Phil Cohen stopped by for the evening to create his NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission. Fun was had.
Hello Hello! Yo yo yo.
As the state of CT, specifically the DECD, continues to skim over my business plan to create the dopest recording studio and music education hub this side of the Sound, I become more and more anxious. I’m approaching the 2 year mark and the possibilities in front of me to make Mother Brother Studios the place Adam and I dreamed about is so close but so far. If the DECD does not approve my application, the great new potential space on the 3rd floor of my new home will simply become storage…and a place where I’ll cry and drink bourbon by myself. I just applied for the Chase Mission Main Street Grant. I don’t know how much of a chance I have, but I know for a fact that there are great artists and people out there that have had a blast recording and performing in the ol’ studio on Birmingham Street, and that means something so much more than the inherent value of money. Many memories were made in that space, some that mean more to me than I could possibly articulate at this point in my life. When it comes down to it, all I want is a place to hang with friends, create, and support myself a little bit while doing it. If you have a MoBro memory, or want to create one, please, take a moment to vote for the studio. Thanks.
As I continue to gather all the cash in the world to build my studio, I’ve been keeping busy teaching, performing, and meeting with many contractors who all say the same thing…
Mother Brother Studios is well on its way! First new purchase:
brothers of mothers! i’m happy to announce that more than 1/2 of the working capital needed to make Mother Brother Studios into a music creation mecca has been obtained!! hopefully, the state of CT thinks i’m a good guy and will give me the rest! supplies are being crated as we speak, and i hope to begin renovations by the end of the summer. crazy. here are some neato sketches of what me and my good friend, Matt Grandin, came up with.
Almost 7 years to date since Mother Brother Studios began…in a dingy basement with a SM57 and a laptop. Come May 31st, myself and the studio will be moving into a new life and a new space! MBS will make its home in a beautiful 3rd floor, cathedral ceilinged attic space (in the Black Rock area of Bridgeport, CT), completely bare and ready to be conceptualized. The plan is to do it up right! The floor plan is drawn out, the soundproofing and acoustic treatment chosen, the gear list finalized, and the renovations are prepared to commence, BUT, working capital is an issue, as it most times is. Institutions, such as banks, void of creative thought, and with a genuine disinterest in a small business owner’s vision, have managed to halt the flourish of my creative process and business for the past several months. Despite a cohesive business plan, tight financial projections, and a growing revenue, the Boy$$ say no. I’m too young for the game apparently…not 2 years old, or I don’t seem to have sufficient collateral. Believe me, if I were in the bank’s position I would look at those issues as red flags, but I’m not. What I want to offer, and what is clearly stated in my business plan, is worth more than the loan I’m asking for. I’m looking to create something that can benefit the community with educational outreach and fun and informative music education. I’m looking to offer affordable studio time to talented local musicians that can diversify the local scene and beyond. I’m looking to work with amateur and professional classical musicians, and local city symphony orchestras, cultural institutions that are struggling and in need of an expert recording to bolster their outreach. I’m looking to bring sounds to life…simply by hitting record. All of what I’ve said I’ve already been doing, and I plan on continuing.
The fight is not over! I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, so wish me luck.
In the interim, I will still be fully functioning as a mobile studio. Mother Brother Studios’ exclusive cathedral space is still open to whomever would want to record there.
Here are some pictures of the new space! And some oldies to say goodbye to.
Hard hitting like puffing a woola with Lieutenant Uhura
Every day feel like it’s an off day with Ferris Bueller
Brother pull heat to prove they not sweet
No matter how you spell it, we still got beats.
OHHHHHHHHH! Mr. genuine, Phil Cohen, has released his album! Recorded and mixed at Mother Brother Studios, and Mother Brother Studios’ exclusive cathedral space…had to put some organ on her…Support my man, Phil. He’s the best.
Jeremy Bass‘ album has hit the tape and is on its way to be mastered. This project pulled from an immense pool of talent throughout 3 states, bringing on strings, accordion, banjo, mandolin, a super talented bassist, Pete Griffin, from California, and of course a little noise…couldn’t resist. Thanks all. Keep an eye on Jeremy for updates…
Just finished this lovely piece for Dr. Sean McCarthy, music director at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan. Sean McCarthy, piano & Jane Shelly, flute. Here’s a sample…
It’s not like someone is telling you what to listen to. You hear unexpected things, and you hear what you want to hear. You pay attention to textures building and receding, and aurally blend the dense drone, that seems relentless, with the sharp, quickly changing voices (figurative and literal), that occupy the higher frequencies. It’s not a rebellion on the conventions of songwriting and mainstream doldrum, it’s simply a different context in which to perceive sound. I’ll let ya know when the next show happens…
NOIZE! First ever noise show to be hosted at Mother Brother Studios, this Saturday March 8th @ 9pm. Donations encouraged.
A new tattoo I’ve been trying to sketch for a while…some of the most heart-string-pulling 4 bars of music ever created.
Karma Farmer in the studio this weekend! Cool kids making music with a Ween-ish tint and a small town perspective. Diggin’ it.
The dynamic duo during a fast-paced session with Redsox, an eclectic rapper from Bridgeport. Dude spat off some serious flows on 9 tunes in 4 hours. The Copperphone, by Placid Audio, picked up the right amount of sizzle in his vocals and my Pro VLA wrapped ‘em up and punched ‘em through. Schwing.
FIRST LISTEN! The Van Burens have released two new tracks from their most recent EP, superbly recorded at Q Division Studios and mixed entirely at Mother Brother Studios by Matthew Vitti.
Sir Phil Cohen melting the cold air with that warm tone of his…check out these great videos him and his friend Brittni filmed playing on the highline, NYC.
Mother Brother Studios is now accepting new bookings for February and March! Get in touch if you’d like to talk about your project or are ready to start tracking. Also, there are some big plans currently on the drawing board that I can’t wait to share with everyone. There will be videos, pictures and weekly/bi-weekly updates on the progress of the reconceptualization and renovation of the studio. Right now, enjoy this: Aaron Embry, Raven’s Song from Tiny Prayers.
The Van Burens’ long-awaited EP is mixed, mastered and ready for your ears. Follow them on their brief EP Release Tour coming up in February. Mixed at Mother Brother Studios by Matthew Vitti
Guess what…? Sir Phil Cohen’s master tape reel is on its way to be mastered. It’s been a long, arduous, fun, mind-bending, breathtaking, exciting and joyous process…and now you all get to hear the hard work we all put into making this record. Emmett, Adam, Ramsey and PHIL! Thank you. Genuine and honest singing, mellifluous tone, intimate acoustic moments paired with densely rich and layered songs…Keep an eye out for shows in the future.
During a recent sampling session, I came across a vinyl I forgot I had. What’s strange is that a few weeks prior to the session I was randomly trying to remember the band’s name. I’m not sure why I started thinking about them. I had forgotten their name, but I remembered that what I first heard from them was brilliant. I can’t really find much about them and it seems the label’s only online presence is a Bandcamp page. If anyone else knows anything about this group, please share!
A friend of mine, whose elegantly honest Valentine’s Day poetry can be found here, recently sent me a cool video (audio only) of composer, pianist and electronic music pioneer, Raymond Scott. The piece is called The Bass Line Generator, and it’s really nice to listen to. Complex pop music?
Jeremy Bass back in the studio tracking Banjo! Waiting on some accordion tracks. After that, we’ll be ready to start mixing. It’s been a long time coming and I’m ready to dive into these and start sculpting!
Hey everyone! Sometimes (rarely, thank goodness), I work with people who lack that “collaborative aura,” and ultimately take advantage of my services. Sometimes, these people don’t understand what I do and how I do it, and in turn, will request that I perform seemingly simple tasks that are, in fact, not so simple. Every audio landscape is different. Perhaps, I’m working with only a stereo stem, and my job is to add to that, which doesn’t leave that many options for sculpting the sound. How crazy is it that I expect compensation for my services!? I must be nuts. This person decided that $30.75 was a gross over-charge for some serious studio magic I was forced to pull off rather speedily, and he never paid off his balance! I recorded all of the vocals, mixed and mastered both of these tracks. Where’s my credit…? Nowhere to be found. Cool, dude. Enjoy the free exposure.
Stellar mixing session with The Van Burens last week! It’s always been great collaborating with these guys. Their new record weaves through rock, funk and reggae vibes, while simultaneously being…educational. From the Nixon tapes to modern-day political perspective, these boys are serious(ly) fun.
CHECK THIS OUT/ORDER HERE! Out now is James Hall 1,000 Rooms Quartet debut album. Featuring a stellar cast of musicians, Evan Mazunik, Ronen Itzik and James Hall himself. Here are a few pics from the album release show. More to come…
Church string tracking session at Mother Brother Studios’ exclusive cathedral space for Jeremy Bass’ debut solo album! These players were great! They consistently record and perform with Bianchi Musica out of NYC. Big thanks to Annie Engman McCain for taking these beautiful photos!
SNEAK PEAK! James Hall’s debut album, Soon We Will Not Be Here, featuring Evan Mazunik, piano, Ronen Itzik, drums, James Hall, trombone, and I’m singing! Enjoy and if you’re in the NYC area, stop by 287 Spring for the release on October 11th.
A while ago, I wrote a song for 3 lovely girls to give as an anniversary gift to their parents. I wrote the song, played bass and piano, while Abigail played flute, Noonie did whatever she wanted on the groove box and glockenspiel, and Kate “K Killa” Baisely held it down on the trap set. Here is their gift!
I’ve been working a lot with a variety of artists, one of them being Phil Cohen. We just finished up two demo masters in time for his mini tour up and down the East Coast. The album is slotted to be released in October! Two very different songs, one very talented artist. Thanks, all!
Recently, Liz Ward, my lovely business manager, came by to snap some updated pictures of the studio. They look great! Check ‘em.
Great 2 days in NYC performing and recording with the avant-garde jazz ensemble, 1,000 Rooms, led by composer and trombonist James Hall. Here are some pics from our day long session at Oktaven Audio. Ryan Streber was incredibly accommodating and professional. It was nice being outside of the control room for a change.
In addition to the loads of mixing, editing and tracking I’ve been doing, I’ve also been rehearsing and preparing for THIS, an interesting evening of jazz, voice loops, classical voice, and poetry. I’ll be singing with James Hall’s group and then heading to the amazing niche studio, Okatven, to track James’ debut album of original songs. Trombone, piano, drums, and voice. Check it.
At it again, back at the church! When I told Phil about the space I have access to and the organ we could use, he began to salivate and quietly mumble to himself, which caused some concern, but when he came to from his wide-eyed stupor, we immediately made plans to record some overdubs in the space. Throughout the day we tracked organ, snare drum hits, vocals and piano. Hearing that organ sing late into the night is something special. Check da pics.
The much anticipated debut full length, Manastery, from slop-pop rockers, Manbourine is dropping today! Manbourine recorded their album at Mother Brother Studios almost 2 years ago. I enjoyed working with Ben Benjamin and Rick Rick Rizulli, because they were down to experiment, and I’m always keen to those kinds of collaborations. Manastery is loud, raucous, beautiful, fuzzy, sentimental, bitter, funny, provocative, and intelligent. Manbourine will be releasing the record tonight at Muchmore’s in Brooklyn with Vensaire and Talkfine. Congrats, boyz.
More drums this weekend with ma man, Phil Cohen. Phil has been recording his 2nd full length album with me and it’s been a fantastic time. Next week we’ll be putting down organ tracks at Mother Brother Studios’ exclusive sanctuary space. I’m good n’ friendly with the administration over at FPCNC, so they let me use the space AND THIS BEAST! Drum pics!
I’ve been occupied recently tracking drums and percussion for Jeremy Bass’ album. So, here’s some shots of that. I figured out that my phone camera has a timer, hence, this fine montage. We’ve been collaborating with Jeremy’s friend, Pete, in L.A.. Pete used to play bass with Dweezil Zappa in Zappa Plays Zappa, so…he’s nasty good.
A great online music industry publication, SonicScoop, recently ran a feature on Mother Brother Studios. David Weiss, the founder, is an incredibly generous man. It was nice to speak with someone who took a genuine interest in the studios’ artistic endeavors. He highlights my exclusive access to a particular sanctuary in CT that holds endless acoustical possibilities, both traditional and avant-garde, for artists or ensembles. It would mean a lot to me if passing visitors would check the links and read up on some MoBro. Thanks to all!
So, my girlfriend’s nieces (12, 10 & 7) are very talented. Their personalities are so distinct and enjoyable that you can’t help but instantly love them. They each play instruments and had in their minds the idea to write a song for their parent’s anniversary. Of course, I thought this was a fantastic idea and got right to work composing the framework for the song. I wrote out flute and drum parts for the eldest and youngest, respectively, and let the middle one do her own thing (she’s a bit unyielding) on glockenspiel and my MC-303. The end result is a funky, somber groove (complete with adorable lyrics that the girls wrote) that is fun and meaningful. They’re super excited for the unveiling of all their hard work! Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures of the youngest; working with the girls is a two person job…PICS!
Heyo! My man Phil Cohen stopped by the studio on Friday with his extraordinarily talented friend, Ramsey Khudairi. Ramsey was recruited by Phil to play some mandolin and fiddle on a handful of tunes for his upcoming album. This kid was a monster. We basically recorded as many takes as possible, focusing on more subdued strumming ideas to all out shredding. Sifting through all the takes will be tedious, but I won’t mind listening to Ramsey’s playing over and over again! Pics!
On Thursday, Yokel and the Heavyweight hit the stage at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn. Frontman, Chase Cailouette has been working on his album at Mother Brother Studios. I banged on some drums and new guitarist Jonathan Linden brought the blues. Great show!
“To suggest is to create; to describe is to destroy.” ~ Robert Doisneau
It’s all the same for me really. A melody painted with a brush, a catchy hook supplied by a splash of paint, an innovative soundscape found within the calming, rainbow-kissed lake of a Chagall, a broken heart displayed within an abstract mess of hot colors, or is there madness in a Mondrian? Music for the eyes, I’d say.
Well, another great weekend session with Phil Cohen. He brought by a really cool guitar, an ol’ Dane Electro surf guitar with lipstick pickups (encased in metal). The guitar is actually plastic! The sound we were able to capture was gritty and large, which I guess is the antithesis of the typical sound produced by this kind of guitar. Convention is a suggestion here at Mother Brother Studios. Really excited about this album! Next up: mandolin, fiddle, drums and ORGAN. Check the pics…
Last night, Phil Cohen and I had a late night session getting started on the last two tunes for his debut album. I’ve started to use my Grampian mics a lot, especially the 600 ohm model. They provide a narrow low end and a decent amount of warmth and fuzz that ends up being a really great texture to blend in with other clean signal mics. Phil is a really great live performer and for this session we focused on a solo acoustic song; vocals and guitar simultaneously. Worked out great!
Finally got around to recording an original tune today, or the beginnings of one anyway. I love my space echo and I tend to use it on everything, vocals, instruments, mixing, etc. It can add warmth, clarity and a sense of space and acoustic. In this case, I split the signal from my LDC giving me both a clean and effected signal. A fast repeat rate and low intensity added just the right amount of gentle reflection. Werd.
Recently, Davis Baer stopped by the studio to continue work on his album. We wanted to capture an old, warm guitar sound for one of his songs, which he describes as 50’s R & B, but with a touch of 40’s Doo-Wop. So, naturally I reached for the oldest mic in my collection: A 1960’s Grampian DP4/M Dynamic. These are designed to be lo-fi, so I paired it with a modded SM57 (which happens to be the most versatile and best performing mic in my collection) and BOOM! Some old, warm-fuzzy.
The lovely Kate Bass singing live at the Metropolitan Room, NYC.
DEBUT: DawnMother. Recorded and mixed at Mother Brother Studios.
Another tune released by DawnMother (CT)
Recorded and mixed by Matthew Vitti at Mother Brother Studios
Mastered at MD Sounds
Video by Amanda Bloom of The Selkie
Music recorded, mixed and mastered at Mother Brother Studios
Debut Single From DawnMother (CT)
Recorded and mixed by Matthew Vitti at MB Studios
Kate made the TOP 10 SELLING Albums on Bandcamp!!!
Listen to this amazing tune!