03 November 2014

I rescored a couple 80s horror movies. Help me get them screened.

After posting my first batch of originals in early August, I've been working on a couple other projects, and now those projects are done, so I want to tell you about them.

I added original music, sound design and sound effects to Demons, Lamberto Bava's classic, gore-ific zombie flick from 1985, as well as a lesser known flick Elves from 1989, which is a low-budget and completely bizarre movie about some little, vicious troll-gremlin type monster and something having to do with Nazis and it all revolves around a hot, young blond woman and stars Dan Haggerty (well after his Grizzly Adams days) who plays a down-and-out Santa at a dreary department store at Christmastime. I also remastered the original audio of both films for my versions.

Here's how this all came to be.

I'd done a couple fan edits of Demons in the past, just for personal use. This amounted to cutting out all the scenes of that quartet of punk rockers aimlessly driving around Berlin. Those scenes are totally inconsequential to the film, so I axed them. I trimmed some other very small bits, but nothing as substantial as the punkers. Well, I had it on the flatscreen the other day, and something I hadn't noticed before hit me- a couple of pivotal scenes are largely devoid of music. I don't know how it was possible that I didn't notice this until now, 30 years after the movie had originally been released and after having viewed it dozens of times. In fact, it's the most famous scene from the movie - the transformation scene with the teeth and fingernails - and the climactic finale scene with the rooftop battle which are both are bafflingly light on music. So, I set out to fix that by composing my own and inserting it into the movie alongside those great Claudio Simonetti compositions and the 80s heavy metal songs.

The two songs I made for those scenes came together quickly. But upon watching the film again with a keen eye (ear) on the soundtrack, I started noticing all sorts of scenes that could be touched up with some added sounds or atmospheres. So, in the end, what I did was analyze the movie from beginning to end with an emphasis on the soundtrack, and filled in the gaps that I felt needed filling.

To give you a much better idea of what I'm talking about, I threw together a couple A/B before-and-after comparisons of those two famous scenes (using low res files; my master copy is 720p)-

Big difference, yes? The music in those scenes may come across as a bit too heavy or relentless or poundingly aggressive, but those are but a few minutes of a movie that is 90 minutes in length (well, actually 80 minutes now that I've excised the scenes of the hoodlums). I added all sorts of sounds to the rest of the film- sounds that are much more subdued and atmospheric, but appropriately spooky and creepy and ominous. So don't expect the entire movie to be wall-to-wall industrial strength pounding drums and distorted synth bass lines.

I am very happy with the results with this first attempt of mine to rescore an old movie. So, I thought I'd do another. I selected Elves not because it had any scenes in it that were egregiously in need of music, but rather I thought that I could make great improvements in this movie by adding just some atmospheres and other minimal synth parts. So I started doing that, and, like Demons, I got a little bit carried away and ended up adding a decent amount of sounds throughout the movie. All told, though, I'd say that I ended up contributing less music to Elves than Demons. But still, the impact of those sounds is significant. I'm not gonna say that I've transformed the movie into a whole new thing. In fact, unlike Demons, I didn't edit out any scenes from Elves at all. But with both of these movies, I like to think that I've improved upon the material that was already there.

And now I say to myself, 'ya know, I'd bet there's a bunch of people out there who might really like to see one or both of these. I wonder if I could find anybody who would be willing to screen them for a public audience.' Having seen Demons a couple times over the years at Grindhouse at The New Beverly in Los Angeles, I know that movie has a sizable fan base. Elves, probably not as much, but it's definitely one that fans of that era of horror flicks would like.

So that's what I'm working on now- finding a venue that's willing to screen these. And this is where I can use your help. I've contacted some people at theatres in my current city, San Diego, but none have expressed too much interest. I have some contacts through some of my LA friends, but I'm still coming up empty. So I'd be super stoked if any of you, my readers, might have any suggestions or know of any people who I could contact in the hopes of getting either of these versions screened.

My original idea was to do a Kickstarter to raise the funds to rent a theatre for a couple hours, and I still might do that, but I thought I'd first try to leverage the power of the internet and ask my network of social media friends. I'm hoping to find some place in San Diego, OC, LA or the Inland Empire, but I'd be happy to trek to anywhere in the region if need be. I don't know if I'd be open to sending off the movie to some remote location where I wouldn't be able to attend the screening. I'll want to be there in person, and would even be hip to doing a Q&A about the work I put into my version.

I might also add that neither of these reworks are commissioned or authorized by the original filmmakers, composers, producers or movie studios or anybody involved. They're simply a couple personal projects of mine in an attempt to challenge myself to find out if I could do it. And now that both final versions have surpassed my expectations, I thought some of you horror fans out there might like to see and hear them as well.

Hit me with any suggestions in the comments of this post, or drop me a note at brianhumorless@gmail.com, or find me on FB.

Super. Thanks for everything.

Brian, Dancu and Humorless Productions

29 September 2014

[audio] Tool live in Kalamazoo, 15 July 1998

OK, so this one is a bit of a departure for me stylistically, but it's another board tape I felt like fixing up. Post-metal alt-metal prog-metal style with a Tool performance from Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1998. Not my original recording, but I did all the post-production.

Am I the only one doing this? Fixing up board tapes, I mean? Does nobody else hear the potential in them? Does nobody else have the know-how or the tools? I guess nobody cares as much about them as I do.

The original recording sounds better than decent, but with a couple obvious areas which required my attention. The best news is that it's in stereo, and that it's not distorted. The bad news is that the kick drum is way too loud and has way too much low end in it, way down in the 10-60Hz subwoofer range. Beyond that, the vocals and drums can be heard clearly, but the bass and guitar aren't nearly loud enough in the mix. I'm sure it sounded fine in the arena, but the board tape needed some help.

I threw on some plug-ins- eq (the new Fab Filter Pro-EQ 2 is hardcore), multiband compressor and maybe some other stuff, I forget. Killing all that massive low end in the kick drum rectified many of the problems, and from that point on, it was just a matter of fine-tuning.

Then there was the issue of the crowd sounds. I've been recording shows for so long that I have quite a library of my own crowd/audience cheering sounds. But most or all of those sounds I recorded are from smaller clubs or theatres or warehouses; not anything as big as anywhere Tool would play. So what did I do? I downloaded a pretty good sounding bootleg of Tool from San Francisco in 2007, then isolated those crowd sounds and used them for this show. Turned out nicely.

It's a real shame about the intro, with the first half of Flood being cut off. Oh well. I also rearranged the last couple songs. They played Ænema second to last, and then the final song, Jerk-off, as the encore. But in the intro to Ænema, Maynard delivers the good ol' 'OK, this will be the last song for tonight' spiel. But then they go on to play two songs. It would have been obvious that Jerk-off is an encore song if all the dead space between the ending of Ænema and the beginning of the encore had been left intact. But with an audio recording, that's totally unnecessary to leave in, so whomever edited the board tape wisely cut that part out. So I switched it around so that the song he said would be the final song actually is the final song. Actually, Jerk-off is a much better choice for a set closer with that ferocious, frenzied ending, but I prefer the continuity of my order.

28 August 2014

[audio] Autechre live in Toronto, 9 May 2001

Autechre live at Steam Whistle Brewing Company, Toronto, 9 May 2001.

This is another Autechre board tape that I post-produced into a concert recording- gave it a lot of crowd sounds, some room ambience, and remastered the actual music as well.

There are a handful of Ae board tapes from the 2001 tour out there, and this Toronto performance is one of my favorites, so I wanted to give it some special treatment and really fix it up.

Most importantly, there was a nasty bit of digital clipping immediately after the 6 minute mark which I fixed up manually, which required about a half a day of tedious pencilling out flattened waveforms in Soundtrack Pro, but it's worth it.

I've seen the venue listed for this show as being the Steam Whistle Brewing Company and also The Opera House. I don't know which is correct, or if both are correct, or if one is more accurate than the other.

Presonus Studio One for arranging, DSPing and mixing. All mastering done in Soundtrack Pro.

10 August 2014

Rodent516 live in San Diego, 6 August 2014

Rodent516 live at Fully Patched at Kava Lounge, San Diego, 6 August 2014.

The music in the first half of this video reminds me very much of EP7, so I guess I'll recommend this video if you like that era of Autechre.

04 August 2014

Dancu on Myspace

Don't ask me why, but I created a Myspace page for Dancu yesterday. Must have been really bored. But at the same time, I don't think there's any harm in it.

Nothing exclusive there- the same couple songs that I have up on my Soundcloud/official.fm, and the same video that I have up on YouTube. Lots more fotos than I have anywhere else, not that they have anything to do with my Dancu music at all. Of course, all six songs of my debut release are posted nowhere other than my Bandcamp.

By the way, Myspace still has a bunch of kinks to work out. Setting up my page and uploading my content was fairly painless, but the process has some weird little quirks that you won't know about until you upload your media, and once you do that you'll realize how stuff needs to be labelled for it to display the way you want it to on Myspace, and it's not all that logical.

Also, I don't remember what the original Myspace was like, but the new one is set up in a blog format where you can post pictures or songs or videos or simple text updates, and it all becomes part of your 'stream' or whatever they call it. Fine. I doubt I'll post too much there, but it's just another blog to update (along with my Blogspot, my Tumblr, my Wordpress, my LinkedIn, my personal FB, my artist FB, my company FB…).

01 August 2014

My first batch of original tunes is finally up on Bandcamp

Seriously, I've been working on and off on these songs for a couple years, and I could go on remixing and remixing and remixing and remixing them until the end of time, but I finally just said to myself 'ok, enough' and threw them up on Bandcamp. Six tracks of gloomy, pounding, orchestral, soundtracky, martial industrial with a healthy dose of glitchy synths. Pay what you want.

Hear/buy them here.

Video for one of the tracks-

27 July 2014

25 July 2014

[video] Wolves in the Throne Room live in San Diego, 19 July 2014

Couple videos of Wolves in the Throne Room from last weekend. The audio is a bit rough- the board feed was almost completely unusable. Too much level, too much clipping. I doctored it up as much as I could, but my room mics ended up being probably 90% of this final mix. Still a decent sound, and perfectly acceptable for these YouTubers.

Now if I could only get some decent light on the band. Jeez, what I would give for a well lit stage. Someday? Please?

20 July 2014

[video] Kid 606 live in Los Angeles, 27 June 2014

Track from Kid 606 live in Los Angeles where I recorded and edited all audio and video.

14 July 2014

[videos] Corrections House live in San Diego, 6 January 2014

Here are a couple videos from Corrections House (members of Neurosis, Eyehategod, Nachtmystium, Yakuza) that I neglected to post at the time I recorded them in early 2014.

02 July 2014

Master list of every artist that I've recorded

Not that anybody asked for it, but here's the complete list of every artist that I've recorded over the years. Actually, I most likely have recorded more than those listed here, but in the super early days when I first started recording concerts in the 90s (proper recordings; the cassette bootlegs I did before that don't count), there were probably a few where I didn't keep a copy of the master audio files or the finished mixdown or anything. Artists that I've recorded multiple times are listed only once.

No doubt I still missed some, so if I forgot your band, drop me a note.

Just wanted to compile a list. I'll keep adding to it as new names come along.

(303) 909-1604




Ars Dada

The Audacity

Author & Punisher


Christoph de Babalon


Bad Timing

Todd Barton


Bestial Mouths

Black Jeans




William Braintree


Broken Note

Tom Brosseau

Tom Burbank

Buzz Campbell and Hot Rod Lincoln


Cervello Elettronico

Clock DVA

CNN 666


Company Fuck


Corrections House

Corvx de Timor


Cyrus Rex



Death Is Not a Color



Richard Devine





DJ Hidden



Mike Dobler

Oliver Dodd


Duran Duran Duran

Brian E


Electric Company





Eyeless Sight


Felt Drawings


The Flashbulb

Flourescent Grey

Former Ghosts


Further Reductions

Christoph Fringeli


Gross Prophet




Hieroglyphic Being

Steev Hise

Mark Hosler





The Incredible Hexadecibels

Indian Jewelry



Joy Through Noise

cEvin Key

Kid 606

KK Null

Koonda Holaa

Kush Arora

LA Vamps




M. Geddas Gengras

Marching Dynamics

The Mattson 2



Derek Michael

Ming & Ping




Monster X

Ted Nava


Next Life


No Age

Lee Noble / Grant Capes / Derek Rogers


Noize Creator

Nommo Ogo

Not Breathing



David Oliphant


Genesis P-Orridge

Gregory Page

Parenthetical Girls



The Pizarro Brothers

The Punk Group

Quartet Nouveau


The Red Elvises


John C. Reilly

Curtis Roads




Otto von Schirach

The Screamin' Primas



Sleep Clinic

Somatic Responses

Split Horizon



Stab City


The Striggles


Damo Suzuki's Network



Terminal 11

Thee Source ov Fawnation

This Song Is a Mess But So Am I

The Tleilaxu Music Machine

Tomoroh Hidari

Twin Braids


Venetian Snares


Wet Mango



Wolves in the Throne Room


Yellow Then Blue

Youth Code


Zola Jesus




3raum at Arena, Vienna

5 Star Bar, Los Angeles

A38, Budapest

American Comedy Club, San Diego

Area 51, Salt Lake City

ArgeKultur, Salzburg

Basswerks, Los Angeles

Beauty Is Pain, Los Angeles

Berghain, Berlin

Berlin, Los Angeles

The Black Box, Denver

Blue Moon Nights, Los Angeles

Bronson Bar, Los Angeles

Café du Nord, San Francisco

The Canyon, Agoura Hills (Los Angeles)

The Casbah, San Diego

Che Café, San Diego

Christ Lutheran Church, San Diego

Circus Disco, Los Angeles

Crush Bar, Portland

El Corazon, Seattle

Das Bunker, Los Angeles

Distillery, Leipzig

Dizzy's, San Diego

DNA Lounge, San Francisco

Echoplex, Los Angeles

EKH, Vienna

Feuerwerk, Munich

The Fillmore, San Francisco

FLUK, Vienna

Gilman Street, Berkeley

The Good Hurt, Venice (Los Angeles)

The Griffin, San Diego

Hangar11, Kloten (Zurich)

Helter Skelter, Los Angeles

Hollywood Park, Los Angeles

Humphreys, San Diego

Jewel's Catch One, Los Angeles

Kadan, San Diego

Kapu, Linz

Kava Lounge, San Diego

KXLU, Los Angeles

Lafayette Hotel, San Diego

Lawton Plaza, Los Angeles

Malcolm X Library, San Diego

Medusa Lounge, Los Angeles

Mime School, Los Angeles

MOCA, Los Angeles

Mountain Winery, Saratoga

Nimbus Brewing, Tucson

Normal Heights Methodist Church, San Diego

The Observatory, Santa Ana

Parukarka Bunkr, Prague

Perihelion Arts, Phoenix

Plush, Tucson

Prescott Promenade, San Diego

Raum18, Berlin

El Rey, Los Angeles

Ruby Room, San Diego

Scoundrel's, Las Vegas

The Smell, Los Angeles

Soda Bar, San Diego

Solar Culture, Tucson

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, San Diego

Substance, Torrance

Syntax Physic Opera, Denver

Teatro Fondamenta Nuove, Venice

Til-Two, San Diego

Tin Can Ale House, San Diego

Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City

Uhrturnkasematte, Graz

The Uptown Theatre, Napa

The Vanguard, Los Angeles

Vaudeville, Tucson

Vertigo's, Los Angeles

The Void, San Diego

Die Werft, Korneuburg (Vienna)

Zool, Oakland

plus many nondescript unnamed warehouses throughout Southern California

10 May 2014

Jay Mohr live in San Diego, 3 May 2014

Change of pace- I recorded actor/comedian/talk show host Jay Mohr at The American Comedy Company in San Diego, 3 May 2014.

09 May 2014

video I did for Muffwiggler with Baseck

Promotional video I did for Muffwiggler (makers of modular synths with internet store and physical store in Portland, OR.) with LA's 8-bit gameboy turntablism beat-mangling legend Baseck.

06 May 2014

compilation of punk/goth/new wave/metal bands in 70s/80s horror movies

OK, so here's that video compilation of bands in horror flicks that I put together. Turned out rather well. I love the wipe style. I remastered every bit of audio, so it sounds extra sharp. The Siouxsie song is from a movie called Out of Control which isn't a horror flick, but I included it anyway.

You may be asking yourself why I did this. It's a good question, and I don't have a reasonable answer. It's just that I watch so many of these types of movies, and it always strikes me as so funny when a band gets some screen time to play one of their songs with the idea that the music is supposed to be in some way threatening or scary or underground-y or ominous or dangerous or something like that. Obviously, as we're now 30-40 years later, none of this music comes anywhere even remotely close to being scary, so I guess it's just the silly campiness of it that I find funny.

Anyways, enjoy it or not. Here's the tracklist-

(0:00) intro
(2:08) unknown artist 'Revenge' from Deadline (1984)
(5:16) Shadow 'New Years Evil' from New Years Evil (1980)
(7:00) Siouxsie & the Banshees 'Cities in Dust' from Out of Control (1986)
(8:21) Shadow 'untitled blues jam' from New Years Evil (1980)
(8:45) 4 Out of 5 Doctors 'Waiting for Roxanne' from The House on Sorority Row (1983)
(9:33) Tony Coca-Cola and The Roosters 'untitled song' from The Driller Killer (1979)
(13:55) Samson 'Vice Versa' from The Incubus (1982)
(16:14) Made in Japan 'The Cooler' from New Years Evil (1980)
(17:05) Paula Sheppard 'Me and My Rhythm Box' from Liquid Sky (1983)
(20:10) Shadow 'Temper Tantrum' from New Years Evil (1980)
(21:56) Felony 'Gangster Rock' from Graduation Day (1981)
(29:30) Made in Japan 'Dumb Blondes' from New Years Evil (1980)
(30:25) unknown artist 'unknown song' from Horror Hospital (1973)
(32:20) unknown artist 'unknown song' from Savage Streets (1984)
(32:56) Made in Japan 'Bonsai' from New Years Evil (1980)

(33:27) unknown artist 'unknown song' from The Driller Killer (1979)

26 April 2014

need some suggestions for scenes of punk/new wave/goth bands in horror movies

I'm starting an absurd video project and could use some input from those of you who are familiar with horror movies of the 70s and 80s. Not specifically limited to those years I guess, but that seems to be the era that featured the most unintentionally ridiculous bands and songs, and that's what I'm after.

This might sound torturous, but I'm putting together a compilation/montage of scenes of new wave/punk/goth bands that perform one (or more!) of their songs in a horror movie of that era. Don't ask me why, because I don't really have a reason.

The first movie that comes to mind is New Year's Evil which features several bands. I have a list of others (below), but nothing too notable. The band in Driller Killer is so awful that I might exclude them, although this compilation is gonna be nothing but awful music, so I might reconsider. Horror Hospital is pretty early (imdb says 1973, but it feels like mid/late 60s), but that band in the opening scene is so un-ironically Spinal Tap-y, that I'll fer sure include that one. Rocky Horror doesn't count. Sorry. Neither does Phantom of the Paradise. Neither does Aylmer singing his showtune in the sink in Brain Damage (shame, I know).

I'm not looking for videos of songs that were written for some horror movie (a la The Ramones' Pet Sematery or The Dickies' Killer Klowns from Outer Space); I'm not looking for horror movies that revolved around a band or a band member (a la Black Roses or Slaughterhouse Rock), unless the band is featured in the movie playing one of their songs. Well-known or nobodies, doesn't matter. Wasn't W.A.S.P. in one? Bonus if there's a dancefloor full of slamming/moshing punk rockers in the scene.

The band in Graduation Day ('81) is exactly what I'm looking for. The movie isn't about the band (Felony, who a couple years later had a giant radio hit with 'The Fanatic'), and none of the band members have any screen time outside of performing their song 'Gangster Rock' which they play at some high school dance/roller skating rink. It's a ridiculous hard rock song and the guys are done up in mascara and studded bracelets and act like they're playing to 15 thousand people. That song will be in there.

I don't think songs from non-horror movies will work. I'm going for what people thought at the time was angry, threatening, underground, scary music. The band in The House on Sorority Row gets some screen time (right at the 30 minute mark), but they play some really safe new wave radio rock at some preppy college dance. Still, they're only on screen for 30 seconds, and they're so dopey/goofy, I might go ahead and include them.

It doesn't matter if the song isn't devoid of dialog. If I can find some way to edit out the dialog and still keep the song intact, I will. But if not, I'll just leave it unedited. The dialog won't make much sense because it'll be totally out of context, but obviously that won't matter at all. I hope the full compilation will be at least 30 minutes. Would be great of it reaches 60 minutes. If I can track down the info (band name, track title, title of the movie), I'll even put in titles in the corner like MTV in the old days.

So far, I have these earmarked-

Driller Killer
Graduation Day
Horror Hospital
The House on Sorority Row
New Year's Evil
Savage Streets

No doubt I'm missing some obvious ones, so please, throw 'em at me. If they're not available on dvd, hopefully I'll be able to find a high quality download to use.

23 April 2014

[audio] Venetian Snares live in Winnipeg, late 90s

Venetian Snares live at Plug In Gallery, Winnipeg.

OK, so this is another one that I didn't actually record myself. It's a stereo board tape from his early days (late 90s or early 2000s I'd estimate, with tracks from Greg Hates Car Culture, Fuck Canada // Fuck America, as well as some early unreleased stuff) that I found lurking in the deepest, darkest corners of the internet (well, YouTube), but I put in a whole bunch of time and work to remaster it and add some crowd sounds to make it sound like a proper live album.

The source material is a mess, and YouTube's abysmal compression doesn't help matters. But I pumped some life into it, shined it up and made it a whole lot more presentable. No video on the original YouTube; just a static jpeg of some Satanic looking goat thing.

Track times obviously aren't official or anything, but I did the best I could. If any of you can figure out the song titles for the ones that eluded me, throw 'em at me.

22 April 2014

No Age 'Fever Dreaming' live in LA, 30 March 2014

Felt like doing another No Age video from KXLU Fest from late last month.

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.