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What's with the glass recording studio in the street at SXSW?

Eric Pulsifer, special to the American-Statesman
James Parker of Austin records a song at the Visible Music Box at SXSW on March 8.. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

“Remember that time you played SXSW?” So reads the side of the glassed-in recording booth parked at Sixth and San Jacinto streets. But what is it? And why is it?

The Visible Music Box is a recording studio where anyone can drop in and record a track, grab a photo for your DIY album cover and go home with a copy of your handiwork on a USB drive that looks like a cassette.

Bang on the provided electronic drum kit, BYO-instrument or just get a recorded copy of yourself slaying at karaoke, which will for sure sound just as good as you think it does when you effortlessly hit those highs in “I Will Always Love You.”

With a line of soon-to-be recording artists queued outside behind him, producer John Lacy feverishly pounded out beats on his own drum machine. Lacy is of Houston's Trapedelic Recordings and was in town to perform and spread the word about his label.

“I just went in there and ripped it,” Lacy said stepping out of the studio and heading for a beat battle. Lacy, who has been drumming since a young age and is no stranger to recording and performing, said it was a unique experience he couldn't pass up. “The fact that you're recording in a glass box in the middle of Sixth Street? It's something.”

The project is an activation for Visible, a wireless phone service from Verizon. The Visible Music Box is open Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. Go on. And don't forget us when you're famous.

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