Do you need to go to Audio School?

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

I get this question from time to time and it always makes me chuckle a bit. My question in reply is - “Do you WANT to go to Audio School?” I was fortunate enough to attend The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS) in Gilbert, Arizona. I graduated at the top of my class, with basically every kind of certification they offered, on top of the normal curriculum. While attending CRAS, I noticed there were a few different types of students there. A smaller percentage of them were young kids, right out of high school, who weren’t entirely sure what Audio Engineering was all about. They just thought it sounded like a better alternative to the traditional College setting. That or they didn’t have the grades to get into a four year institution. These people rarely ended up succeeding in the courses and a few ended up dropping out before graduation day. Another small percentage of people were adult men (and a few women) who never married, and had no children (and a lot of times no job) which allowed them the freedom to move across country and uproot their entire lives. But, the majority of people were very much like myself. Audio lovers who decided their love for the craft and their desire to learn was worth quitting their jobs, leaving girlfriends or boyfriends and moving away from friends and family all in the pursuit of audio knowledge and a shot at a career in an industry. Hoping this would open doors that would allow them to do what they love - and lets not forget, getting to put our hands on some pretty bitchin audio gear.

I remember touring the school a few months before deciding to attend. Campus tours are given during normal school hours, which gives you a really good idea of what a day is like. As I was walking the halls and peaking into class rooms I remember feeling a bit nervous. That day students were being tested on how to route signal through a huge mixing console, which I later found out was an SSL E4000, all while being timed with a teacher staring at their every move. The building was filled with music and sounds and energy. The walls are covered with Gold and Platinum albums that past CRAS students had worked on. I was extremely intimidated but deep down I knew that I belonged there.