November 4th, 2010
Comet Heartly 2 as seen by NASA's Epoxi probe

"Bone" like Comet Heartly 2 as seen by NASA's Epoxi probe

NASA’s EPOXI mission successfully flew by comet Hartley 2 at about 10 a.m. EDT) today, and the spacecraft has begun returning images. Hartley 2 is the fifth comet nucleus visited by a spacecraft, which is pretty darn cool. My friend Adam Dichter, who dabbles in sax playing, when he is not reporting news, pointed out that the comet Heartly 2 really looks like a big “bone”.  That this is a huge spinning space iceberg, about 1.4 miles (2.2 Km) long and weighs in at about 280 million metric tons.  It is about About 4.6 billion kilometers (2.9 billion miles)  away. Wow billion and billions of miles away and you still can’t get away from a bone player…

One Response to “BRASS IN SPACE…..”

  1. Mervin says:

    It’s a very “Stanley Kubrick” type bone. Very 2001, you know?

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TheDocBongo records at Brown Sugar Studios

November 1st, 2010

Blue and I watching something on screen

The Doc Bongo is recording a really great new album at Brown Sugar Studios in mid-town Manhattan. Here are some really nice pictures of the studio as we were preparing the tracks for brass overdubs…

Blue and Walt

Here is Blue Tha Engineer with yours truely at Protools HD  mixing board as we prepared the tracks:

Blue and Danny

This studio has one of the sweetest sounds I know, Walter invested many hours of thought in creating a very nartural sounding recording room. The vocal booth on the left allows to record a full rhythm section live, whilst (I always wanted to say whilst) maintaining full isolation of singer. The recording room has each wall coated with a different material. The effect makes the recorded results sound open and unforced, as if you are recording in a top of the line hall, such as Lincoln Center, but hey! This is a top of the line studio!  As a matter of fact, we recorded some incredible tracks here for Willy Bo Walker‘s up and coming albom “Moon Over Indigo”. The studio always feels like home.  As we were preparing the brass tracks, Walter was presiding over the drums, getting ready for next day’s session:


As I mentioned before the studio is located in midtown Manhattan, NY on 315 W. 39th st:

Entrance to building

Here is a link Recent video of Brown Sugar Studion on MTV

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Do Whatcha Wanna – Rebirth Brass Band at Martyrs’ in Chicago

October 29th, 2010

I saw Rebirth Brass Band in Chicago recently (10/9/2010). What a night!  RBB’s brass wailed with abandon within the framework of the Keith Frazier/ Derrick Tabb tight backline. Before tonight I’d never witnessed a New Orleans rhythm backline doing its thing at a club. Every single person in the place secured their own little bubble of space to stomp and dance.

Check out the rest of the photo set here.

Slide walking

Slide Walking

Undeniably danceable gumbo

Undeniably danceable!

Turning ears and shaking hips wherever they perform

Turning ears and shaking hips wherever they perform

C-town Stomp Down

C-town Stomp Down

Who doesn't love a stage full of horns?

Who doesn't love a stage full of horns?

Do Whatcha Wanna

Meeting bass drummer Keith Frazier after the show

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Teenage Fanclub Part Deux

October 13th, 2010

Last weekend we ran into band-members Teenage Fanclub at a rest stops in Northwest Ohio (near Sandusky) on our trek from Erie, Pennsylvania to Chicago.

You are here. Here you are.

You are here. Here you are.

Tour Wheels

The band is on a  North American tour making their way from gig to gig in a cool black Sprinter Minibus.

The quintet is from Glasgow, Scotland. (Glaswegian?) We were fourth in line behind them at a truck stop Starbucks  and the surly barista was having A LOT of trouble understanding their brogue.  Things snowballed into comedy when Norman (vocals, guitar) pointed to an unclaimed cup on the counter and asked if that was the Cappuccino he had ordered. Exasperated and not understanding one word, the barista shot back with a mouthful of Clevelandeeze “CappuCHEE-Noe is cawfee and steeeeemed milk and NOTHING on top.”

Obviously used to this kind of communication breakdown, the guys just smiled and nodded graciously. We struck up a conversation with them at the milk and sugar DIY counter. Their manager (who looked just like the actor David Tennant) invited us to either of their two Chicago shows. LA-indie rockmates Radar Brothers were to open for them. Unexpected live indie music on a Tuesday night?  You bet.

Teenage Fanclub

Not surprisingly, Teenage Fanclub’s latest album Shadows was sold out by the time we found the sales table at Lincoln Hall. should be delivering the goods shortly.

Here are some pictures from their incredible 10/5/2010 show. …THE REST OF THE STORY… »

One Response to “Teenage Fanclub Part Deux”

  1. Egg Donor : says:

    R&B music is the best kind of music, i can listen to R&B music all day and night~,.

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Teenage Fanclub

October 5th, 2010

Driving west on I90 on the way to Chicago, we bumped into members of the band Teenage Fanclub at a rest stop in Amherst. I went to the travel plaza’s gadget store to buy an FM transmitter and returned to find Erin waiting in line with the band at Starbucks, where the barista was telling them loudly “Cappuccino is cawfee and steeeeemed milk and NOTHING on top.”
They’re performing at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall the next two nights – we’re definitely going!

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Mayhem at the NYC Maker Faire

September 28th, 2010

Sunday I went to the New York Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. It’s the perfect Opportunity for adults to be a kids again. Full of stuff, freethinking, technology, music, and stuff. Ah…. Heaven.
In this photo I am standing in front of a select group of the finest musicians second only to the Ohio State Marching Band. You can tell my daughter is admiring the refined music.

for more pics see

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Star-struck over silent film ‘Louis’ at the Apollo

September 3rd, 2010
Going to see 'Louis' at the Apollo Theater in Harlem

It's showtime!

A couple of weeks ago Erin sent me this article in the New Yorker about a Marsalis CD in production. I was delighted to see some familiar names mentioned, and that Andy Farber was conducting the music on the CD. I have to admit though that I only l i g h t l y skimmed the article the first and on the second times around I saw Andy Farber’s name.  Long story short, a phone call to Maestro Farber pointed me in the direction of It was only after I had decided to buy tickets that I discovered we had GREAT seats to see not just a jazz concert, but a new silent film accompanied by Wynton Marsalis, pianist Cecile Licad and a 10-piece all-star jazz ensemble at New York’s famous Apollo Theater. Fantastic! Shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Deliverance & The Deer Hunter)  ‘Louis’ is a semi-fictionalized account of a young Louis Armstrong and his first cornet. It stars a wonderful young actor named Anthony Coleman, who was in the audience that night. …THE REST OF THE STORY… »

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Blues Master Wily Bo Walker & New York’s Danny Flam top the download charts?!!

August 12th, 2010

In a wealth of caution, I’ve held off on the following announcement but  – Wily Bo Walker remains the #1 UK Indie Blues Artist in the Myspace charts and ‘Same Thing’ is No 3 In UK Blues and No 9 in the US! …THE REST OF THE STORY… »

One Response to “Blues Master Wily Bo Walker & New York’s Danny Flam top the download charts?!!”

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What does a Neve 1073 and a Behringer ADA-8000 Have in common?

July 7th, 2010

Not a lot. Unless of course you are like me and decide to transplant some Neve soul into an ADA-8000.  I have this Behringer ADA-8000 with a burned out power supply anyway …  time to experiment!


You are looking at the main section of the Behringer ADA-8000. The red arrow points to the shorting/burned out capacitor that destroyed the transformer. After ordering a new transformer and getting everything to work, I started to tinker. …THE REST OF THE STORY… »

17 Responses to “What does a Neve 1073 and a Behringer ADA-8000 Have in common?”

  1. newyorkbrass says:

    1. The 48V is sent in through the center tap of the transformer so there is no need for these resistors! i.e.
    + —– || —— +
    ) || (
    +48V ) || (— N.C.
    ) || (
    = —- || ——- –
    2. I found it online or on ebay. I still have a few units – they are useful as extra recording units.

  2. Jim says:

    How are ya? I was reading your thread about moding the ADA800 and found the most information about this unit than anywhere in the last two years.
    I have a couple of questions ,If you would help with them.
    First off what did you use to replace the 6.81 resitors to send the 48v to the transformer? ( yellow and black at the top holes where the resistors were removed )
    secondly where did you solder in the two sets of red and orange wires for the power supply? this thing Toasted on me 2 years ago and could I not find replacement trany nor anyone to repair it.
    The most common reply I recieved was scrap it. this is the second unit that i have had problems with, the first was right out of the box and I don want to buy another.
    I dont have a lot of knowlage in electronics but I do experiment, pictures would be helpfull. and thanks for sharing your information. I would like to save this unit if possible

  3. newyorkbrass says:

    By the way – the phantom power is supplied by a single 2.4K resistor (or the original 2 6.8k resistors in parallel) to the center tap of the external/primary side of the transformer.

  4. newyorkbrass says:

    After much experimentation I find the only real improvement to this device would be to connect a 1073 style preamp to the input, instead of the opamp preamps. i.e. use only the 8 converters for this and then attach preamps bypassing the originals. This is a huge task and involves designing a different board for the front panel etc. not sure it is worth it…. :) although could be fun!

  5. martiaudio says:

    Sorry for previous typing errors..grr

    Also it seems that a simple diy external unit ( for x4 ADA..) to lower VAC main whether it is a 120 or 240 uk VAC is necessary!! it works a lot safer and colder. I lower mine to 215vac instead of 240vac.. as a result the ADA transformer delivers appropriate secondary VAC therefore the power supply for 5, +-15, 48/50vdc works well now. this a very stupid issue from behringer ADA8000 transformer and power supplies design!! Otherwise the unit new or old is quite good and deliver good sound indeed. the ADC and DAC are all right. even better with new coupling caps. my cheapest and best choice in panasonic FC with wimp 0.01uf polypropylene parallel. I am not sure yet that changing quad OP amps should improve significantly the sound but let’s put it that what: I would never use tl074 to design a preamp.. I would design it in +-24vdc with opa2604 at the very least.. so I am hoping to improve with opa1644 otherwise I question if there is a point in modifying the ADA8000 in the first place.
    It is overall a 50/50 reliable unit. so one should not invest too much on a unit. but if modifications can be standardised and proven to works well.. why not!! But not with a sowter transformer though..that is way too expensive per channel basis.

  6. martiaudio says:

    Hi there,
    I am currently numbers of modifications on ADA8000.. some with some without success.
    I am wondering with a different transformer ( no centre tap at secondary ) if I need to have Rload and Cload tapped to ground 0v or can I just have it as one value across the secondary transformer?? AS a tip I am experimenting with a very cheap tranny that might just be very good for Neve 1073 structure.. instead of OEP, it is VTX102-003..the good one!!
    All I need to do is implement it properly and check the sound out.. it is $13ea so with this and soft limiter, relay switch direct line inputs on a scale of 32ch to 48ch ( 4 to 6 units ) I is affordable ish on a grand scale. I am developing a live digital console also live recording. So if it works it would be the poor man’s big and serious set up indeed. What I am after is a little character in my preamp also.. I don’t want pseudo clean ramp of preamps like very digital console even today.

  7. newyorkbrass says:

    You lucked out – I ended up buying a new transformer…

  8. Richard Stanley says:

    Success. I disassembled, and found zero ceramic caps (none anywhere near the transformer. must be the US version or upgraded PMU?). Either way, all I had to replace was the 7815, and 7915 connected to the heat sync. I tested the transformer and it tested OK. Re-caped the two 407uf 35v electrolytics next the heat synced op amps, and 220uf 100v near the transformer (just for good measure). The caps looked “iffy.” Fired it up, and of course everything sounds great (as great as can be without an added input transformer…yet).

    I used the Fairchild replacements for the 7815 and 7915… I might be crazy, but it sounded smoother… still hot as all hell. I’m just going to run it with the top off for now. I want to do the rail mod, I’m already shopping around for those Sowters, on and on and on, and I can see how this little thing can be addicting. I still need to do more “input transformer research.” I learned quite a bit off this. THANKS!! I’ll post with Variac results. These heat syncs are UNTOUCHABLE. But lucky me, I didn’t have a bad transformer… the only two places I could find these transformers was Germany, and Michigan, for around $50.

  9. newyorkbrass says:

    I hear ya! A blown power cap u say? hmmm… i would say fixing stuff that connects to the wall and could potentially kill you – you should think three times before you fiddle with. 100V variac could work – but make sure the machine is grounded before you do anything, or you could kill yourself by mistake. Having said that – on my machine a burnt out cap shorted and killed the transformer:

  10. Richard Stanley says:

    I really hope you respond… With the burnt out power cap and burnt out transformer was the ada8000 still powering up (green lights=yes, but no audio signal pick up) ? I don’t want to spend too much time on a completely dead unit (and complete I mean there is light [which i could assume would come from off the tap] but no audio signal). Any way, maybe I just need to buckle down and take a dive… If you have any recommendations of more then just one cap to replace then that would help. And one last question… would I be able to run a 100V transformer without mod-ing anything else? It would be cheap for me to replace the caps, and buy a $20 variac to run at 100v (or MAYBE find a 100v transformer for internal, and ditch the variac). I look at schematics and go, “oh crap, I need about 4 years of electronics training to REALLY break this down.”

  11. Matti Kari says:

    Hey, thanks for inspiration! I just finished modding my ADA8000:

  12. […] this guy (thanks for the inspiration!) my transformers did not have center taps, so I left the former […]

  13. I’d love to pick your brain about performing a similar mod on the output stage of an SM Pro PR8…. email me and let’s talk!

  14. newyorkbrass says:

    I am just a tinkerer…

  15. WalterSear says:

    So jealous of your mad skillz.

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Greatest pickup line ever – “Is that an alto horn?”

July 4th, 2010

A few months back I was complaining about the lack of women in brass. It’s true – most professional brass players are dudes. Since the birth of my daughter, I’ve begun to notice these things. This week however, I traveled to Buckinghamshire to work with blues musician Bo Walker on his latest project. The train ride was unseasonably warm, and I was hoping for something to distract me.

Alto Horn Girl

Exhibit A: "Is that an alto horn?"

I know what you are thinking – the young woman in Exhibit A caught my eye.  Sort of.  Look at what she has parked at her feet.  I suspected an alto horn case!  Its not often you see people traveling with the lesser-played brass instruments (I bet you do not even know what a Alto horn is), and a female brass musician to boot. I am always asked if I my trombone is a bag of golf clubs…

Intrigued, I very politely (this being England) turned  and asked her about it. Turns out her name is Wendy, and she was on the way to Chesham to visit family. …THE REST OF THE STORY… »

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A Brass Section Of A Lifetime

June 6th, 2010
Thursday night (June 6, 2010) was the “Lineup of A Lifetime” concert – a tribute to 30 years of composing and arranging by Moshe Laufer. To those of you who aren’t familiar with Jewish music, Moshe Laufer is one of the three people (together with Mona Rosenblum and Israel Lamm) who shaped Jewish music in the past 40 years. These days Jewish music sounds more like pop/rock rather than Klezmer, and Moshe wrote hundreds of tunes. The night was a night to remember as the biggest names in Jewish music from near and afar were on stage to honor him. Photographer Baruch Ezagui , and provided these snazzy pictures!
Brass Section Of a Lifetime

Brass Section Of a Lifetime


One Response to “A Brass Section Of A Lifetime”

  1. Hola thanks to you for this new post.

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Next year remember to bring noise cancelling headphones, sunblock and trombone

June 6th, 2010



Amped for my first Indianapolis 500.

Sure I like the song Back Home Again in Indiana but I’d love to do a full brass rendition of Mission Impossible during the final fifty laps. Maybe next year …

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Bringing the Brass Bling to producer Ken Lewis

May 22nd, 2010
Ken Lewis cranks it to volume #11

Ken Lewis cranks it to volume #11

Ken Lewis of the production team The Skywalkers got in touch with yours truly for help in making his MIDIs sound “real”.

With at least 50 #1 hits under his belt, Ken is great at getting the sound he is looking for, and he needed an extremely fast turnaround time and lots of options. Trumpeter Tony Gorruso accompanied me to Ken’s home studio and the three of us arranged the tracks at top speed, aiming for a deep monster brass sound.


2 Responses to “Bringing the Brass Bling to producer Ken Lewis”

  1. Thanks for the awesome post, keep it up!

  2. […] the recording that Tony and I did back in May (featured in this blog post) was the brass for Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” This track features Rihanna […]

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Night view of New York City from a Nikon point and shoot

May 12th, 2010

This shot looks north-ish from a rooftop at 39th and 9th right across from the New Yorker Hotel. I was up there playing around with my camera which is a no-big-deal S570 Nikon point and shoot.  I found a panorama setting, and this quintessential ‘New Yorky’ skyline photo was the result.

Yeah it’s a cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway: I ♥ New York.


2 Responses to “Night view of New York City from a Nikon point and shoot”

  1. Hey! Nice to see Ya. I don’t speak anymore just enojy the music.

  2. This was a interesting story you did on your blog. I hope you write more till ill be back next time. Then i collected some hints about my favorite producer to share with you. I wrote some news over one of my favorite musicians Schiller aka von Deylen and the new CD named Atemlos. If possible you like my hints.

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Grand Theft Auto meets 42nd st.

May 11th, 2010

So we were walking down 42st. street a few weeks ago (OK – lots of weeks ago… note hat). While passing Times Square, the person I was with said – “Hey that girl is the same one on the poster”. I was like “nah…”, but then – lo and behold it WAS! So i decided to get one too. I now have a picture of the “Grand Theft Auto” girl even before she became (becomes?) famous. She was with dude that was taking pics with his point and shoot.

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All Figured Out – Nesrin Asli

May 9th, 2010

“I basically sampled some of your samples (lol) and made brass ‘hits’ of my own” is how engineer Carole Wolf described incorporating the New York Brass free sample library into her recent work.

Carole did the pre-production at home, and the rest of it was polished and tweaked at The Loft recording studio in Columbus, Georgia. She thoughtfully emailed us a completed track.

All Figured Out –>

What you are hearing is the swooning Neo-Soul vocals of Nesrin Asli along with MC Cyryus, Kevin Lamar on drums and acoustic guitar by Marshall Ruffin. Oh – and brass comes from here – which Carole has layered-in with utmost delicate subtly.

I love how Nesrin’s electrified voice climbs up and down the easy the walking beat. We are please to have contributed to this fabulous sound.

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Can you tell we forgot to take a picture during the actual recording?

May 9th, 2010

Don Downs, Tony Gorruso and Your Truly recorded for Israel Lamm and Nochi Krohn on Friday aboard the USS Nimitz. Ha-ha. No really, it’s just my studio. We’re sitting in front of two personal mixers which are part of the studio’s really cool personal monitoring system that I’ll blog about in the near future.


We look a little self-conscious here. Maybe it’s because none of us are wearing earphones as we would during an actual recording. I forgot to take a picture until we were nearly done, and said “look natural” on the ten-second dash back to my chair.

From here, Don left to play for La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway and Tony headed to West Side Story.

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Kenny Rampton’s list of Mingus Titles

April 28th, 2010


Trumpeter Kenny Rampton (and his friends) posted on Facebook a great list of descriptive Mingus composition titles … I thought they were cool and so pasted them here.

(That is Kenny leading the Mingus Band band trumpet section at the Jazz Standard. They usually play 2 sets Monday Nights. Sorry about quality, blame my Cellphone [or as my grandma says CelleryPhone])

* The Shoes of The Fisherman’s Wife are Some Jive Ass Slippers

* All The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother (based on All The Things You Are)

* Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am! (based on What Is This Thing Called Love).

* Passions Of A Woman Loved

*”If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats” (aka Gunslingin’ Birds) (also name of a popular blog)

*Don’t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me

*Meditations For A Pair Of Wire Cutters


5 Responses to “Kenny Rampton’s list of Mingus Titles”

  1. Russ Filmore says:

    Hello there, I was just wandering the internet and came across your website . Thought I’d say hello and tell you that I’ve enjoyed my visit here, hope you have a good morning !

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much for this article!

  3. Chad Steinerkert says:

    “you cruel pig”, “thats just evil”

  4. Erinee says:


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April 26th, 2010

When I’m not brassing things up at, fixing computers or inventing new microphones, every now and then I like to do this too.

2 Responses to “Bread-n-Butter”

  1. NewYorkBrass says:

    Sure dude! Awesome!

  2. Archie Kottler says:

    Morning, It is nice to stumble upon a good website like this one. Would you mind if I used some of your info, and I’ll put a link back to your blog?

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How to make a trombone!

April 19th, 2010

If you have ever wanted to MacGyver your own trombone at home out of some scrap copper, shoe laces and a box of thumb tacks, this is your opportunity. I found this Discovery Channel documentary that is specially tuned so all you DIYers out there can participate.

Easy, No?

2 Responses to “How to make a trombone!”

  1. newyorkbrass says:

    Its a custom design prepared by very talented designer by the name of Ryan Scherf
    Also here is an interview with him:

  2. Eusebia Gedris says:

    Hello, I really like the look of your site. What design are you using?

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