Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Obsolete skill set!

I work in a fairly technical field. Tools and techniques change a lot over time -- not as much as electronics or computers, but more than wiring or carpentry. So I keep learning new tricks, reading to stay current, and keeping up with the new gear. I did my first audio recordings on an Otari dual-track reel-to-reel tape machine, and recorded sound effects on cart; now I'm recording digital multitrack projects via Logic Studio on a fairly regular basis, and working my way through the intricacies of the newer technologies. Like any other competent tech guy, the leading edge of my technical know-how keeps pushing forward.

What I've been noticing recently, though, is the trailing edge. There's a good chance I'll never see another Otari dual track for the rest of my life, much less ever have to use one. But if I had to, I still remember how to thread the tape through and how to manually splice the tape. I still keep the correct size of pencil in my console drawer at work in case I ever need to cue cassette tapes. I know how to change phonograph needles and how to get to the belt on a belt-drive turntable. I don't know if I'll ever need these skills again, but they're up there floating around in my head. I hope they're not taking up valuable space I could be using to store recipes or remember phone numbers....

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