10 April 2014

WMX live in Los Angeles, 29 March 2014

WMX live in Los Angeles, 29 March 2014

WMX live at CELEBRATE EVERYTHING at Complex, Los Angeles, 29 March 2014.

WMX usually provides a nice blend of IDM, industrial, breakcore and hard techno, but this night he went all sledgehammer-heavy, 90s style, Ant-Zen / Hands Productions style rhythmic noise. All hardware set, not a laptop to be found.

07 April 2014

Joy Through Noise live in Los Angeles, 29 March 2014

Joy Through Noise live at CELEBRATE EVERYTHING, Complex, Los Angeles, 29 March 2014.

IDM industrial drum and bass noise hybrid.

Audio recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Albers at Humorless Productions.


Stereo board mix 
Nady stereo condenser mic for room/audience 
Focusrite Saffire Pro24 preamp/interface 
Presonus Studio One 2 for recording and mixing 
Soundtrack Pro for mastering 
Macbook Pro

finishing up my first batch of original songs

So I'm finally getting around to finishing up the tracks for my debut release. The stereo mixes of the six tracks are done, and now I'm starting on the surround mixes of those same tracks plus a bonus track for the dvd. Aiming for a summer release, pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp. Surround sound .ac3 files will be pay-what-you-want, and I figure the physical dvd with surround mixes will be 5 bucks or so.

In the meantime, I uploaded one of the tracks to my Soundcloud as a teaser. Complete song, and this one is a bit more uptempo than the others. Generally speaking you'd call it martial industrial, orchestral, soundtracky, electronic, gloomy, dark, uneasy listening.

Imagine if In The Nursery teamed up with (Pax Britannica / Goddodin era) Test Dept. with their entire batterie of junkyard percussionists, and they set out to put together an album of the most apocalyptic doom and gloom industrial songs in the vein of In Slaughter Natives, filtered through all the wonderfully noisy digital signal processors of today.

05 April 2014

The Audacity live in Los Angeles, 30 March 2014

My recording (all audio and video) of The Audacity, live in Los Angeles, 30 March 2014.

No Age live in Los Angeles, 30 March 2014

I recorded Sub Pop duo and die hard KXLU enthusiasts (also where I worked and hosted my radio shows for 10 years) No Age at the first annual KXLU fest, 30 March 2014.

By the way, outdoor recordings with a strong wind are usually the kiss of death, but I managed to salvage this one and the end result turned out better than I expected.

27 February 2014

grabby bow sound for violin/viola

OK, I don't know how many of you might be interested in this, but I figure there's no harm in posting it.

I'm working on some original songs. Laptop-based, electronic songs, with many orchestral parts, including violin, viola, cello, and string bass. Presonus Studio One has some very nice VST string instruments, and I have some really great ones for Kontakt. But they all are missing one thing, and I couldn't find the (admittedly esoteric) sound that I'm looking for anywhere on the internet. Being a viola player myself, I recorded myself playing these very particular incidental sounds. Let me explain-

There's this 'grabby' sound that a well-rosined bow makes just is it is first being drawn across the string. Listen carefully to any of the pros and you'll hear it. In your laptop sequences, if used subtly, right at the point where the first note of a phrase is initiated, this sound can give the string part a marked sense of realism*. This, combined with vibrato, reverb and a nice warm/tube/tape saturation setting, nobody will be able to tell the difference between your VST and the real thing.

About the audio-
I tried to keep them as pitchless as possible, thus not limiting their utility. I recorded two sets of all four open strings (C, G, D, A), first close mic'ed, and once from a few feet away, in stereo.

Or to say it another way, the sounds are as follows-
1. open C close
2. open G close
3. open D close
4. open A close
5. open C far
6. open G far
7. open D far
8. open A far

It's totally overkill for me to record all the different versions, but I suppose somebody out there might find one more appropriate than another for their purposes. They work pretty effortlessly for violin and viola, but you might have to pitch them down for cello and string bass.

I added no processing whatsoever, apart from normalizing each individual sound. Aiff, recorded at 44/16. Nady SCM-2090 stereo condenser mic, Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 interface, recorded in Logic. Not the quietest room, but these sounds will be so far down in the mix that it won't matter. Free for all to download, no attribution necessary.

As an example, here's the part I'm working on that motivated me to record these sounds, with the grabby sound in place. See if you can spot the three times I used it.

*pro tip- much the same way I'll insert an inhale breath right before horn or oboe phrases.

22 February 2014

[audio] Pussy Riot's new song with added synth bass

I added synth bass parts and other little electronic noises to Pussy Riot's new song. Nothing too fancy, but a definite improvement over the original.

18 February 2014

Quartet Nouveau live in San Diego, 8 Feb 2014

I finally had a chance to record my viola instructor's quartet. Quartet Nouveau plays the final movement of Mozart's Quartet #14 in G, live at Christ Lutheran Church, Pacific Beach, San Diego, 8 February 2014.

11 February 2014

[video] Continues live in LA, March 2013 and Jan 2014, Babyland live in LA, Aug 2009

Hey, wait. Did I never post this Continues track that I recorded at The Smell in LA in March 2013? Gaaahhhh! Terrible oversight on my part. Sorry about that. Here it is-

I discovered that omission as I was just about to post this new recording of the same song from 30 January 2014 at Complex, also in LA-

And while I'm at it, here's a full set that I never posted to my blogs of Dan's old band, Babyland, live at The Smell from August of 2009. I don't think I was able to get a board feed of the audio for this recording, but my room mics were up to the task. Single camera, on a tripod. Tracklist in the YouTube details-

05 February 2014

[video] Former Ghosts 'An Intolerable Reign' live in Los Angeles, 30 Jan 2014

All audio and video production and post-production by Brian Albers at Humorless Productions.

02 February 2014

Destiny's Door (Apocalyptic Version by Dancu for Hans Zimmer's Bleeding Fingers Contest)

Here's my submission page for that remix competition for Hans Zimmer (with the link to the downloadable surround sound mix, if you're interested). I don't think how many likes or plays it gets has any bearing on the results, but don't let that stop you-


31 January 2014

[video] Former Ghosts with Nika Danilova, live in LA, 30 Jan 2014

Former Ghosts with Nika Danilova of Zola Jesus, live at Complex, Los Angeles, 30 January 2014.

Audio recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Albers at Humorless Productions, as well as all video capture and post-production.

Stereo board mix
Nady stereo condenser mic for room/audience
Focusrite Saffire Pro24 preamp/interface
Presonus Studio One 2 for recording
Logic 8 for editing and mixing
Soundtrack Pro for mastering
Macbook Pro

Canon Vixia HF G10
Canon S100
Sony Action Cam
Final Cut Pro X

24 January 2014

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

Duran Duran Duran made a name for himself as one of the leading breakcore producers in the late 90s and into the new century. However, after his initial explosion of frenetic breaks and hyperspeed rhythms, he's forged a more dancefloor-freindly style, albeit still packing plenty of pounding drums and thumping bass to turn your innards into mush by the end of the night.


Audio recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Albers at Humorless Productions


Stereo board mix
Nady stereo condenser mic for room/audience
Focusrite Saffire Pro24 preamp/interface
Presonus Studio One 2 for recording
Logic 8 for editing and mixing
Soundtrack Pro for mastering
Macbook Pro

Some of my video of his set here.

22 January 2014

[audio] ad.ver.sary live in Los Angeles, 13 Aug 2010

In commemoration of Das Bunker's glorious 17-year run as Los Angeles' epicenter of all things industrial, I went through my archives and found that this recording I made of ad.ver.sary in 2010 was the only set that hadn't been posted anywhere.

19 January 2014

[audio] Sleep Clinic live in Los Angeles, 2013

Tracks 1-3 (0:00-15:53) live at Complex, Glendale, 25 Aug 2013.
Tracks 4-11 (15:53-1:04:53) live at Wasteland at Bronson Bar, Hollywood, 20 Nov 2013.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Albers at Humorless Productions.

Stereo board mix
Nady stereo condenser mic for room/audience
Focusrite Saffire Pro24 preamp/interface
Presonus Studio One 2 for recording
Logic 8 for editing and mixing
Soundtrack Pro for mastering
Macbook Pro


15 January 2014

A simple lesson in remastering audio for dvd

I'm having all sorts of fun these days rediscovering all the magic and frustration of DVD Studio Pro. Because yes, I'll have you know that I still author lots of audio/video projects to standard definition dvd.

I did a personal project recently where I took a high def mp4 file of a movie from the 50s (Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, remastered and released on blu-ray in 2013) and burned it to standard def dvd. It wasn't easy, but I did it.

Somewhere in the process, I noticed that the audio level was super low, so I decided to take a closer look at it. I exported the audio as aiff using MPEG Streamclip and popped it into Soundtrack Pro. What I got was this:

My first thought was 'WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT!?' Where's the level? Why on earth would anybody master their audio levels so ridiculously, unreasonably low? Is there a purpose to it? Did somebody royally screw it up? Those are serious, non-rhetorical questions, so if anybody has an answer (or at least a theory), lemme know.

I don't know if you can see that picture clearly enough, but the average level is somewhere down at -20dB. Regardless of your home stereo/cinema system, you'd have to crank it up to 100% just to hear the dialog, and even then you'd probably have a difficult time discerning the words over the ridiculous hiss of the jacked up noise floor generated by your amps.

You know what it's supposed to look like? Like this:

This is after I normalized it, and then threw a +3dB limiter (Izotope) on it. Presto. Done. Perfect. Healthy level. Took me only a few minutes to make about a 1,000,000,000% improvement of the audio. Sounds great. I'm at a loss for words as to why the original signal level is so low.

Following that project, I did the same thing with Stanley Kubrick's Lolita from 1962. Whoever authored this one to blu-ray clearly had their wits about them, because here's what the untouched, unaltered audio from that blu-ray looks like:

Nice, healthy level. By the way, just for the sake of comparison, here's what music looks like these days:

If anybody can come up with a reasonable explanation as to those low audio levels, I'd love to hear it. In the meantime, I'll be here in my studio, making the world sound better. Thanks.

Brian, Humorless Productions.

08 January 2014

[video] Devo live in San Diego, 12 May 2012

Digging through my hard drives, I found a couple Devo videos that I hadn't posted from when I recorded their California tour in spring 2012, Mongoloid and Smart Patrol/Mr.DNA, live in San Diego from 12 May.

Check out Bob1's epic rock god guitar solo at 5:25.

23 December 2013

[video] Besital Mouths, live in Los Angeles, 13 Dec 2013

live Bestial Mouths video that I made of their Friday the 13th performance at Helter Skelter, Los Angeles, December 2013. Music by them, audio and video by me.

17 December 2013

a quick note from Humorless Productions

I have four videos up on my YouTube of the live recording I made of Medicine. The two songs that they promoted on their FB have a combined 1428 hits. The two songs they didn't mention, even though they sound and look just as good, and are equally available to anybody to view on that very same YouTube channel, have 239 hits. More than a five to one ratio.

I put up two videos of the Youth Code recording, and the story is the same- the one that they posted to their FB has 522 hits, and the one they didn't has 98. Again, just over a five to one ratio.

When I post a video, I write up some sort of description or info and post it along with the video(s) to my Blogspot, my Tumblr and my Wordpress blogs, my personal FB and my company FB, as well as my LinkedIn (I only have like 3 Twitter followers, and those people are already on my FB, so I don't even bother with Twitter). The bottom line is that I reach only so many people, and the people who I do reach don't always seem to take the ball and run with it.

So if I'm ever fortunate to record you or your band, if you want your fans to see/hear it, it would really help out if you posted it to your FB with a quick little 'Hey, check out this cool live recording from the other day…'. It'll make you look good, you'll sound good, it'll be good for me, it'll be good for the venue, and your fans will appreciate it.

Thanks. Brian Humorless.

12 December 2013

[video] Moab live in San Diego, 7 Dec 2013

My recording of doom/sludge metal band Moab live in San Diego. A band that sounds very much like Black Sabbath, with a singer who sounds exactly like Ozzy, doing a cover of an old Rush song. Super.