Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone could put words to the peculiar audio quality on the album Cooley by Joe Cooley. In a digital sense it sounds like there is some frame skipping but I know it was recorded on tape. I’m not overly familiar with the nuances of tape recording so I was hoping someone who is could give me the words to describe it?

Here is a link to the album on Spotify if that makes it easier for anyone to give a listen: https://open.spotify.com/album/3jJ9xDC9hbXxFBNdaE8hz8

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

“Live in an Irish pub, using the technology available in 1973”, maybe ? I really don’t understand what’s “peculiar” about it, but then that’s me, I just enjoy listening to the music.

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Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Don’t get me wrong, the music is fantastic and I enjoy it greatly, but the quality of the recording isn’t indicative of or inherent to field recordings of the time or even much earlier. It sounds like there’s around a milisecond echo on there and I’m curious if there’s a physical ot technical explanation of how that effect appeared. If you can’t hear it on the musical tracks try one of the sections with speech like at the start of The Blackthorn.

To me there’s more to music than just notes, there’s a whole experience, and I find ths particular artefact quite interesting and notable. If you want to focus solely on the music that’s your right but I’m interested in something meta-musical in this particular case and I hope the folks here can on the whole respect the question.

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

For those who don’t do Spotify, the Blackthorn clip is on YT here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK3m45Y6Zxs


John, I can hear a touch of reverb, a very slight warble, as you say, easier to hear in the talk before the tune starts. If that’s what you’re asking about, could it be just the natural reverb of the room? Or aging of the tape? Or some artefact of digitizing an analog source?

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Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Of course…… t’was the leprechauns 🙂

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Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Thanks for the YouTube link, gimpy, I’d looked for one to share myself.

I had considered that it could be an artefact from the digitisation process as it certainly has “that” sound about it, but hopefully someone here has an older physical copy and confirm if the same peculiarity is there or not.

Aging of the tape is perhaps a possibility, though I’ve never personally heard the exact effect on older tapes. I do sometimes hear a little “bleedthrough” from older tape sources and often note the subtle echo effect on even studio recordings from the 60s (most notable in quieter sections) but this is normally a much larger delay phase, of around a second or so, when I guess the head gets back to roughly the same point on the spool. I’ve never heard such a short echo period, though maybe this could be caused by a different tape size/speed? Again, I’m not a tape aficionado and that’s why I asked here to hopefully hear from those in the know rather than continusing to come up with my own guesses.

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Thank goodness it was leprechauns and not banshees! 😉

John, that’s about all the help I can offer, hoping that having a ready source for folks to listen to will draw responses from the resident experts.

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Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

Sounds to me like the “voice-of-god” effect from Cooley speaking to close to the microphone.

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

This album is probably my favourite ITM recording of all. Never mind the sound quality, few other recordings can capture the soul of this music so well. Cooley makes a lot of mistakes in his playing - he was dying of cancer at the time - but his joy and verve shine through. Here’s a brief film of the same session; I love the shots of members of the audience, young and old, looking self-conscious in front of the camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGzJdoMeoQY

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

My god this album is great!

Re: Joe Cooley - Cooley - Peculiar audio quality

He was only 49 and had less than a month to live at the time of the recording.