The Blackbird Academy’s Foundation Series

The Blackbird Academy’s Foundation Series is designed to build your music engineering and audio production skills. The series is directed at beginners to more advanced music creators, remixers, musicians, songwriters, singers, and those curious about what it takes to record, overdub, and mix quality music. Those who aspire to music, from ages ten and up, will gain operational skills and understanding of basic to advanced recording concepts including:

  • Signal flow
  • Microphone recognition and advanced placement
  • The keys to achieving great results when recording
  • Essential analog and digital gear used in audio production
  • Using a digital audio workstation
  • Understanding analog to digital, and digital to analog, conversion
  • Using plug-ins and analog processing when recording, overdubbing, and mixing
  • Developing software skills such as tuning processing, editing, and mixing
  • Console basics and operation
  • Using auxiliary tracks and buses
  • Using shortcuts to build speed
  • Learning how to listen
  • And much more!

Those more advanced will also achieve benefits from watching the videos that were filmed and written around the gear and workflow at Blackbird Studio, the world-renowned production facility located in Nashville, Tennessee. Blackbird has produced 100s of hit records from a variety of artists including Taylor Swift, Jack White, Martina McBride, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and many more. Viewers will learn an impressive range of valuable information only known in the inner circles of production at the heart of Music City USA.


The Blackbird Academy’s Foundation Series is a part of the Pensado’s Strive lineup of products. Please visit these websites for more information about Pensado’s Strive


The music used in this series includes:

Deep Cuts
Artist: Ryan Hommel
Engineered by: Rachael Moore, Luke Reynolds, Charlie Treat, Josh Epifanio, Lenny Juliano, Jeremy Cottrell, and Kevin Becka

7 Cords
Artist: Ryan Hommel
Engineered by: Rachael Moore, Luke Reynolds, Charlie Treat, Josh Epifanio, Lenny Juliano, Jeremy Cottrell, and Kevin Becka

Behind My Glasses
Artist: Ryan Hommel
Engineered by: Rachael Moore, Luke Reynolds, Charlie Treat, Josh Epifanio, Lenny Juliano, Jeremy Cottrell, and Kevin Becka

Bridle On A Bull
Artist: Clint Bracher
Mixed by: Dan Knittel

Corita
Artist: Clint Bracher
Mixed by: Nick Lazarou

Cutoff & Blend
Artist/Writer: Sam Bergeson
Engineer: Sam Bergeson

Eyes Wide Open
Artist: Clint Bracher
Mixed by: Dan Knittel

Out There Waiting
Artist: Clint Bracher
Mixed by: Ciel Eckard-Lee

See Me Rise
Artist: Clint Bracher
Mixed by: Dan Knittel

The Game
Artist: New Amsterdam
Engineer: Sam Bergeson

When The Rain Comes
Production, Engineering, Drums, & Guitars by Sam Bergeson
Written by Brandon Ratcliff & Caleb Wilt

Products

A great sound starts with a quality signal chain. In this first installment of the Foundation Series, you will learn the basics of audio starting with the source, and then moving step by step down the line to the finished product.

To achieve great results when recording, processing, and mixing audio, it’s important to know the levels at which various pieces of musical and studio gear operate. This course digs deeper into the operational qualities of studio gear in the signal chain.

Cables and connectors provide the pathways for audio signals to flow throughout the studio. Great connections can have a positive impact on not only the sound but also a creative difference in the recording process by maintaining the quality of the source and inspiring the performer.

Speakers, headphones, and In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) are transducers. Like all transducers, they change one form of energy into another. Learn the basics of transducer operation at the back end of the signal chain, where truth, or the lack of, can lead to consequences in the quality of your music.

EQs, compressors, pitch shifters, transient shapers, reverbs, and delays are just a few of the powerful tools an engineer may use while recording and mixing. Knowing how to use these powerful analog and digital processors is key to achieving great results when recording and mixing.

The digital audio workstation, or DAW, is an essential building block of the modern studio. Knowing the components, features, and tools found in this “studio in a box” is essential knowledge for all audio engineers, both old and new.

Recording engineers and music producers encounter many ways to adjust gain along the recording and mixing signal path. Knowing the best practices for setting levels in your DAW, processors, and other gain stages will allow you to avoid distortion and noise in your productions.

Asking the right questions about your microphones before the talent arrives is what separates a great recording from a good one. When is it better to use a dynamic mic instead of a condenser? How do you place each mic and which is the best polar pattern for each application? You will find the answers to these questions and more as we progress through this course.