I got accepted to CRAS. Is it worth it?

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I got accepted to CRAS. Is it worth it?

Post by cooters » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:32 pm

I got accepted to the conservatory of recording atrs and sciences. I was wondering how credited it actually is and stuff. It seems really cool to me. With the 12 people a class, laptop package, and 12 week internship. I'm really excited but i was wondering if it was a good idea before i got too deep into this.

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Post by tweedclassic » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:08 am

i went there. it's defiantly what you make of it. it was great for me. i learned allot. do i attribute it to my success..?? it played a part but not they key to it. i know people who are way farther along then me with less formal education. its a tough field to work in. lots of people looking for work not as many jobs. CRAS was a good school. great teachers! when i went to check out the school they flat out told me i could get a job when i was done with school like it would be easy..(LIE). that was basically what i wanted to hear. i didn't completely believe them. but im a dreamer still. i don't regret going. feel free to email me i would be glade to give you my opinion and answer any questions you have from a unbiased source. from one Oregonian to the next!

i liked it but by no means think its the only rout.
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Post by Professor » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:26 am

I don't know much about that program in particular, but I tend to be an advocate of recording schools in general... with a few caveats.
First, if you really want to be a professional engineer how could it possibly hurt to learn as much as you possibly can about the trade, art, and science of the field? A lot of people may argue that it's best to just buy a microphone and do a bunch of stuff on your own to learn from experience, but constantly reinventing the wheel doesn't advance the industry and won't get you anywhere faster. Other people who are much smarter than me or you have already made great discoveries and horrible failures, and we can learn from both of those so we can continue to move the artform forward.
Now the catch to this concept is that you actually have to make the effort to learn the material that is taught. If you're already here then you're probably more motivated than most, but you have to keep that momentum. If you go to any school to pretend you're a rockstar, party, just scrape by in all the classes, and put as little effort as possible into the hands-on projects, then the piece of paper at the end of the program isn't going to mean anything to you or anyone else. Indeed, you'll actually contribute to making it mean less for everyone else at the school. But if you dig in, focus, listen to the teachers, listen to the music, listen to all the gear that's available to you, spend extra time in the labs, sit in on other peoples' sessions, try out every piece of gear in every control room, and walk away with as much knowledge as they have to give you, then you'll really get a lot from that or any program.
I guess I could sort of state it like a formula of sorts:
Learn the sound of every microphone in the locker on every instrument you can find to record. Don't just sit there and say, "SM-57s go in front of guitar amps". That's useless regurgitation. Find out what the other 40 or 50 microphone models can do to that guitar amp, and catalog in your mind not which is your favorite, but which one you would use for each situation. Will one mic sound better for jazz guitar, and another for rock guitar, and another for metal, one for tube amps, and one for solid-state?
Get into all of the control rooms and learn all the boards. You'll never have such easy access to so much fantastic equipment, so use it while you can. Don't just get stuck on the names you recognize, or the board you've used before, or focus only on the SSL because that's the most expensive one that all the rappers love. Do at least one small project on every board so you learn how each is different and how each is the same. You can form opinions about them later, but in school you should just focus on learning how to get sound in one end, out the other... and make it do some cool tricks along the way.
Listen to lots of speakers - bring a couple favorite CDs around with you all the time so that even if you don't have time to work on a project in a different room you can at least compare the sound of the monitors. Ten minutes of listening in between classes or sessions can reveal a lot about the different speakers and rooms.
Learn how to use the equalizers, and learn how they can help various sounds and how they can't.
Same for compressors.
Try out lots of different reverbs and different settings on them. Again, don't just find a favorite model and setting, listen to all the "cathedral" patches on all the different brands. Then next time, listen to all the settings on one particular model. And so on.

Yes, you can be taught a lot from CRAS or any other program... if you are willing to learn it.
And remember that when you're done, you aren't competing against your classmates for the jobs, you're competing against me... and everyone else here... and everyone else trying to make a career out of this.

But you know, have a good time while you're there too.

-Jeremy

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Post by cooters » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:57 am

cool. Thanks. I just wanted a little feed back on the school before i made my decision. I'm from oregon and arizona is pretty far to go and get screwed.

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Post by cooters » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:46 am

also i'm really new to all of the terms and gear and stuff. I figured that going to school for it would help me learn way faster then on my own. I'mm going to learn from the program and i'm going to also go the alternate route. I already just sit at home and play with a microphone. which i will most likely do the whole time i'm going through the program. Thanks for the tips and advice. :D

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Post by seeabove » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:18 am

I know three people that went to that school.

One is successful, one is struggling, and one still has his parents pay his rent.

One is a go-getter, one expects things to be given to him, and one spent his time in the studio getting high.

Which is which? I'll let you guess :)

Like everything in life, what you get out of it is what you put into it. I loved going to school and actually got my current day-gig by impressing my teacher in an advanced pro-tools class. Work hard, pay attention, and it'll be a good start in your career.
I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven?t just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.

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Post by aitikin » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:02 pm

If you're from Oregon, look for a school there that has a recording program, or at least a great studio or two. I go to a school without a recording program and I am one of two people who do any of the recordings there that seem to actually know what we're doing. Just because there's no major for it, doesn't mean it won't work.

A side note, at a regular university, you can take business courses. Business courses are very important, help you manage your funding, figure out how much stuff will cost, how to prepare for expansion, stuff like that.

I'm getting a Business degree with a Music minor and one of the things that a number of people point out to me is that if I walk into a bank with a copy of my degree and an actual business plan, they'll take my loan application very seriously. If you walk in with a certificate from a recording university that they've never heard of, they'll give you a loan, but it'll be a little harder for you. Even more so if you just walk into a bank with a "business plan" about starting a studio.

This is obviously a very generic statement, and not one that I'm going to follow (I hope I'm lucky enough to never actually need a bank loan for studio stuff), but it's a good point that I hadn't thought about until someone else pointed it to me.

This is just my $.02 on the matter, but I can say that most of the people I know who've really made it in the industry have never had formal recording training.
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Post by JWL » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:16 am

I agree that school can be what you make it, good or bad.

One little piece of devil's advocate: there is an argument for taking the $$ you'd spend on school and using it to set yourself up with some gear. Once you have a setup, practice. Learn.

Whether you go to school or not, recording everything you can.

And, I have to say this: I know one person who want to CRAS. He was really arrogant and thought he knew everything there is to know about recording. Don't be like him.

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Post by JWL » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:17 am

I agree that school can be what you make it, good or bad.

One little piece of devil's advocate: there is an argument for taking the $$ you'd spend on school and using it to set yourself up with some gear. Once you have a setup, practice. Learn.

Whether you go to school or not, recording everything you can.

And, I have to say this: I know one person who want to CRAS. He was really arrogant and thought he knew everything there is to know about recording. Of course, this kid also thinks George W is doing a great job, so his recording arrogance probably has little to do with CRAS. Regardless, don't be like him.

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Post by rwc » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:23 am

If I had jumped straight into an internship and didn't go to a school I'd be a year ahead right now.

You can learn a lot from a school, but everything I've learned has been from doing it myself. No one taught me how to put together a computer, or how to use linux, or how to setup ftpds and httpds. no one taught me where I went anything useful about electronics, I learned that all by reading countless articles and essays and trial and error, and no one taught me how to record music.

the reality is that a lot of(but not all) these schools have too many people now to give individual attention one needs to explore and learn on their own.
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Post by audiogeek1 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:40 am

I went to CRAS around 17 years ago. I am sure the curriculum is better now than then. But it is what you make of it. If you go there and throw heart and soul into it then you can learn. If you do not then you will not learn.

Also remember going to school for most people means nothing. Getting out of school means that you have a technical degree and nothing more. So if you decide to work in a big studio remember, even if you think you know more than the guy running the session do not let anyone know. As the assistant your opinion only matters when asked.

That was the best thing I learned. No EGO. I do sound design and broadcast mixing for my living now. Along with mastering. I can tell you if I had an ego I would not survive. None of the projects care about my personal taste. They have an Idea of what they want. They use me for my technical expertise. Mostly they trust me to listen to their ideas and make them happen.

Mike

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Post by bluesman » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:38 am

audiogeek1 wrote: If I had an ego I would not survive. None of the projects care about my personal taste. They have an Idea of what they want. They use me for my technical expertise. Mostly they trust me to listen to their ideas and make them happen.

Mike
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Post by Esmo » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:20 am

did anybody ever attend the undergrad program in recording arts at Purchase. That one caught my eye when I was looking around at colleges.

d

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