Pro Sound News - June, 2002

"CRAS Prepares for Continuing Education"
A picture of the Conservatory article in the June,1999 issue of the Pro Sound News
Oakland, CA — In addition to education students aspiring to be great engineers and producers, the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS) has made it a priority to teach its students how to be good students. After graduation, months and then years of interning and assisting at recording studios commonly follows, and students have to be prepared for the continuing education involved.

Studio 880 owner/designer/producer John Lucasey has experienced many educated audio pros and engineers as interns and assistants, and over time has certainly learned that good people are hard to find. To Lucasey, the studio's atmosphere, gear and personnel are crucial in creating a successful package. Currently, Studio 880 is in the midst of expanding by adding a 65-seat mix theater and 22 offices.

Lucasey adds that education, industry knowledge, determination and the willingness to do what it takes are the keys to getting your foot in the door, and getting the opportunity to prove yourself. "A great example of determination is a producer/engineer I gave a chance to a little while back," Lucasey explains. "An entertainment attorney acquaintance of mine called me one day saying that some kid from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences sent him a demo and was looking for an internship at a studio, and could I help him? He said he seemed nice and was quite persistent. Good talent is hard to find, so I gave this kid, Josh Weaver, a chance as an intern."

Eventually nicknamed "Tone," Weaver spent a lot of time in the control room, during slow periods, and had a great interest in learning from several of the Studio 880 producer/engineers. According to Lucasey, "Michael Rosen was the first producer/engineer to give him a chance as a second, and Tone made the most of it."

When Studio 880 locked in a big project from DreamWorks, Lucasey pitched Tone as a second. Instead, DreamWorks flew someone in to work on the session, and when that didn't work out, they hired another pro. He happened to be unavailable for the following three days, so they decided to give Tone a chance. After working with Tone, they cancelled their other guy, and kept him on the project.

Having much experience with new kids starting out, Lucasey chalks Tone's abilities and manner up to the Conservatory. "The Conservatory taught him about the real world," Lucasey explains, "You must pay your dues, and you always start at the bottom. We've had a couple other students from the Conservatory intern here because we really like the attitude of the students that come out of there. They learn on top-notch gear, but know they have to climb their way to the top. They have a fighting chance because they know what they are getting into."