Learn hands-on, over 24 weeks, in rooms you’ve heard on countless records

At The Blackbird Academy, you will have 700+ hours in the classroom/recording lab and studios. Classes meet five days a week, 30-40 hours per week. Half of the program is spent in the studio, where groups of five students focus on pre-production, recording live musicians, overdubbing, and mixing. The other half of the program takes place in our classroom/recording lab – also a working recording studio – featuring an API console, two isolation booths, patch bay, individual Pro Tools HD stations, and three 65″ flat-screen TVs. When in the studio, it is always a maximum 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Every student:

  • has their own workstation. The student Pro Tools rigs are driven by Universal Audio’s Apollo X interface, featuring every plugin in the UAD collection.
  • has access to audio labs and equipment outside of regular hours, to work on assignments and/or practice recording and mixing.
  • works alongside industry professionals and special guest mentors in the classroom and studio.
  • benefits from on-site visits to studios, mastering houses, venues, equipment factories, and other audio-related businesses.

Here’s what you’ll be learning:

  • Recording, Overdubbing, Editing & Mixing
  • Signal Flow
  • Troubleshooting
  • Patchbay Layout & Operation
  • API, Neve & SSL Console Operation
  • Desktop Audio Workstation Production (ProTools. Logic)
  • Microphone Placement & Comparisons
  • Operation of Dangerous Music 2 Buss, Liaison, BAX EQ & Monitor ST
  • Audio Processing Plugins
  • Musical Instruments & Vocals
  • Analog Signal Processing
  • UAD – 2 Plugins
  • Universal Audio Apollo Interface Operation
  • Vocal Tuning
  • Studio Monitoring & Room Design
  • Acoustics
  • Modern Music Production
  • Careers & Entrepreneurship
  • Audio for Film & Video Games
  • The History of Recording
  • Mastering & Manufacturing
  • Studio Etiquette
  • Fundamentals of Electronic Music
  • Critical Listening
  • Hearing & Psychoacoustics


Upcoming Start Dates


September 30, 2024

January 6, 2025

April 7, 2025

July 7, 2025

100% Experiential-Based Learning

The Blackbird Academy is focused 100% on experienced-based learning – the same mentor-based philosophy that’s created generations of Grammy-winning engineers and producers. You learn from and have access to real professionals with lengthy credits: engineers, producers, artists, technicians, acousticians, and other audio pros currently working in the industry. You graduate ready-to-work in professional recording studios, through regular training under real-world conditions. We place a strong emphasis on industry mentorship through regular discussions with engineers, producers, and others in the industry. Some guest lectures draw from Blackbird Studio’s client list.

As a student, your schedule alternates every two weeks between the classroom and Blackbird Studio. In the classroom, each student has an Apollo/Pro Tools system that can record from the room’s two iso booths through the API console/outboard equipment, as well as record directly. Classroom work consists of sessions, demonstrations, guest visits, hands-on and ears-on recording training, and site visits to many of the incredible studios and facilities in and near Nashville. In the Studio, students work in groups of five in one of Blackbird’s many world-class rooms recording live musicians – giving you maximum hands-on time and contact with the musical talent, instructor, and guest engineers.

experience the studio

Do you have what it takes?

The studio business has its own set of rules for etiquette. Find out how well you react under pressure with our Studio Situations quiz.

Graduate ready to work! Sessions fill up quickly.Reserve your seat today.

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