This week I’m happy to introduce you to Hannah Edgerton a technician on the quality control team at Precision Record Pressing (PRP). I met one of Hannah’s coworkers at a conference a few months ago in NY and was thankful to have him connect me with her. I love when I get to share more about women working at record pressing plants since it’s not only fun to peak behind the curtain of the plant they’re a part of but also because so much of their day to day I completely understand and can relate to no matter what part of the operation they are working in.
When Hannah isn’t checking records off the press she’s a musician playing in two bands and is a solo artist (more on that later). She’s also a photographer and videographer who enjoys hiking; and when she’s not out doing those things she’s hanging out at home with her two cats or enjoying meditation, yoga or reading tarot.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I’ve been playing music since I was very young and was constantly motivated by my mother to pursue it in some way. She’s also a musician and has been playing since she was 18 and she’s now in her 50’s. Because of her I grew up having such a drive to pursue music and being involved with it in anyway relating to my job was the perfect situation for me. Luckily about a year and a half ago I caught wind of an opening in the packaging department for a temporary two week placement at PRP and I had just moved to the Burlington area and was looking for a place to work. My friend Becca Howes suggested I send in my resume and sent me all the info and the rest is history. I started in packaging and at the end of my two weeks they asked if I wanted to stay full time, of course I said yes. I then stayed in packaging for about 3 months I had just finished my probation period and was asked if I would like to move to quality control because of my experience with recording and producing.
What is a day in the life like?
At the beginning of the shift we usually have about 10 – 15 minutes before the presses are up and running. In this time we will try to do some work around the office such as examining stampers to make sure they are free of scratches and nicks before they go to press, start examining stacks of records that have been set aside for any anomalies that require what we call a 100% inspection, try to listen to a test pressing or we listen to a first off if the other shift have left any.
First off’s are one of the first records off the press that our team will listen to the whole way through to check for any anomalies. We keep this copy at the plant for a couple months essentially as an example of what we sent to the client if we need to look back on the order later for any sort of issue.
Once the presses start running we do our quality audits which consist of us going up to each press doing a visual inspection at the press and then going to our check station with the docket for that particular order and ensuring that everything is correct ex. labels, track listing, colour, etc.
After we have collected a record from each press we head into the QA office and listen to our records to check for any audio imperfections. If there is any issue it is our job to work with both the Team Lead and Operator to try and resolve it. If there are no issues we return our records to the press operators and start the cycle all over again.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
That’s such a hard question for me because my music taste is all over the place! That being said we’ve had the chance to press some really talented local artists and friends of mine such as Wine Lips, The Lonely Parade, and JoJo Worthington.
One record I was really blown away by recently was a self titled album by Cross Record I’ve been listening to this non stop since it’s release. Some other personal favourites of mine were Gena Rose Bruce, Andy Shauf, Men I Trust, Levitation room, Floored Faces, Primus, All Them Witches, Surfbort and TORSO. One that was really nostalgic for myself was a Chris Cornell box set that we were working on recently I almost cried at work when I heard his version of a ‘Day in the Life’ live at the Royal Albert Hall.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Two things. First is when multiple presses are not able to run smoothly and when you have to inform press operators of bad news. When multiple presses are having issues it’s our job to run from press to press constantly checking in with the Lead Hand and the Operator to communicate if certain cleanings, press or extruder adjustments have resolved the issue and when nothing has worked it can become very exhausting and frustrating. Trying to stay on top of these issues along with keeping up with your presses that are running well can become very overwhelming both physically and mentally.
Secondly being the bearer of bad news is never fun telling a press operator that everything they’ve done for the past 3 hours is scrap and they have to start over is very disheartening for everyone involved.
…But these things happen and I’ve learned that the best thing to do in these situations is to stay calm and be open! Listen to your co workers if they need to vent or crack a joke to lighten the mood.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
It’s tricky for me to give advice on how to get this position mainly because it just kind of fell into my lap. But the best advice I could give is to apply and give it a try. QA definitely isn’t for everybody but be patience with both yourself and your co workers and when things are going wrong stay calm and keep on going!
Also don’t be afraid to go against the grain if your gut is telling you something isn’t up to quality standards voice it and if others disagree don’t take it to heart open a discussion as to why they feel that way there is always so much to learn in this field and everything has so many variables.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Yes I just started collecting vinyl about two years ago because my ex boyfriend told me I should. Silly I know but I don’t regret it at all, I didn’t even own a record player at the time but I started buying vinyl because I was so fascinated by it. How did this hunk of plastic have music on it blew my mind plus I’m a sucker for good artwork and getting all the posters and random inserts I really appreciated and loved.
The first two records I bought were Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas and Melody Echo Chamber‘s self titled album. Ever since then I’ve been more into collecting and supporting local artists and or lesser known artists, records that not everyone is going to have 10+ years down the line.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
There’s always so much going on it’s challenging to keep up with it! At work I love seeing all the unique colour combinations that people come up with it and seeing new things that haven’t been done before is very exciting!
Tell me more about the bands you’re involved in:
I play in two bands and have a solo project. The first band I play in is a electronic grunge band called The Effens I play bass and sing back up vocals in that project. We’re actually getting our records pressed at Precision Record Pressing in the next couple of months, which is very exciting for us!
The second band I play in is called Koza I have no idea how to describe this band but others have called us an Experimental – Pop – Art band if that makes any sense. Our singer Anastasia is from Russia and moved to Canada a few years ago and she happened to be at an Effens house show sometime last summer and I gave her a ride home she showed me some demos and I was blown away. A few weeks later she sent me a message on facebook looking for a drummer and I volunteered myself ahaha.
I also currently have a solo project in the works it was previously called sad child but upon working on my upcoming EP I’ve now changed the project’s name to sullen as I found it more suiting.
Precision Record Pressing: @precisionpressing