I don’t normally write about my “old time” radio interests.

 That’s primarily because most people don’t care, don’t understand or will think I am even more of a curmudgeonly goon than they originally thought! LOL.

 But I can tell you more specific details about what was aired (and on what kind of equipment) during the first 50 years of broadcast.  Now… I don’t know EVERY thing because I don’t specialize, but as far as generalized knowledge, I have come in contact with quite a few bits and pieces of knowledge.  

 My “teachers” were thousands of hours of tapes, and a collection of discarded broadcast equipment along with working for or with many people who know more than me because they worked in radio and maybe were born before me.

 Each year, I try to attend two conventions devoted to “old time” programming.  Most of the shows we’re talking about were heard before television.  Most of the people preserving them today are either middle-aged or slipping into senior citizenry.

 I actually started a business in high school (and don’t ask how far back that was) with a mail order catalog of old-time radio tapes.  The conventions allowed me to meet not only the people who ordered my material, but to meet some of the voices while they were still alive.

 This all ties in with my concurrent career in TODAYS’ radio primarily as a broadcast engineer.  One of my specialties is audio:  Making today’s’ stations sound great as well as restoring OLD audio.  

 I have been playing with “magic” audio boxes a long time, and when everything started moving to computers I moved with it.

 At Specs Howard School, I am the “Adobe Audition” guy when a student runs into a particularly difficult problem or wants to do something more advanced.

 I began using this program before it was an Adobe product:  Cool Edit Pro was its name at that time. 

 Much of my experience comes from producing programming for syndication clients (which I used to do a few years ago), but especially from restoring old time audio and the foundation I have playing with big expensive processors at radio stations.
I was also Production Director long long ago and knew razor blade editing on reel to reel tape as well.

 When I attend these “old time” conventions, I operate a booth offering a very large number of shows on CD restored and cleaned by me using tried and true methods.

 Today, the mainstay of these events are people offering ultra-low sample rate MP3 recordings (40-50 hours on a CD).  I am one of the few hold-outs from the cassette and reel to reel era offering high quality standard CD’s. 

 It is gratifying to be supported so strongly in the year 2008 by people who appreciate what I do.  But at these events. we all wear the same old time radio “geek” hat during these events.

We’re all equal, though most of us have specialities.

 In my case, though not always possible, I try to make the programming that aired long before I was born sound like it was aired yesterday.  Hopefully, this will encourage future generations to realize it is something worth saving after all.

 The 33rd annual Friends of old time radio convention is October 23-26, 2008 in Newark NJ.  Complete information can be found at www.fotr.net


                    -Bob Burnham