I began my radio journey in 1981 and it's amazing how technology has changed over the past 33 years.

As I look through my photo albums and files, it's funny that I can only find one picture of me in a control room.

1. Carts and Cart Machines:

When you walked into a radio station studio there was so much to check out: The albums filed alphabetically on the walls, which later were replaced by something that would resemble 8-track tapes (aka 'Carts'). Then, they were replaced by walls of CDs.

photo by rick andrews

The Cart Decks and Reel to Reel machines would get gunk on them and we would end up using long stemmed Q-tips to clean the magnetic heads. Occasionally we would use them to clean our ears too.

2. Reel to Reels:

photo by rick andrews

When listeners called in we would record them on a reel-to-reel and if we need to do any editing it was done with a grease pencil and a razor blade.

Also, before the digital age, when we recorded commercials it was done straight to the 'Reels' on the tape machine. We would pick the music we wanted to use and have it ready to play on a turntable. So, if we made a mistake we had to start from the beginning every time.

3. Turntables

You would always find at least one to two turntables located in the studio.

photo by rick andrews

4. Albums:

Music for the longest time was played from one of four sources: A 'cart,' a 45 rpm record, an album and then, towards the end of the 80's, a CD player.


photo rick andrews

5. 45 RPM Records:

photo rick andrews


Here is a better look at one of the studios I worked in during my 11-run in San Luis Obispo, CA. 

You will notice the studio console has 'rotary pots.' These have gone by the way of the dinosaur and have been replaced by sliders on 'The Board.'

ksby tv

And here you can partially see the wall of CDs behind me in the background on the left.