Start to Finish: Vance Powell - Episode 1 - Blackbird Studio A Tour & Setup

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Vance Powell is back again for a Start To Finish Series at the iconic Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN! He's brought Nashville-based "The Weird Sisters" in to pen the song "Live And I Learn."

Day one is all about setup and planning. Watch Vance show the band around Studio A, give the assistants his microphone wishlist, and explain the setup for Day 2, which will start with pre production in the control room.

With the song still in its infancy, Vance and the band set up in the control room to iron out individual parts and the song's structure.

Watch as Vance Powell:

  • Gives his plan for the Blackbird portion of tracking
  • Gives his microphone requests to the assistant engineers
  • Explains how the Blackbird Studio A 8078 is the only one of its kind and breaks down each of the Blackbird custom modifications.
  • Sets up the band in the control room of Studio A
  • Sets up the drum kit in the iso booth of Studio A
  • Sets up the guitar rig in the main room
  • Explains his special "Sprinkle To Taste" mic

This is your chance to join Nashville legend Vance Powell and The Weird Sisters at the world-famous Blackbird Studio and watch them craft "Live And I Learn" from Start To Finish.

Equipment & Software
  • AEA R88
  • Ampex 1101
  • Josephson E22S
  • Neumann FET 47
  • Neumann KM84
  • Neumann U67
  • Neve 8078 Desk
  • RCA 77-D
  • Shure SM57
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Vance Powell

Vance studied electrical engineering in Missouri and started his career in live sound as a front-of-house engineer. In 2002, he moved to Nashville in order to become studio manager and chief engineer at the legendary Black Bird studios in Nashville. In 2006, he co-founded Sputnik studios along with Grammy-winning engineer Mitch Dane, still in Nashville.

Vance Powell has won 6 Grammy awards working with rock artists such as The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and more.

Powell's domain of expertise is definitely mixing and producing rock music. As shown in his pureMix videos, Vance likes to experiment and create new fuller and exciting sounds using all kinds of pedals, echos, analog outboards and plug-ins. Vance was used to recording to tape and definitely has an analog approach that makes him commit to fewer good sounding tracks rather than piling up takes in Pro Tools.

His goal is to make something new and warm that fits the band's vision with upfront snare drums and powerful guitars. Rocking.


Jack White

Chris Stapleton

The Deadweather

The Raconteurs

Arctic Monkeys


What do you have to say?
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2022 Mar 11
This series is already 15 parts and he hasn't even started mixing yet. They haven't even finished recording vocals yet! Puremix, I noticed you finally removed the "9 part series" language from the landing page. I guess this baseball game went extra innings? :)
2021 Dec 25
please subtitles in spanish
2021 Nov 20
Before beginning watching this new start to finish with the great and lovely Vance magnific Powel in the world... thank's again and friendly thank's all off you best regards now i get enjoy this vidéo ( même si le manque de french subtiles complique ma compréhension tout en améliorant mon anglais... after that beer an repos ) ,-) Denis
2021 Nov 19
I see Vance Powell in my inbox and the universe is aligned. Though, much like Santa Claus, I do wonder how he fit.
2021 Nov 19
More Vance Powell start to finish!! Siick!!