Graduating High School? Here’s Why You Should Consider a Technical School like CRAS

best technical schoolsAt this time of year, loads of High School Graduates are asking themselves “what now?” For the select few that excite from turning knobs, and moving faders, and dealing with software that deals with audio, there is a lot to consider. For example, TRADE AND TECHNICAL SCHOOLS like The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS)!

From coffee shops, to houses of worship, to bouncing from major live sound venue to venue there’s SOUND TO BE HEARD!

Truth be told, we typically show up, enjoy the performance, and move on our merry little way afterwards. However, very few people take into account what actually goes into getting a live performance to be felt by the audience. It’s far more complicated than most could imagine, but the team of experts that gets SOUND to our ears is an incredible bunch, following their passions of making performances memorable for the masses.

Imagine a small coffee shop doing Open Mic Nights. In today’s day and age, even in the smallest venue, people want to enjoy any performance that they witness, and SOUND has everything to do it! Each performer looking to play their set will wait their turn, take the stage, plug in, and start playing. Soon, YOU hear MUSIC! It’s not by way of magic, however. Somebody had to get the coffee shop’s P.A System (public address system) “dialed in,” so that it sounds the best it possibly can in that space. More so, somebody has to be there to contend with performers that might be less than technically proficient with the coffee shop’s system. For lack of better words, let’s refer to this person as the Audio Engineer. The Audio Engineer is the responsible person that gets that singer/songwriter the opportunity of being HEARD!

Everywhere there is SOUND to be distributed to the masses, there is an Audio Engineer, if not a TEAM of Audio Engineers. For example, in houses of worship, many people congregate and take in the music as part of the experience. Although many houses of worship are akin to the coffee shop (as far as P.A Systems go), many have stepped up their Live Sound game and have installed very large systems to accommodate scores of congregants. Somebody has to deal with all of that SOUND, right? Why not YOU?!

Continue Reading…

How to Break Into the Video Game Industry? Listen Up

video game industryIt’s incredible, isn’t it? Dim light, controller in hand, headset on, superfast internet, stunning visuals, realistic motions, and the sound… the INCREDIBLE sound that sinks you right into the role of the character that you’re maneuvering through the game’s map. It’s the edge of your seat excitement that pulses through you and lets you really become part of the game!

Very few people truly reach the depth of game-play as “real” gamers. Gamers have a HUGE appreciation for every aspect of the all-enthralling game. Gamers spend tons of time, and money, researching controllers, consoles, video cards, and televisions/monitors. Even so, most “real” gamers do not grasp the depth of what goes into the game that they enjoy. Game developers spend Hollywood budgets on the visual aspect of their games, to create life-like environments that gamers get sucked into. Developers spend months, if not years, developing the game’s story line, in hopes of creating a storyline that will bleed into the next game. Developers work with manufacturers to develop technologies that allow for lightening fast processing, creating fluid movement of characters and environments. All that said, very few gamers take into consideration the depth of the AUDIO in the game they’re playing. Some don’t even consider that the life-like sounds, or newly imagined sounds, are meticulously placed in to the game to enhance the gamer’s experience.

Video Game Audio is a CRITICAL part of any video game. Seriously… When was the last time you played a video game with the sound OFF? Video game developers, with their dedicated Audio Departments, utilize fantastic technologies, like Wwise, to integrate audio into their games. These Audio Professionals use techniques found in Recording Studios, Broadcast Centers, Live Sound Venues, and Post Production houses, trying to create, and deliver, sounds that are captivating and that will keep the gamer playing!

Continue Reading…

How to Break into the Music Production Industry

music production industryFrom Cardi B to the Foo Fighters, to Jay Z to Justin Timberlake, listeners, like YOU, around the world spend many hours focusing on every sound, every nuance of their recordings. These recordings have a certain magic to them that is hard to describe, and some people spend their lives trying to find that “magic” on producing their own recordings. Some people invest their money into audio gear that they see in magazines or in online tutorials, and still have the hardest time finding that “magic.” See, the truth is… it takes more than gear to make your productions take on the same kind of “magic”as those records that have inspired YOU to hone your craft.

While the Music Industry seems to be the most visually enticing aspect (see what I did there?) of this world, the same science that it takes to record a vocal or create a beat is the SAME SCIENCE that it takes to make sound effects for Video Games, or Broadcast the Indy 500, or run sound for Bruno Mars’ concerts, to adding dialog to a Movie scene.

Continue Reading…

Future CRAS Students & Pro Engineers Begin Learning the Trade Early

music production schoolsYou are never too young to begin learning, and a proper head start is ideal for students to learn their future trade. As such, the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS; www.cras.edu), the premier institution for audio engineering education, and local Arizona high schools have formed partnerships to help educate and energize the industry’s next generation of professional audio engineers.

“We have begun forging relationships with local high schools in an effort to help the next generation of audio engineers realize and get started upon their passion early and take the steps necessary to get the most out of their high school experience,” explained Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator. “As both CRAS and these forward-thinking high school instructors believe in a ‘real world education’, it was ideal that we strike this accord. These terrific high school programs provide excellent preparation to enter our realm of education, propelling and preparing students for employment into the five disciplines within the audio recording and production industry.”

Phoenix, Ariz.’s Arcadia High School Creative Musical Arts & Sciences Program has been in existence for nine years, according to Richard Maxwell, who created the program and has been with the high school for 18 years. “Previously to creating the program while I was running the bands and orchestras at the school I was also developing what would become this program over all those years. From a technology standpoint, we focus a lot in studio on Pro Tools. Live sound is also a big part of what we do that is always contingent on what we have available in terms of gear and, more importantly, since it’s a school budget. That said, the real thrust of the program is the students’ creative process, so they are creating all of their own material in pretty much any style they want on pretty much any instrument they want and the idea is getting that music to an audience.”  Maxwell explained that it initially didn’t really seem like that big of a deal. “But as I look back on it now, the notion of allowing students the opportunity to explore their own musical interests legitimately was something that was missing. The students really get into the idea of all the opportunities that they have available to them. “It does take a considerable amount of student self-discipline and real interest in pushing their own creative process.”

According to Maxwell, many of his students have gone on to CRAS. “I’m always humbled that they want to credit anything they did with me before they got to CRAS. I am certainly glad at least to be a small part of their journey and I have great affinity for CRAS. Not just because of what they do, obviously CRAS’ credentials speak for themselves, but more selfishly because when I was trying to establish my program the endorsement of so many people at the Conservatory really made a difference in terms of legitimizing what was possible for us. I am incredibly grateful to them.”

Continue Reading…

Why Modern Music Production Tools of the Recording Industry Matter?

music production toolsHow many videos have you seen of Artists in the Recording Studio? Ever been to a concert and stared at the person that is obviously controlling all of the sound? Ever rationalized that there are movies with dinosaur sounds in them, but there are no dinosaurs on Earth to record? Alien spaceships in video games always have their own, sound, too, right? In answering these questions, you’re probably recognizing that you might be cut from the cloth of what makes up an Audio Engineer!

Being an Audio Engineer is SO MUCH BIGGER than just being the “science guy” in a Recording Studio. In EVERY sound that YOU hear, somebody was responsible for getting that sound to the masses. More so, before that sound is available to the consumer, some Engineer captured the sound, manipulated the sound, and delivered the sound on some format: music download, movie, video game, television broadcast, concert sound, albums, etc. ANYWHERE YOU HEAR SOUND, other than the sounds of Nature, an Audio Engineer was at the helm!

For people that are excited about leaping into the field of Audio Engineering, there is a vast world of opportunity! Many aspire to be in Recording Studios working with Artists and Producers, but, the truth is, Artists and Producers exist outside of the confines of the studio, as well. Regardless of the occasion, or location, these Artists and Producers demand to stay focused on their “art,” and require a “technical artist” to provide for them the means of getting their “sound” out!

Continue Reading…

How to Get into the Music Industry

french montanaFor many years, scores of people have wanted “in” on the Music Industry. It’s alluring, for certain, but most people simply have a “want,” and not a “need. Most believe that the only way “in” is by becoming the Artist. While that is THE MOST EXCITING way of getting “in,” the odds of that happening are… well, you know the truth. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your “need,” then DO IT! GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT!!!

So, with putting the Artist notion aside, have you ever considered how many people it takes to support an Artist? For as many bonafide Artists as there are out there, it takes TONS OF PEOPLE to get each Artist into the spotlight!

Continue Reading…

Learn How You Can Cash in on Your Passion for Video Games

video gaming schoolNo one can deny the popularity of video games. Mario and Luigi are notably the most famous brothers of all time while Donkey Kong is the most celebrated ape in modern history.  With 65 percent of households in America having an avid video game player, it only makes sense that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry. And now with the popularity of live streaming video games on Twitch and uploading video game vlogs on YouTube where some of the top video game YouTubers like Pew Die Pie make millions a year, there is a big opportunity.

In 2015 alone revenues reached to $23.5 billion. The foundation and backbone of this industry are not the marketers or the CEO’s but instead it is the video game creators. But what do video game creators do and would it be a good career choice for you? If you have a passion for music, sound effects and like playing video games there is a big opportunity for audio production in the gaming and esports industries.

Continue Reading…

A Day in the Life of an Audio Engineer

audio engineering schoolsWe have all been there… daydreaming of becoming famous in the Music Industry. We all wonder what it would be like to wake up in Elton John, Adele or Jay Z’s shoes. However, what we don’t think about is the constant support that every artist gets from Audio Engineers. Without Audio Engineers the music that artists play would not be presentable, causing no airplay which, in return, leads these artists to be unknown. Why? Simply put, Audio Engineers are the fine balance of technological mavens with the ability of being creative. The Audio Engineer is the expert that knows how to cull the perfect sound for the artist’s sonic vision. So, as most are likely to fantasize on what it would be like to be a famous musician, let’s focus on being one of the creative geniuses behind musical hits… an Audio Engineer.

Continue Reading…

Why You Will Love Being a Music Producer

music producerHave you ever watched a silent movie? The absence of sound in the movie brings lack of emotion and leaves one with a sense of wanting more. But thanks to music producers this has forever changed. There job has brought music to cinema, giving the film’s audience a deeper connection to what they are viewing. And music producers do not just work in film, they are instrumental in video games, music, broadcasting and live sound production, such as theater and concerts.  But what do music producers do exactly? Music producers wear many different hats and play many different roles when it comes to their job.

Continue Reading…

Facts About Becoming an Audio Engineer: Learning Audio Engineering with CRAS

audio engineeringAudio Engineering skills can put you on you on the path to an exciting and rewarding career that reaches nearly every aspect of daily life.

Everything from music production to the creation of commercial advertisements relies on crisp and clear audio. If you have ever sought a life that bases itself in sound, then you’re going to have to “learn” your way in that world! So, what’s the best way of “learning” your way in? For certain, the BEST way into the Professional Audio Industry is by getting the BEST education possible!

A quality education is paramount to understanding sound production. The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS) provides a real-world curriculum, with top-tier Instructors, and world-class facilities, which gives CRAS students the knowledge, credentials, pedigree, and, most importantly, THE EDGE, when it comes to being accepted in The Pro Audio world. YOUR DREAM in this Industry can be YOUR REALITY, but your best route there is the CRAS WAY!

Continue Reading…