TROY — Downtown Troy is now home to a new recording studio.
Victory Recording Studios LLC, located at 7 S. Short St., was opened in July by Vic Castaldo, a native to Troy.
Castaldo, 22, a 2015 graduate from Troy High School, said his love of music and producing began years ago.
“I got into this because me and some of my friends were rapping out of this bedroom studio, and it obviously sounded terrible without mixing it at all, so someone had to learn it and that kind of put me on the producer/engineer route,” he said. “Since then, I’ve always envisioned myself as having a studio.”
Castaldo said he spent a year in Nashville at the School of Audio Engineering to gain the skills necessary to put his dream into action.
“In Nashville, I learned about acoustics, music theory, and the fundamental things,” he said. “We did country and rock recordings down there.”
Afterwards, Castaldo landed an internship through a program called Recording Connection, which is based out of Los Angeles.
“What Recording Connection does is pair you with a studio that is local to you with the interest you have, so I went to one called Timeless Recording Studios in Cincinnati and did an internship there with online classes. I finished in six months since I had some background information from my time in Nashville,” Castaldo said. “I really enjoyed my time in Cincinnati because that gave me the practical skills to put to use. Nashville was more hypothetical and theory — more of, ‘If this happened, try this.’ I felt that I needed to see it and hear it first hand to learn it, so the combination of the two was important for me.”
After completing his internship with Timeless, Castaldo said he was offered a position with the company, but instead decided to go another route, continuing to work toward his goal of opening a studio.
Fortunately, Castaldo wouldn’t necessarily be starting from scratch. For the past four years, he had managed an in-home studio, which began as a hobby and morphed into a way for him to sell his recording services, all while building his clientele.
“Even while I was in Nashville and Cincinnati, I would come back and record my clients here and my base just grew from there,” he said.
After working full-time at Chipotle long enough to save up funds, Castaldo purchased a business apartment to officially set up shop.
As for his business model, Castaldo said he researched recording studios within the area surrounding Troy in order to know his competition and to offer the most affordable option to prospective customers.
“What I did was basically find out what everyone in a 50-mile radius is charging and then undersold them as a way to draw in new clients,” he said. “The prices won’t stay the same forever, but probably until 2020 or so and I’ll see where it goes from there.”
Currently, VRS offers access to his producer suite for $15 per hour, which includes production equipment and software, a shop or custom beat, an area for song/music writing and discussion, along with assistance with productions and lessons on music production from Castaldo.
For $25 per hour, VRS offers recording studio access, which includes professional quality recording studio equipment, production/recording software, an audio engineer, and a “walk away mix,” by the end of the session.
“The way it works is people can contract out, or rent, the studio with me sitting in on the session,” Castaldo said.
Castaldo added that the studio would also be available for other producers to rent in order to record their own client’s audio, with VRS essentially acting as a middle man.
VRS also offers podcast recording services, which includes access to any room in the studio for recording, as well as one or two microphones.
Castaldo said he recently created a podcast, called “Up Next Podcast,” from which episode features would be available to anyone purchasing the podcast package.
“‘Up Next Podcast’ is about all types of creators in the area that we see potential in,” Castaldo said. “We’ll have artists come in and talk about a show they had or have planned, or an album they dropped, and talk to them about how they got to where they’re at — it’s a way to help everybody grow.”
Aside from these recording services VRS offers mix/master services for $50 per track, and beats/instrumentals for $50 to $100 depending on the client’s preferences.
The mix/master service provides, “a full mix and master to and above radio standards,” along with access to all plug-ins in the VRS arsenal to capture any desired sound.
The beats/instrumentals may be purchased or leased. For $50 per beat, all rights for use and sale of the beat belong to the customer for three months. After three months, the beat may be released/resold if not purchased. With beat purchase, for $100, all rights for use and sale of the beat belong to the customer forever.
Castaldo said that while he has a good client base as of now, thanks to his previous years of work within the production realm, he does have plans to expand.
“My goal after being open for a few months is to start pulling people from the Sidney to Dayton range and if it grew more that’s great,” he said. “And that’s actually already happened; I’ve already had people come up from Dayton and people coming down from Sidney and these are people who perform for a living. At this point I’m just trying to strengthen within that radius and maybe expand more.”
As for ways to get his business name out there, Castaldo said he hopes to have regular networking events in order to attract potential clients as well as meet others within the field.
Future plans for the studio are wide open, Castaldo said, and he is interested in seeing how far he can take it. While he is currently the sole employee of his business, Castaldo said he is open to the idea of adding staff and perhaps even expanding, though these ideas are still developing.
“Obviously, this is an open market and I’m doing pretty well for the beginning stages, but at some point it will cap so I’ve talked to a few people who are potentially interested in investing in the growth of the business,” he said. “But, I’d like to take a step back to finish what needs to be done first.”
In the more near future, Castaldo said he plans to offer merchandise, including shirts, CDs, hats, and the like.
To learn more about VRS, visit Victory Recording Studios on Facebook, or follow @VictoryRecStudios on Instagram.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.