Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences Students Learn Live Audio, Video Mixing at NASCAR Races in Phoenix
Students from The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS) recently had the opportunity to practice mixing live audio and video feeds from host broadcaster NBC Sports in the school’s 42-ft. remote production mobile broadcast trailer during The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150, and NASCAR Xfinity Series Whelen trusted to perform 200 races at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. from Nov. 9-11.
“Orchestrated by Sports Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee Fred Aldous, our students received audio and video feeds as well as the directors’ and producers’ directives from Fox Sports on Friday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, and Saturday and Sunday they received the feeds from NBC Sports for the Xfinity Series and the Can-Am 500 races,” explains Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator “We had 11 students per day per race event. The entire experience was an eye-opener and a tremendous learning experience for them, that’s for sure.”
“A1 Denis Ryan, Submixer Steve Urick, and Audio Guarantee Sean Peacock all took time to encourage our students and shoot straight with them about what it takes to succeed at their level. For our students to be able to hear this from professionals at this level as they work during a major nationally broadcast sporting event is absolutely priceless.”
Prior to the races, the CRAS student teams walked the track to study the microphone placements as well as the interconnect between the track feeds and the broadcast trucks. During the races they mixed the feeds in simulated real-world situations.
“When I was starting out I would have given my eyeteeth to have had the kind of opportunity that CRAS is providing their students out here,” says Ryan.
CRAS’ 42-ft. remote production mobile broadcast unit is designed to be a working replica of a real-world broadcast production trailer stocked with top shelf industry professional audio and video equipment that are utilized by leading television network broadcast engineer crews.
“This event allows our future audio engineers to experience a part of the industry that has special demands and skill sets,” Hamm continues. “It helps our students identify if this is a passion area that they want to pursue after completion of our program and enter the Live Broadcast industry on their 280-hour internship, which is part of graduation requirements. We cannot thank NBC Sports enough for allowing us these opportunities for our students to interact with their teams throughout the weekend. Their crews are the best in the business and are always very gracious with their time and willing to share their insights and methods with us.”
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 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 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.