Audiokinetic, developer of audio solutions for the video game industry, and the Conservatory of Recording Arts today announced an educational partnership that is the first of its kind in the industry. The Conservatory teaches Audiokinetic’s Wwise software platform in its Audio for Games curriculum and will further develop an authorized Manufacturer Certification for the product. The Conservatory is the first educational institution in the world to teach with Wwise, and will now become an official trainer for the software not only at the CRAS, but across the game industry. More details on the new program will be released at the upcoming Game Developer’s Conference in March. Visit the Conservatory at the show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Booth #859. The full press release, outlining the alliance, appeared today on Audiokinetic’s website.
photo caption: Ben Widmer, Joey Cicak and Eric Boyer in the Blue booth at NAMM
The National Assocation of Musical Merchant’s (NAMM) show in Anahiem is the biggest musical trade show in the USA. It hosts literally every manufacturer of musical instruments worldwide, including guitars, amps, basses, drums, brass, percussion, software and audio gear. The show is becoming more and more of an audio show as years go on with manufacturers like SSL, Apple and Digidesign having a large presence. This year’s show was attended by various CRAS instructors and students and the school was also well represented in the booths on the floor. For instance, Blue microphones, makers of the Blue Bottle, Dragonfly, Mouse and many other great mics, had their booth manned by three Conservatory grads. Ben Widmer, Joey Cicak and Eric Boyer were all on hand, Eric being Blueâ€™s Vice President of Manufacturing. The school has many grads working throughout the industry with companies like Waves, SoundToys, Grace Designs, Skywalker Sound and Universal Audio.
photo caption: Student prepares for his Live Sound Proficiency
Assessing knowledge and proficiency in education is the best way to train someone in any field. At the Conservatory, students become proficient in the operation of software and hardware throughout the program. For starters, students are eligible for 12 certifications from Apple, Digidesign, TC Electronic and the school’s own programs for Auto Tune, Reason and more. There are also hands-on tests in Live Sound and in the operation of consoles from Neotek, SSL, Neve and Focusrite’s Control 24. When your hands are on the gear and you’re the only one in the room besides the instructor, the heat is on and you must prove that you know your stuff. This kind of attention to detail and testing makes Conservatory students eminently employable throughout the industry. What’s the bottom line? A Conservatory education plus dedication equals a career path in audio.
photo caption: Conservatory tech Dale Epperson in studio with audio legend Les Paul
Usually, having a “past” is a bad thing, but for CRAS tech Dale Epperson, it’s an impressive thing. Dale has a history of work with guitarist and inventor Les Paul. Over the years, he’s worked in Les’s home studio, keeping it running in top condition. Les’s career has spanned over 70 years (he’s currently 92!), and his contributions to audio are impressive. For one, he invented the multi-track recorder and the first solid body guitar which became the Gibson Les Paul and is still used today by top guitarists all over the globe. Les plays regular monday gigs in New York’s Iridium night club and tinker’s in his home studio which contains most of the original gear he used to make hits in the 50s. There have even been a few CRAS students who have interned with the legend.
photo caption: Neve fader modules on the bench awating a refurb
Regular upgrades and maintenance are essential when you’ve got 8 studios to keep running. It’s even more important when your studios run 24/7. Conservatory students have campus access around the clock, allowing them to experience audio recording and production as much as they’d like. During the day, classes occupy both campus locations, but at night, they are loaded with students and bands recording, mixing and exploring. It’s this exploration that makes your on campus experience at the Conservatory unique, you are welcome to have your fill.
photo caption: TC Electronic chairman Ed Simeone and student Krystle Sanno preparing to Podcast
Ed Simeone’s list of audio experiences and skills are extensive. He’s a tube-gear nut, has been a keyboard tech for some of the top players in music and is an avid HAM radio operator. If that wasn’t enough, Ed is the Chairman of TC Electronic USA, the company that sells high end audio processors, Lab Gruppen, TC-Helicon and Dynaudio products. He recently brought his Reverb Master Class to the Conservatory where he takes reverb from its inception (it started in B.C. if you can believe it!) to the modern day. The Conservatory certifies students on TC’s System 6000 and M3000 and has TC gear in many classrooms and studios. Simeone is part of our guest lecture program where industry pros are brought on campus to impart knowledge and talk to students about jobs in audio.
photo caption: Student setting up an Avantone AK Type VII microphone on a modified Porsche
The world of post and game audio makes for some interesting sessions. That was no more true than on January 4th when Conservatory instructors and students recorded a modified Porsche 911 Turbo for a video game company. Audiokinetic, authors of the Wwise recording software used in the CRAS’ 9th cycle audio for games curriculum asked instructor Michel Henein to provide some content that included a high performance auto engine. Such recordings are a big part of the expanding world of game audio, and another path CRAS grads can take once they complete their education. As part of the expanding curriculum for 2007, qualified students will be eligible for a Wwise certification which will be unveiled in Q1.
photo caption: Conservatory staffers and student Q-tipping the Neve VR console over the holiday break
The CRAS is all audio all the time, except over our yearly 2-week holiday break. In that window of calm, both locations are upgraded, painted, cleaned and polished in preparation for the new year. This year, the cue systems in our Gilbert location studios were upgraded, heads re-lapped on our Studer A827 24-track 2″ machine and the Tempe SSL was fitted with replacement capacitors.