Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nashville - Blackbird Studios - "Yes, A Big Deal!"

Sabbaticals are great! Everyone should take one!

I know I sound like a cocky rock star but - ahem - "I just got back from Nashville."

Actually it was the grand opening of BBR Studios. In his pursuit to put Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K's producer) out of business (my words, not his) my son Brett built a recording studio in his house. There's a live recording floor for drums, guitars, cellos, singers etc. which is connected to a mixing studio on the other side of the wall.
Friends and clients stopped by to visit and see the studios, unveiled for the first time.

I'm really proud of Brett. He aced his audio engineering class at S.A.E. and is now interning at Blackbird studios.


Oh, it's kinda like the "Abbey Road" of the 21st Century. (Little plug there for the McBrides! You're welcome.)

Brett took us on a tour of Blackbirds eight major studios early one morning before the rock stars arrived. (Rock stars don't wake up until noon.) I can't begin to describe the decor, the number of expensive microphones, the boards, the reverb chambers.

If you want to put some sound effect, like reverberation on your voice, like the sound you get in a big empty bathroom, you could turn on the reverb unit on a computer, or, you could go in this 4x4 foot room with a tall ceiling and have real reverb - I could barely understand my wife speaking next to me. It was like yelling in a cave! It was nuts!

Brett told me about his job as an intern, mostly running errands but being part of Blackbird is really quite an honour and giving him the ideas to build his own studio.

"Hey Brett, who's recording at Blackbird today?"

"I can't tell you - I signed a confidentiality agreement."

"Brett - you tell me! I'm your father!"

He wouldn't.

But he let me sit in Studio D, with the (ahem) 90-channel board! (who need 90 channels? Ok, maybe Rush. Ooops, wasn't supposed to say that!)

Ok, this is Nashville. Blackbird. The studio the other studios talk about. You won't find a gold record on the wall - anywhere. Why? Because every country song that gets a gold record was recorded at Blackbird! So, it's kinda cool that they don't show off their records. Nice.
The photo above is me in Studio D is where Nick Jonas spilt his coffee all over the glass engraved Blackbird counter.

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