CRAS in Tempe, AZ.. Opinions?

Regional activities, relevant news, job openings, studio searches, local beer nights (not a forum to plug the new album you just worked on)

Moderator: drumsound

Post Reply
Reece
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:52 am

CRAS in Tempe, AZ.. Opinions?

Post by Reece » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:53 am

Has anybody been there? Know anybody who's been there? Hired anybody from there? It's likely where I'm going next year, and I'd like to get some opinions from as many people as I can before making any solid commitments. Thanks!

signorMars
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 741
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 12:30 pm
Location: El Paso, TX

Post by signorMars » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:30 pm

Have you looked into interning at a big studio somewhere? Recording school can be great, but it's also really expensive with little or no guarantee of employment afterwards. This has been debated to death on this board, but it's still something worth looking at.
---
ross ingram
[brainville]

Reece
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:52 am

Post by Reece » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:53 pm

signorMars wrote:Have you looked into interning at a big studio somewhere? Recording school can be great, but it's also really expensive with little or no guarantee of employment afterwards. This has been debated to death on this board, but it's still something worth looking at.
The school actually offers an internship upon completion.

signorMars
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 741
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 12:30 pm
Location: El Paso, TX

Post by signorMars » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:25 am

Make sure the internship is in the branch of audio you want. They may be in TV or Radio, advertising, etc. I went to a recording school in Austin that promised job placement, and pretty much all they offered was an internship with the school, which basically meant sitting in the office all night in case the students who were working in the studio that night had any questions. Those schools have to maintain a certain percentage of job placement to keep their accreditation, so sometimes the jobs are not exactly what you want. That being said, I learned a TON in the school, mostly because I made sure I got as much studio time as possible, so it can be an excellent way to go, I would just make sure you evaluate all your options. I've heard excellent things about CRAS.
---
ross ingram
[brainville]

User avatar
doray
audio school
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:03 pm

Post by doray » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:54 pm

I went there, but I still have the internal debate of school vs. internship. On one hand, I wouldn't have gotten my foot in the door at my current studio without going to CRAS, but then again its a lot of money, then you get out and are most likely in a large city with no money and working for free (I pretty much got ran out of NYC because I had no money).

Pros - You learn how to use large format consoles and tape machines, learn from great teachers, all in super nice studios in an environment that breeds creativity. The day I left that place I was able to talk the talk and have conversations with experienced engineers and it helped people to know that I wasn't messing around.

Cons - Financial aid is set up weird, so unless you can get a private loan, your first academic year is set up so that you owe around $3,500 (which you have to pay off in around 9 months, though I couldn't and got an extended payment plan of 12 months). This situation set me up for disaster when I went to NYC, because I had little to no money to pay for things even though I served 6 nights a week in AZ (while this was my decision to go the NYC of all places, you are urged to go to big markets). Additionally, going to that school and getting an internship by no means guarantees you a job afterward. Out of the 11 or 12 people in my class, I think I am the only one engineering and there are 2 others that are still runners. At the end of the day, its still up to you.

Going back, if I could have gotten my foot in the door at a studio without going to CRAS, I think I would've gone the internship route and just read everything I could. I always had the philosophy that I wouldn't let cost get in the way of me learning and going to school, but you do have to pay that money back eventually. It takes a long time to get on your feet in engineering, so I don't know if any school is cost-effective.

Reece
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:52 am

Post by Reece » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:43 am

I'm in a position where money won't be an issue . My mother never went to college - she had approximately $10,000 saved up for her by her parents/grandparents. I've got about $11,000 more from other savings, and It's estimated that I'll get about $5,550 in federal grants. If all goes as planned, I'd be rooming in a one-bedroom with 2 other friends, each of us paying a little around $120-$140 a month each for rent. If I can afford CRAS, would you recommend actually going or trying something else entirely?

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Post by The Scum » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 am

For $25,000? Get a real bachelors degree from a 4 year university. Get it in hard science or real engineering (aerospace, computers or energy, not audio), and it'll eventually pay for itself.

The internship thing can be a vicious cycle...the schools offer it to you as a motivator to enroll. The sad fact is that some of the studios they'll place you in are intern mills. They rely on the fact that every few months, the school will send them another intern, providing more cheap labor.

A career as an audio engineer is largely about attrition, and school is just the beginning. You think you can hang on sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with 2 other people, eating ramen for a year of school. Can you do it for 5 years? 10? You need to be able to hang on until you're established, and the phone keeps ringing.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

User avatar
doray
audio school
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:03 pm

Post by doray » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:06 am

The Scum wrote:For $25,000? Get a real bachelors degree from a 4 year university. Get it in hard science or real engineering (aerospace, computers or energy, not audio), and it'll eventually pay for itself.
You would be hard pressed to get a bachelors from a 4 year university for $25,000.
The Scum wrote:A career as an audio engineer is largely about attrition, and school is just the beginning. You think you can hang on sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with 2 other people, eating ramen for a year of school. Can you do it for 5 years? 10? You need to be able to hang on until you're established, and the phone keeps ringing.
I don't think I've seen it explained better than this, well done.

Reece - It certainly sounds like you have your mind made up already and you want to go to CRAS. I know all too well the allure of the college lifestyle and having roommates, but I think you'll one day want that money back.

However, you could start interning at a studio, and in a couple months you could have gained enough knowledge and gotten enough advice to spend $20,000 wisely on gear and have a GREAT set up right off the bat (which is a LOT more than a lot of successful engineers started off with). If I could go back and do it again if I were in your position, I would do that.

User avatar
No Wave Casio Kitsch
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by No Wave Casio Kitsch » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:33 pm

I went to CRAS. If you're dead set on going to a recording school, I think CRAS is probably among the better choices primarily due to cost. I know people who went to Full Sail, SAE, and Expression. The Full Sail and Expression people are up to their eyeballs in debt and two of the three SAE folks I've met didn't seem to feel their education was that great.

That being said....

The good thing about CRAS is that you'll get your hands on large format consoles very quickly which is an opportunity fewer people are getting, especially if you aren't in a city with a lot of studios. So yeah, you'll work on 2" machines before you even touch Pro Tools there, you'll get to do sessions on a Neotek, an API Legacy +, and an SSL. You'll also do a good bit of live sound, some music business courses (not great fun but very worthwhile), and a little bit of surround sound, post-production, and video game stuff. They're also fairly dedicated to adding to/updating the curriculum regularly.

The internship is the big carrot they dangle in front of you, but it's not as if you'll suddenly be a staff engineer somewhere 3 months out of school. Most of the people I know who ended up with full time audio-ish gigs not terribly far removed from graduating went the live sound or post-production route. The really tough part, which they don't really let you in on until you're already at least ankle deep, is that they'll encourage you to re-locate to a large market to complete your internship. While that may be a reasonably good idea, they also expect you to move and start accruing internship hours within one week of finishing classes. If you haven't got family or someone you can crash with for a while in LA, NY, Nashville, SF, or wherever it can be really tough and stressful to find housing so quickly.

I moved to the SF Bay area to complete my internship. Like most people on this board, I really love making records so I guided my efforts toward getting into a studio that, at least primarily, does music. I also have a strong interest in sound design so one of the big reasons I chose SF was so I could "fall back" on doing sound for games and/or picture. The reality is, I ended up interning 6-7 days/week at three different studios and the back-up plan of taking a day job working at a game company more or less doesn't exist because the game companies want you to know C++ or Python or whatever, not WWISE.

Perhaps the case is different in LA, NY, Nashville, but pretty much every studio I've come across gets by with little more than a skeleton crew and/or is owner-operated so the chances of getting a staff position as an assistant engineer or engineer are extremely small.

My advice is: visit the school, try and get an internship locally and make sure you seriously want to do this (engineering isn't really a very "sexy" gig, in many ways), and avoid debt as much as you possibly can. If you do ultimately decide you can't live without going to recording school, I would suggest giving very serious consideration to spending your energies pursuing the more "practical" career avenues like live sound or post-production.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests