METalliance Celebrates Nashville Blackbird Bonanza

METalliance In Session Team
Chuck Ainlay Mixing

Nashville, TN, February 2023 — The METalliance (Music Engineering and Technology Alliance) is celebrating another wildly successful “In Session” weekend of live tracking and mixing January 28 & 29 in Nashville at Blackbird Studio. During the weekend, the seven METAlliance members interacted with a full house of eager attendees, young and old, from pros to beginners.

Blackbird owner John McBride said, “I’ve always known to surround myself with great people. After two days with The METalliance I have never in my life been more inspired about making music. I learned more about the art of recording and mixing music than ever before with these living legends willing to share their wisdom, experience and humor with total honesty.”

METalliance members Sylvia Massy and Niko Bolas recorded the “blood” harmonies of the Zmed Brothers and the striking songs of singer/songwriter Sonia Leigh with a full band with horns. Bolas commented, “After spending the weekend sneaking into the other classes, watching the METalliance work, I, again, realize how diverse and creative this art of engineering can be. Jimmy Douglass is an ‘OG Beast’ and Sylvia Massy captures performance like no one else, with tools like no one else — genius hiding in a garden hose. Who knew?”

Says Sylvia Massy, “Our Nashville weekend was a cocktail of tasty music and innovative technology, blended with studio friends long-time and brand new — all poured into the vibrant rooms of Blackbird. Can’t wait to see y’all at the next METalliance celebration — we’ll have another f*ck-ton of fun!”

In Blackbird Studio D, Elliot Scheiner and Chuck Ainlay tracked Grammy Award-winning artist/songwriter/producer Jon Randall with All-Star session players. Ainlay said, “It never ceases to amaze me — the combined wealth of recording and mixing knowledge this group embodies. The willingness to share that information and the stories of a lifetime in the studio can’t be overstated. For me, it was a dream come true to witness one of my recording heroes, Elliot Scheiner, on a tracking session.”

Scheiner added, “Truly amazing weekend filled with the most wonderful students. All seven of us think alike but we do things differently. I learned more from Chuck over the two days than I have in the last twenty years.”

In Studio F, Jimmy Douglass shared techniques of his immersive mixes, including titles by Justin Timberlake. “We all shared an awesome weekend with consummate pro’s, bright students and gifted musicians, mixers and producers. It was deeply rewarding for all of us.”

Frank Filipetti and George Massenburg covered immersive mixing in the unique Studio C. Massenburg explored his recent Alicia Keys’ Grammy-winning “Best Immersive Album” and the newly released Earth, Wind and Fire immersive remixes. Filipetti demonstrated his immersive work with acts as varied as Korn and George Michael. Per Massenburg, “It was a great joy to join these most competent, intelligent, resourceful, successful, interesting, and generally weird recording creators. Everyone there was immersed in a f*cktonof great ideas.”

Frank Filipetti summed up the experience: “Forty-five years ago, I started in this insane business with all the hopes and dreams of a romantic. Still, I couldn’t have imagined the life this journey has provided me. This past weekend at Blackbird Studios brought all that back in spades. For three Covid filled years, I’ve missed the camaraderie of my METalliance friends, the pleasure of meeting audio professionals both new and old, and working with the best musicians on the planet. Hallelujah, it doesn’t get better than this.”

John McBride concluded, “It inspires me to learn more about the creative art of making music from these folks with such legendary careers. It inspires me even more that they are great human beings. Thank you, METalliance.”