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Blackbird Academy Integrates Roland’s Personal Mixing System

Blackbird Academy students use a Roland M-48 Personal Mixing System

The Blackbird Academy in Nashville, a premier Studio and Live Sound Engineering School, has recently installed and integrated the Roland M-48 Personal Mixing System into their program. The Academy’s unique “hands-on” approach curriculum provides students with access to world-famous Blackbird Studio gear and engineers.

“At The Blackbird Academy, our prime emphasis is teaching the students to provide the client with high-quality sound and service throughout the production process,” says co-director and instructor, and Mix magazine technical editor, Kevin Becka. “The compact, M-48 mixers punch this ticket by being easy to use, having a full set of features like EQ, reverb, panning and level controls, plus they sound great. I have experience with this system in a live sound setting and am amazed at how well it fits into our tracking and overdub sessions at The Blackbird Academy.”

The M-48 mixers are used every day in Studio I at The Blackbird Academy. The studio is built around a Beatle theme, and like Abbey Road, the control room for Studio I is on the second floor. When they built the room, it was going to be a daunting task to drag copper downstairs to all the live room panels.

Becka says he was happy that the Roland M-48 system worked with the studio’s existing Cat-5 runs, and that the M-48’s personal mixers have proven to be easy for the students to grasp and get up and running quickly. With the bankable channels and multi-function encoders, he says that it’s effortless for student/engineers to show the musicians how to jump between the functions and concentrate on getting themselves a great mix. Becka adds that the 3-band EQ and reverb parameters are simple but sound great and are very usable.

“We are very happy with how the M-48 works with our curriculum, studio workflows and how the students have taken to the system,” Becka concludes. “They are very impressed and so are we.”

Find more information about the Roland M-48 Personal Mixing System.

For more information about The Blackbird Academy, visit