The music industry masterclass: Chicago with Steve Albini

Three days with a 'wizard,' seeing music in a different way.

Acadia Hansen, '26 | February 12, 2024


For Petey Newman, a winter break trip to Chicago was one of the most fun and exciting moments in his time as an OHIO student. The opportunity to participate in the Music Industry Masterclass was a special experience that he said truly helped him to absorb the new information. 

“On this trip with Steve Albini, it was almost like he was a wizard,” Newman said. “He was showing me this completely different side of the industry that we had no exposure to.” 

The masterclass participants recorded videos telling us more about their experience in Chicago.

Seven OHIO students had the chance to join legendary music engineer Steve Albini in Chicago over winter break to learn about professional audio engineering and tape recording. The program allowed each student to come away with a unique experience: they were completely immersed in the world of music production for three days.

Albini’s unique approach to the use of tape for recording was a stand-out feature of the trip for many students. Alex Karan, a freshman, noted that he had never had any experience with tape recording previous to the program, but by the end of the week he felt like he had a foot in the door with the process. 

In a music studio, a man sits in front of a group of students, gesturing with his hands

Hannah Littlefield found the entire trip a great experience. She said that Albini was very welcoming and open to all sorts of questions in the studio, which gave her a chance to truly learn from her time in Chicago. 

“It was really important for me to go on this trip as I am going to be graduating this coming spring,” Littlefield said. “I really just wanted to kind of get out there and see how other producers work and everything, and see if I can take any tips or tricks when it comes to recording into my own personal things when it comes to me recording in the future.”

The ability for students to learn in a professional environment outside of a classroom is one of the most notable aspects of the program. It prepares students for a career in music production beyond college and gifts them an experience that they will never forget.