I drove down to the Cox Radio studios in Milford this afternoon. Bob Alvine from Premier Subaru and I were cutting a radio spot. We were escorted into a spotlessly sterile production room with three beautiful studio microphones.
After the session I walked around to the ‘business’ side of the mixing console. No more turntables. No more cartridge machines. Nearly everything I used when I was in radio was gone.
There was one exception. In the corner of the room sat an analog reel-to-reel tape deck.
“I know what that is,” I said to the production director as I stared down at a slotted metal slab affixed to the deck’s surface. It was an edit block.
Back before sound was ingested by computers and sliced up digitally we’d actually find where a specific sound ‘lived’ on audiotape and edit it with a razor blade! I was pretty good as an editor–able to remove the “s” from tomatoes and seamlessly cut music on the beat.
No one does that anymore. The Cox production director works with Adobe Audition. Even more people use Pro Tools. With a few clicks of the mouse sound is displayed as waves then expanded to easily find an edit point.
I guess editing with tape and a razor is another now worthless skill I possess. Seeing the edit block was like being reintroduced to an old friend.