Don Soucy figures he knows how small recording companies can compete with the major corporations.
It’s all about the personal touch and quick turnaround times.
Suocy, along with wife Elaine have operated a small independent record label, Upper Room Productions, for over 35 years. Geared towards the small market, Upper Room Communications, has produced several hundreds of thousands of compact discs since they added CDs to their manufacturing capability in 2001. Prior to then, they served tens of thousands of customers with cassette recording and duplication services.
Now relocated to Bowser, they are busy producing CDs using the latest advanced technology to manufacture in excess of 500 CDs per hour. Their three high speed CD towers can each burn seven full-length CDs at once in under four minutes, while their newest acquisition can burn 11 discs at a time, and burn DVDs and BlueRay discs, as well giving them the ability to offer full multi-media services.
Their in-house label and insert production capability means they have full control over every aspect of the record manufacturing process. It also means they can do small production runs for local artists, something unavailable here until now.
Their 30-year relationship with Deb Grey, retired Member of Parliament, has turned into their first Island order for a small run of CDs, of a production done for her in the late 1980s before her political career began. Soucy had engineered, produced and manufactured an album of gospel songs on cassette for Grey, who now lives near Qualicum Beach.
After re-uniting with the Soucys recently, Grey asked Upper Room to transfer the 12-song tape into digital, and produce a high quality CD to offer to her audiences during her frequent public speaking engagements.
Less than 24 hours later she received the finished disc complete with full color insert, label and all, for approval before bulk production began
This quick turnaround is what gives this independent label such appeal to Island artists and small businesses who rely on CDs and DVDs to share and promote their own creative products and services.
“When we record educational speakers at seminars,” Soucy said, “we usually have CDs on the sales table within 15 minutes of the speakers wrap-up.”
Music CDs take a bit longer, but the production techniques they have pioneered allow them to edit the first tracks while others are still being captured.
“Once the last track is complete, after a brief post production evaluation and some tweaking of levels, the master CD is created and high speed duplication commences,” Soucy said. “We print labels in advance, prepare the inserts well ahead of time and do preliminary assembly, so that we wait only on the finished CDs.”
It’s not all about speed however. When working in their cliff-side home studios and production centre, they can take a more leisurely approach and are able to produce elaborate multi-voice, multi-instrument tracks which can allow one musician do the work of 10, one instrument or vocal overdub at a time.
Upper Room can be reached at 778-424-4096 by anyone wanting to discover how they can make a record or manufacture a supply of an existing one.