SPARS spotlights member Sugar Hill Studios, 65 years young

Located in Houston, TX, SugarHill Recording Studios is the oldest continuously operating facility in the Southwest United States.  Their commitment to sonic excellence and client comfort has made them a natural choice when selecting a studio.

SugarHill has entertained many stars of the music business from all over the world. Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins first recorded there in 1948.   The 1950’s rock ‘n roll classic “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper and Freddy Fender’s platinum-selling album Before The Next Teardrop Falls were both recorded at the legendary facility. The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winters, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Rodriguez, B.J. Thomas, Ted Nugent, Johnny “Rabbit” Bundrick (Keyboard player for The Who), Todd Rundgren, The Bubble Puppy, Selena, Janis Joplin, Roy Head, Arnett Cobb, Christopher Cross, Red Krayola, 13th Floor Elevators and Asleep at the Wheel are just a few names out of the SugarHill history book. Australia’s The Hitmen D.T.K. and Deniz Tek of the legendary Radio Birdman have also passed through the doors. The studio’s corporate clients include Sony/Columbia, Vanguard, Nitro, Rounder, Universal, Cash Money, Music World Music, The Discovery Channel, MTV, VH1, Nonesuch Records, Subpop Records and BMG.

Other International cients include Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Joe Sample, Brian McKnight, Jermaine Dupri, Smashmouth, Mosquitos, Orchestra X, Ann Margaret, Calvin Owens, George Foreman, Clay Walker, Sleepy LeBeef, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce and Twista.

Some of SugarHill’s regional clients include Southern Backtones, The John Evans Band, Next Best Thing, Tody Castillo, Silverleaf, F.CO, The El Orbits, Drop Trio, Jack Ingram, The Houston Symphony, The Houston Grand Opera, Bruce Hughes, Glenna Bell, Kellye Graye, Matt the Electrician, Sarah Sharp, Clouseaux, KPFT 90.1FM, Dr. Michael White, Kermit Ruffins and Deff Trapp Records.

From a singer/songwriter demo to an orchestral film score, the studios are fully equipped to record any style of music. The SugarHill Studios complex has two full-service 24-track studios. Studio A is equipped with a Neotek 44-Channel Elite with Flying Fader Automation, Pro Tools 24 input HD system, a 2″ 24-track analog tape machine and 24 tracks of Tascam DA-88/78 digital multi-track recorders.

Studio B is equipped with a 32-channel Allen and Heath console and both a 2″ analog machine and a Pro Tools 24-MIX 3 – 64 track nonlinear recording and editing system. SugarHill is one of the few studios in the nation with a fully reconditioned tube-powered EMT plate reverb as well as two custom tuned live reverb chambers.

SugarHill’s vintage mics, preamps and compressors are complemented with an unrivaled selection of the latest Lexicon and Eventide digital signal processors. SugarHill also does live remote recordings.

Pro Tools is available for traditional music production clients as well as providing tempo conforming, instrument and vocal pitch correction and multi-track looping and editing.

The legendary, award-winning engineering staff matches all of the benefits of our equipment and facilities. The engineers are well versed in every kind of music, including rock, country, blue grass, classical, folk, conjunto, salsa, Spanish rock, gospel, Texas swing blues, ska, punk, emo and jazz.

SugarHill is currently owned and operated by RAD Audio Inc.: Rodney Meyers, Andy Bradley and Dan Workman. On premises is Essential Sound; the only dedicated digital editing, mastering and duplication facility in Houston. While sonic excellence is SugarHill’s highest priority, client comfort always comes first. At SugarHill, the staff realize the best engineers and greatest facility are worthless if an artist is not confident and secure in their performance. The folks at SugarHill believe their best efforts are only valid if clients have been able to “give it their all.” This collaboration is what creating world-class recordings is all about…just ask the SugarHill clients!

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