Want to jump start your audio career? Look to CRAS

Want to jump start your audio career? Look to CRAS

September 11, 2020

In just 11 months, you’ll have the skills, hands-on training, and real-world experience to launch your audio engineering or music production career the day you graduate.

And with our fast-track to graduation, launching your career won’t leave you buried in debt.

We even include a laptop recording package as part of your education cost.

Imagine yourself a year from now, confidently accepting your first job offer and doing the work of your dreams. Too good to be true? Not for CRAS graduates. CRAS stands in a class of its own for bringing together expert faculty, small classes for individual attention, and 24/7 access to high-end gear and the latest technologies.

Yes, CRAS has a Financial Services Office for assistance with loans, grants, scholarships, and G.I. Bill benefits. But that’s where our comparison to a college or university ends. You’ll never walk into a studio that feels like it was equipped in the ‘70s, scramble to get a few hours a week using the facilities, or waste years of time and tuition on general ed and theory. Every resource at CRAS is dedicated to one craft. And that single-minded approach includes every instructor, guest lecturer, and fellow student. Everyone you will meet and engage with at CRAS not only shares your passion but will become valuable industry contacts.

CRAS helps you succeed—in the classroom and the industry

Our laser-focused curriculum is designed to provide everything you need to know for a successful career in music, video game sound, broadcast audio, live sound, and audio for film and TV. You’ll graduate with practical skills and techniques, critical listening and thinking, and enough tech and gear savvy to become the go-to problem solver at any studio. And at CRAS, the proving ground for your classroom education appears before you enter the job market.

Your final 12 weeks with CRAS will be spent completing an internship—one that you tailor around your career goals. The internship of your choice gives you a chance to apply everything you’ve learned to a studio environment, gain a working knowledge of operations and protocols, and come out with a level of confidence that only the real world can offer. In fact, the CRAS internship advantage is the only one of its kind in the audio education field. Not every internship turns into a job offer but they always give you a leg up in the job market by expanding your experience, self-assurance, connections, recommendations, and referrals.

The sky is the limit with a CRAS education

Little wonder that CRAS alumni are so highly valued as employees and so often associated with award-winning projects. Our graduates have won Gold and Platinum certifications, Oscars, GRAMMYs, Tonys, Billboard Music Awards, RIAA Awards, AMAs, CMAs, and EMMYs. They worked on eight of the award-winning films featured at the 2018 Oscars and were involved with six GRAMMYs in 2020. Since 2009, they have been involved in more than 173 GRAMMY-winning albums and engineered live sounds for the music industry’s biggest names. CRAS alumni work for leading broadcast companies from ESPN to CBS Radio and have credits for more than 3,800 film, television and documentary projects.

Ready to join the CRAS family, explore your passion and change your entire life in just 11 months? Request information or apply today!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

One-of-a-kind
Recording Facilities Internships

A requirement for graduation, the CRAS internship program is the only one-of-its-kind in audio education.

We have relationships with audio recording facilities around the country and throughout the world, and work closely with you to take location, industry specialty and more into the final decision.

Laptop Recording Package Included in the Cost of Tuition

As a CRAS student you’ll receive a Laptop Recording Package so you can take your studio with you wherever you go.

CRAS is a positive and friendly environment with lots of opportunity.

“CRAS is unique, they infuse you with all the knowledge that is required for working in the professional field of audio; How to market yourself, how to utilize and maintain any and all professional audio equipment that is used in today’s industry.  It’s an environment where doorways to opportunity arise day by day and the people carry a vibe like nowhere else. 
— Ryan, CRAS Student

The internship of your choice—only at CRAS

The internship of your choice—only at CRAS

September, 10 2020

The internship program at CRAS is the only one of its kind in the field of audio education.

Best of all, CRAS’ intense focus on music production and audio engineering enables you to graduate in just 11 months without a mountain of crippling debt.

Unlike other schools, we promise and deliver the ultimate real-world experience by including a 12-week internship as part of our graduation requirement. No combing the industry for opportunities, no endless phone calls, no filling out endless applications, no waiting and hoping for a positive response.

You tell CRAS where you would like to be located, select your top placement choices, and our Student Services Department does the rest. Our ability to meet most requests is based on the richness of our connections across every audio engineering niche from Los Angeles to New York City, from Chicago to Nashville.

Your audio education, your way

CRAS takes this unique approach because we want you to have an internship experience that you tailor to your chosen career path. First, you’ll have a chance to learn, grow and excel in a comprehensive, laser-focused curriculum in all five industry disciplines: Music, live sound, video game sound, broadcast audio, and audio for film and TV.
Once you’ve gained all the knowledge and skill an interactive classroom setting can offer, the internship of your choice instills the confidence you need to succeed from the day you graduate. Having access to a real-world set or studio perspective gives you a working knowledge of operations and protocol, a chance to apply all that you have learned—and a foot in the door with prospective employers. Internships can turn into job offers but they also provide opportunities for priceless connections, recommendations and referrals.

CRAS sets the standard for industry excellence

Industry leaders from coast to coast praise CRAS graduates for their unique hands-on studio experiences along with the benefit of small classes and individual attention from incredible instructors. CRAS believes in the value of exposure to experts and trend-setters in audio engineering and music production. That’s why we carefully select our faculty and staff from the rock stars of the tech-ed world and fill our learning environment with state-of-the-art gear.

It doesn’t matter if your passion is worship sound, concerts, recording, broadcast, education, film sound, game sound or any other aspect of professional audio and production, CRAS has the skill-building educational and practical experiences that will help you launch with confidence and begin your rise to the top.

The job-seeking power of real-world experience

It’s a fact that many studios will not even consider an aspiring candidate who lacks on-the-job experience. They need more than a certification and faculty recommendations as proof that you know how to get the job done effectively and efficiently. In the world of audio and recording businesses that are growing more competitive with every passing day, an impressive internship experience can be the edge you need to grab attention and remain visible above the pack.

Our immersion approach gives you a deep dive into what you already love—but also the chance to discover a new passion that might come as a complete surprise. And at the end of your laser-focused interactive classroom journey, you’ll be building confidence, portfolio credits, and professional contacts with a 12-week internship in one of the nation’s leading studios.

Ready to start your career in audio engineering in less than 11 months? Request information or apply today!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

One-of-a-kind
Recording Facilities Internships

A requirement for graduation, the CRAS internship program is the only one-of-its-kind in audio education.

We have relationships with audio recording facilities around the country and throughout the world, and work closely with you to take location, industry specialty and more into the final decision.

Laptop Recording Package Included in the Cost of Tuition

As a CRAS student you’ll receive a Laptop Recording Package so you can take your studio with you wherever you go.

CRAS is a positive and friendly environment with lots of opportunity.

“CRAS is unique, they infuse you with all the knowledge that is required for working in the professional field of audio; How to market yourself, how to utilize and maintain any and all professional audio equipment that is used in today’s industry.  It’s an environment where doorways to opportunity arise day by day and the people carry a vibe like nowhere else. 
— Ryan, CRAS Student

Big dreams? You’re in the right place at CRAS

Big dreams? You’re in the right place at CRAS

September 9, 2020

Since 2009, CRAS graduates have been involved in more than 173 GRAMMY winning albums and engineered live sounds for artists from the Beach Boys and Billy Joel to Decendents and Death Cab for Cutie.

Everywhere you turn, our former students are capturing attention as well as Gold and Platinum certifications, Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, AMAs, CMAs, and EMMYs. You can too.

CRAS graduates are well-known for winning top industry honors because they start climbing the success ladder with a leg up on experience, connections—and confidence.

How good are they? Check this out: The far-reaching impact of CRAS graduates includes credits for more than 3,800 film, television and documentary projects. In 2018 alone, our alumni worked on eight of the award-winning films featured at the Oscars. Other CRAS graduates are out there recording, editing and mixing broadcast sound for leading companies like ESPN, FOX Sports and CBS Radio.

CRAS speeds the path to success

It’s no secret that CRAS offers one of the most highly rated programs in the nation for audio recording, sound engineering, and music production. Our curriculum is laser-focused on everything you need to know for a successful career in music, video game sound, broadcast audio, live sound, and audio for film and TV. You’ll learn practical skills and techniques, critical listening and thinking, and facility operations and protocols along with expert knowledge that creates a problem-solving attitude.

CRAS-educated engineers don’t flinch when they are facing a new piece of equipment or breakthrough technology. They are the ones who dive right in, return to basics, and translate that understanding into learning and mastering every fresh challenge. In a world where technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, that level of confidence translates into pure employee gold. CRAS manages to blend a thorough understanding of past technologies with an ongoing passion for creativity and innovation. After completing a comprehensive curriculum that includes a 12-week internship, our graduates are leaps and bounds ahead of other candidates.

Just 11 months to career launch

Audio is a technical skill that demands hands-on experience. With CRAS, you won’t have to waste years of time and money on general education and theory before getting behind a board and working in a real studio. The CRAS educational experience is real world because we want your first gig after graduation to feel easier than school—not tougher. We want to send you out with strong, broad wings for a sure, steady ascent on your chosen course.

CRAS enables you to complete one of the nation’s most comprehensive, interactive educational experiences in five exciting audio career paths without building a mountain of debt. Best of all, you’ll be spending those 11 months immersed in your craft, connecting with peers and industry leaders, and building a rock-solid foundation that can pave the way to a truly stellar career. Award winners are people who never stop learning and growing, which can make the bonds you forge at CRAS even more important after graduation.

Ready to start your career in audio engineering in less than 11 months? Request information or apply today!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

CRAS Alumni Make It!

As a CRAS graduate, you can join the list of other alumni that have worked on award-winning and award-nominated recordings. Apply today to take the first step on your path to greatness.

Laptop Recording Package Included in the Cost of Tuition

As a CRAS student you’ll receive a Laptop Recording Package so you can take your studio with you wherever you go.

CRAS is a positive and friendly environment with lots of opportunity.

“CRAS is unique, they infuse you with all the knowledge that is required for working in the professional field of audio; How to market yourself, how to utilize and maintain any and all professional audio equipment that is used in today’s industry.  It’s an environment where doorways to opportunity arise day by day and the people carry a vibe like nowhere else. 
— Ryan, CRAS Student

CRAS is the place for hands-on learning

CRAS is the place for hands-on learning

September 8, 2020

If you are looking for a top-rated audio career school in a non-traditional environment, you’ve landed at the right place.

Learning to use high-end tube gear, consoles, and tape machines becomes more important with every passing day. That’s why CRAS stands in a class of its own for investing so heavily in the latest and greatest technologies. We want our up-and-coming pros to have every hands-on experience they need to launch their career with the highest degree of confidence and professionalism. CRAS even includes a laptop recording package in the cost of your education.

Tightly packing our program into 11 months means that you’ll be graduating without a mountain of debt.

Looking for financial aid? No problem. Our Financial Services Office is ready to assist you with loans, grants, scholarships and G.I. Bill benefits.

The awards say it best

You can read all day long about the national reputation CRAS has built for astounding facilities and gear, rock star faculty, small class size, individual attention, and student engagement. But the greatest testament to our success is the way our graduates rise through the industry ranks and shine. How good are they? CRAS alumni worked on eight of the award-winning films featured at the 2018 Oscars and were involved with six albums that won GRAMMYs in 2020. Their far-reaching impact includes credits for more than 3,800 film, television and documentary projects. Across the industry landscape, our former students are winning Gold and Platinum certifications, Oscars, GRAMMYs, Tonys, Billboard Music Awards, RIAA Awards, AMAs, CMAs, and EMMYs.

Audio education is all we do

Every resource at CRAS is dedicated to one craft and committed to helping you grow in professional knowledge and expertise. This single-minded approach goes even further. At CRAS, every faculty member, every advisor and mentor, every professional connection, every student you chat with over lunch—everyone shares your career interest. You’ll be a part of the growing CRAS community where alumni and even former classmates can turn into highly valued colleagues and insider connections.

Graduate with your foot in the door

CRAS alumni launch their careers with a step up in the audio industry. We limit the size of our classes to give you the maximum one-on-one time with your instructors and more hands-on time in the studio. Our laser-focused curriculum gives you a chance to learn, grow, and excel in all five industry disciplines: Music, live sound, video game sound, broadcast audio, and audio for film and TV. In less than a year, you’ll have all the knowledge, skills, and concepts you need to succeed in a challenging, competitive, fast-paced industry. But you’ll have something else too: The connections, confidence, and real-world experience gained in a 12-week internship.

At CRAS, you tailor your internship experience around your career goals and we take care of all the details. In fact, our internship program is the only one of its kind in the field of audio education. Working in a real-world studio gives you the inside track on operations and protocols as well as the opportunity to apply everything you have learned. Best of all, it gives you the confidence you need to succeed from the day you graduate.

So what are you waiting for? Eleven months from now you could be launching your audio engineering career. Request information or apply today!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

CRAS is a positive and friendly environment with lots of opportunity.

“CRAS is unique, they infuse you with all the knowledge that is required for working in the professional field of audio; How to market yourself, how to utilize and maintain any and all professional audio equipment that is used in today’s industry.  It’s an environment where doorways to opportunity arise day by day and the people carry a vibe like nowhere else. 
— Ryan, CRAS Student

Laptop Recording Package Included in the Cost of Tuition

As a CRAS student you’ll receive a Laptop Recording Package so you can take your studio with you wherever you go.

CRAS Alumni Make It!

As a CRAS graduate, you can join the list of other alumni that have worked on award-winning and award-nominated recordings. Apply today to take the first step on your path to greatness.

How Do You Become a Music Producer?

How Do You Become a Music Producer?

Get the skills, and make the connections at CRAS.

Our connections can put you in the Industry and help you succeed. Music recording studios, live venues, and more, all come to CRAS looking for qualified applicants that are ready to roll on day one.

As the music industry continues to evolve, one constant remains: The Producer is still the kingpin who brings it all together.

They gather music samples, improve lyrics and instrumentation, hire session musicians, inspire the finest performances, and supervise the entire process from preproduction through mixing and even mastering—not to mention balance budgets and hurdle technical issues. In the days when record labels ruled the world, earning that level of experience, prestige, and trust in your musical and business savvy was a long, hard road. 

But here you are, an entirely new breed who grew up with computers and technical fascination. Music from every genre and period are a click away, along with unlimited videos, information, and resources for learning new skills.

No generation before you could even imagine having a personal computer with software that replicates yesterday’s exclusive recording studio capabilities.

What twists and turns might your rise to Producer be taking in a world so glutted with competition and bursting with possibility?

Let’s brush over the two Producer career paths that still dominate the industry. As technology advanced, some of the Audio Engineers who were constantly pushing innovative technologies had the artistic and creative vision to become Producers. But “doing it all” forced these engineering experts to bring on a junior Engineer, and so began the ever-cycling career path of Engineer to Producer. The rise from Musician to Producer is more visible thanks to superstar examples from Brian Wilson and Dr Dre to Lady Gaga, but the role most likely to evolve into Producer is the Musical Director. When a Producer calls for a song to be in a new key, it’s the Musical Director who is furiously rewriting and clearing the path for a trouble-free session. As adept as they are at conflict resolution and pulling out peak performances, they have a great deal to learn about recording technology and business savvy.

Now let’s zoom back into your passion for music and technology, the driving force that keeps you researching applications, watching tutorials, acquiring gear, and constantly experimenting for more professional results. Some days are pure frustration but then a moment of sheer magic happens and the work continues. You already are a Producer! CRAS knows the time you invest in microphone adjustments, interface and signal routing, and track creation via your Digital Audio Workstation. We recognize your dedication to dynamic sound processing and the technical ability to produce soul-rocking thunder. You already are an Engineer! CRAS is here to accelerate your progress in a way that opens up an entire world of opportunity.

Our connections to industry pros can help you jump ahead in a fiercely competitive job market. Instead of waiting around for the right apprenticeship, with CRAS you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your passion and ability in a promising internship.

Our real-world approach will give you the staying power and experience to navigate the frustrations, delays, and hard work that pave every road to prestige and glamour. The CRAS approach is as comprehensive as the industry itself, covering everything from artistry and technology to the business skills needed to launch your own production company or excel as a star employee.

Most recording studios prefer to hire candidates with a formal education from CRAS so they can feel immediate trust in their performance around BIG gear, spaces and people.

What will it take to climb to the top? Let’s start with effort, timing, ability, know-how, musicality, and personality. Add to that demonstrating your craft and unique talents, inspiring others to want to work with you, pulling the best performance from an artist, diving into new technologies, and gaining comfort and confidence working in high-level environments. There is a reason why CRAS alumni have been awarded Gold and Platinum certifications, Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, AMAs, CMAs, and EMMYs. You are already making the most of where you are. Is it time to go where you truly want to be? Ready to take the next step? 

Contact CRAS to get started today.

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

CRAS Alumni Make It!

As a CRAS graduate, you can join the list of other alumni that have worked on award-winning and award-nominated recordings. Apply today to take the first step on your path to greatness.

Laptop Recording Package Included in the Cost of Tuition

As a CRAS student you’ll receive a Laptop Recording Package so you can take your studio with you wherever you go.

CRAS is a positive and friendly environment with lots of opportunity.

“CRAS is unique, they infuse you with all the knowledge that is required for working in the professional field of audio; How to market yourself, how to utilize and maintain any and all professional audio equipment that is used in today’s industry.  It’s an environment where doorways to opportunity arise day by day and the people carry a vibe like nowhere else. 
— Ryan, CRAS Student

How to Produce Music (For Beginners at home, to Professional Training)

How to Produce Music (For Beginners at home, to Professional Training)

July 6, 2020

For decades now, there has been a cultural division in music production: loops/samples v. real instruments. Before this turns into a debate, let’s agree that music, in general, has benefitted from both sources. More so, most recently, the line has been blurred with countless examples of both sources being incorporated in countless hits. That being said, let’s explore this horizon!

At the onset of music production, which is to say the recording and distribution of original music to the masses, all there was to capture was musicians in a room, with their instruments, being collected as “sound” by rudimentary recording technologies. Hard to imagine, but there was once a time that large orchestras, and even “pop” artists of the day, were being recorded by one single microphone, strategically placed to capture all of the song’s elements, to a very basic single track recorder.

As the need of the “music business” changed to supply more music to more listeners, advances in the environments changed, morphing into properly designed “recording studios.” That forced advancement in the technology, and techniques, of the microphones, consoles, recorders, and peripheral gear (ex. Dynamics processors and Time Based processors). And for many years, that was the recipe: Large recording spaces, large consoles, many discreet microphones capturing many distinct instruments.

Being that there was now the need to control many “tracks,” the process of MIXING was born. Yes, sitting in an acoustically controlled environment, creating a musical balance of all captured sounds, in hopes of creating a product that could be enjoyed by listeners, on a large scale.

Soon after, the advent of an ALBUM was born: a collection of songs that have each been through the previously described process, to create one product that consumers can enjoy, at their leisure. Since then, countless styles of music have been “produced,” utilizing the same process.

However, during the 60’s-70’s, the “studio” saw a massive swing in ability. The birth of DIGITAL technology was born, and we now had the ability of taking an ANALOG signal, converting it to a DIGITAL algorithm, processing it to satisfy our musical desires, reconverting it back to ANALOG, and placing it back into the “mix.” This advent created somewhat of a “race,” and engineers and manufacturers celebrated a boom in the industry, being able to create only once imagined sounds!

The late 70’s found some experimental artists taking their favorite “drum grooves” from records, recording a “sample” of that groove, looping that groove, and creating a “beat” for an entirely new musical production. Since then, the musical landscape has exploded with experimental people taking countless sounds, much less drum grooves, and creating fantastic music!

And as cyclical as the industry has been since then, bouncing from “beat” driven production to “real music” production and back and forth, an entire new musical culture has been born! That’s right… there’s a whole music production mindset that exists where “beats” and real musical instrumentation happily co-exist within one song! And MANY SUCCESSFUL songs, to be clear.

Let’s take YOU, for example. Yes, YOU. Chances are, YOU are from the “computer” generation, and digital manipulation has become an ingrained process in your life. No need for a typewriter when you have a word processor, right? Right from the start, you’ve probably had access to GarageBand, Logic, or FL Studios. Little did you know it then, but those are DAWs… Digital Audio Workstations! In your hands, you had a potent software that would allow you to take “sounds” from that software’s “libraries,” cut and paste them any way you wanted them arranged, and, without knowing it, YOU were becoming a PRODUCER, although on just a surface level!

YOU probably became enticed to do more, hear more, create more, PRODUCE MORE, so you probably have explored other DAWs, checked out other “libraries,” studied countless “how to” videos, and for as much as you’ve accomplished… you’re probably needing more. You’ve probably come to the realization that your beat could benefit from a real bassline, or a catchy vocal, so you’ve started exploring how to capture “real” instruments to add to your beat. That means that you’ve started looking into audio interfaces, microphones, monitors, and before you know it, you’ll be wanting a production facility of your own… your own little “studio,” right?

YOU have found yourself in that place… that place where beats and basses have to live together. YOU found yourself in that place where THIS is all you want to do. Well, I’m writing to YOU from that place, The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS).

CRAS’ hallways are filled with people JUST LIKE YOU: people that have an artistic bend to them that love working with any kind of technology it takes to perfect the sounds that clients are looking for!

For 30+ years, CRAS has trained people just like YOU to have the skillset to work in any discipline of the Professional Audio Industry. From Music Production to Video Game Audio, from Post Production (movie sound) to Broadcast Audio, all the way to Live Sound Reinforcement, CRAS HAS YOU COVERED.

In 36 weeks, inside 13 world class recording studios with award winning Instructors, CRAS students are trained to enter the Audio Industry as an entry level Audio Engineer. And CRAS handles your “entry” into the Industry with our 280 Hour Internship, at a facility of your choosing, to help you spearhead your career in whatever direction YOU CHOOSE!

You’ve already spent countless hours wishing you could do this forever. NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO ACTUALLY DO THIS FOREVER!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship

CRAS instructor records historic vocals of Chester Bennington’s before his Linkin Park fame!

CRAS instructor records historic vocals of Chester Bennington’s before his Linkin Park fame!

July 5, 2020

23 years ago, which feels like a million, I got swirled into an experience which is now resurfacing in the music industry. Here are a few details…

David Knauer, an Audio Engineer, and Instructor at The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, had built a working relationship with a local band, Grey Daze. He had done their first record, and the time was coming to get working on a second. I don’t quite recall the reasoning, but the project was handed to me and Michael Jones. We set up camp at CRAS, and for the next few weeks, we tracked, overdubbed, and mixed the entire record.

As is always the case, we made sure to get the best sounds we could, using the best signal paths available:

Vocals were cut on a U-47, through a Neve 1073 and LA-2A. (Great story about this later!)

Drums were spot mic’d, using EVERY large diaphragm mic in CRAS’ collection: Neumann U89s as overheads, U87 3’ in front of the kick, AKG D112 in the kick, the obligatory Shure SM-57 on the snare (no bottom mic), Oktava MC-012 on HiHat, and, if memory serves, Sennheiser MD421 on the toms. We placed the drums in the “big room” of CRAS’ Studio A, and Sean Dowdell beat the living snot out of his drums, giving all he had.

Bass was all captured direct through a Klark Teknik DI Box. Get this… Mace, the bass player, was having a hard time “getting into it,” during the sessions because he wanted it to “feel” like a live show, where he was most alive. Long story short, we ended up placing him in an iso-booth with 2 wedge monitors, and re-routing the board mix to him… LOUDLY! And he LOVED IT!

Guitars were cut with a single SM-57 dead center of the 12” speaker we were using at the moment. We had access to TONS of guitar amps, but the few that stick out was an Orange (don’t remember which one!), a Mesa Boogie Caliber .22 Preamp, and a slew of Marshalls, one of which a Plexi. The two guitars that come to mind for those sessions are a Goldtop Hamer Double Cutaway, and a white Gibson Les Paul. Bobby Benish was an absolute sweet guy that LOVED experimenting with guitar tones.

Here’s where things get whacky:

If you’re reading this, you probably come from the “DAWs are second nature” camp. You are probably used to whipping open a session on your laptop, having access to a kajillion plug-ins, and automating every component of your mix. Well, this whole project was done on a Neotek Elite console, and cut on a Studer A827. Yup, you read that right… 100% ANALOG.

So, why all of the poetic waxing of days gone by, right? Well, Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park fame) was the singer for Grey Daze. Yeah, we dealt with the teenage version of the Chester you know.

After we finished the Grey Daze record came out, the band gave their all in trying to support it, but we lost track of each other, and our lives went different directions. About a year later, however, I got a phone call from Michael Jones. He said he’d just gotten off the phone with Chester, and that Chester needed a quick favor. I was asked to head down to the studio, get set up for a vocal session, and get some new material recorded for Chester. Although it was a Sunday night, I liked Chester a bunch, so I agreed.

When we met at CRAS, Audio Engineering School I set up a Neumann U87, ran that through a ADL1272 Pre, and lastly our LA-2A. He handed me a cassette. Yup… a CASSETTE. He said “this is a new band that wants to hear MY VOICE on some of their stuff.” I don’t remember the exact words, but it was obvious that this session might be what “gets him the gig.”

I remember laughing at the ridiculousness of taking a stereo mix from a CASSETTE and dedicating it to 2 tracks of the 24 track Studer A827. It was a laughable moment, being that I was taking a consumer format and tossing it onto a PRO device!

The night came and went, and I believe we recorded 3 takes of 2 different songs. After we cut the vocals, we sat at the console, and “comp’d” the vocals together. What is “comping”? Well, check this out: We printed the lyrics. We made 3 columns next to each line. We listened to each take, and marked down which word/line was best from each performance. After we built the roadmap, we fired up the DAT machine (an arachic mixdown recorder… TASCAM, I believe), and started with the vocals muted. As each line was coming up, we’d “open” the track that had the best piece, then mute it and open up the next track… throughout the whole song… on “the fly”… as the mix was being burned. Yup, NO AUTOMATION.

Somehow, we nailed both tunes, I tore the session down, we high-fived, then I locked up the shop.

Sometime later, a friend of mine said she had bumped into an old friend of mine during some gig. She couldn’t remember the guy’s name, but his band was “Hybrid Theory.” I had no clue who she was talking about. Well after that, I saw Chester’s face on a music video, for a band called “Linkin Park,” whose freshman effort was called “Hybrid Theory.” That’s when it hit me. Chester MADE IT. I was THRILLED for him.

With obvious highs and lows in his life, Chester lived “the life.” He followed his DREAM. Although there was no interaction between us, aside from acquaintances passing on “hello’s,” I was always proud.

Many, many, many, years later… I wake up to a cool story. Chester’s legacy with Grey Daze lives on. Seemingly, the remaining members of Grey Daze, Chester’s wife (whom I’ve never met), and many others (I assume) joined forces, and brought new life to old recordings! From what I gather, many of the original vocal tracks were lifted from the original recordings, and the aforementioned crew got busy and built new music around them.

It’s such a mind-blower, knowing that Chester’s old tracks have landed themselves BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT! I can’t speak of the new project’s process, but I can only assume that there was quite a few minds blown, hearing Chester’s teenage voice coming through in the studio again. Although, I wasn’t there for this newest incarnation, I was there at the root of it all. And I love knowing that that “root” is blossoming now… again.

Here’s something that most don’t know:
When we cut the basic tracks for the Grey Daze record, we recorded a “scratch” vocal, so that the band felt most comfortable with the process. This is no joke, so pay attention… most of the vocals you hear on that record were the “scratch track.” Yes, we did dedicated vocal sessions, but Chester was very sick during the days we had slated for vocals. We started on a Friday night and finished up that Sunday… 2.5 days of grueling vocals… and those vocals never stacked up to the raw power and emotion he gave during the “scratch” takes.

Here’s to you, Chester! Here’s to Grey Daze! I, and CRAS, am happy to have been there at the “near” beginning of your trajectory, and we hope the story continues.

-G
“the Pissed Off Mexican”

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Learn How to Shape Your Career in Audio Engineering

Learn How to Shape Your Career in Audio Engineering

January 2, 2020

The shaping of sounds is something that most people never really consider as a conversation piece. True, we all love being enveloped in a great movie, or being whisked away into some virtual video game setting, or vibing to the latest album of our favorite performer, or being at a great concert, or simply vegging while binge-watching our favorite show on the tube. I’ll give you that a lot of that experience it the VISUAL sensation, but, now that you’ve read up to this point, imagine muting the sound for any of what’s been mentioned, and making it through the entire experience. Last I heard, watching anything with the sound OFF is nothing more than surveillance!

The point of this is that what we HEAR is CRITICAL to the EXPERIENCE and lends itself in great part to the ENJOYMENT FACTOR!

For example, next time you watch an intense war sequence of a movie, notice the rattling sounds of the military rifles. If you know anything about military grade firearms, you’ll know that they are precision built and simply don’t rattle. However, how boring would it be to WATCH the scene without the kind of sounds that build anticipation? Genuinely, a lot of the time, it’s the SOUNDS that keep YOU at the edge of your seat!

How about the basketball “swish” sound, during the big NBA Finals game? With thousands of people in the crowd, you don’t really think that the “swish” is going to be audible, right? So, how do we HEAR it? No joke, there’s a microphone on the rim of the hoop, and it’s somebody’s job to make sure it’s heard!

Ever been to a concert where the performers are just on fire? Well, if you’ve never been on a stage performing for others, it can be VERY DIFFICULT hearing what you’re playing, or hearing the other musicians on stage. For that reason, off to the side of the stage is an Audio Engineer mixing the concert for JUST THE MUSICIANS! Why? So that they can hear themselves well enough to give YOU what you’re there for… A GREAT PERFORMANCE! On top of that, there’s another Audio Engineer working the SOUND for the audience.

Video games have enthralled scores of gamers, but half of the experience is the lifelike sounds of a warrior panting deeply as he scans the horizon for his escape. Honestly, the soundscape of a video game is what draws the player into assuming the role of the character!

When it comes to records, well… every single sound that’s heard is what makes the song. There are times that just by listening to the song, certain emotions will be evoked. Hearing an 808 kick drum pumping out of speakers is enough to get you to move! Hearing that distant telephone voice on a vocal makes you feel like there’s something intimate happening. I think we’ve all heard music that has “moved” us inexplicably, right?

So, who shapes these sounds? Who is adjusting the levels to make sure everything audible is “balanced” enough for the given experience? Who tweaks the knobs and alters the plug-ins in the DAWs? Who is responsible for us “cleanly” hearing the roar of a NASCAR engine? Who takes it upon themselves to make sure that a character’s deep breaths are heard, even though he’s 100 yards away, when we watch it on the screen? Who makes sure the concert sounds fantastic? Who? Well, it could be YOU!

However, in order for it to be YOU, YOU have to have that undying passion in you to shape sound for a living! YOU have to have the desire to have the skillset to be able to say YES to any opportunity in the Audio Industry! You have to have the credentials that will ease you into the Audio Industry, as well. That’s where CRAS comes in.

The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences is a long-standing tradition in excellence, when it comes to preparing YOU for your FUTURE in Pro Audio.

In a mere 36 weeks, CRAS can instill in YOU the KNOWLEDGE, the SKILLSET, and the CONFIDENCE to enter the Audio Industry.

In 9 months, YOU will train in 13 world class studios, including a 42’ Mobile Broadcast Unit, with award winning instructors. Your time at CRAS is spent learning all five disciplines of Audio Production:

  • Music Production
  • Video Game Audio
  • Broadcast Audio
  • Live Sound Reinforcement
  • Post Production

However, because CRAS knows that the most difficult thing is getting your foot in the door, each student, as a graduation requirement, receives a 280 Hour Internship, in a locale of their choice! See, with CRAS’ serious pedigree, YOU are taken seriously! For over 30 years, CRAS students continuously go from Student to Graduate to SUCCESS!!! And those SUCCESSFUL CRAS GRADS keep paving the roads for people JUST LIKE YOU!

Now is the time that YOU can start SHAPING SOUNDS by simply doing this:
CALL US NOW AT (800)562-6383, TO START YOUR CAREER. We’re ready for YOU to be the “YOU” YOU NEED TO BE. Start SHAPING YOUR FUTURE BY SHAPING SOUNDS NOW!!!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
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In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

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How an Education from an Audio Engineering School Can Help You Be Heard

How an Education from an Audio Engineering School Can Help You Be Heard

October 24, 2019

I know that feeling. The feeling of pressing PLAY and hearing something that you’ve worked on for countless hours come through a set of speakers… That feeling of goosebumps on your skin when you get to see your sounds actually affect those that are hearing it… The feeling of moving a microphone around until the sound SOUNDS like you’ve heard it in your head… That feeling of experimenting with the audio tools that you have access to until you make it sound like magic… Yeah, I know that feeling.

It’s obvious that, since you’re reading this, YOU are cut from a particular “cloth.” It’s a special cloth, really. It’s somewhere between artist and scientist. Somewhere between technical and expressive. Somewhere between reserved and outgoing. And, with all of those ingredients, and undying need to BE HEARD! Well, maybe not you, but your SOUNDS, for sure.

In today’s exciting world of DAWs, Plug-Ins, modeling devices, emulators, and other readily available tools, it’s easy to get lost in your art, and turn into a madman (or woman!), whittling away the hours trying to perfect the hook of a song, or a sound effect for a video game that your helping build, or replacing dialog for a scene of a school-project-movie. The combinations of exciting opportunities of dealing with sound… AUDIO… are ENDLESS!

There’s a bit of an issue with all of this excitement, however. Here’s a question that you might not have thought of yet: What are you going to do when the tools you have access to LIMIT what you’re hearing in your head? Here’s another question: What are you going to do when a client asks for more than you can deliver with the tools you have? And, yet, another question: How are you going to fare when your client wants to work in a “big time studio”? Wait… here’s another question: Do you have the network of professionals that will keep you happily working?

See, that’s rub, isn’t it? I know you’ve said it a million times to yourself: “Man… I wish I could do this FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!” Well… YOU CAN! All you have to do is travel that route the RIGHT WAY. And it all starts with EDUCATION!

Yes, I know… you ALREADY know this stuff, right? Really, do you, though? Like, do you know it well enough that it’ll ultimately let you provide for yourself in life? Are you proficient enough in your skill to be able to say “YES” to any opportunity you come across, in the Audio Industry? Listen, you don’t have to answer these questions, I already know that YOU NEED TO KEEP READING!

The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS) is a 30 year tradition of EXCELLENCE in teaching people JUST LIKE YOU the technical skills (and LIFE SKILLS, too!) that will allow them to reach their GREATEST POTENTIAL in this field!

In 36 weeks, CRAS students spend their time immersed in every facet of audio, amongst all disciplines of the industry, to include: Music Production, Live sound Reinforcement, Video Game Audio, Post Production, and Broadcast Audio. From the inception of Analog technology to the leading edge of all things Digital, CRAS has it covered. Yes, it’s a REAL college, that is nationally accredited by ACCSC, so, YES, there’s lectures, but… don’t you REALLY want to know how it all works, so that you know how to explore it all?!

Here’s where it gets really cool, though… CRAS students spend their time in 13 World Class studios, honing their newfound skills, and have access to the facilities 24/7, with Award Winning Instructors.

Now, here’s the BEST part: in order to graduate CRAS’ program, each student works through a 280 hour Internship, in a city/facility of their choosing. Want to work in NYC? Want to live in L.A. and try your hand at Sunset Blvd.? Ever dreamed of being part of a touring production? Want to see your name while the credits roll on a movie, or video game? Does the thought of doing sound for NASCAR excite you? CRAS can make it all happen, with its 30 year connection to the Industry.

After 30 years, the Industry has become very accustomed to the high caliber of CRAS students entering the field, and have definitely taken notice, which is why they are so prone to taking CRAS students as Interns, and, ultimately, offering CRAS GRADUATES EMPLOYMENT!

So, here’s the last question: Haven’t you lived long enough with NOT BEING HEARD? Contact us now at (800)562-6383, or at CRAS.edu, and BE HEARD!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
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In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

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Make your Music & Video Game Industry Dreams Reality with our Audio Engineering Schools

Make your Music & Video Game Industry Dreams Reality with our Audio Engineering Schools

August 26, 2019

It’s a GREAT DREAM, isn’t it? You know what I’m talking about. That DREAM where you’re on stage and the audience is singing your song back to you, and you can almost see the stadium flexing with the movements of every single person that came to see YOU! It’s funny that that DREAM will keep you from sleeping. You’ll stay up all night learning your instrument(s), experimenting with your DAWs, figuring out why certain microphones in certain positions make certain sounds, trying to make a beat that sounds like what’s floating through your head, attempting to pour your emotions into an ear-friendly song that you can share, and hope that it becomes a worldwide sensation, just to end up on that stage in your DREAM. Right?!

It really is a great dream, and, no joke, we hope that you get to live it. The issue with this “dream” is that the probability of it becoming “reality” is tiny. Yes, there are tons of avenues that you can use to distribute your music, that can help spread this musical-wildfire of yours, but unless you can dedicate all of your time to it (and find a way of keeping yourself fed!), that kind of “dream” success will be difficult to get to.

There was once a time where you would have to sweat out all of your musical ideas with your bandmates in some basement, or gritty garage, work hard to build a “set list,” find local gigs, build a fan base, start booking larger gigs further away from home, and maybe… just maybe… some RECORD LABEL BIG WIG would see you play, be captivated by the music (and the $ the record label could make from record sales/merchandise), sign your band, and put you on a private jet to your first world-wide tour!

Today, things can go the “once upon a time” way, but because of the Internet, artists have been able to quickly get to the ears of listeners far faster than ever before. More so, with the advent of having a “studio” in your bedroom, you can be creative at your own speed, rather than the “speed of the budget” from the record label. However, in the time you save in not having to travel the highways, playing half-filled gigs endlessly, you must become your own marketing expert and dedicate your EVERYTHING to getting your music to the masses.

In either case, there is a looming question that nobody wants asked: When you do get your music to the masses, does it SOUND like it competes with other artists that are already living YOUR DREAM? Seriously, you can give it your all, and if your product doesn’t SOUND “competitive,” well… it just won’t compete. All that time and effort… poof… Well, at least you gave it your all, right? Right?

What if there was a BEST OF BOTH WORLDS situation that you may not have considered? What if you NEVER let go of your DREAM, AND still be able to live IN/AROUND that DREAM, AND FEED your belly (and SOUL!)? Well… that’s TOTALLY POSSIBLE! Here’s how:

YOU MUST HAVE A REDEEMABLE SKILLSET TO BE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!

This is what we mean by that: Every concert you’ve ever been to, every video game you’ve ever played, every movie you’ve watched, every tv show you’ve seen, every record you’ve ever heard… there’s audio professionals dealing with delivering the sound to the respective audience. Weirdly, it’s probably a life you’ve never even HEARD of. What is REALLY an Audio Engineer, is muddied up verbally with words like PRODUCER, MIXER, MASTERING ENGINEER, and so on. However, those that “know,” know that having the SKILLSET of dealing with audio/sound/music, will keep you on the path to YOUR DREAM, while you’re being intertwined in the DREAM of others’.

If you had the ability of routing sound through top level gear, in top level recording studios (or venues), you’d be rubbing elbows with top level professional in the industry, right? So, how do YOU get there? Easy… all you have to do is make your DREAM BIGGER than it already is! Start with learning that SKILLSET that will make YOUR SOUNDS more competitive, and give your SKILLSET the ability of being a PAID component in other people’s DREAMS! Remember this: Every person that doesn’t have the SKILLSET that I’m writing about NEEDS somebody that HAS that SKILLSET to help make their DREAM sonically marketable. That “somebody “could be YOU!

So, NOW what, right? There’s only one way to answer that: CRAS. The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences is a long-standing tradition in EXCELLENCE, when it comes to an education in Audio Engineering. For over 30 years, CRAS has developed the SKILLS for thousands of students, from all over the globe, and created a path to success in Audio Engineering with our goal-oriented curriculum and 280 Hour Internship. Thirteen world-class studios, 16 Industry recognized Certifications, Award-Winning instructors, a Mobile Broadcast Unit (42’ Trailer), cutting edge Analog and Digital technologies, and a 30+ year network of Audio Facilities that can put your SKILLSET to work in less than a year… yeah… THAT’S HOW TO LIVE A DREAM BIGGER THAN THE ONE YOU’VE CURRENT GOT!

CRAS is ready to get YOU to LIVE YOUR DREAM! All YOU have to do is contact us at 800.562.6383, or at cras.edu, to START LIVING YOUR DREAM!

Start your audio engineering career in under 11 months!
Request more info today.

In only 11 months, you’ll learn all 5 focuses of the recording arts at CRAS

Laptop Recording Package Included In the Cost of Tuition

One-of-a-kind Internship