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CRAS AES Student Section Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Student Run, the Section Has Hosted a Number of Industry Icons and Manufacturers


CRAS – AES Student Section During SSL event.


Gilbert, Ariz., July 30, 2020 – The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS;, the premier institution for audio engineering education, is proud to announce it is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the official creation of its student section of the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

Jim Naron, former CRAS AES Student Section Faculty Advisor, was assigned to build the CRAS AES foundation in 2010 by fellow CRAS associate, Jason Losett.

CRAS – 2020 AES Student Section Zoom meeting.

“The AES section at CRAS had very little activity when I started in 2010, and this is why Jason wanted to build it,” Naron explained. “We had a great school but very little activity in AES, so I began organizing various meet-ups with different meeting topics other than class material. I involved students and different staff members in our hosted events, and I reached out to different audio professionals to speak on various topics. Everyone was very positive and supportive, which was a big goal of mine and set the foundation for the section.”

The CRAS AES Student Section meets every Monday night, with a structured format which is run entirely by the students. There are four main officeholders (chair, co-chair, secretary, and co-secretary), as well as a student mentorship coordinator that represents the school’s mentorship program, and an AES tech that is responsible for coordinating any A/V production needs for its events. There are also subgroups, such as Post, Music Theory, Live Sound, CRAS Certs, Music Production, and Audio Business, each also headed by students.

Naron said he knew for the section to stay strong and continue to be a positive force for the students it needed great leadership after his exit. So, he selected David Kohr as its new advisor and it is no surprise to him that the CRAS AES student section has grown into what it is today. “David was meant to lead the section and I was happy to pass the torch,” Naron said.

CRAS – AES Student Section with Lenise Bent (standing, center).

“I first heard of the Audio Engineering Society when I was sitting in orientation class at CRAS,” noted Kohr. “The student officeholders at the time came into the room to tell us about the student section of AES at CRAS and invited us to their weekly meetings. When I went home that night I researched AES, joined, and I’ve been a member ever since.”

Kohr said that under the guidance of Naron, he became heavily involved with CRAS’ student section. “With Jim’s support, I eventually earned the position of student section president which I held until I left CRAS to go on my internship in early 2014. In April of 2014, I got hired at CRAS as project staff. Jim and the student section were still going strong hosting multiple events, guest speakers, tours, builds, and more. After being on staff for a couple of months, I began to get involved with our section, but this time as faculty. I remember the day that Jim asked me if I wanted to step up into the position as CRAS AES faculty advisor. I knew that those were some big shoes to fill and I was honored to be selected by Jim to carry on our student section. Ever since then, I have been working to maintain the standards that Jim had set for us during his time as CRAS AES Faculty Advisor.”

Current CRAS AES Chair Julianna Shepherd said, to her, CRAS AES brings the school experience full circle. “We gain immense knowledge from our teachers in the classroom, but to truly excel in this industry, soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and networking are crucial. Who better to start practicing those skills with than your own classmates? CRAS AES brings all the cycles together into a cohesive and close knit group, learning from both industry professionals and also from each other. It’s honestly my favorite part of the CRAS experience.”

Throughout its 10 years, CRAS AES has hosted many guest engineers, manufacturers, and speakers, such as standouts Sylvia Massy, Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick, Luca Pretolesi from Studio DMI, Chris Lord-Alge, FOH Engineer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten, and many of CRAS’ own grads such as 9x Grammy-winner Darrell Thorp, Mario McNulty, Ike Shultz, and others. Its list of guest manufacturers is long, including Genelec, KRK, Focusrite/Novation, Warm Audio, Blue Microphones, Reftones, Sonarworks, SSL, Waves, Rode Microphones, Cloud Microphones, Universal Audio, Audio Technica, Audio Alchemist, Monheim Microphones, Ableton, Austin Ribbon Mics, BAE, Royer, Mojave, Useful Arts, Neat Microphones, just to name a few.

CRAS AES section has also hosted professional’s such as Bryan Neumeister to come and speak about the field of forensic audio, Michael Harrington to come and speak about music business, Christian Salyer to speak about music placements, and various other professionals from all different areas of the industry.

“CRAS AES has been an absolute highlight of my time here,” added current CRAS AES Lead Tech and CRAS Mentor Alan Floyd. “Not only has it been a great place to meet new people and network locally inside the school, but it has also introduced me to the broader international society that is AES. The numerous resources that I gained access to such as the AES E-Library, and countless seminars from guest speakers have had an exponential impact on my education. It’s an honor to be a part of such an amazing community.”

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 state-of-the-art 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.

For more information on CRAS, please visit, contact Kirt Hamm, administrator, at 1-800-562-6383, or email to [email protected]

About The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences

Based in the heart of The Valley of the Sun with two campuses in Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz., The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS) is one of the country’s premier institutions for audio education. The Conservatory has developed a unique and highly effective way to help the future audio professional launch their careers in the recording industry and other related professional audio categories.