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Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, NY
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phil_space
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7th December 2011
Old 7th December 2011
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Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, NY

Any slutz here who worked at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead or can tell us a bit more about these studios? I'm desperately trying to find out more about it, but there is hardly any information on the web at all. Which comes as a surprise considering that dozens if not hundreds of shows were recorded there in the 1970s and broadcast on WLIR 92.7 FM. Stories, info and juicy pics most welcome!
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8th December 2011
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OMG!! I'm in shock and sorrow

I lived on Long Island most of my adult life & listened to WLIR, but not nearly as much as WNEW. The pinnacle DJ of THAT station & the Rock World in the Tri-State area was Scott Muni (a.k.a. "Scottszo"). I was to research Google to try locating him for you because if ANYBODY would know about Ultrasonic it've been Scottszo. I'm now learning that he passed away in 2004. I'm extremely saddened.

ScottMuni.com

Thanks for all the song, sharing & sorrow. John, George & Jimi are in great company for sure.

Other than him you might try contacting Jim Kerr, who was a DJ for WPLJ 'back in the day' (another Long Island rock station). He can be reached via email at his current DJ home Q104.3. Other than that I've got nothing. jimkerr@q1043.com

HTH

Last edited by Analok; 8th December 2011 at 01:29 AM.. Reason: Added content
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8th December 2011
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I rehearsed there in the late 70's with the Gary Tom's Empire, I didn't get to record there. Right across the street from the Calderone Concert Hall
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8th December 2011
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Yeah, I was there a few times also.
Trying to remember now with what artists, bands?

Anyhow,
At the time, I had a small studio a few miles away from there.
Sold it to a guy that called it Zebraland.
I used to hang at the Calderone, & Bernie Gracins, store back then.

There was also a small joint that sold recording gear out there, two brothers I believe, although I forgot the name of the place at the moment, I purchased a lot of the gear to outfit my joint from them.
For example.
Otari 7800 1 inch tape machine.
Sound Workshop Series 34 console
Urei 815 monitors, etc, etc...

A few years later, they moved down the street to a much bigger building, and I'm not sure but I think that store became Ultrasonic Studios.
Been a long time, memory is a bit foggy.

Then years later, I moved the studio to Bayside Queens. That's where I met Kevin Kelly from the Workshoppe Studios in Douglaston.
I ended working with him on a few broadcasts for WLIR, the Live from MY Fathers Place shows.
It was a great time!
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8th December 2011
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Billy Joel cut a couple of records at Ultrasonic. Brad Leigh might know something about the place. I've always been curious as to what gear they had there and the design of the place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
That's where I met Kevin Kelly from the Workshoppe Studios in Douglaston.
Kevin Kelly who owned Late Nite studios in Plainview??
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8th December 2011
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...I went there a few times back in the late 60's...I grew up with Billy Joel and members of his band "The Hassels" who recorded there...the guy who really knows how things went back in those days is recording engineer Don Casale:

Interviews: Recording Engineer Don Casale

...Don can be contacted thru his website: http://studiopro.50megs.com/

...bands like Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly and even the Young Rascals did some sessions there...Michael "Eppy" Epstein (who owned the legendary L.I. music club, "My Father's Place") had a good relationship with UltraSonic, and live shows were broadcast for WLIR radio...you can contact Eppy on Facebook (he's still promoting live show's in NY and S. FL)...if you really want to know about that LI music scene back then, you're best to research "My Father's Place" as there's more info available online:
http://www.myfathersplace.com/
http://www.mfpclub.com/archive.htm
...as well as a new book written by Eppy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0578068761

...back in those days, UltraSonic made it's mark on the NY studio scene...as you mentioned, major artists like Peter Frampton, Doobie Brothers, Dr. John, Hall & Oates, Little Feat, Jackson Brown, Lou Reed, Tower Of Power and many others broadcast live concerts from that venue (many of these broadcasts are still available as bootleg downloads online)...
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8th December 2011
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I recorded at Ultrasonic back in the 70's with a couple of gospel groups.

Also recorded at Workshoppe Studios in Douglaston and I believe the engineer's name was Jeff Krake or somthing like that.
They had Soundworkshop board, all kinds of dbx and keepex stuff and Scully R2R at the time.
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8th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Yeah, I was there a few times also.
Trying to remember now with what artists, bands?

Anyhow,
At the time, I had a small studio a few miles away from there.
Sold it to a guy that called it Zebraland.
I used to hang at the Calderone, & Bernie Gracins, store back then.

There was also a small joint that sold recording gear out there, two brothers I believe, although I forgot the name of the place at the moment, I purchased a lot of the gear to outfit my joint from them.
For example.
Otari 7800 1 inch tape machine.
Sound Workshop Series 34 console
Urei 815 monitors, etc, etc...

A few years later, they moved down the street to a much bigger building, and I'm not sure but I think that store became Ultrasonic Studios.
Been a long time, memory is a bit foggy.

Then years later, I moved the studio to Bayside Queens. That's where I met Kevin Kelly from the Workshoppe Studios in Douglaston.
I ended working with him on a few broadcasts for WLIR, the Live from MY Fathers Place shows.
It was a great time!
It's weird we never met Paul, I worked for Guy and Kate and Interface both in bayside and in the city, and I used to do guitar stuff for James Goodman, I believe you bought his place back then.
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8th December 2011
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Hey Lou;
Been a long time, apparently I can't remember anything that far back.

Help me here, was Guy the owner of the little shop "Wachuwan" off of Oceania and the service road?
If so, I bought a lot of stuff from him also.

And was Goodman the guy who's studio (First Choice) I bought in Manhattan?
Man I'm getting old!
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8th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Hey Lou;
Been a long time, apparently I can't remember anything that far back.

Help me here, was Guy the owner of the little shop "Wachuwan" off of Oceania and the service road?
If so, I bought a lot of stuff from him also.

And was Goodman the guy who's studio (First Choice) I bought in Manhattan?
Man I'm getting old!
Yep Guy owned Wachuwan, married Kate Phillipe and had Interface on 204th and Northern. Jim Goodman owned that place on a think 31st down from the garden, his partner I think was Stefan? Wasn't it called City Sound?
phil_space
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8th December 2011
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Wow, great to see so many people chime in, and even regular slutz who've worked at Ultrasonic before. Somebody generously sent me a few photos of the studio. Can you confirm this is the Sound Workshop console, Paul? Thanks as well about the info on Eppy and MFP!
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Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, NY-ultra-sonic-studios-hempstead-ny-desk.jpg  
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8th December 2011
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Lou:
My place was called Beethoven Studios on 31st and 6th, the 4th floor.
Maybe it was City Sound, I kinda remember First Choice for some reason?

And Phil;
Unless that was a prototype, it does not resemble any Sound Workshop console, I ever saw, owned or worked on?

Also Kevin Kelly used to take a Sound Workshop 1280-B and expander out on the live remote gigs at Michaels joint, My Fathers Place in Roslyn.
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8th December 2011
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That picture looks like one of several that were included in an article on Ultrasonic from dB magazine. The issue would have been around 1971-72.
I used to memorize those issues when I got them way back then. Being new to the field and living out in the boondocks dB magazine was about the only source of info for me in those days. I kept those old mags around for 40 years and damned if I didn't finally clean out the back room this year and toss them!
If anybody has access to a large library that may still have those old issues I'm pretty sure that the article would be very interesting.

Either that, or the fog of time has taken my memory banks on a detour!
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8th December 2011
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Wow, Rick, that's quite a memory. I thought that this photo didn't look like the casual shot taken with a standard 70s camera, so I guess you must be right!

Anyone out there with 1971/72 issues of db magazine who could check for an article on Ultrasonic studios? Pleeease...
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9th December 2011
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Sounds like an evilBay search is in order . Hey, nobtwiddler: Are you thinking of Focus II in Bellmore/Merrick?? Chris & Charlie Lovarcco were the two brothers that ran the shop, mostly guitars & amps, originally in Merrick on Jerusalem Ave next to Drum City, later (about '79-'80) moved to a larger store about a mile or so east on Jerusalem Ave. The Stray Cats used to hang there all the time until they got so big they had to literally 'stray'! Last time I walked in there it was nearly vaccant/empty of gear, and Charlie was talking to some grade school kid about how much he liked his finished lesson. That was about '99 or so. I didn't have the heart to strike up a conversation with him it seemed so sad - this place was SO COOOL!! WTH happened?!? Probably long gone now.

On a side note: Does anyone if Audio Recording Technology Institute (ARTI) is still around?? I had a buddy that studied there in Amityville & used to take me along to hang out in the mixing room while he was learning his chops. Man how I dug that Tascam console!

Last edited by Analok; 9th December 2011 at 12:13 AM.. Reason: spelling
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9th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
Sounds like an evilBay search is in order . Hey, nobtwiddler: Are you thinking of Focus II in Bellmore/Merrick?? Chris & Charlie Lovarcco were the two brothers that ran the shop, mostly guitars & amps, originally in Merrick on Jerusalem Ave next to Drum City, later (about '79-'80) moved to a larger store about a mile or so east on Jerusalem Ave. The Stray Cats used to hang there all the time until they got so big they had to literally 'stray'! Last time I walked in there it was nearly vaccant/empty of gear, and Charlie was talking to some grade school kid about how much he liked his finished lesson. That was about '99 or so. I didn't have the heart to strike up a conversation with him it seemed so sad - this place was SO COOOL!! WTH happened?!? Probably long gone now.
The one in Bellmore is still there and changed its name to Music Emporium.

History | Est. 1978


Regards,
Frank
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9th December 2011
Old 9th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Lou:
My place was called Beethoven Studios on 31st and 6th, the 4th floor.
Maybe it was City Sound, I kinda remember First Choice for some reason?

And Phil;
Unless that was a prototype, it does not resemble any Sound Workshop console, I ever saw, owned or worked on?

Also Kevin Kelly used to take a Sound Workshop 1280-B and expander out on the live remote gigs at Michaels joint, My Fathers Place in Roslyn.
Yep I'm pretty sure it was City Sound, I know Jim Goodman went to work for Eventide. Before you bought it they had an MCI console and 2"16 track
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9th December 2011
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Analok;
Nah, it wasnt Focus two (guitars).
This place was a few stores to the left of Gracins, and then later when they expanded, they moved over by the Calderone. It was either across the street or it was in the old Calderone building. Once again I really cant remember?
But the two brothers were great, and took care of me really well.
Helped me outfit, my first, second, and third joint.

Very cool people, and most of the deals were done with a handshake!
Amazing times back then.
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9th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Analok;
Nah, it wasnt Focus two (guitars).
This place was a few stores to the left of Gracins, and then later when they expanded, they moved over by the Calderone. It was either across the street or it was in the old Calderone building. Once again I really cant remember?
But the two brothers were great, and took care of me really well.
Helped me outfit, my first, second, and third joint.

Very cool people, and most of the deals were done with a handshake!
Amazing times back then.
Was it audio by Zimet?
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9th December 2011
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Im racking my brain here, but I dont think that was them...
Wasnt that Sid Zimet?
I knew him and purchased a bit of exotic Stereo gear from that joint.

Anyhow, I believe the older brother of the place Im talking about was named Frank?
He basically dealt with me, and all my gear lusts etc.
I could be wrong?

Wouldnt be the first time...
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
The one in Bellmore is still there and changed its name to Music Emporium.

History | Est. 1978


Regards,
Frank
Ahhh, right... TOM and Charlie LoVarco. I bought brand new an Ibanez Blazer strat copy and a 50W Sunn Alpha 112PR combo amp from the Bellmore store . A friend of mine used to rank on those two guys, cause no matter whatever it was you were trying out or looking at, they'd always respond with "Isn't that great?!!" LOL.

BTW-Nice to see another CBM worshiper. I still keep my Amiga 3000 around for the seldom photo tweaking (via ImageFX) and vinyl to wav/CDDA conversions (via a Tocatta card and ProStationAudio tracking software). Long Live the Chickenhead!!
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post

BTW-Nice to see another CBM worshiper. I still keep my Amiga 3000 around for the seldom photo tweaking (via ImageFX) and vinyl to wav/CDDA conversions (via a Tocatta card and ProStationAudio tracking software). Long Live the Chickenhead!!
Haha - I still have my Amiga 2000 set up as well - old habits die hard! God, that thing cost an arm and a leg when I first got it! There's just something magical about those machines...

Long live the chickenhead!

Regards,
Frank
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
Ahhh, right... TOM and Charlie LoVarco. I bought brand new an Ibanez Blazer strat copy and a 50W Sunn Alpha 112PR combo amp from the Bellmore store . A friend of mine used to rank on those two guys, cause no matter whatever it was you were trying out or looking at, they'd always respond with "Isn't that great?!!" LOL.

BTW-Nice to see another CBM worshiper. I still keep my Amiga 3000 around for the seldom photo tweaking (via ImageFX) and vinyl to wav/CDDA conversions (via a Tocatta card and ProStationAudio tracking software). Long Live the Chickenhead!!
for a breif time Focus II had a store in Bayside, I bought an Ibanez PL 2550 from them that I still have and a Mesa Boogie MKIII that I don't
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10th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
Ahhh, right... TOM and Charlie LoVarco. I bought brand new an Ibanez Blazer strat copy and a 50W Sunn Alpha 112PR combo amp from the Bellmore store . A friend of mine used to rank on those two guys, cause no matter whatever it was you were trying out or looking at, they'd always respond with "Isn't that great?!!" LOL.

BTW-Nice to see another CBM worshiper. I still keep my Amiga 3000 around for the seldom photo tweaking (via ImageFX) and vinyl to wav/CDDA conversions (via a Tocatta card and ProStationAudio tracking software). Long Live the Chickenhead!!
for a brief time, Focus II had a store in Bayside, I bought an Ibanez PL 2550 from them that I still have and a Mesa Boogie MKIII that I don't
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10th December 2011
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Lou,
I believe that was on Northern Blvd?
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10th December 2011
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How times have changed.

The first time I walked into the initial store in Merrick I was a newly transferred high school kid from Glen Cove to Wantagh with a learner's permit but no car. We had a snow day & I was bored, so I searched the yellow pages for music shops in the area (pre "WWW" that's what we had to do for EVERYTHING!!) & found Focus II about 3 miles up Jerusalem Ave from my home. So I walked up there on what had to have been the coldest day in February that year. It was the first time I laid hands on a Rickie 12 string!! The shop was so small that Tom let me try it out in one of the two lesson rooms they had in the back of the shop. Pretty much had the entire shop to myself seeing it was mid morning on a weekday. It was well understood I couldn't afford a Rick (or any other axe on the wall for that matter), but Tom was more than happy to let me try it out. I was kind to it & I guess he realized I had respect for it, so...enjoy while you can! One hour walk there, one hour in the store, one hour walk back. My lungs were congested for a week thereafter but it was well worth it...a blonde Rickie 12!! If you're still out there between Karate chops, Thanks Tom! Now I've enough axes to open my own store (freakin' GearSlut I am!).
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12th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Lou,
I believe that was on Northern Blvd?
yep
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26th December 2011
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Focus II Guitar Center

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
The first time I walked into the initial store in Merrick I was a newly transferred high school kid from Glen Cove to Wantagh with a learner's permit but no car. We had a snow day & I was bored, so I searched the yellow pages for music shops in the area (pre "WWW" that's what we had to do for EVERYTHING!!) & found Focus II about 3 miles up Jerusalem Ave from my home. So I walked up there on what had to have been the coldest day in February that year. It was the first time I laid hands on a Rickie 12 string!! The shop was so small that Tom let me try it out in one of the two lesson rooms they had in the back of the shop. Pretty much had the entire shop to myself seeing it was mid morning on a weekday. It was well understood I couldn't afford a Rick (or any other axe on the wall for that matter), but Tom was more than happy to let me try it out. I was kind to it & I guess he realized I had respect for it, so...enjoy while you can! One hour walk there, one hour in the store, one hour walk back. My lungs were congested for a week thereafter but it was well worth it...a blonde Rickie 12!! If you're still out there between Karate chops, Thanks Tom! Now I've enough axes to open my own store (freakin' GearSlut I am!).
Hey it's Tom LoVarco. Your welcome and I remember that day.
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15th January 2012
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Originally Posted by phil_space View Post
Any slutz here who worked at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead or can tell us a bit more about these studios? I'm desperately trying to find out more about it, but there is hardly any information on the web at all. Which comes as a surprise considering that dozens if not hundreds of shows were recorded there in the 1970s and broadcast on WLIR 92.7 FM. Stories, info and juicy pics most welcome!
Hi guys. Ultra Sonic was owned by Bill Stahl. John Bradley, Steve Goetz, Jeff Kracke, Michael Colchamiro (who later changed his last name to "Tapes") and Robin Longmate were the engineers in the era of that picture. Don Casale had also worked there before I came on the scene. The console everyone is trying to figure out is a custom console wired by a guy named Herman Baer (sp?) It was based on Fairchild FICM modules coupled with Lumitens faders and more gain stages than you could shake a stick at. They had 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 track Scully 280's, and a high-rise building constructed of Dolby A's. No pads on the mic pre's as I remember. You used to have to go out and plug in a Shure pad into the mic box if/when there was an overload. The live room sounded great. Great mic collection: 47's, 67's, 49's etc. I was lucky enough to buy some of them from Bill when the studio closed in the late seventies and Bill brought some of his work to our Workshoppe Recording Studios in Douglaston. The Tuesday night WLIR-FM concert series started there and Michael, John and Jeff each did their share of wonderful shows. One Tuesday evening I walked into the control room and thought I was listening to a Tower of Power record that was already mixed and mastered. I turned around and noticed they were soundchecking in the studio and I was listening to John Bradley's live mix. Great band/great engineer. Those were the days. Eventually, the series moved over to Eppy's "My Father's Place" in Roslyn where I was lucky enough to do my share of live concert mixes for The Police, Hall and Oates, Charlie Daniels, Spencer Davis Group (that's the night I met my future wife). Over the next ten years or so, Jeff Kracke did most of the great shows. Sadly, he passed away last year. I did my share, and eventually Rob Bengston did the lion's share.
Ultra Sonic was a great place owned and operated by good, ethical, talented people. It was the first "professional" studio that I ever set foot in, and it set me off on my lifelong quest for the Holy Grail of great recorded sound. That first session was the night I met my lifelong friend Jeff Kracke. He and I eventually opened the Workshoppe Recording Studio in Douglaston, NY. Sorry to rattle on ...
Kevin Kelly
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15th January 2012
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Hey Kevin welcome to Gearslutz
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