CRAS Graduate Panel 2016

April 2016

Every now and then, we like to bring back a few of our successful students to share their experiences with our new students. The CRAS Graduate Panel is a great place for current students to learn about the journeys and pathways previous students have taken to get to their dreams in the world of audio recording.

Most recently, we had 3 incredible grads stop by and tell us about their lives.

Nik Karpen – After graduating in 2004, he worked as a full time staff engineer under Chris Lord Alge. Nik has earned credits on albums by Green Day, Muse, Joe Cocker, Stevie Nicks, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Rise Against, and more.

Kris Pierce – He currently works for Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, New York. Kris was worked on Julie Taymor’s “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream”, and Steve Martin’s “Bright Star”.

Ike Schultz –  Ike graduated from the Conservatory in 2012, and went on to work on projects like Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo”, Rihanna’s “Anti”, Calvin Harris’ “Motion”, Adele’s “25”, Megan Trainor’s “Thank You” and many more.

Nik is a freelance audio engineer in Los Angeles, California.

My CRAS experience was full immersion in everything audio. CRAS did a great job of taking me with just an interest [in audio recording], to feeling confident that I could walk into a professional facility and succeed.

I interned in Los Angeles, at Conway studios, which has since been reborn as EastWest Studios. It was very intimidating being in these world-class studios, with world-class artists. Thankfully, all the experiences and education that I had gotten at CRAS proved to help me cope with that, and ultimately excel.

Looking back, after 12 years in the audio industry, it’s amazing to think that I’ve actually been able to get where I wanted to get. What allowed me to persevere were all the little successes, at every stage – moving to Phoenix to go to a recording school, taking the jump to move to Los Angeles to try to just get an internship at a world class studio, and having that become a paid job was such amazing, positive feedback that it keeps the fire burning.”

Check out Nik’s full interview here!

Kris Pierce graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2005.

I came to CRAS expecting to learn what exactly I was doing in the studios. What is EQ really doing? What is compression really doing? I already knew how to use them, I already knew how to mix. I just didn’t know technically what I was doing.

CRAS helped me by teaching me technically what I was doing. It provided me with great training, and an internship that started a professional career. My CRAS experience was one of the best experiences of my life. I still look back at it as the best 9 months I’ve ever had.

I went to Electric Lady Studios for my internship. My experience at Electric Lady really taught me how to focus on anticipating what a client needed. It taught me how to create a comfortable atmosphere for the client. An example there would be when Snoop Dogg would come. We would have a very specific vocal booth that we would build for him that would have plush carpets on it, and be very decked out. It was very specific to him, so if we had 24 hours notice, his setup would be ready for him.

Hear all of Kris’ interview here!

Ike Schultz is the assistant engineer at Larabee Studios, in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

My CRAS experience was fantastic. Throughout the entire time that I was here, I felt that I was consistently learning at a pace that was both thorough and efficient. For my internship, I transitioned into being one of Manny Marroquin’s mix assistants.

Working for Manny Marroquin was a great experience. The amount that I was able to learn and acquire working for someone at that high of a level, in that specific field of engineering, was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

My education at CRAS prepared me very well for the internship that I had. Being able to walk into a room and know on a fundamental level the things that were going on. That allowed me to pick up the pace very quickly. What I got out of the internship was more than anything I could have asked for. To be placed in the particular situation that I was, and to be working at that level of the music industry, was something that I never would have expected.

Check out Ike’s entire interview here!

CRAS hosts up to 4 CRAS Graduate Panels a year – each CRAS Graduate Panel allows graduates in various industries in audio to share their experiences with our student population as well as our Open House guests.