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MDIA students learn the world of music production at major Brooklyn studio

For undergraduate students, the value of experiential opportunities goes beyond adding a bullet point to their resumes. The students from the School of Media Arts and Studies (MDIA) who participated in the music production master class at Joel Hamilton’s Studio G in Brooklyn found skill-building experience, encouragement, and perhaps most important: affirmation that they have chosen the right career path.

That was certainly true for senior music production and recording industry (MPRI) major Lauren Allison, who also said she learned new techniques that she’s excited to use on her own projects.

“[The masterclass] really solidified where I want to go after graduation, making sure I'm in the right spot,” Allison said. “It made me really excited to graduate and get out there and start working.”

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The students spend four days in the studio with Hamilton and his staff, tracking and mixing a full band session, getting a hands-on demonstration working with spatial audio in a Dolby Atmos mixing room, and learning how to build creative production workflows with studio hardware and software.

MPRI major Jordan Dearth said he appreciated the technical instruction as well as the wisdom Hamilton and his assistant, Justin Termotto, shared about the industry.

“Joel and Justin gave us a massive amount of insight on as far as very specific recording and mixing, mastering techniques as well as loads and loads of studio etiquette and experience with all this outboard gear,” Dearth said. “This is an unbelievable value, honestly. You cannot get ahold of this stuff without going to a big studio.”

A Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with The Black Keys, Rick Rubin, Norah Jones, Pretty Lights and Danny Elfman, Hamilton hosts the master class students every year.

“Working with the crew Josh brought to Studio G Brooklyn was fun and inspiring. There were so many great questions and discussions that led us to some interesting places. The art of producing music requires sensitivity, intelligence, and the ability to communicate. All the students did such a great job communicating their ideas and questions, and I look forward to seeing where they take these skills moving forward!

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MDIA school director Josh Antonuccio organizes the master class series, and sees its impact on students’ outlook.

“For these students, this trip provided a tangible opportunity to road-test their career aspirations and work firsthand with those that are producing and engineering some of today’s best artists,” Antonuccio said.

The class also gave students access to other young producers and engineers, including MDIA alum Michael France, BSC ’17, who works in studios across New York City, including Studio G. Meeting successful producers at all stages of their careers was a highlight for fourth-year MPRI major Jack Hill.

“Learning about Joel's career trajectory and the path that he took to get here was extremely inspiring,” Hill said. “It's made it seem more achievable to work someplace like this and to have a studio one day.”

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Third-year MPRI major Ryan Shepherd said he learned it would take more than technical chops to succeed.

“My takeaways here were the importance of being easy to be around and being an easy, cooperative worker…always be open to learn from other people and learn from other experiences,” Shepherd said. “I also really learned the importance of being quick and being timely and enthusiastic. Enthusiasm and speed are two things that will trump other applicants for a job or will get you a callback in the studio for another project.”

For sophomore Rylee Stopperich, the experience confirmed for her that she is on the right path.

“I was very hesitant to go into the music production world and I was always asking myself, is this the right place for me?” Stopperich said. “Being here and seeing the professional studio has really, really solidified that for me and now I'm almost positive that this is the place, this is what I want to do.”

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February 2, 2023
Staff reports