Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Weekly Archivist interview: Sound Engineer in the Radio Archives

Marius Oosthuizen
Sound Engineer: SABC Radio Archives
The SABC Radio Archives has seven Archivists who specialize in specific areas/languages of expertise with regards the audio collections being kept in the Archives. There are also Archivists who focus on requests, and we have a Sound Engineer as well that assists us with technical issues. This is part of the weekly interviews that will try to pose the same questions to each of the Archivists.

Marius Oosthuizen is the sound engineer, who also looks after our acetate collection for sound restoration. He has been with the SABC Radio Archives for 10 years, and he will be leaving us shortly.

Marius, please tell us a little bit about your life and career. (Where you grew up, where and what you studied and your work experience before you joined the SABC Radio Archives)

I grew up in Vanderbijlpark, not too far from the Vaal River. I still have a very soft spot for rivers and willow trees. I did some studies at The Teaching College in Potchefstroom and did my military service in the SAP where I joined the video unit and I made training videos. I learnt the craft of video making from Will Roberts, the well-known actor. From there I joined the SABC. I worked in Radio Productions for 9 years. I worked on my own as a freelancer for five years, and rejoined the Radio Archives since 2000 as an archivist in restoration. At the end of April I will be leaving the SABC to pursue a career as the Audio and Video Department Manager for the University of Monash.

Please tell us about a normal day in your studio. What material do you give priority to?

I give priority to the legacy collection, the acetates. The careful handling, cleaning process and the dubbing of these discs and CD mastering.
A part of my day also consists of helping with requests, as well as technical assistance with sound related problems.

Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve.

The acetate collection: the recordings go back to the 1920s. Most of these recordings were done on metal disc covered with Schalleck acetate mixtures.

If you have an anecdote about a specific piece of interesting audio material, please share it with us.

I have found that it is an incredible audio history on those shelves that need to be preserved for future generations.

Tell us why you enjoyed doing the work that you did.

Audio was not only a work for me, but an interest and a hobby as well. I enjoyed reading and exploring into audio and audio practices, especially pertaining to audio restoration.

Related posts:
The Weekly Archivist interview: Ikwekwezi FM
The Weekly Archivist interview: Music archivist
The Weekly Archivist interview: News and Actuality
The Weekly Archivist interview: Sport archivist
The Weekly Archivist interview: Channel Africa collection

Questions and blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in SABC Radio Archives.

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