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John Muir (Read 1396 times)
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John Muir
Jul 12th, 2017, 6:08pm
I read the obituary of former Radio Studio Manager, John Muir, in last Saturday`s Guardian 8/7/2017


I met him when I was a trainee sm....and remember him as always interesting and supportive
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Eggington, Bedfordshire
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Re: John Muir
Reply #1 - Jul 13th, 2017, 5:17pm
Very sorry to hear this news.
John was a lovely fellow, fully dedicated to the role of putting good music on air.

One enduring memory I have of John was in the production of his Friday night rock programme - no, not the Tommy Vance Rock Show.
Of its nature, it was a recorded programme (4 reels) with the linking spoken over some electronic music (provided by Paddy Kingsland as I recall) which was added (Maggie Garrard was often involved I seem to remember!) at the time of recording. When a change-over was due, the cold announcement was on the reel coming to an end, with the 'Music under' being played in from the following reel.

When this first programme came to Con, in order to indicate to the TO playing the taped programme to start the next reel - "under-lapping" the one coming to an end - an "adventurous" SM had affixed a considerable length of red leader on top of the actual tape on the reel playing(!) to indicate when the overlap should occur. Those of you who have some experience with even relatively modern tape players will know that playing two layers of tape will cause all sorts of problems, what with tape-weave and the like(!) so I was able to persuade John to make the instructions as to exactly when to start the following reels "somewhat clearer".
By then, fortunately the Studer A80s we were getting (only in some Cons!) had reliable Tape Duration counters, which meant it was practical to provide timing instructions as to when to start Reel 2, whilst Reel 1 continued to its natural conclusion. If the Con being used only had B62s it was nowhere near as easy, and really required a period of time before the programme went to air to allow research of the durations of these overlaps - in case the chinagraph marks (one method which was used later) on the tape weren't spotted. Another method I remember being tried was the insertion of a small 'flag' of red leader, which would then drop out of the pancake when the following reel should be started.
Sadly, it didn't always work out as John wanted, because it was an unusual request to make - especially to people who had been trained to do a changeover only when they saw the red leader going through! Nor was it helped by the programme being transmitted across a shift change, which meant that two TOs were involved in replaying the programme - and the first reel changeover came almost exactly as the shift change was taking place!! Whatever, it generated an awful lot of logging for "the Office" to sort out!!
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