At the outset of the year, five Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies students and Lecturer Josh Antonuccio traveled to Austin, Texas, for the MDIA Production Masterclass. For the week-long production experience, the group returned to work again with acclaimed producer and engineer Jim Eno at his studio Public Hi-Fi.
Jim Eno is the drummer and founding member of the critically acclaimed band Spoon. Their 9th album, Hot Thoughts, was released last year, hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart and was widely received as one of the top albums of the year. The band had appearances on Ellen, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Eno is an in-demand producer and his studio Public Hi-Fi has hosted numerous artists including Lady GaGa, Miguel, Father John Misty, Arcade Fire, Parquet Courts, and Miike Snow, to name just a few. Eno was recently featured in Modern Drummer and discussed this year’s OU trip in the article.
Throughout the week, students were given the chance to learn firsthand from the Eno and his staff, assisting in tracking and engineering sessions throughout the week. This year students worked on sessions with a host of Austin’s finest musicians, including work on a new single from Austin funk rocker Walker Lukens, who recently had a breakthrough album in 2017 with Eno producing. The album was selected by ABC as one of the top 50 albums of the year.
“OU MDIA students worked directly with Jim and his two assistants, which included OHIO alumni Grant Eppley, a student who attended the class in its inaugural year and now works at the studio,” said Antonuccio. “Students got to handle major tasks throughout the sessions, from microphone setup, session organization, to patching outboard gear and assisting on the console. As well, they were handling tasks in running analog tape machines and digital sessions. The apprenticeship model of the course provided an extraordinary learning experience.”
This is the third year that the exclusive OU Global Opportunities trip has been offered to School of Media Arts and Studies students and those attending were encouraged and motivated by what they learned. Senior MPRI major Alex Weyers felt that her production skills took a major leap forward because of the class. “Working alongside top artists and producers at Public Hi-Fi for a week was inspiring. I learned so much over the week and gained a lot of understanding about how the process of working in an actual studio that just isn’t possible in a classroom lecture." MDIA junior Seth Canan agreed, “every minute spent inside Public Hi-Fi provided me with priceless information and experience,” he shared. “Studying with Jim and his team was a privilege which has left me inspired and more confident in my career path, goals, and my own abilities.”
"This trip was invaluable to me,” added MDIA senior Colton Moore. “I was blown away by the hands on experiences.”I honestly couldn’t believe how much I learned,” he reflected.