Patchrat & Trace Audio Zoom with CRAS Students

The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS;, the premier institution for audio engineering education, recently hosted an on-line Zoom session with Patchrat founder Chris Henning and CRAS graduate and Trace Audio owner Ben Sabin for 25 students and faculty. The event was developed to both educate and help inspire the next generation of audio professionals as they prepare to join the industry post-graduation.

“Finding your way in this industry is not for the faint of heart…more than most, the music business tends to be extremely cutthroat, unpredictable, and rife with potential pitfalls,” Henning said. “My hope is that the experience and expertise Ben and I shared with CRAS students encouraged and equipped them with insights and tools that will help them land on their feet as they enter the workplace. I’ve worked with a number of CRAS grads that have all impressed me as having a firm grasp of the technical skills needed to survive in this business and, more importantly, the sensibility needed to apply that knowledge with the greatest effect.”

Patchrat is an iOS app for managing session documentation and recall, and Trace Audio specializes in pro audio gear assembly, recording studio integration, workflow consultation, and custom cabling.

“I was excited to talk with CRAS students about problem solving and coming up with solutions to problems in recording studios,” added Sabin, who graduated CRAS in 2015. “My industry experience has taught me a lot about trouble shooting, common workflow problems, and has led me to offer products that help artists and engineers stay in a creative mindset. Chris Henning and I have some very cool products in the works that we were thrilled to talk about. CRAS is one of the best audio schools you can attend. When I graduated, I left feeling like I had the right skills to really get ahead in the recording industry.”

Current CRAS student and event attendee Demi Trois said the Patchrat software is a revolutionary tool for all audio engineers, assistants, and studio technicians. “This tool saves engineers countless hours spent documenting settings for different sessions,” she explained. “Taking thousands of pictures for recall purposes, or handwriting settings down leaves so much room for error and can get very unorganized very quickly. File management gets out of control, especially when working on different projects at the same time. Patchrat allows you to store this data in different files and label each session accordingly. Many improvements and added features are continuing the growth of this software and I truly see it being an industry-standard tool used in the near future.”

Bringing in both Henning and Sabin was an invaluable resource for current students.

“We can’t thank Chris and Ben enough for hanging with us and showing us what they’ve been up to in the lab,” concluded David Kohr, CRAS AES Faculty Advisor. “The patchbay labels they are working on together are going to be game-changers and make life so much easier for so many audio professionals…from the studio to live shows, these things are awesome. The App has so many potential uses I don’t know if I can list them all. From recall to a learning tool the Patchrat app is a no-brainer for any audio professional or audio prospect to have in the arsenal. The more you use it, the more you love it! We are extremely thankful to Chris Henning for taking the time to give us the royal tour of his app. We look forward to inviting Chris and Ben back this summer for an in-person event so they can connect with even more of our students. I’d also like to give a special thank you to Chris for providing everyone in attendance with a one-year license to the Patchrat app!”

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.

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