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Louisville Recording Projects
191 North Bellaire Avenue
Louisville, Ky 40216
Phone: (502) 897-3443
By Paul Moffett
Tom and Deanna Scoggins are not parents, but aside from that minor technicality, the studio they own and operate, Louisville Recording Projects, is the quintessential "Mom and Pop" business.
In operation in the current format since October 1988, the Scoggins' have been slowly building up their studio since 1976, when Tom bought his first 4-track. The business was called Living Room Productions at that time and was part hobby, part business. Tom set about learning to use the 4-track and pushing it to its limits, recording everything from straight acoustic song demos to a carefully-arranged, fully-scored production for a student at the Baptist Seminary.
The latter project was particularly interesting, says Scoggins.
"The guy brought in all these orchestra-type players, complete with scores for all their parts. They set up in the living room and proceeded to whip it out. It turned out well enough that the fellow got a job in Denver."
Other projects have included vanity recordings for singers, demos for songwriters, small band demos, radio production (voice-overs and beds), slide show sound tracks and reprocessing of old tapes. Scoggins says that he's done a couple of album projects, including one that is in the can, awaiting payment from the band.
Scoggins says that his particular interest is in working with solo artists or songwriters who have limited musical knowledge.
"I like to arrange and produce from scratch. Deanna and I can produce a complete demo of a tune, from instrumentation to vocals, if need be. I've been playing guitar since 1966 and Deanna has been playing piano since childhood. We both sing, of course, and I play with C. C. & Gypsy Band on the weekends, so I have a good sense of what works."
"Being a piano tuner means that my ears are particularly good."
Scoggins emphasizes that friendliness and cooperation with the wishes of the artist is the most important thing in operating a studio. Making the artist feel comfortable is the best way to get a quality recording and ensure that the artist comes back, he says.
"Repeat business is the best business, after all," Scoggins says.
Hours are very flexible and can be scheduled with Scoggins by calling him at (502) 897-3443, days and early evenings. Deanna works as a teacher and Tom is currently enrolled as a student at the University of Louisville, but Tom Scoggins emphasizes that he will gladly adjust his schedule if possible to accommodate artists.
Rates for the studio are $25 per hour, with no charge for setup time. Tape cost is $30 for a full hub, reel to reel masters are $18. Single song masters are a minimum $8. Scoggins uses only Ampex 456 tape, maintaining that lesser-quality tapes are more costly.
Payment is required before any masters or copies are delivered.
Getting paid is a problem common to all businesses, large or small, but for the small studio owner, it can be particularly difficult. Purchase of additional equipment for upgrade is frequently held up by cash flow problems and Scoggins' studio is not immune. He has a fairly lengthy list of improvements he would like to make but has everything on hold pending more money.
Main Mixing Board - Tascam M-312, 12 to 8 channels
Primary Multi-Track - Teac 80-8, 1/2 inch, w/DBX type 1
Secondary Multi-Track - Teac 4-track, w/DBX type 2
Mixdown Master - Fostex 2-track
Equalization - Tascam GA-30 10 band
Fostex Studio Monitors
Yamaha SPX 90 Audioprocessor
ADA Digital Delay
Deltra - Effectron Jr.
TOA K-3 Vocal, Audiotechnica, Shure assortment.
Available Studio Instruments
Yamaha RX-11 Drum Machine
Yamaha DX-7 Synthesizer
Yamaha pf85 Electronic Piano
Assorted guitars, bass, acoustic, electric.