Boulevard Recording Reborn With New Sound Techniques

Owner and chief engineer Clay Blair in the new control room at Boulevard Recording.

Photos by David Goggin.

Hollywood, CA, January 2024 - Historic Boulevard Recording in Hollywood has been completely restored to its original glory following a devastating fire two years ago. Owner Clay Blair worked from old photos and documentation to restore everything from the acoustic treatment to the wood trim. Armstrong acoustic tiles are back, as well as the linoleum floor. "Those are a big part of the sound," Blair explains. 

NAMM attendees who would like to visit Boulevard Recording in Hollywood: 

the studio will be open by reservation for visitors January 24 - 28, 10am - 7pm.

RSVP: www.boulevardrecording.com/open-house 

The historic studio's former client list included Ringo Starr, Ray Charles, Carly Simon, Alice Cooper and Liberace, plus numerous other top recording artists. Formerly Producers Workshop, Pink Floyd finished and mixed "The Wall" at the studio, Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" was mixed there, and much of Steely Dan's "Aja" was tracked at the studio, with renowned engineer Bill Schnee.

Located close to Capitol, United Recording and EastWest studios, Boulevard now features a new Sound Techniques ZR36 console with 24 inline and 56 channels on mixdown. Sound Techniques was established in 1964 and after a dormant period was purchased by Danny White and brought back into production in 2015. Boulevard's ZR is the first new Sound Techniques console to be delivered to a Hollywood studio since Jac Holzman installed one at Elektra Sound Recorders in 1968. Previously, Sunset Sound bought their A Range for Studio 2 in 1967, the first British console in America.

For the studio resurrection, Blair worked closely with Josh Nyback and his Nyback Builds team. The walls were stripped to the studs and the team rebuilt and restored everything to its original acoustic state-of-the-art, circa 1970. The control room now features Atomic Instrument SixTen midfield monitors with Amphion One18 and NS-10 nearfileds.

Boulevard Recording also houses a rack full of classic limiters, compressors and outboard gear, a comprehensive collection of vintage mics and mic-pre's, plus plate reverb and other effects processors. Instruments include a Bechstein 1915 Studio Grand Piano, Hammond B3 with Leslie 122, Yamaha U3, Moog Voyager, and other vintage keys. Percussion available includes a 1959 Ludwig Black Oyster Kit, prized snare drums, tambourines, shakers, maracas and others. Also included is a collection of guitars and bass guitars with Fender, Ampeg, and other classic amps.

Sound Techniques Danny White (L) is seen during the console installation with Boulevard owner Clay Blair.

Blair comments on the Sound Techniques console, "People ask me what it sounds like. An API is punchy, with mid-range sparkle. A Neve is woolly and harmonic. This Sound Techniques is immediate, big and clear. Clear does not mean transparent; it means you get what you expect, in the best way possible." 

For more info about Boulevard Recording, visit: https://www.boulevardrecording.com