The Charger Blog

‘I Most Definitely Want to Work at a Place Like Blackbird Studio’

Through my internship at Blackbird Studio, a prestigious recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, I have gained hands-on experience with recording and mixing. I have enjoyed working in this fast-paced environment while developing a passion for working with audio.

June 30, 2022

By Lee Jones ’23

Lee Jones at Blackbird Studio.
Lee Jones at Blackbird Studio.

One of the many reasons I chose Blackbird Studio as my first internship was because of its regal reputation. Blackbird has around 10 studios and a few mixing suites, as well as a massive, legendary client list. It felt as though I was applying to work in the White House, and I was absolutely thrilled when I was offered the position.

My expectations for this internship were quite high coming in, and I put Blackbird on quite the pedestal as many others did, mainly because I had been hoping for it since my first year at the University. As my internship went on, I started to realize that even though Blackbird was huge, it was filled with like-minded and down to earth people who really cared about showing us the ropes.

I hoped to learn as much as I could about recording, mixing, and the overall studio workflow. I have learned above and beyond what I thought was possible, and I have developed a deep-rooted passion for audio since I started here.

As an intern, I have found the environment is very fast-paced and loud. It helps to be diligent and able to take orders quickly in this field. Time is literally money, as studios charge by the hour or usually have a day rate that engineers get paid. I have learned quickly that if you can streamline the studio workflow, then people will start to appreciate you as an intern and will spread the word that you can handle the chaos that is the music industry. I most definitely want to work at a place like Blackbird Studio.

Drums and equipment at Blackbird Studio.
Drums and equipment at Blackbird Studio.
‘We all work so well together’

Communication is essential in a large studio environment, and I have seen how poor communication can lead to mishaps at Blackbird. There are lots of moving parts in a studio, and usually people are very busy tracking or setting up sessions for the next day, so sometimes it is difficult for people to convey what they need.

A control room at Blackbird Studio.
A control room at Blackbird Studio.

The best tactics I have seen are usually carried out by the night managers, as they oversee setups and tear downs for sessions to come and sessions that have finished. Usually, we will start the night shifts with a casual huddle in which the night manager runs down our tasks for the night, and then we carry them out. Most nights there are four to five interns present, which helps with efficiency.

Throughout the night, the night managers will check in on what studios have been cleaned and will let us know when something is needed. All the night managers are experienced in audio, as well as in leadership, so our standard of work is usually very high given that we all work so well together under a professional leader.

I am excited to be learning so much as part of my internship.

Lee Jones ’23 is a music and sound recording major at the University of New Haven who is completing an internship at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of the University’s Bergami Summer Internship Program.