The Blackbird Academy’s Studio A features a meticulously restored Neve 8078 console.
The Blackbird Academy in Nashville launched a new landing page on May 2 in preparation for its first class, which will begin on September 30, 2013. The Blackbird Academy’s Studio Engineering Program trains students using the same microphones, consoles, outboard gear and recording spaces used by top professional producers, musicians and recording artists who have created Grammy, CMA and countless other award-winning records in Nashville’s Blackbird Studio.
On January 6, 2014, the school will launch an intensive Live Sound Engineering Program based on the same model. The 24-week, 720-hour program will focus on all aspects of live engineering and sound reinforcement for touring, medium and small venues and houses of worship.
Among The Blackbird Academy’s instructors are working professional recording engineers, educators and award winning guest lecturers from Nashville’s production community. Pictured here is Mix technical editor Kevin Becka.
Staff instructors and Directors of Education include audio educator, musician and recording engineer Mark Rubel and Kevin Becka who is a longtime audio educator, recording engineer and technical editor of Mix magazine.
Kevin Becka states, “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. 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.”
John McBride, live sound and recording engineer who founded Blackbird Academy and Blackbird Studio, adds, “This has been a dream of mine for a long time. 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 students will have access to the Blackbird Studio’s extensive collection of gear, which includes more than 1,400 microphones.
The Studio Engineering Program is a 24-week, 700-hour intensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops. Facilities comprise 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.
The Live Sound Engineering Program is a 24-week, 720-hour intensive program with classes meeting five days a week, Monday through Friday, with possible weekend workshops. Facilities comprise a purpose built classroom, and students are trained on the latest consoles, P.A. systems and other gear used for touring, medium- and small sized venues and houses of worship.
A three-day Summer High School Recording 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 jump drive loaded with the songs recorded during the camp, and a download link for sharing. Class size is limited to 12 participants so please register early.
A three-day Fantasy Recording Workshop is aimed at adults possessing intermediate audio skills and 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 incredible Blackbird collection of gear. Attendees will leave the workshop with a jump drive loaded with a final mix of the songs recorded, and the full Pro Tools session files for personal use.
For more information, go to theblackbirdacademy.com.