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Music Production

The Boxmasters Breeze into Barefoot

Esoterically outfitted studio aids creation of act’s next album.

Hollywood, CA (September 27, 2019)—The Boxmasters, founded by Billy Bob Thornton and J.D. Andrew in 2007, recently recorded tracks for their forthcoming album at Barefoot Recording studios in Hollywood when their longtime studio of choice was unavailable.

“Most commercial studios have a console, a room, microphones and that’s about it,” Andrew explains. “So you bring in all your stuff, and that’s what you make a record with. At Barefoot, there’s so much stuff — a wall of guitars, a room full of amps, pianos, organs, a unique console and a big array of UTA outboard gear.”

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He continues, “To record Billy’s drums, we set up on the drum stage with their adjustable-height drumbrella. We used mics from Shure, Coles, Neumann, and AKG, going through eight channels of UTA mic-pres. I loved the sound. I came home today and checked it out on my speakers to see what we got, and I was super happy. One of the cool things was that I never asked for anything to be changed. I just pushed up, armed the tracks and listened to them and went, ‘you know, this is great.’ Whatever they opened up sounded good.”

Barefoot’s hand-built UTA console is one of only eight in the world. Andrew explains, “The console sounded real good and the EQ is overwhelming. There are four knobs in each band that you’re turning, and you get a completely different sound out of each little knob twist. It’s super powerful. You can really, really get a lot of sounds out of it, but at the core of it, that console is mean sounding; it’s tough, it’s big. At the same time though, it has tons of headroom and everything sounds clear and open.”

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For Thornton’s vocals, the microphone was a Telefunken ELA M 251 through a Neve 1064 mic-pre and UTA’s UnFairchild 670M II compressor/limiter. “This is the first time I had a chance to use the UnFairchild,” says Andrew. “We put one of those on the lead vocal, and man, that thing sounds nice. It’s good at making something sit right in front of your face, but you can get a little out of hand with it, the amount of squish you try to make it do. We did just a nice little subtle job, which is what you really want to have when you’re tracking live.”

Barefoot Recording •