The SARA Program: Your Destination for a Sound Education

Orbit Audio in Seattle serves as the program's headquarters.

Orbit Audio in Seattle serves as the program’s headquarters.

The Seattle Academy of Recording Arts (SARA), a hands-on educational program founded by audio engineer Joe Reineke, will start its inaugural session this July.

Reineke—a 30-year veteran of the audio industry, including 15 years as a studio owner—has created a Washington State-certified school offering students the chance to learn audio engineering, production, analog and digital recording, mixing, mastering, and even business and entrepreneurial skills.

Joe Reineke

Joe Reineke, founder of the SARA Program.

“I started this program because I knew I could do this better than what was out there, and I was fed up with ‘graduates’ coming to intern at my studio completely under-educated from what I assumed were ‘reputable audio engineering programs,’” said Reineke, who’s also an Avid Certified Instructor.

“My goal is simple: I want to transform a calling into a creative career and give my graduates the training needed to succeed in our industry.”

SARA is a six-month intensive program with the curriculum structured in such a way that students devote one eight-hour day each week to their instruction.

“We know that people lead full-time lives, so we’ve designed our program to be one full day per week, Tuesdays through Saturdays, so people who work traditional full-time jobs can participate in the SARA program,” said Reineke.SARA Audio Engineering School Seattle WA Logo

He added, “We’ve also dedicated Fridays as an all-women’s day because the landscape is changing out there and this is no longer an ‘all-dudes club.’ Almost 70 percent of the people interested in the SARA program are women. It makes a lot of sense: half of the artists are women, so why can’t half of the engineers and producers be women, as well?”

The program is based out of Reineke’s Pioneer Square studio, Orbit Audio, one of Seattle’s premier recording and mixing studios. In addition to working with recording artists like Macklemore and Arcade Fire, Orbit’s client base also includes corporations such as Microsoft, Pfizer, NBC, NPR and many others.

With a maximum class size of eight (plus two instructors), students really get a hands-on feel for the audio industry. They’ll not only have access to the studio’s world-class equipment, but also to the extensive experience and knowledge of Orbit Audio’s producers and engineers.

“Folks will get a quality education here. I want the SARA certification to be as meaningful to employers as a Harvard degree,” said Reineke.

“If we (Washington State) want to continue to be leaders, we need to train the leaders of tomorrow and give them the right skill set and foundation to excel.”

SARA’s inaugural session begins July 7 and all ages (18+) are welcome. For more information, visit

One thought on “The SARA Program: Your Destination for a Sound Education”

  1. I am always jealous of these amazing booths! It takes me back to the days of living with an old bandmate and us building makeshift “booths” ourselves. These booths were really just us taping up vents and putting our mattresses against the corners to get the echo down! Great times and thanks for the post!

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