NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Blackbird Studio in Nashville houses one of the finest collections of recording equipment anywhere, including an impressive assortment of API analog mixing consoles. Having already installed a 48-channel API Legacy Plus featuring 96 inputs in Studio B, and the largest API Legacy Plus console ever built – with 96 channels and 192 inputs – in Studio D, Blackbird has opened its brand new Studio H with an API 1608 discrete analog console.
The API console in Studio H joins two other API 1608 desks on the premises, according to Vance Powell, Blackbird’s Grammy-winning Chief Engineer. “We have three API 1608s, and two 16-channel expanders,” he explains. “One of the 1608s, with a 16-channel expander, is installed in Studio E. Another 1608 is in our new room, Studio H, an overdub/edit/mix suite. The 1608 is the centerpiece of that room for monitoring,
bussing and as an ‘in-the-box’ summing
mixer. The room just opened and its first client was Kevin Costner and Modern West.” A third 1608, outfitted with a road case, is available from Blackbird’s rental inventory.
Clients booking time on the 32-channel API 1608 in Studio E over the last several months have included Taylor Swift, Josh Turner, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Cory Chisel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Liv Devine, and Martina McBride, who co-owns the facility with husband John McBride.
API is a big part of the sound at Blackbird and is much appreciated by its clientele. Throughout the rooms there is a plentiful selection of API outboard equipment, including 550A three-band EQs, 550B four-band EQs, 560 ten-band graphic EQs, as well as 512C mic pres, 3124+ mic pres, 7600 channel strips and 2500 stereo compressors.
Â Powell, who shared the 2008 Grammy for “Best Engineered Album-Non Classical” for his work on “Consolers Of The Lonely” by the Raconteurs, mixed the album on the Studio D API console. A selection of API gear routinely travels with Powell when he works at other facilities. “Lately, I’ve been working a bit at Jack White’s [White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather member] Third Man Studio. I have several outboard API pieces that I brought over – 512s, 550As, 560s, 525s, and a 2500. They’re all making their way in there.”
Most recently, Powell completed mixing a new album by American bluesman Seasick Steve in Blackbird’s Studio B. The Seasick Steve album, “Man From Another Time” was released in the U.K. in early October.
ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Automated Processes, Inc. remains the leader in analog recording gear, with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 Recording Consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment. www.apiaudio.com