It’s just a year since I’ve moved here myself.  So far this has been a really nice place to be.  One thing I’ve noticed is a huge number of apartments being built.  Now Philadelphia Magazine has told me a good reason:  ”Millennial Growth”.  According to them, since 2007, 106,000 20-34 year olds have moved here, more than any other US city.  With them, some really nice cocktail bars have been arriving.  Win win?

Apple has recently officially invited your business to be on their map.

As in on the map that Apple puts on our iphones and iPads. Though Google Maps is still perhaps the most widely used map app on the iphone and iPad, Maps, (as the apple map app is called) has been steadily increasing it’s user base, after initially launching with some issues. Now with the newest operating system for the mac computer, Yosemite, Maps has also been installed and included as a featured program.

If you open up Maps you can see there are a lot of included stores, transportation stations, buildings of note and restaurants and the like. However, these were all installed by Apple themselves, and their partners such as Yelp, to populate their map. Now they have openned the process to all businesses. It is possible to register your business on their Map, which is really going to have enormous potential as map and location searching tools will increasingly inter-related.

All search engines desire as much info about a company as possible before giving results. Therefore, putting yourself on the Map app has potential for future growth in your rankings in search. The information collected in signing up, such as your hours and type of business are all recorded too. With the new focus with apps being able to reference each other, now being promoted as a new feature of the iPhone, there is a potential for this to be a very valuable promotional tool going forward, within other apps that reference the Maps app. In the meantime, who doesn’t want to be on the Map? After all it will help people find you if they are looking, or discover you as they look for something nearby.

Apple has made it pretty easy too. Here’s how to get “on the Map”..

On your computer, go to https://mapsconnect.apple.com, and create your listing.  Include the hours you are open, and select from their choices what business type you are.  Put in your web address and some optional details such as a Facebook page, and that’s it.  Apple will follow up, by checking your website and such, and in my case, a phone call to verify info.

On May 15th, in our neighborhood, which is called Old City Philadelphia, we had a large night time street festival, all about food trucks and food vendors.  The city closed down 3rd St, between Market and Race, and also Arch between 2nd St and 3rd street, and at 6 pm the street was alive with food trucks, food stalls and tons of people from all over Philadelphia.  It’s called “The Night Market” and this was the first one of 2014.  There will be three more, and they are all run by The Food Trust, with sponsorship by Yards Brewing Company and Green Mountain Energy.

We got there as the trucks we setting up, and stayed around into the night to make a little video, have some great food (and amazing sorbets by AG Catering), meet some friends and have a couple beers.  It really was a perfect night for it, nice and cool, with a little breeze.  Check out our video if you’d like.   Better still, go out to the next Night Market.  It’s June 19th at Ogontz Avenue and 72nd St.


This week I had an unusual job here in the studio.  I mastered a 4track recording made on cassette tape back onto a cassette tape.  Completely using just analog audio gear.  4track to cassetteNick from Philly Tapes Philly was in the studio with the latest of the recordings he’s doing, recording bands in his house onto old school 4tracks.  Like the ones from the 1980′s (I had one then too!).  He’s recording songs this way and releasing them at a special show at Ortliebs, here in Philadelphia.  I’ve been helping him out with the project.  For the mastering, which made the tape sound much more alive and properly rendered for playback, we used some of the classic recording studio units I have here in Leopard Studio.  After all, we did start as a recording studio!  4track in, to the mixer, add some highs, cut the lows, bring out some guitars.  Then out to the Emipirical Labs “Distressor” units for some 1960′s style optical compression.  We sent that out to the Avalon 737 stereo limiter, where we made it a bit louder, and finalized the EQ (a bit more highs again), and bang, onto a cassette tape.  That gets duplicated and put out at the show this week.  That’s a fun little project!

While finishing up some late morning coffee Kate turned on the news.  What was on was a bit of a shock- there was a major fire at the Shirt Corner Store on the corner of Market & 3rd and we didn’t even know it yet!!  We live on the 4th floor of a building and our windows had a clear view of the fire.  Fortunately there was a very quick response from the fire department.  3 minutes was what I heard on the news.  We grabbed the Iphone and took some photos and videos.  We watched as the fire worked its way up the building and through the roof.  Next door the firefighters got on the roof and using chainsaws cut a hole for ventilation.  It was inspiring to see the bravery of the firefighters!

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your other environment and go do some work at a coworking space.  Coworking spaces are gaining popularity as with today’s world there are a whole lot of us freelance/small business people out working now that sometimes crave a little group interaction and some community.

I have been out to Philadelphia’s Indy Hall more than a few times, and working there has been really nice.  I’m not sure if all coworking spaces are as welcoming and helpful in putting like minded people together, but this place is nothing if not helpful to it’s members.  Coders, artists, writers, poets, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc., they are all here.

A real effort is made to support other members, and introduce likeminded people.  It’s real supportive.  Filled with interesting people.  If you need a place to work from, give them a shot.

Before I started with the video business Leopard Studio was  strictly a music recording studio.  Before we moved down to Philadelphia Pa, Gordon Raphael and I started the studio as TransporterraumNYC, and then I took that gear with me, including our famous purple curtains, up to Stone Ridge NY, a short hike from Woodstock and New Paltz, in the Hudson Valley.  In the years out in the country we first became known as Leopard Studio.  We featured 1200 sq ft of space, a Steinway Piano, Hammond Organ, many guitars amps and drums, and a fantastic selection of microphones.   I had a blast making and recording music, for about 12 years, and had the good fortune to work with many great musicians, Garth Hudson (The Band), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, John Lennon), Richard Butler (Pyschedelic Furs), and many more.  In fact we recorded well over 500 people, well over 125 acts.

Then we decided to focus on a new passion, making videos and writing instrumental music for use in film and video.  We moved the studio down to our Philadelphia location on N. 3rd St, and changed the focus.  Now we are a private recording studio that functions for the needs we have as the current Leopard Studio.  Writing music and recording voiceovers, mastering existing audio.

So we have reduced our gear somewhat, placed a bunch of it with our friend Max, who is recording bands now up in New Paltz.  What we kept here is the real vital parts involved in writing and creating music ourselves.  Steinway Piano, Musser Vibraphone, several guitars, bass, 2 real drum machines, 5 synthesizers, bells, a metalaphone, a Woodrow and a few great mics.  Plus all the recording gear we need – Protools HD, API and Avalon Preamps, Distressor Compressors, Lexicon Reverb, and many effects pedals.  Oh and most necessary, the old Mac Pro tower (actually not that old).

Below are a few pictures of the new recording studio: