ADS Editor/Sound Designer Inspires Students During CRAS Women of Audio Event

2019 CRAS Graduate Julianna Shepherd Discussed Her Journey From Student to Intern to Current Editor/Sound Designer/Mixer at Hollywood, Calif.-Based ADS (Advanced Digital Services)

Gilbert, Ariz., Jan. 28, 2022 – The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS;, the premier institution for audio engineering education, is proud to announce that Julianna Shepherd was recently a guest speaker during a CRAS Women of Audio (WOA) Zoom event. The 2019 CRAS graduate discussed her journey from student to intern to landing her current position as an editor/sound designer/mixer at Hollywood, Calif.-based ADS (Advanced Digital Services).

“Finding that perfect entry level job after leaving school can be a real challenge for students embarking on a new career path, and to hear Julianna’s story was extremely powerful,” said Nancy Scharlau-Murman, WOA Faculty Advisor. “We formed CRAS Women of Audio several years ago to help support, guide and promote women at CRAS and beyond. I love to reach out to our grads for their support and expertise in the field. All of our students benefit from hearing their stories and the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to reach their goals. Julianna did an amazing job of answering all of our student’s questions with a tremendous amount of care, insight, and real world perspective.”

What does it feel like to navigate in today’s job market and start climbing the ladder in the world of audio post production? To answer some of these questions, the event began with Julianna speaking about her internship at a small post facility and the amount of one-on-one training she received there. After that she landed a part time position at her current workplace but still had to work a regular job to make ends meet.

“Julianna stressed the importance of staying positive while looking for jobs and committing to your goals,” Scharlau-Murman added. “Later she went on to find a full time admin position while continuing her job search. When a full-time editing and sound design position opened up at ADS, she was a perfect fit.”

Presently, Shepherd is responsible for prepping all of the Pro Tools sessions at ADS and creating sound design for several reality TV shows, including Real Housewives and Botched. She explained in detail the process she goes through to prepare sessions for mixing, and described the many challenges editors face with reality TV, especially how Pro Tools and RX are absolutely vital to her work. 

“Speaking with WOA was a goal of mine since the very first WOA meeting I attended in 2019,” Shepherd explained. “Our guest speaker that night was mastering engineer, Piper Payne. I was so inspired and motivated by her knowledge, her story, and her kindness. I knew that if I was ever able, I would love to give to students in the future what she gave to me. Now, two years later, that goal is realized. Having the opportunity to speak for WOA meant the world… I enjoyed every minute.”

Shepherd added that CRAS was instrumental in reminding her that the world is yours to take if you’re willing. “There isn’t a magic ‘Five Steps to Success’ that works for everyone, but with tenacity, hard work, and a humble spirit, it’s all possible. It’s been a bit of a wild ride, but I’m finally seeing the hard work pay off and can honestly say that what I do for a living is what I love.”

While at CRAS, Shepherd made sure to go above and beyond with any assignments related to post and she suggested that current students should do the same, explaining that editing dialogue and podcasts are a great way to help prepare for the CRAS Pro Tools certifications and build up the resume simultaneously. “All experience is good experience,” Shepherd said. “It just takes time and giving yourself grace.” 

CRAS student and WOA member Asia Domingo noted that one of her main takeaways from the event was to work with what you have while working toward something better. “Things won’t always turn out the way you planned, and you work hard to be where you are today. Persevere and things will find a way.” 

The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences is composed of two nearby campuses in Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz. A CRAS education includes broadcast audio, live sound, film and TV audio, music, and video game audio, all taught by award-winning instructors who have all excelled in their individual fields, including sound reinforcement, audio recording and production, digital recording, troubleshooting/maintenance, and music business.

CRAS structured programs and highly qualified teaching staff provide a professional and supportive atmosphere, which is complemented by its small class sizes allowing for individual instruction and assistance for students in engineering audio recordings. CRAS has been providing quality vocational training in audio recording for more than three decades. The curriculum and equipment are constantly being updated to keep pace with the rapid advancements in the music and sound recording industries. CRAS’ course offerings and subject matter have always centered around the skills and knowledge necessary for students’ success in the audio recording industries.

The 11-month program is designed to allow every student access to learn and train in all of the Conservatory’s studios which are comprised with state-of-the-art audio recording and mixing gear, the same equipment used in today’s finest studios and remote broadcast facilities, including Pro Tools 12, API Legacy consoles, SSL AWS consoles, Studer Vista consoles, and much more. All students must complete a 280-hour industry internship to graduate from the Master Recording Program II that may ultimately lead to industry employment.