Real World Live Sound Education

The Blackbird Academy’s Live Sound Engineering Program is based on the same model as our studio engineering program: experiential learning from real-life scenarios a live sound professional would come across every day. Our program has been developed in collaboration with Clair Global, the premier live sound company. Because of this relationship, students will learn on gear that touring professionals use every day, from the massive Clair warehouses in Nashville, TN. Clair Global professionals will also be part of the guest teaching staff, guiding students through the skills it takes to work in this challenging and growing industry.

Students with engineer Mike Allison


July 10, 2017

October 2, 2017

January 8, 2018

Experiential Learning at The Blackbird Academy

The most powerful and effective way to learn is first hand, from a mentor working in the industry. The Blackbird Academy’s Live Sound Engineering program is centered 100% on experiential learning, the same mentor-based focus that has spawned many generations of award-winning live sound professionals. You will learn from, and have access to, real professionals with lengthy credits who are touring pros themselves. Our graduates will be ready to start working in small, medium and large live sound venues, clubs, touring and fixed sound installations and houses of worship. These skills will be taught through regular “Hot Seat” and “Ears On” challenges where you will learn to listen, react, and provide services in the most professional manner. The curriculum includes regular roundtable discussions and guest mentoring sessions with engineers, audio professionals, and others in the live sound industry. Classes are limited in size, giving each student the most individual attention possible. When students are not in the live sound classroom or workshop, they’ll be on one of many field trips to live concert venues, and other professional performance workspaces.

Here’s what you’ll be learning in the course:

In the Live Sound Engineering Program – developed in collaboration with Clair Global, the world’s largest live sound company – students learn on the same gear that touring professionals use every day. Clair Global professionals are also part of the teaching staff, guiding students through the skills and knowledge required to work in this exciting and growing industry. The Blackbird Academy’s Live Sound Engineering Program is taught at the school’s new educational facility located at 3318 Ambrose Avenue, Nashville, TN. Topics covered include:

  • Live Stage Set-Up and Use
  • Analog Outboard Gear and Equalizers
  • Construction and Operation of Loudspeaker Enclosures and Their Components
  • Introduction to Digital Front Of House & Monitor Consoles, Introduction to In-Ear Monitors
  • Lab Mix Project, Basic Soldering Techniques, Microphone Theory, Microphone Techniques
  • Sound Theory & Audio Bench Testing
  • Line Array Theory and Application, Line Array Calculators, System Concepts, Rigging Techniques
  • Wireless Microphones/ IEM’s/Instruments, RF Analyzers, Antenna Combiners, Antenna Types and Cables, Troubleshooting
  • Wireless Continued, Amplifiers, Speaker Impedance, Connectors, Crossovers
  • AC Power Distribution, Amplifiers and Network Programming
  • Maintenance Week: Bench Testing and Troubleshooting
  • Yamaha M7 Week
  • Tour Production Week
  • Soundcraft Si Series Week
  • Acoustics Week
  • Avid Venue Week
  • Audio Video Installation Week
  • System Design Theory
  • Digico Week and System Design Projects
  • The Business of Live Sound
  • Program Recap, Career Potential, Commencement
  • Preparing for Bands in the Venue
  • Advanced Analog Signal Flow and Digital Consoles

Guest Instructors

The Blackbird Academy has the unique opportunity to invite an impressive roster of guest mentors from the live sound industry, including Clair Global’s professional staff. This rotating cast of expert engineers, musicians, tour support personnel and artists includes the top names in audio and the music industry.

Wayne Pauley

FOH engineer (Lee Brice, Sawyer Brown, Trisha Yearwood)

Joe Keiser

FOH engineer (Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood)

Kerry West

Engineer (Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss)

Garth Brooks

Guest mentor for the Live Sound Program.

New Call-to-action

Apply now for the Live Sound Program


July 10, 2017

October 2, 2017

January 8, 2018