Pro Sound News - July, 2002

"How To Make The Grade"
A picture of the Conservatory article in the June,1999 issue of the Pro Sound News
Success. Individuals who follow in the footsteps of someone else’s pioneering vision reap great rewards. Think about it. How many theorists or academicians were teaching the principles of studio recording or post-pro-duction 50 years ago? Besides the fact there were no formal training programs, most audio professionals didn’t have time to think about the theory of what they were doing. The just had to do it.

Times are different today. The pro audio industry has become mainstream and with that acceptance comes competition. Those who wish to work in the pro audio industry need to learn as much as possible about audio theory and technology before entering the job market. Whether looking for a hands-on program or a four-year college education, it’s important to know an institution’s mission and how far they’re willing to let students take their educational process.

“We’re the only school in the country that mandates that students do an internship,” says Kirt Hamm, Administrator of the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS). “We’ll set up internships for our students anywhere in the world. We just sent a student to Hong Kong, and we’re sending another one to London.” CRAS, founded in 1980, exclusively teaches a 37-week, 900-hour Master Recording Program II that emphasizes audio recording and production in recording and post-production studios.

CRAS courses whether lecture or hands-on, have no more than 12-1 student/teacher ratio. The intimate environment means “the instructors know the students by name and are able to work with them to help them achieve their own personal goals,” Hamm points out. “All of my instructors are working professionals. Many of them, besides being audio engineers, also write for many of the major publications. It’s a whole vibe. Everyone is here to help the student succeed. We’re all passionate about it.”

Toward that end, CRAS students can also receive Certifications forAvid/Digidesign (Pro Tools), Waves (Pro Tools plug-ins), TC Electronic(M-3000 DSP),SIA Software Company and Tascam (DA-88). Graduates then become the educators, says Hamm, bringing their knowledge to the studios and post houses they work in.