical performance.

Musicians for the first two songs of this recording are Cyrus Rex on electronics, Douglas McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb on vocals, Douglas' wife Hazel on electronics, and Los Angeles underground music luminary Derek Baseck on electronics.

Douglas and Cyrus Rex would go on to form Black Line shortly after this performance. I don't know if these first two songs are Black Line songs, or perhaps songs that Cyrus composed as DJMREX, which was his moniker at this time.

Genesis then grabs the mic at about 10 minutes in, and does spoken word for the remaining 10 minutes, while everybody else lays down some lovely noisy synth parts, which I think were largely improvisational.



mirrored here




[audio] David Oliphant live in Tucson, 20 Nov 2010


David Oliphant live at Solar Culture, Tucson, Arizona, 20 November 2010.

Solo performance from David Oliphant here, although you may know him from his work in Maybe Mental, Life Garden or Amnesia Quartet.




or mirrored here




16 November 2019

[audio] Duran Duran Duran live in Los Angeles, 22 Nov 2013


Duran Duran Duran live at CELEBRATE EVERYTHING at Complex, Los Angeles, 22 November 2013.




Or mirrored here-



Here's a video I put together of the big finale-





[audio] cEvin Key dj/live in Los Angeles, 29 March 2014


cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy dj set with Dre Robinson on drum pads and other synth noise makers,  live at CELEBRATE EVERYTHING at Complex, Los Angeles, 29 March 2014.

I’m pretty sure this was just a dj set with no actual live music played. cEvin was on a laptop and Dre had a bunch of stuff working, so I can’t be 100% sure.




or mirrored here-



Here's a picture I took at the show-



22 July 2019

[video] Author & Punisher live in SLC, 15 July 2019


I recorded another crushing set from Author & Punisher, mid July 2019, Salt Lake City.

Full set, 4k, four cameras this time.




15 April 2019

[video] Squarepusher live in London, 26 October 2006



So I posted the audio the other day on Mixcloud and HearThis.

In the description, I wrote about the video. Well, I synced up my newly remastered audio to that video and posted it to YouTube a couple days ago to see how fast they would take it down. Surprisingly, it’s still up.

So I just made it public if you really want to check it out. It’s pretty much not worth watching because it’s so small. But, if nothing else, it’s an excuse for me to get the audio on YouTube for people who prefer to listen to stuff on YT, or who don’t know about my Mixcloud or HearThis pages.



12 April 2019

[audio] Squarepusher live London, 26 October 2006



Squarepusher live at Electric Proms at Electric Ballroom, London, 26 October 2006.

This concert video I believe was originally recorded by the BBC. It was a long time ago. I don't remember fer sure.

The video production was obviously done by a pro crew- multiple cameras, jib/crane shots and tracking shots, glitch editing. Really slick all the way around.

But a couple other things baffled me. First, it was posted super small size- 400 x 224. No doubt they'd originally recorded in 1080, so why post something so ridiculously, unwatchably small?

Second, the audio mix was absolute rubbish, even though it, too, was professionally recorded, with big stereo sound and stereo audience mics, like the way I do it. But whoever mixed it thought it best to drop all of the low end out of the mix so that it sounded like some shitty 1970s transistor radio.

I was reminded of it when one of the songs popped up in my car the other day, which prompted me to do a full remaster of it. Luckily, I still had the original video tucked away in one of my hard drives.

So I grabbed the audio, pumped some healthy low end back into it, and gave it the usual treatment of fixing levels, smoothing out all the rough edges and whatever else it needed. This is the audio you hear here.

Even though the video is ant-sized, I went ahead and re-synced my new audio remaster to the video. I'll try to post it to YouTube, but they're so draconian about copyright issues, I doubt they'll allow it.

Remastered using Ocenaudio and Presonus Studio One 4, with Izotope and FabFilter plug ins, April 2019.

Thanks for listening. Brian.

1. 0:00

2. 5:22

3. 10:29

4. 15:39

5. 19:58

6. 26:07

7. 29:58

8. 34:24

28 January 2019

Zombie theme cover tune




So I've been toying around with Reaper again. Presonus Studio One is still my mainstay workhorse daw, but I just felt like diving into Reaper again.

I've poked around in it before, but never did any substantial work. I don't know if you'd consider a cover song substantial, but I did a cover song. The theme song from Lucio Fulci's classic Zombie from 1979. Original music by Fabio Frizzi.

Hear the original here- 

Of course, I didn't quite make a carbon copy of the tune. I put my own spin on it. I can't say mine is an improvement. But, it was just an experiment, and I think it turned out good enough to be posted.

Although I don't think it would have turned out any differently had I used Studio One. I'm using all the same synths, the same sounds, the same samples, the same loops that I would have used in Studio One.

The dialog sample I use in my version isn't from Zombie. It's creepy Zelda Rubinstein (you'd know her as the super short woman in the original Poltergeist) from a totally bizarre and disturbing movie called Anguish.

19 December 2018

[video] Author & Punisher live in SLC, Nov 2018


I recorded Author & Punisher on his stop in Salt Lake City on his recent US tour, and it turned out great. Full performance, pro audio, three cameras.

Someday I may make the jump to 4k, but for the foreseeable future, 1080 it is.


10 August 2018

[movie remaster] Eyes of Fire (1983)



I just finished up another movie remaster- Eyes of Fire (1983, Avery Crounse).


Remastered the video and the audio, and added a bunch of original music, sound effects, atmospheres, sound design and other random audio bits.

This is a superior haunted forest flick, with an amazing performance by Dennis Lipscomb as the bible-thumping whack job preacher guy. I could go on and on about it here, but instead I wrote out some extensive liner notes on the YouTube page, so read those if you care to read my ramblings.

Never came out on dvd/streaming, which is a terrible shame, but at least we have this version.

I also just finished giving the same treatment to Michael Mann's The Keep, but YouTube wouldn't let me post it, those bastards.

12 June 2018

compilation of horror movie title and credits music



(tracklist below)

Welcome to the wonderful world of horror movie title and credits music!

I pilfered my hard drives and came up with some of the best (i.e. coolest, corniest, goofiest, gnarliest, spookiest, neatest...) intro and outro songs from horror movies, primarily from the 70s and 80s, but plenty from before and after that as well.

This mix is completely subjective. I just grabbed the songs I thought would fit in the mix. Some sound very old with the funky big bands; some sound very 80s with all the drum machines and synthesizers and cheesy hair metal.

I didn't include the really well known songs, like the themes from The Exorcist or Jaws or Hellraiser or Tenebre, (although Claudio Simonetti and the Goblin guys do show up a few times; they're unavoidable in a mix like this). There are some well known movies in here, but their intro and outro songs might not be all that well known.

And not only horror movies, but I venture into neighboring waters- sci-fi (Forbidden World, Lathe of Heaven), sword and sandal (Conquest), post-apocalyptic (Neon City, The New Barbarians), cannibals (Cannibal Ferox, Eaten Alive), fantasy (Vicious Lips), krimi/giallo (What Have You Done to Solange?, The Bloodstained Shadow), action (Enter the Dragon, Wonder Women), and some odd/bizarre/unclassifiable midnight movies (Anguish, The Sinful Dwarf, Liquid Sky).

All told, I pulled songs from about 100 movies, and they're all labelled in the video/music mix. I didn't really group or sequence the songs in any specific way. Quite frankly, I pretty much threw them together rather haphazardly. But there is a whole bunch of variety throughout the mix, so it all flows nicely enough.

Yes, I know some of the songs are really long. Deal with it.

Oh, and by the way, I remastered every single one of the music clips, so now we all can actually hear all the snappy, cracky high end and all of the basement lows. Dig it.

Anybody make it through all four hours?

Which one is your favorite? There's really some amazing compositions and techniques in here. Check out the insane bassline in Eaten Alive. Or that totally weird gran casa bass drum in the second track, the Dead Pit credits song, in the context of a weird techno song, no less! And with a piano melody in fifth mode of harmonic minor? F****ng ridiculous and genius! Check out the Einsturzende Neubauten action going on at the end of Demon Rage where somebody is banging on big metal springs or something and bending them around. Love that combo in Raw Meat- rock drummer sounding like he was recorded in some sort of giant airplane hangar with big band horns, an electric piano and a nasty, distort-o synth-bass. Love the low end, analog synth in Witchboard. And check out the drums, full-on fuzz guitar and marimba melody in Deadly Inheritance. Who comes up with this stuff?

Which is your favorite poster? I'm really loving the fan art posters these days (Re-Animator, Silent Night, Deadly Night (Gore! Sex! Murder! Gifts! Nuns!)). Then again, sometimes you just can't go wrong with the classics (Demons, The Dead are Alive (both of which are desktop images on my cell phone), Zombie.

Some of the artworks I touched up a bit, too. Cropped them properly, fixed up the color on a bunch of them.

Of course, having a great intro song or outro song doesn't absolutely reflect the quality of the movie. Don't waste your time watching The Awakening or Body Count or Cemetery of Terror or The Video Dead or Zombie Nightmare. All worthless. And no, I'm not including Monster Shark Devilfish in that list because Monster Shark Devilfish is awesome.

I normally work in FCPX, but for this I used Premiere Pro, mainly because Premiere has the capability of inserting audio processors on the master stereo output channel. FCPX should be embarrassed. Here's a screen shot of the Premiere edl-


I've already written too much, but I could go on and on about all the hidden gems there are in here- Baby Blood, Dead Pit, Forbidden World, Plankton, Raw Meat, Retribution, Shock Waves, Sole Survivor (terrible poster, but a great movie), Rejuvenator (somebody please put this out on dvd!!), Zeder. Go find those if you haven't seen them.

Questions? Comments? Anything? Lemme know below or on the YT page. Thanks.

Hope you like it.

Brian, Humorless Productions.



(0:01) City of the Living Dead

(2:06) Dead Pit

(5:19) The Final Terror

(8:49) Zombie Nightmare

(11:37) Cemetery of Terror

(13:17) Demons 2

(14:20) Escalofrio: Satan's Blood

(15:45) Panic

(16:42) Seven Women for Satan

(19:55) Plankton: Creatures from the Abyss

(20:59) Baby Blood

(22:34) Forbidden World

(25:51) Manhattan Baby

(29:45) Nightmares

(32:41) Madman

(34:52) Wonder Women

(39:23) Vampyres

(40:49) Hardware

(45:28) Terror Express

(46:35) 2019: After the Fall of New York

(48:35) Beyond the Darkness

(50:40) Liquid Sky

(53:25) What Waits Below

(57:42) The New Barbarians

(59:21) The Secret Killer

(1:01:16) The Funhouse

(1:03:44) The Devil's Nightmare

(1:05:39) Day of the Dead

(1:08:38) Inseminoid

(1:12:24) Conquest

(1:13:41) Next of Kin

(1:16:57) Silent Scream

(1:20:30) Retribution

(1:26:23) Hell of the Living Dead

(1:27:54) Eaten Alive

(1:30:08) Re-Animator

(1:32:28) Pieces

(1:33:50) Shock

(1:35:12) Silent Night, Deadly Night

(1:37:05) Rosso Sangue

(1:39:48) Shock Waves

(1:40:49) A Blade in the Dark

(1:41:31) Rejuvenator

(1:43:17) Neon City

(1:45:23) Ring of Darkness

(1:48:13) Sole Survivor

(1:50:02) Vicious Lips

(1:52:08) The Thing

(1:58:39) The Bloodstained Shadow

(2:00:49) The Being

(2:04:34) The Awakening

(2:07:11) Contamination

(2:08:12) The Devil's Rain

(2:11:46) Demons

(2:14:33) Invasion of the Bee Girls

(2:16:12) Body Count

(2:18:05) 1990: The Bronx Warriors

(2:19:33) Night of the Living Dead

(2:24:13) Horror Hospital

(2:25:13) Enter the Dragon

(2:26:04) Deadly Inheritance

(2:28:26) Satan's Slave

(2:30:11) The Brain

(2:34:11) The Dead Are Alive

(2:36:38) Silent Madness

(2:40:21) Cannibal Ferox

(2:42:40) Liquid Sky

(2:46:38) Anguish

(2:50:06) Demon Rage

(2:54:15) Raw Meat

(2:58:24) The Lathe of Heaven

(3:00:33) The House with Laughing Windows

(3:02:31) Zombie Holocaust

(3:04:19) Witchboard

(3:06:14) Shock

(3:07:46) The Video Dead

(3:09:06) The Last Horror Film

(3:10:48) The Fog

(3:13:55) The Lift

(3:15:58) The Dark

(3:18:15) Witchfinder General

(3:19:10) Stagefright

(3:20:42) Monster Shark Devilfish

(3:21:38) The Sinful Dwarf

(3:23:47) The Burning

(3:25:59) Terror Train

(3:28:12) Enigma Rojo

(3:30:01) Zombie

(3:31:31) The Dark Side of the Moon

(3:33:47) Tombs of the Blind Dead

(3:36:14) Vengeance of the Zombies

(3:37:31) Zeder

(3:38:58) Baby Blood

(3:40:36) Zombie Holocaust

(3:41:49) Slugs

(3:45:11) House by the Cemetery

(3:47:19) Escalofrio: Satan's Blood

(3:50:57) Nightmare City

(3:52:04) Terror Express

(3:54:02) The Devil's Nightmare

(3:55:04) The Slumber Party Massacre

(3:56:23) Rats: Night of Terror

(3:57:39) What Have You Done to Solange?

(3:59:24) The Devil's Wedding Night

(4:01:16) The Beyond


















14 February 2018

[movie] Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1990 Willy Bogner)



Here's a ridiculous project I recently completed. I did this project strictly for myself, so I wasn't even going to post it to YouTube, but I thought there might be one or two people out there who might be entertained by this movie, so here it is.

I have a confession to make- I'm a sucker for ski movies. Which makes sense, because I'm an avid skier as well as a pro audio/video engineer. The old ones are cool; the new ones are cool. I tend to prefer the big mountain / ski porn type flicks, so I usually head straight to the films from Teton Gravity Research. Matchstick Productions or even the old Greg Stump videos are cool. Sure, there are the old Warren Miller standbys, and I'll watch those as long as I can mute the audio.

This one, Fire, Ice & Dynamite, isn't a ski film in the same style as those ones I mentioned. This one is an action/sports flick with a super ridiculous plot, but a plot nonetheless, which includes a bunch of skiing, but also some other, so-called 'extreme' sports like downhill mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, wall climbing, and bungie jumping. That all sounds pretty tame by today's standards, but back in 1990, this was the gnarly stuff. And even by today's standards, some of scenes in this movie are pretty nuts- the wall climbing on the face of a dam, the fast mountain biking on a narrow cliff ledge, the skiing down a mountain with no snow on it, just a bunch of rocks and gravel.

In fact, I just saw a FB post the other day (in Feb 2018) from the Teton Gravity Research people who were hyping somebody who had combined mountain biking with paragliding, using the bike to build up some speed and launching with a paraglider 'chute on. Definitely a cool idea, which Willy Bogner employs in this movie (48:20-50:00), released almost 3 decades prior to that post. Willy Bogner was waayy ahead of the curve.

Any way, I first saw this movie when I picked it up on VHS for a buck at the old Tower Records (RIP) outlet which was just a couple doors down from the old Knitting Factory (also RIP) in Hollywood. For no other reason than it had this amazing cover-



And if you haven't seen this movie, you can trust me when I say nothing in that image is false advertising. All of that is actually in the movie.

But, of course, those were the old VHS days, and the movie not only was in 4:3 pan-and-scan, but also the audio was in mono. Total bummer. I'd heard that it had come out in the 90s on DVD, in widescreen, in Germany, but I was never able to track down a copy.

Now, I see that somebody has finally uploaded a widescreen version to YT (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXWxYR45tIY&t=2910s), although it has some problems. First, it's tiny- 640x262. Although that's a standard dvd rip, yes? 640 across the top? I have no idea what software they used to rip the dvd, but their version on YT looks pretty rough.

Second, there's some guy translating the entire movie in Russian (Turkish?, not sure). He's literally speaking every character's parts through the entire movie, even during that super cheesy song that the woman performs in the club. That's actually all reasonable and understandable, because for their purposes, they were just uploading the movie for all the well-informed Russians who are into this sort of thing. But it's a total bummer for my purposes, because you can hear in the underlying English audio track to their version, that audio is in stereo. If they could have just posted a second, clean version without the translator, I wouldn't have had to do any of this work.

But, here's what I did- I took their video, and applied the audio from my English version to it. Sucks that it's in mono, but this is my best and only option.

And of course, there was more work to it than it sounds.

The first thing I did was remaster the English audio version. Sometimes I'll have to go through a whole bunch of plug-ins to really dial in how I want it to sound. I forget how much trial and error went in to this, but I ended up throwing on a T-RacksS CS by IK Multimedia, and pulled up the FM Broadcast preset. I always throw on a FabFilter limiter at the end, to avoid any redlining at all. That was pretty much all it needed.

The only audio I could use from the Russian version was the outro song. I could have used the English version, but the Russian version not only is in stereo, but the translator guy doesn't talk over it. So obviously, I'm gonna use that one, right?

Well, not so fast. In listening to it, I heard some really weird phasing going on. I didn't necessarily fix that, but I minimized it by pulling in the stereo separation of the two channels, from 100% to 55%, using Stereo Tools by Sonalksis.

That, actually, was the easy part. The difficult part was syncing. Here's a shot of my final edit in Presonus Studio One-



You see all those vertical blue lines on the English track? Presonus calls those Audio Bend Markers. Those are really easy to use, but it's time consuming to have to match up the soundwaves on the English track to those on the Russian track (which I call Turkish, because I wasn't listening to the foreign language too closely). Word by word, second by second, for the entire length of the film. All those markers designate a place where I had to stretch the audio one way or another to get the English audio to match up with the timing of the Russian audio. You'll also notice at the end where I crossfaded the English audio out and the Russian video in for that outro song.

Once that was exported, it was time to import the Russian video and the remastered and retimed English audio into Final Cut Pro X.

The work in FCPX would have been very straight forward and easy, except I wanted to make a couple edits.

First, there's a weird bit at 48:55 where a short clip is in fast motion. You can see it in the Russian version if you want to. That little clip, even though it's only 2 seconds long, always bugged me. So I fixed it- I slowed it down to something that looks closer to real time, and then shortened it to fit in the same 2 seconds and 11 frames as the original sped-up clip, just so that the timing of it works out and I don't have to re-sync all the audio that follows that scene.

The second edit was just a mistake on the part of the original editors / filmmakers. There's a scene at 54:07 that shows the inimitable Marjoe Gortner (as sports announcer voice guy Dan Selby) in the helicopter clearly moving his mouth, saying some words, but yet there are no words in the soundtrack. You can also see that one in the Russian version. Curiously, in my English VHS version, that scene isn't there. There's just another b-roll shot of the dam.

Luckily for me, after I edited that shot out, the two adjoining scenes weren't too much of a jump cut, so I didn't have to do any fancy footwork to make that work, either with the video or the audio.

Here's a screenshot of my FCPX edit-



I know I didn't have to type out all of this. I could have just posted the video and said, 'hey, here's a cool thing I did. I matched up the English audio with the widescreen video. Enjoy!' But I figured some people might like to know some of the technical stuff that goes into projects like this. And honestly, they're usually much more complicated than this one. This one was relatively simple.

But in any event, enjoy!


Brian / Humorless Productions.

17 January 2018

[movie] Demons (Dancu version)


Demons (1985)
Lamberto Bava, director. Original music by Claudio Simonetti.

Additional music, sound effects, sound design, incidental music, atmospheres, video editing and recoloring by Brian Albers of Humorless Productions aka Dancu in 2016-2017.


Ok, so here is my version of Lamberto Bava's classic proto-zombie flick Demons from 1985, where I re-scored it- added a bunch of music, atmospheres, sound effects and sound design.

I actually did all the work on this a couple years ago. This was the first movie I re-scored. The second was Elves (1989) which you can see here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcAtRHzCP-E).

All audio done in Presonus Studio One, with way too many synths and signal processors to list.
All video work done in FCPX and Adobe Premiere.

If you have any questions about what I did or how I did it, ask below. Here are some basic notes-

First I edited out the fat- I took out the three or four short scenes of the quartet of punk rockers driving around Berlin. Those characters do enter the movie in the second half, but these scenes in the first half that I axed were totally irrelevant to the movie as a whole, so I dropped them.

I went to a screening of this movie sometime in the 2000s in Los Angeles with a Q&A with some of the actors. Geretta Geretta was there, the black woman with the braids who becomes the first demon in the movie. Somebody asked why they chose to shoot the movie in Berlin instead of somewhere in Italy (where most of the actors and crew lived) or New York, which was all the rage with Italian horror filmmakers at the time. She fielded the question and said that Berlin was simply the super hip place in Europe in those days, and I think that's why those scenes were included in the movie. But in retrospect, they're 100% inconsequential to the story, and the film works just fine without them.

Bobby Rhodes was there too, and 35 years after the movie, he looked EXACTLY the same. Didn't even looked like he'd aged a day.

I ditched only one other scene which happens most of the way through the movie. As they're trying to escape the theatre, a group of people enter an empty room, with brick walls and a dirt floor, and they sort of grope around as if they're blind or as if the room was completely dark, as if they're in some sort of trance. Then they freak out in hysterics for about 10 or 20 seconds, and then they turn around and leave the room. There are no other references to that room. So what the hell was it? I don't know. Does anybody know? Doubt it. In any case, it's a better movie without that scene.

I tried to lose the whole helicopter thing (that's another total head-scratcher), but the last part of the movie would have been one big non-sequitur, with them on the roof for the big fight scene. So I had to keep it, even though it makes no sense.

Also in this process, I color corrected many of the scenes. Especially the whole intro subway/S-bahn scenes. They were really green, so I warmed them up a bit. And I fixed a lot of the stuff in the rest of the movie, too. Mostly dropping the blacks and punching up the overall color a bit.

Then I started on the music. The one aspect of this movie which inspired me to take it on in the first place, was the fact that there is no music in the two most climactic scenes of the movie- the transformation scene about halfway through, and the final rooftop climactic battle. Once I made the music for those scenes, I thought I would leave it at that. But then as I watched the rest of the movie, I kept noticing other scenes that really needed filling out, so at that point I dove in head first and went through every scene and added what I thought they needed.

I also went so far as to remaster the movie's original audio, including all dialog, all the heavy metal songs and Claudio Simonetti's originals.

And now that it's done, I can confidently say that it's a vastly better movie. It's still mind-boggling to me why so many of the scenes don't have music in the first place, especially those two pivotal scenes. Lamberto Bava was a seasoned pro at this point, as was Claudio Simonetti. If they were rookies, you might think it'd be plausible that they made a rookie mistake like running out of time or running out of money. But I don't think that's realistic. Maybe they were just going for a stylistic thing where they thought having no music in those scenes and others would be best. Well, it's not, and I fixed it.

Hope you like it. Go check out Elves, too, where I gave it the same treatment.

I'm working on Eyes of Fire (1983) now. I've made some very good progress on it, but it's still a ways from being done. I'll let you know when I post it.

27 November 2017

[audio] my remix of an Enduser track

This is the remix I did for the latest Enduser remix challenge thing for his Between track, but I didn't officially submit it because I totally didn't follow the rules.

He did a remix challenge a couple years ago for Wrong Turn. I never got around to doing that remix, but I still had the stems. So when this new remix challenge popped up, I thought it would be a good opportunity to combine elements of both songs into one massive beast.

All the work was done in Presonus Studio One, with effects by Izotope, Acon Digital, and FabFilter.

12 November 2017

[video] Venetian Snares live in Linz, Austria, 2009


Edit: I received this message from the original recorder, and out of respect for him and Aaron, I have deleted the video.-

"I am the Original Recorder (having the Original Mini-DV Tape) and I told Aaron Back then, that I would Not Upload it to YouTube. To Respect this, Please delete it from YouTube."

Original post-

I just posted this live VSnares video from 2009. Not my recording, but I've had it sitting in a hard drive for years. Saw that it wasn't on the internet anywhere. The video quality is not that good, but I fixed it up somewhat. The audio was halfway decent for just a consumer camcorder, and I fixed that up a bit, too, and it's not that difficult to listen to.


25 October 2017

[video] one of the movies I rescored: Elves (1989)



Here's one of the movies for which I updated the music and sound design and sound effects and other audio stuff.

Elves (1989) is a totally bizarro horror flick starring Dan Haggerty, well after his days playing Grizzly Adams on tv, who plays a down-on-his-luck Santa at a dreary shopping mall, and who gets involved with some young woman trying to get to the bottom of something involving present-day Nazis still attempting to create the 'master race' and there's a scary demon troll thing terrorizing everybody at that mall. It's a full-on midnight movie cult flick, and is one of those movies that would never, ever get made today, because it's just too weird.

It's movies like this that are right up my alley. I love this type of movie. I love the higher quality ones like this, and also the lower budget attempts like this one. This isn't the greatest movie ever, but it's not the worst, and it's certainly entertaining. Pretty funny how the wheelchair-bound grandpa is supposedly descended from Germans, and for the first half of the movie has a German accent, but as the movie drags on, it sort of morphs into a Jewish/Yiddish accent. Unintentional I'm sure; he just couldn't stay in character.

This was a tricky one to work on. I had a VHS copy for a long time, but then I was all excited when I got a dvd rip of it. Except, for some reason, the audio (including the music) on the dvd rip was in mono. What the hell? How is this even possible? So what I ended up doing was taking the audio from the VHS rip (which also included an extended introductory song), and syncing it to the video of the dvd rip. Of course, the audio didn't match up exactly, so I had to do a lot of stretching and pulling to make it work.

But once that was lined up, I got to work. I loaded up some low end in some spots (like at 18:40 and 48:40), cooked up a couple poundy industrial songs for appropriate scenes (at 44:10, and the big climax at 1:22:38), and touched up the atmospheres, sound design and sound effects throughout. And speaking of that intro piano song, I did some super subtle but effective techniques in the movie like adding the tremolo strings you'll hear in that intro.

One thing about the gunfight scene in the second half of the movie-

I don't know if they added sound to the natural, production sound of the gunshots, but in the movie they sound like toy cap guns. I've personally never shot a gun, and probably the only time I've heard actual gunshots was on New Years Eve because I lived in LA all those years. So I sorta know that guns don't sound the way they do in this movie. So I wanted to bolster them up a bit.

But I didn't want to go overboard with it, because on the other hand, we have a movie like the first Indiana Jones. Go back and listen to the scene at the beginning of that movie where there's a gunfight at a bar in Siberia(?) where the Nazi guy burns his hand. Those handguns sound like giant air craft carrier cannons and it's absolutely ludicrous. Of course, it's the filmmaker's and sound designer's call to take such liberties, but once you notice that, it's utterly laughable.

Even as cartoony as Elves is, I didn't want to go to such ridiculous, comical lengths. So I found a pretty good middle ground, where the guns in this movie sound like more than toys, but less than cannons.

I also cropped this one into widescreen. Nothing of importance was lost. And I exploded it up to 720p. I ended up adjusting the color for a lot of it, not because I up-converted it, but even at small size, the picture was gonna need some help.

Someday I might be persuaded to post my version of Demons (1985) where I gave it much the same treatment as Elves. We'll see...

And I think I've decided on a third movie to rescore. Not sure yet, but I'll let you know.