Studer and CRAS have collaborated on an online Vista digital console broadcast user training and technical certification program. NORTHRIDGE, CA—A little over two years after launching its U.S. truck-based Studer Vista digital console broadcast user training and technical certification program, Harman has now introduced an online version of the program. The interactive Studer- BroadcastAcademy.com (SBA) course was developed in collaboration with the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS)—which will launch its new broadcast curriculum beginning October 25—but is a standalone program accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world.
CRAS has installed a Studer Vista 9, a Compact Remote portable control surface and a Compact Stagebox in the newly built-out Studio E Broadcast Center at its Gilbert, AZ satellite campus. In addition, the conservatory has outfitted a mobile production trailer with a Vista 5, Compact Remote and Stagebox, which will operate out of its main Tempe, AZ campus.
“One of the contingencies when they were doing their shopping was to find a manufacturer who would work with them on supporting their education system,” reports Katy Templeman-Holmes, U.S. marketing, Soundcraft Studer. No other manufacturer was willing or able to step up to the plate and take on a project of this magnitude, she says.
The addition of a broadcast component to the CRAS Master Recording Program II will extend the course from 30 to 36 weeks on-campus. “Anybody in their school who is going to graduate has to go through this online training course. So there’s going to be this whole generation of newly trained broadcast engineers with good experience with Studer Vista consoles,” says Templeman-Holmes.
“I’ve been working with CRAS for about the last six months to build this site,” she continues. “We built it on a platform called Moodle, which is sort of like Java Script—open source.”
The certification program is not proprietary: “Let’s say Full Sail wanted to integrate this; there is nothing stopping them using it and including it in their curriculum.” But there can only be one co-branded program, according to the agreement, she says, so there will not be any alternate versions of the course.
The online SBA is aimed squarely at a core constituency of current and prospective Vista users, Templeman- Holmes explains: “We’re serving the guys that are already out there, the people that are looking to buy consoles and we’re taking care of the engineers who are having to work on them or are going to be starting their careers working on them.”
The course comprises a series of modules; successful completion of all eight is mandatory in order to receive certification. There is a test at the end of each module and a 90 percent or better score is required for each lesson to be marked complete. Each participant must pass a final exam of 100 questions to earn certification.
“If you pass that final exam, then you get a unique registration number,” she says. Everybody who passes can elect whether or not they are then listed on the Studer web site.
Anyone taking the course must first register then download Virtual Vista software, which provides a graphic representation of a Vista console. The software can also be used for offline console configuration and online remote control of Vista mixing consoles.
“You can take the lessons in any order you like; they are written sequentially but there’s nothing stopping you doing whichever one takes your fancy,” says Templeman-Holmes. This also allows pro users to jump in anywhere and brush up on aspects of the Vista with which they may not be familiar prior to, or even during, a show.
Users can download manuals, there is a glossary of terms and there are video segments. “It’s like being in a classroom. We also have examples in some of the lessons from industry professionals where it puts things into context. You can watch full-length tutorial videos completely separate from the rest of the curriculum. We also have a Studer tour that gives you some background.”
The SBA course is attractive to Studer console owners who have a pool of engineers working on them, she comments: “One of our customers, for example, is a large rental house. The owner wanted to specifically know about each member of staff and how long it took them [to take the course], what they got wrong, what they scored, how many times they took it. He wanted that level of information, which we can supply. It allowed him to gauge who is going to be the best guy on the team to send out on a gig.”
The SBA is a useful tool for prospective clients, she said: “It’s a great way to learn a little about the console if you’re in the shopping period, particularly in broadcast were the buying cycle can be so long. It puts them at a level of education that allows them to make a much better decision.”
Studer Broadcast Academy
Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences