New York, NY (December 16, 2015)—There’s a thin line between keeping a recording room’s gear lineup perfect, and letting it ossify. To wit, Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer, musician and singer Tony Visconti has a space in New York City that changes only when necessary.
“I’ve been in this studio for five years,” he said. “I’ve added a little more equipment, including these wonderful speakers behind me, but nothing much has changed. I’d like to keep things status quo for a while.”
The speakers, as it turns out, were Barefoot Sound MM27 monitors, when he got after hearing them when Foo Fighters were in town, recording what became the album and HBO TV series that came out in 2014.
“The first time I heard a pair of Barefoots was during the Sonic Highways sessions at the Magic Shop in New York City when Butch Vig brought his own pair,” Visconti recalls. “They were on the board, and at first, I thought it was the in-wall monitor speakers, but it was the Barefoots sitting on top of the console that I was listening to. Then I finally got it: These are great speakers and I’ve got to have them.”
Since the late 1960s, Visconti has worked with a wide array of recording artists; his lengthiest involvement with any artist is with David Bowie: intermittently from Bowie’s 1969 album Space Oddity to 2013’s The Next Day, Visconti has produced and occasionally performed on many of Bowie’s albums. Other notable artists Visconti has worked with include T-Rex, Badfinger, Iggy Pop, Argent, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats, Moody Blues, Sparks, Semi Precious Weapons, Kaiser Chiefs and Morrissey.
While no engineer ever seems to finally get things ‘just so,’ it sounds that Visconti’s quest for monitors that fit his mindset has abated for the time being: “I know some monitors are very colorful; they’ll give you extended low end and a crunchy mid-range. I’ve been deceived too many times by getting a souped-up pair of monitors in my studio. I’ve tried everything and spent years and years of research to find something that I’m really happy with.”