The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS; www.cras.edu), the premier institution for audio engineering education, recently partnered with Focusrite Pro for a webinar in which 41 CRAS students learned an understanding of RedNet and Dante software, helping to inspire them to learn more about it as an employable skill set as they look to join the industry professionally post-graduation.
“When the world is seemingly standing still, it’s almost more important for us to keep manually turning it,” said Peter J. Tilley – Western US Sales Manager, Focusrite Pro. “It would be all too easy for us to collectively take a gap year, but realistically this is time we’re never going to get back. It is certainly different having to teach classes from behind a camera instead of being able to give students a genuine hands-on experience with our products, but the benefit is no less there. When things start to fall back into place as we once knew them, those that took the time to learn something new will have a clear advantage when the hiring starts. CRAS students were the most engaged group of students I have presented to since I started doing these webinars back in March.”
Tilley added that Dante has truly claimed its place in the industry, as RedNet has been there since the beginning. “We are lucky in that our hardware is often considered synonymous with the software. The benefit of our Introduction to Dante webinar for CRAS students is the hands-on assistance they have access to when going further into their education and careers. The Dante certifications will help students get jobs, and having personal manufacturer contacts will help them keep jobs. Having someone you trust on the other end of the phone in a make or break situation can be game changing.”
Every student in attendance was given Tilley’s personal contact information and is highly encouraged to use it. “I have loved working with CRAS, so much that we are actually working together to integrate our RedNet and Dante classes as part of the routine curriculum for CRAS students. Unfortunately the pandemic hit a few weeks before I was supposed to actually visit the CRAS campus, so I have yet to see it in person. Based on the excitement and engagement of students I’d have to assume CRAS is doing something right. I definitely feel safe knowing CRAS students will be joining the industry, and I’m honored to have a place in helping them get there.”
Focusrite Audio Engineering has pioneered professional audio recording technology spanning almost three decades. Focusrite Pro, the company’s professional and commercial division, meets the demands of recording, post-production, live sound and broadcast professionals. It consists of RedNet, a fully modular audio-over-IP solution, and the Red range, Focusrite’s flagship multi-format interfaces, along with the heritage ISA range of microphone preamplifiers and analogue signal processors. The solutions have been developed to meet the needs of the most demanding applications through a relentless focus on ease of use, quality and reliability. Focusrite is based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, with offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
“Peter’s webinar was not only informative but also fun and engaging…it made the students feel like they were part of the discussion,” concluded David Kohr, CRAS Instructor/AES Faculty Advisor. “Peter answered every question that the students had and helped everyone that was in attendance understand what the capabilities of Dante are. We are looking forward to having Peter host this webinar several times a year so every student that attendants CRAS can get a chance to experience it.”
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 centred 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.