Our School

In the industry you will encounter all kinds of different gear. Our grads often comment on the confidence they have in the field based on the fact that they learned in 3 different studios with different console setups, vintage hardware and current plug-ins. You will develop a full understanding of working with both digital and analog consoles, using Protools or Logic systems, and applying mic techniques in both tight spaces and large acoustically treated environments.

After learning in our studios you will have the knowledge to excel wherever you choose. You can have a look at our studio pictures below or come on in for a tour; we’d love to show you around.

Our People

We work with industry professionals to make sure we are always up to date with the latest techniques and trends.
Click on a name below to find out more about them and their role at TARA.

Shannon Murray

Shannon is the first voice most people hear whether it is on the phone or walking in the front door. With 18 years experience running an audio school she is the driving force behind The Audio Recording Academy. After running Raven Street Studios and TARA from 1992-1999, she moved to the left coast to manage Vancouver’s famed Greenhouse Studios, and interview artists for CBC Radio 3. In 2002 she opened the Toronto campus of TARA. She has finally come full circle and home again, and now acts as the schools registrar, student counsellor and surrogate mother when required.

Marty Sobb
Senior Instructor

The friendliest man in Ottawa, if you play music in town there’s a good chance you already know Marty. He has played in various bands throughout the past decade and beyond. His most recent success has been with Autumns Canon who won Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot. A TARA grad himself, Marty spent years honing his craft, tracking sessions and touring before coming back to begin his teaching role. He has tracked sessions at the TARA studios with Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne, Tal Bachman, Alterbridge, Dame Edna and Jeff Martin to name just a few.

Jake Jones

Jake is a student of all things Audio. He has a great interest in how things work, which has spurred his research into electronics, and is also why he can be found repairing gear in our office. Jake is a born teacher, who loves to find different way to explain things to students who are having difficulty understanding a concept. When he is not working with us he is busy with his composition and production company Glebe Avenue Music, creating music and sound effects for video games, and short films.

Geoff McNeely
Lab Assistant

As our main TA and instructor, Geoff is part of the team who provides guidance and encouragement to all students. Geoff graduated from TARA in 2015 and hasn’t stopped working in Audio since. He is a pretty busy guy. When he is not supervising Labs at TARA, he can be found working in audio friendly locations all over Ottawa like Spaceman Music, behind the mixing board at Overflow Brewing Company’s music venue, or engineering recording sessions at Raven Street Studios.

James Mead
Office Guru

James is responsible for making sure that TARA is running smoothly. In fact, if he does his job well, the students hardly know he is there! He oversees internal systems, recruiting efforts and partnership opportunities. James will help students prepare themselves for the world outside of TARA, offering advice on career planning, resume writing etc as required.

Specialist instructors / Guest lecturers

Matt Sobb – Drums – Monkey Junk
Terry Tufts – Guitar www.terrytufts.com
Stuart Watkins – BassWe also recruit guest speakers from the industry to give students a broader understanding of the music and recording worlds. Here’s a list of recent speakers to give you an idea of the type of knowledge you could gain:
Gerard Tevlin – 2011 Gemini Award winning composer
Jeff Waters – Lead singer of Annihilator/producer/engineer www.annihilatormetal.com
 Ken Friesen – Engineer/Producer/Live sound/Studio engineer – www.kenfriesen.com
Yanik Hardy – Royalties/Copyrights – www.socan.com
Andreas Seelisch – Audiologist – www.listenupcanada.com
Richard Nault – Location sound – www.soundmindproductions.com
Marc Parizeau – Ensemble recording engineer – www.paz.ca
Dayna Bourgoin – 604 Records – www.604records.com
Nadine Gelineau – The Muse Box – www.themusebox.net
Jon Chandler – Amos the Transparent – www.amosthetransparent.com
David Cain – Sound Master Studios – www.soundmasterstudios.com
Jason Fee – Conduction Mastering – www.conductionmastering.com


TARA History

In 1992 TARA was founded by Ottawa’s famed Raven Street Studios, with the aim of providing a quality, practical audio recording education in a nurturing environment at a reasonable price for the student.

Our first class was only 4 students and to this day we keep our classes small, although our enrollment now runs around 30 students a year.

TARA maintains its unique style by working out of real recording studios. There are not many schools around that have artists like Avril Lavigne, Snoop Dogg, Jeff Martin, Collective Soul, Conor Oberst, Anihillator, walking through their doors, as well as the hundreds of local artists who have recorded at our facility over the years. We make an effort to include students on all of the audio production that goes on in the studio, in order to give them real world experience before graduation.

Over the last 25 years a lot has changed in the recording industry. Analog has give way to digital, equipment has become smaller and less expensive, recording studios have become smaller and easier to set up. With each step along the way TARA has adjusted to make sure that our school is always teaching the most current and relevant recording techniques.