Phoenix, Ariz., May 1, 2018 – From pit row at NASCAR races to the diamond at Major League Baseball games to the court at NBA games, Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS; www.cras.edu) students continue to have top-shelf opportunities to learn from the very best audio engineers and producers in the industry while on-site in real time.
Most recently, 12 CRAS students had the chance to practice mixing live audio and video feeds from FOX SPORTS ARIZONA in the school’s 42-ft. remote-production mobile broadcast trailer during a recent Phoenix Suns NBA home game versus the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
“Training during a live professional sporting event such as NBA game is the chance of a lifetime for the next crop of professional audio engineers,” said Robert Brock, CRAS Director of Education. “The complexity, speed, and accuracy required for such a live broadcast was an eye opener for them. Dan Siekmann, Phoenix Suns V.P. of Broadcasting, was our initial point of contact and also toured our mobile broadcast unit. We are very grateful for his help in allowing our students this tremendous opportunity.”
Brock explained that A2 Dennis Lamb took students out on the court to see the net, court, and announcer mic setup pre-game, and A2 DiDi Hill took them for a tour of the pre/post game set. For pre-game, game time, and post-game production, students received the raw audio and video feeds from Mobile TV Group’s HDX31 truck, including all the behind-the-scenes audio discussions and directions between the directors, broadcast crews, producers, engineers, and videographers.
“MTVG EIC (Engineer In Charge) Karl Braunwarth’s setup gave us nine camera feeds,” Brock continued. “Bob Pachman was the A1 who set up our audio feeds giving us about 60 channels of audio on a MADI line. This provided students the opportunity to simulate mixing their own version of the show without the pressure of being live. Bob had all of the students rotate into the FOX audio control room to watch as he mixed the live show.”
Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator, said, “With all the background streaming in simultaneously, our students had the opportunity to experience what a broadcast is really like and to practice mixing the audio and follow directions amidst the chaos of a live broadcast. This opportunity was devised in an effort to boost potential careers in broadcast audio in a real-world setting.”
CRAS student Gabby Thomas said it will always be a memorable experience. “(I learned a lot) taking a look ‘behind the curtain’ and seeing what needs to be set up in order for the show to go on air successfully. I will always appreciate the opportunity.”
CRAS student Franklin Varela continued the appreciation for all involved. “For all the ladies and gentlemen who in one way or another helped us make our broadcasting practice become a dream come true, thank you. Everyone’s advice as a mentor in the audio engineering field was very valuable to me, especially concerning career skills.”
CRAS student Alysia Gomez added, “I know I would never be able to get that kind of experience in the classroom. I really appreciated everyone that was so kind to us and letting us experience it for ourselves. I will never forget this amazing opportunity.”
CRAS student Alex Robles concluded, “I am very thankful (to be) an audio student at CRAS. As a child growing up in Arizona and watching a lot of Suns’ home games, this backstage adventure could not have been more perfect. Being able to bring CRAS’ Mobile Broadcast Unit and being able to mix my own creation of the show on a console that I was used to was just a pure, once-in-a lifetime experience and I want to thank CRAS and everyone at Talking Stick Resort Arena who made this happen.”
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.