Music biz professional offers a crash course in the recording industry

Jim Fox, CEO of Lion and Fox Recording Studios

For every famous hit or epic concert you have heard or seen, there has been someone "behind the board" helping make the magic happen.

Producers and engineers are often unsung heroes of the recording industry, but students in the Department of Music and School of Communication learned about that world first hand when Jim Fox visited Radford on Feb. 29.

Fox, CEO of Lion and Fox Recording Studios in Washington, D.C., shared his insights on life as a multi-media production entrepreneur in a program titled "Aiming for the Stars: How to Run a Media Production Studio from 'A' to 'V'."

The program took place at 5 p.m. in the Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium.  

"[When Fox] left college he set out to build his own company and had great success," said Bruce Mahin, professor of music. "He had a dream he wanted to pursue and he did it. He’ll be a great resource for our students."

Fox was initially invited to speak to students in Mahin’s Introduction to Computer Music and West Bowers’, assistant professor of communication, Video Production courses. Students in the two courses, the former offered by the Department of Music and the latter by the School of Communication, are working together on projects this semester for the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Dublin, Virginia.

Sound production is an important component between Mahin's and Bowers' classes; the music students will work to score the video students' projects for the museum. Fox's visit will give both groups the opportunity to get a professional take on the challenges and opportunities they face with the project.

"This is an opportunity for them, something where they could talk to someone who does it for a living and gain that exposure," Mahin said.

Fox is a producer and professional recording engineer. He has produced, recorded, mixed and mastered hundreds of commercially released albums. He has toured the world mixing front-of-house and producing. He has worked for broadcasts at BET-On-Jazz Cable network, Bonnaroo Music Festivals and NPR radio. His career spans music projects, industrial productions, radio, TV, movies, DVD and surround sound mixing.

"Jim Fox is a great example of somebody who has been able to carve out his own place in the industry, taking advantage of a more decentralized media environment," said Bowers. "Given the nature of media today, students should know there are many more career choices available to them at smaller production companies and in smaller media markets."

Attendees to the event had the chance to hear Fox's perspective and engage with the recording industry professional.

The event was held in collaboration with the Radford University Scholar-Citizen Initiative, which offers students from all majors the opportunity to apply academic skills and disciplinary knowledge to challenges facing local, national and global communities.

Mar 1, 2016