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Students Learn the Midas Touch at CRAS

As part of the school’s live sound program, 12 Midas M32R mixing consoles are utilized for individual workstations to allow each student to become familiar with operating a professional mixer.
Instructor Jim Bender left with CRAS students. Photo credit FOH Staff
Instructor Jim Bender left with CRAS students. Photo credit FOH Staff

TEMPE, AZ — The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS) is a private, postsecondary trade and technical school specializing in audio recording, audio engineering and production education with its main location in Tempe and a satellite campus in Gilbert, Arizona.

Founded in 1980, the school provides education and training in its core discipline ­– music recording – as well as live sound, audio for post-production and broadcast audio. Students are trained for positions in a variety of areas of the music, gaming audio, live sound, broadcast and post production for film and TV industries.

As part of the school’s live sound program, 12 Midas M32R mixing consoles are utilized for individual workstations to allow each student to become familiar with operating a professional mixer.

The school’s administrator, Kirt Hamm stated, “We have a 6000 square foot live sound venue on our Gilbert campus with a full PA for the students to work in. We realized that we wanted to have a more hands-on approach and, rather than trying to crowd everyone around a main FOH console, we set up work stations with the Midas mixers. We can feed a signal to them and with headphones the students can work on a mixing session. We like that the Midas M32R is compatible and sort of a gateway platform to the larger Midas consoles which we see a lot of in the live sound industry.”

Jim Bender, live sound instructor at CRAS elaborates, “For final certification, students program the M32R for a large-scale system with standard PA system routing (L+R/Center bus) and matrix bussing for camera and satellite feeds for streaming. We also use the M32R’s for an additional certification class in which 12 mixer stations are fed two channels of audio through our Dante networking into their laptops that are loaded with Smaart v8 and the students learn about sound system tuning. The versatility of the Midas M32R makes these tasks in a group setting much less daunting for both students and instructors.”

AVL Media Group, the distributor for Midas products in North America, values its relationship with CRAS,” said Kurt Metzler, sales manager for AVL. “The school has a stellar reputation and we place a high value on education and supporting the arts. Helping these students in any way possible is paramount to advancing our industry in the future.”

With in-person schooling back in session and the fall semester looming, Hamm is looking forward to a healthy return to both campuses. “We are a one-program curriculum, 48 weeks in total which includes a 12-week internship. At any given time, there are about 550 students between both campuses. We also have a large student presence with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), which furthers the educational goals of our school. What we have set out to do, and a personal goal of mine, is that if a door opens for one of our graduates, they will have the skills to go through it with confidence.”

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