The Blackbird Academy was started by recording and live sound engineer John McBride and his wife, country artist Martina McBride. They created Blackbird Studio in 2002, which has grown to be a top production stop for recording artists like Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Kid Rock, Tim McGraw and many more. When interviewing interns and employees for Blackbird Studio, John would ask various questions about production such as: “what is your favorite kick drum mic?.” The answers revealed that many graduates of audio programs had little hands-on time in a recording studio.

Another question whose answer shocked him was “how much did your education cost?” John quickly realized that not only did grads still have a lot to learn, but they were also saddled with debt.

After talking about the ideas they had regarding audio education, John and Martina founded The Blackbird Academy. John hired Mark Rubel and Kevin Becka, both longtime audio engineers, musicians and educators, and the three of them went to work creating the program.

The curriculum features access to Blackbird Studio’s gear and facilities – a top stop for award-winning artists, producers and engineers. Another feature is a mentor-driven, experience-based education. At The Blackbird Academy, you will be taught by a unique cast of professional instructors and award-winning guest mentors.

Any great education is centered in a hands-on environment, and at The Blackbird Academy you will have 350 hours in our 30-position classroom/lab, and 350 hours in the studio in groups of five students. The studios are the same rooms used every day to make hit records at Blackbird Studio. The classroom is itself a recording studio with an API console, patch bay, two iso booths, Pro Tools HD, three 65” flat screen TVs, and 30 student Pro Tools rigs driven by Universal Audio’s Apollo interface featuring every plugin in the UAD-2 collection.

There is no substitute for learning hands-on, from the best professional instructors, in rooms and on gear that is used to make top quality music every day. The lessons learned at The Blackbird Academy will help you find work in an industry that is competitive, challenging and rewarding.

Realize your potential by taking part in The Blackbird Academy experience!