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

Former Ghosts with Nika Danilova of Zola Jesus, live at Complex, Los Angeles, 30 Jan 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

[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.

https://soundcloud.com/duranduranduran
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Duran-Duran-Duran/117669818281421

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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Humorless-Productions/190626074303436?ref=hl
http://www.mixcloud.com/humorlessproductions/

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.

[audio] Sleep Clinic live in Los Angeles, 2013

Tracks 1-3 (0:00-15:53) recorded live at Complex, Glendale, 25 Aug 2013.

Tracks 4-11 (15:53-1:04:53) recorded live at Wasteland at Bronson Bar, Hollywood, 20 Nov 2013.

http://www.soundcloud.com/sleep-clinic
http://www.myspace.com/sleepclinic

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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Humorless-Productions/190626074303436?ref=hl
brianhumorless@gmail.com

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

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:

 Image

 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:

Image 

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:

Image 

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

Image 

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.