Indie Pop Duo Heffron DriveGets in Gear with ADAM A7X MonitorsADAM Users
Heffron Drive equip their studio with selected gear including ADAM Audio studio speakers
American indie pop duo Heffron Drive is Kendall Schmidt and Dustin Belt, whose work together in the studio has been dominated by potent and powerful lyrics, impressive musicianship, and an endless stream of infectious hooks and synths that critics have called “pure ear candy”. With their creative and production efforts taking place in a studio here in the San Fernando Valley designed and built by Schmidt, the pair references their combined efforts with ADAM Audio A7X nearfield monitors as well as a Sub10 Mk2 subwoofer.
“With the ADAMs, I can hear every aspect of what I’m doing”
”The A7X monitors have played a critical role during the production of our latest record; vocals sounded extremely natural with less coloration, as did the low-end, and the highs were smooth, with a clean, three-dimensional clarity,” says Schmidt. “The A7X’s provided a real sense of separation among all the elements within the mix, and enabled the sound that we intended to be revealed in a transparent and realistic fashion. This is vital during the recording process. With the ADAMs, I can hear every aspect of what I’m doing and it’s both inspiring creatively and allows us to deliver the best possible results for our audience.”
Worldwide attention through Big Time Rush
Both originally from Wichita, KS, Schmidt and Belt first crossed paths in Burbank, CA, and began making music together under the name of the street where they met, Heffron Drive. Shortly thereafter, Schmidt became part of the pop group Big Time Rush, which starred in the Nickelodeon/Columbia Records television show of the same name. Along with a record deal, lives performances in television and a movie, Schmidt and the band gained worldwide attention.
On the road, Belt joined Big Time Rush as a guitarist. After releasing three studio albums with chart-topping singles and a global TV audience of millions, Big Time Rush went on hiatus; and Schmidt and Belt put Heffron Drive back in gear with a renewed touring schedule and the release of a studio album, Happy Mistakes in 2013. Happy Mistakes: Unplugged followed in 2015 on TOLbooth Records, an acoustic product recorded entirely In the Sherman Oaks Studio.
Detailed monitoring – down to 25 Hz
The studio is also home to ADAM Sub10 Mk2 subwoofer, which extends the low frequency capabilities even further, all the way down to 25 Hz. “With my previous subwoofer system, all I got was extended low frequency response,” Schmidt adds. “With the ADAM Sub10 I extend my LF plus overall tonality—I’m not just shaking the room with mindless thumping. I can isolate the sub as well, all while getting a response within which I can hear the key of the song itself and the musicality within that space of the audio spectrum.”
An Apple 12-core Mac Pro with 64 GB of memory provides Schmidt’s studio with ample computing power. A Manley Gold Reference microphone is the crown jewel of the mic locker; an extensive collection of outboard gear includes a Purple Audio MC77 1176-style limiter, and in Schmidt’s own words, “more Universal Audio plug-ins than anyone could ever use.” The room is also home to a custom-built isolation booth as well an eclectic and vintage assortment of guitar cabinets, which serve an equally classic collection of guitars and basses.
Recent Heffron Drive collaborators working at the studio have included producer Toby Gad. And Schmidt and Belt are busy planning their next project for later in 2016, where they will be joined by mixing and mastering legend Emily Lazar. The duo released their new single, Rain Don’t Come, in April 2016.