In the five short years since its birth, Blackbird Studio in Nashville has emerged as one of the recording industry's treasures: a studio built from the bottom up to uncompromising standards. Owned by John and Martina McBride, a powerhouse duo with complementary talents on both sides of the microphone, Blackbird is home to the finest collection of recording equipment and the greatest acoustics in Nashville. Artists such as Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jewel, Dolly Parton, and, of course, owner Martina McBride have cut chart-topping records at Blackbird.
One of Blackbird's most popular rooms is Studio B, which features a 48-channel, 96-input API Legacy Plus console with motorized faders. In fact, the API Legacy Plus is so popular, John McBride felt it was time to replace the Trident console in Studio D with his second API Legacy Plus console. The new console is the largest API Legacy Plus console ever built, with 96 channels, 192 inputs and 200 faders — 100 of them moving. While McBride had no ill words for the Trident, the engineers and producers who book time at Blackbird wanted the API sound. And because Blackbird's mission is to meet and exceed its client's expectations, the decision was simple.
Studio D is huge and features three amp lockers and seven recording spaces with impressive acoustics and a "vibe" that inspires emotional performances. The expansive main room has dark walnut floors, stone walls, and modular "flutter free" panels, all illuminated by uber-cool hanging red lamps that meld the feel of the recording space with the studio's amazing lounge.
In addition to its sibling in Studio B, the new Legacy Plus will join a host of other API outboard equipment that holds prominent places in the racks of all six of Blackbird's studios and which are also perennial client favorites. Among them are numerous all-discrete 550A three-band EQs, 550b four-band EQs, and 560 ten-band graphic EQs, 512c mic pres, 3124+ mic pres, and 7600 channel strips, along with 2500 stereo compressors with the API 2520 op-amp and optional "feed forward" circuitry. The "API sound" is prominent at Blackbird!
John McBride said, "We're excited about putting the new API Legacy Plus in at Blackbird. As there are fewer and fewer analog console manufacturers, API will only increase in popularity. I'm confident that a lot of hip records are going to be made on the new console in the years to come."