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Mix Nashville Sets Keynote with Chuck Ainlay and Michael Cronin

Grammy-winning engineer Chuck Ainlay and legendary studio designer Michael Cronin join Mix Nashville for a Keynote Conversation on the realities of adding immersive playback to a stereo mix room.

Mix Nashville Sets Keynote with Chuck Ainlay and Michael Cronin

Nashville, TN (May 6, 2024)—Immersive music production is the future…but upgrading your studio to handle playback in spatial formats can be challenging. With that in mind, Grammy-winning engineer Chuck Ainlay and legendary studio designer Michael Cronin will take the stage for a Keynote Conversation on that very topic at  Mix Nashville: Immersive Music Production II, an all-day event to be held on Saturday, May 11, at Columbia Studio A and four other studios at the heart of Music Row, followed by a nighttime Studio Crawl in the nearby Berry Hill neighborhood.


“Knowing that immersive music production is the future and getting to that future are two different things—and that’s where this keynote conversation comes in,” says Tom Kenny, Mix co-editor. “In this year’s Mix Nashville Keynote Conversation, we turn our attention to the studio itself, asking the basic questions that all artists, producers, engineers and studio owners—regardless of market, client list, square footage or budget—will ultimately address: ‘I know I’ll need more speakers, but what else should I be thinking about? Do I need to go into the walls or can I use stands? Do I need to add power? Dante? Is my ceiling high enough? Will it mess with my stereo playback? Am I going to need a second mortgage?’”


In this special presentation, Mix co-editor Tom Kenny sits down with world-renowned studio designer/builder Michael Cronin and world-renowned producer/engineer Chuck Ainlay to discuss the wide variety of options and key points to consider when turning your stereo mix room into a dual-purpose, immersive/stereo powerhouse.


Four Grammys, Ten ACM, Two CMA Awards & Two TEC Awards, Producer/ Engineer, Chuck Ainlay has more than 3500 credits to his name, including work with legendary and defining country music artists such as George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Lady A, Steve Earle, Lee Ann Womack, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris and The Chicks.

Chuck has placed his distinctive production and engineering stamp on projects with more mainstream and diverse artists such as Dire Straits and nearly the entire solo career of Mark Knopfler, as well as Peter Frampton, Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, Ann Wilson, James Taylor, Jewel, Bob Seger, Pentatonix and Sheryl Crow.

His work in surround mixing has resulted in ground-breaking projects such as the 25th-anniversary remix of Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive and the Grammy Award-winning 20th anniversary remix of the Dire Straits album Brothers In Arms. Recent immersive mixes include George Strait’s Pure Country, Troubadour and Ocean Front Property albums, as well as Lyle Lovett’s 12th of June.

Chuck is currently serving as one of the Nashville chapter Trustees for the Recording Academy. He’s served numerous terms on the Nashville board as Governor. He has chaired the Nashville P&E Wing and is the current Co-Chair of the Recording Academy’s P&E Wing, National Steering committee. Chuck has been a co-author of the majority of the P&E Wing Guidelines and recommendations. He is also currently on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association. Belmont University awarded Chuck with the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence.

Chuck is a founding member of the METalliance, committed to promoting standards of quality in the art and science of recorded music through education and product certification.


Having never once had a hit record, or even so much as recorded one, Michael Cronin nevertheless has played an important role in the creation of hundreds of millions of records due to his work on over 200 world-class recording studios and other audio facilities that he has been involved in designing and building on five continents over the last quarter-century.

Born in London to an Irish family, Cronin began his career in studio design after graduating from Tottenham Technical College with a specialty in fine restoration work on landmark buildings. In 1984, he was introduced to the Eurythmics, then a world-chart topping English duo featuring vocalist Annie Lennox and musician Dave Stewart, who had purchased a 19th century church in London, intending to turn it into a recording studio and at the same time to restore its essential architectural elements. It was an utterly serendipitous connection for Cronin, who in that project found a life’s calling.

Since then, working with acclaimed studio designer and architect Tom Hidley and through his own company—Michael Cronin Acoustic Construction—established in 1997, he has been involved in the building process of scores of world-class, world-famous recording facilities. These include Guillermo Tell and MEGA in Paris, France; the renovation of MOSFILM in Moscow, Russia; BOP Studios Bophuthatswana, South Africa; The Tracking Room, Ocean Way, Blackbird Studio and Masterfonics in Nashville, Tennessee; Capri Digital in Capri, Italy; and producer Mutt Lange’s famed hideaway studio Sully Sound in Tou de Pays, Switzerland.

Cronin has also contributed his skills to culturally significant facilities, including the archivist mastering room at the Country Music Hall of Fame and acoustical consulting work for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, both in Nashville. Finally, he remains one of the most sought-after designers and builders of advanced, high-end home theaters in the U.S.

Cronin’s mission statement has never been about money but instead he firmly believes that “it’s about creating the space in which other people can exercise their creativity,” which motivates him to continue with this highly prized specialty work that he has claimed as his lifelong career.

•. •. •

Mix Nashville: Immersive Production II, an all-day event on Music Row, followed by a nighttime Studio Crawl in Berry Hill, includes product demonstrations, special programming and immersive music playback sessions in the world-class facilities of Host Partner Curb Studios control and live room, Black River Entertainment (Front Stage and Back Stage Studios), Starstruck Studios’ Gallery and Immersive Mix Studio, the historic RCA Studio A and BMG Studio A.

Additional sponsor programming will continue to be announced in the coming days. For additional program and registration information, visit the  Mix Nashville: Immersive Music Production II website. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Janis Crowley.