February 6, 2015


We are very excited here at F.I.R.S.T Institute to be a partner in education with Sonic Studio and to be able to teach their worldwide standard mastering workstation, soundBlade HD. Very few audio engineering schools offer such opportunities for students. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn first hand on a professional industry standard mastering DAW. Being taught on soundBlade HD will help F.I.R.S.T. Institute students get a leg up on the competition by getting hands on experience with such a high quality mastering software while still in school.


This mastering workstation has many users worldwide and you have no doubt heard its effects on many Grammy-winning records over the years. soundBlade is used on releases from artists such as Rosanne Cash, Eric Clapton, The Doors, Miranda Lambert, Bruno Mars, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson, and Pharell Williams, just to name a few. It is also used in professional mastering studios such as Airshow Mastering, Lurssen Mastering, Azica Records, and Universal Records Mastering Studios, and by audio engineers Bruce Botnick, Katrina Degel, David Glasser, David Hadiz, Mandy Parnell, Piper Payne, among others.


The Audio Engineering & Music Production program looked at (and listened to) many different mastering workstations to reinforce its existing mastering course. We wanted to give our students access to a great industry standard workstation along with support from the company that developed the software. Sonic Studio delivered on both fronts, partnering with our education staff and students in providing access to soundBlade HD, along with personalized support and a commitment to education. Out of all the mastering workstations we researched and previewed, Sonic Studios was by far the most willing supporter of F.I.R.S.T. Institute students and educators, offering great communication and concern for our curriculum and goals.

The choice was easy as soon as we started talking with Ralph Schachter and James Anderson from Sonic Studio. The care and service from these representatives was beyond our expectations and they made sure we were set up with the software we required for our students, and they ensured that the best curriculum was being developed for teaching soundBlade. We are all happy with our partnership and look forward to educating our F.I.R.S.T. Institute students in the use of such a fantastic mastering workstation. soundBlade has definitely added to our already solid mastering course.




In case you are wondering about mastering and why we are so excited to be teaching soundBlade HD at F.I.R.S.T Institute, let me unravel the mystery of this important process in the audio production industry. To many beginner engineers and producers, mastering seems like a cryptic, dark art that only a few privileged initiates truly understand — but it doesn’t have to be. The main reason for this is that there is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet, along with the fact that mastering engineers typically don’t have the publicity like a music producer or major label mixing engineer (even though their job is equally important).

Mastering engineers are the guardians of the final gate that a commercial release passes through before release to the public. They ensure everything, in many different types of media, is the best it can be. These media types include sonics, presentation, and necessary data for mass production and distribution. Mastering engineers have trained ears that can pick up on all the small details missed by the production team and offer an unbiased sonic view of the project. They provide quality control and can bring out all the best aspects of a mix before thousands (or millions) of copies are released on streaming services, iTunes, CD, Blu-ray, DVD and other channels.

The mastering engineer uses a workstation, like soundBlade HD, along with hardware and great speakers to hear the mix in the best possible listening environment and then makes adjustments using EQ (like the Sonic Studios Mastering EQ plugin), compression, and limiting (such as the Sonic Quartet). Mastering engineers also offer services such a restoration, noise removal, and archiving. They restore and remaster records along with archiving historical recordings and working with audio forensics to help law enforcement and government agencies.

As you can see, there are many skills required of mastering engineers and soundBlade offers all of the tools to achieve professional results. F.I.R.S.T. Institute is excited to educate our students about all of these career possibilities using the world-standard mastering workstation soundBlade HD to achieve this!


A quality education from a high quality audio engineering school like F.I.R.S.T. Institute, one of the best audio engineering schools in Florida, can teach you the skills you need to succeed in the music production industry. There you’ll learn what you need to get your new music production career off the ground, you’ll even learn your way around a studio and things like how to be a music producer and how to make your own music. On top of all of that, we help you get that audio engineering internship opportunities you’ve been looking for.

You won’t get our quality, hands on learning experience with passionate audio industry professionals anywhere else! Check out the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute audio production school today. You’re only months away from your dream career!