Happy Friday, colleagues!

I'm digitizing some oral history cassettes and I've come across a very
interesting sound on one of the tapes.  This is a continual stretchy creaky
sound that occurs for about a half-second every 3 seconds. At first, I
suspected it to be a result of some variant of soft binder syndrome, but
both baking and cold playback has had no effect at all on the sound.  Also,
I am not hearing any "squeal" from within the cassette deck, only this
strange sound coming through the amplified playback. The tape is not
shedding oxide.

After playing through the tape, I've discovered the sound occurs for only
about 7 minutes in the recording, and begins immediately after a break in
the recording. Also, the way the sound trails off when it stops seems to
indicate to me something that was recorded inadvertently by the microphone,
perhaps a sound from the tape recorder itself. There is a subtle sort of
"room presence" that the sound has at the very end occurring along with a
sound like something being dropped. All of this has now has me thinking the
sound is something in the original recording rather than an artifact being
introduced during playback.

The cassette is an off-brand, brown oxide variant.  The original recording
is from 1975. Below is a link to a one minute sample, towards the end of
the sound.  Pay particular attention near the end of the sample when the
sound trails off.  If anyone has any ideas as to what this sound may be,
I'd be most interested!


Timothy Wisniewski, M.L.I.S.

Visual Materials Archivist
Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
5801 Smith Avenue, Suite 235
Baltimore, MD 21209