Nashville, TN (May 9, 2013)—Nashville’s Blackbird Studio has launched Blackbird Academy, a new studio engineering/live sound program designed to teach students to use high-end microphones, consoles, outboard gear, and more. The Academy’s first classes will begin on September 30, 2013.
Students will be taught on the same equipment used by professional producers, musicians and recording artists who have created Grammy, CMA and other award-winning records at Blackbird Studio. On January 6, 2014, the school will launch a Live Sound Engineering Program based on the same model. The 24-week, 720-hour program intends to focus on all aspects of live engineering and sound reinforcement for touring, medium and small venues, and houses of worship.
Staff instructors and Directors of Education include audio educator, musician and recording engineer Mark Rubel, and Kevin Becka, a longtime audio educator, recording engineer and technical editor of Mix Magazine.
“I’ve been teaching audio recording for over 15 years and this is a real chance for us to hit the reset button on education,” said Becka. “Students will have the unique opportunity of learning their craft on the best gear, in the best facilities available, and will be taught by true working professional instructors and top guest lecturers from Nashville’s music production community. Even our purpose-built classroom is a working studio, so in reality, you never leave the production environment the whole time you’re here.”
“This has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Blackbird Academy founder, live sound and recording engineer John McBride. “Mentoring is a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and judging from interviews with Blackbird Studio interns over the years, a better education should be available for people who want to make a career of audio recording and live sound engineering. We can offer an alternative to schools that ask you to make a sizable investment in time and money, then leave you with below average skills, not enough hands-on experience, and an incomplete education.”
Blackbird Academy offerings will include:
Studio Engineering Program – A 24-week, 700-hourintensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops. The facilities consist of three recording studios and a large main laboratory/studio dedicated full-time to education. The Learning Laboratory seats 30 students and is an audio production space in its own right.
Live Sound Engineering Program – The Blackbird Academy offers a 24-week, 720-hour intensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops. The facilities consist of a purpose-built classroom and students are trained on the latest consoles, PAs and other gear used for touring, medium and small venues and houses of worship.
Summer High School Recording Camp – This three-day summer camp features Blackbird Academy instructors, as well as special guest musicians, engineers, producers, singers and songwriters. Participants will be taken through the music production process from beginning to end, starting with introduction to the Academy facilities and gear, then through tracking, overdubs and mixing. Students will leave The Blackbird Academy camp with a thumb drive loaded with the songs recorded during the camp, and a download link for sharing. Class-size is limited to 12 participants.
Fantasy Recording Workshop – This three-day workshop aimed at adults with intermediate skills features Blackbird Academy instructors, as well as special guest musicians, engineers, producers, singers and songwriters. Participants will be taken through the tracking, overdub and mixing of a live band and will learn advanced Pro Tools techniques, workflow tips to increase speed and audio quality, and advanced mixing techniques using gear from the Blackbird collection. Attendees will leave the workshop with a thumb drive loaded with a final mix of the songs recorded, and the full Pro Tools session files for personal use.
The Blackbird Academy