Known for his work with the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble, Shakuhachi player, and composer, Kojiro Umezaki (梅崎康二郎) performs an improvised variation of “Ondo no Funauta", a traditional Japanese folk song from the Hiroshima region. This AEA Session features the Shakuhachi miked up-close with an N8, an R88 Stereo Mic on room to pick up the natural, lush reverb of the sanctuary, all running through RPQ500 preamps.

Watch this video on it's AEA Sessions page: http://www.aeasessions.com/shakuhachi-solo


John McBride is an audio industry legend with an equally strong footing in the live sound world and the studio business. Growing up lower-middle class Wichita, Kansas, in the late '70s, he earned his stripes mixing local bands at live shows. Eventually, John ended up as production manager for Garth Brooks' live show and spent the next two decades building his live sound business until he sold it to Clair Brothers. In 2001, he and his wife Martina McBride founded Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Together they have created one of the world's top recording studios comprising eight different rooms with a one-of-a-kind collection of musical instruments and recording gear, a dedicated studio equipment rental business, and a recording school, Blackbird Academy. The studios have been the creative home for artists such as Taylor Swift, Chris Stapleton, Amos Lee, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, and much, much more. 

In this inspirational first segment of the three-part interview we did with John, he explains his motivation to build Blackbird Studios. He also shares his philosophy in running the studio and his approach as an engineer and studio owner. Blackbird Studios own several AEA ribbon microphones and preamps like the R84, R88 mk2, R92, and RPQ preamps.

The AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Preamp provides two channels of high-quality, high-gain, low-noise preamplification that complements the natural tonality of your microphone. 

Specifically designed for ribbon microphones, the RPQ2 excels at drawing out the warmth and lush sound that ribbons are uniquely known for. With 81dB of gain, JFET circuitry, and a super high input impedance of 63K Ohms, the RPQ2 delivers the precision, quietness, and headroom needed for today's high-resolution recordings.

Learn more about the AEA RPQ2 here.

Dan Schnelle embodies the exuberant spirit of pioneer jazz legend “Papa Jo Jones” in our latest AEA Sessions video. With a simple setup of an R84 mono overhead, R84 on bass drum and the R88 stereo mic on far room (all run through AEA RPQ500 preamps), you’ll hear the intricacy of Schnelle’s rhythmic taps and patters. As Papa Jo said, “Always start basic and you’ll never go wrong. After you have control of your instrument, you can do whatever you wish.”

This AEA Sessions video features the Rolls Royce of ribbon mics, the A440. This active 44 showcases Michael Mayo's beautiful tenor pipes on the old jazz standard, 'If You Could See Me Now.' With a touch of sentimental nostalgia Mayo's haunting voice lingers in the air of this high school gym, amidst the fallen streamers and deflated balloons. Watch carefully as the camera pans out- you just might catch a cameo by the Ribbon Guy himself.