VOICE RECORDER AND EVP!
Hey there! Welcome to our second installment of Paranormal Corner, today I am writing about the Voice Recorder and capturing EVP’s. You have definitely seen recorders used if you watch any paranormal shows. It’s a small black or silver device that fits in your hand and simply records your voice during your investigation.
Lets start with the history of this and what it is used for. So, we start with the fact that years ago this little machine that fits in our hands used to be about 10 pounds and have to sit on a table with a separate microphone and two reels or spools of “tape” that recorded what was happening around it. The machine was expensive and so was the tape that you needed to recorded it, there was no enhancing what you recorded either, you got what you got unless you were an audio engineer. So imagine having to lug this machine around from room to room and having to set it up every time you were ready to record. I would say that you would have to be a dedicated investigator to do that, like Ed and Loraine Warran who you can look up and see lots of photos with them using that exact device.
Today the voice recording technology fits in your hand and can be run continuously for hours at a time without stopping. You can even take out your smart phone and use the application that it most likely came with to record during your investigations. I personally recommend against that if you can, mostly because cell phones send and receive information in such a way that it can give false results to other equipment around it, such as an EMF meter. In a pinch its ok though, if you are in a room and hearing a voice with no recorder break out that smart phone and start recording!
What kind of recorder is best for you? I would say that depends on how often you investigate and your budget. Our team uses a small array of different recorders and they all cost between forty and sixty dollars. Prior to me joining the team they had some expensive recorders, about two hundred dollars or so each and they got away from them due to difficult operation and the super sensitivity of the microphone being used. In paranormal investigations we use things that were intended for other purposes for capturing evidence of possible huntings. I would recommend that if you are a novice investigator get a less expensive recorder, they can be purchased online or in a store. I recommend Amazon.com they have quick shipping and lots of reviews for the products they sell. I will provide a link to the exact recorder that i prefer using.
When you start investigating it is important to use the right tool for the job! Of course we rely heavily on cameras because seeing is believing and evidence on video is almost irrefutable. Not every haunting though has claims of seeing apparitions or shadows or having objects move, sometimes people just experience hearing phenomenon. For that we would go into the situation with a voice recorder to try to capture an EVP, Electronic Voice phenomenon. EVP’s are believed to be a spirit communicating through speech that we can record on a digital or analog device. Going back to years ago an investigator would have to use the reel tapes and record and then rewind the tapes and go over it with headphones in complete silence. Now we have the luxury of digital, record, review and determine! Right on the spot!
That brings us to the next part of this little lesson. The different ways to implement our recorders. First and probably the most cumbersome way to use the recorders is to leave them in a room unattended and running throughout the investigation. This is not the best method, it leaves room for contamination and perhaps getting false evidence. If you have a small team and know that you will not have cross contamination this is an ok method. The second method is to have a recorder with you and activate it only while you are asking questions, this is called conducting an “EVP session.” This will cut down review time and also lets you immediately review it after asking several questions. This method is a great way to conduct this part of the investigation because you can hear potential answers to your questions and can help further your investigation along in real-time. Another way I recently heard someone suggest is to have a recorder for every room and label it with the date and room it is in. The recorder should stay in that room the entire investigation and it can be used and activated by anyone who is in that room. This is a good idea, it can help you keep organized after the investigation wraps up.
A little more advanced way to use the recorders for EVP sessions is to keep one rolling in the room you are in and have a second one that you can do immediate review on. This way you have twice as good a chance of capturing evidence and have a good back up if you capture something. Sometimes a voice is heard on one recorder and not another and I have even found that sometimes the voice at the same time has said two different things at the same time, this is a discussion for another time but I wanted to let you know that it is something that happens. Remember that if you only have one recorder that is ok, I understand that equipment is expensive and you need to build your inventory slowly.
We find that while using recorders, even the less expensive ones it is important to state out loud if you hear something because the recorder does pick it up. This goes for bodily functions as well, especially a hungry belly growling for a Big Mac. A rumble from your stomach can sound like an angry spirit on your recorder, even like people talking sometimes. Make sure that you say nice and loud for the recorder if your stomach rumbled. The next thing is that if you hear tapping, scraping or dragging you mention it. If you hear footsteps or anything that is not explainable around you say it out loud for the recorder, this will aid in your review in helping not wonder what you are hearing. The most important rule I find to follow is to make sure that you and your team do not whisper while talking, you do not want to hear your conversation in a whisper and think it is paranormal. This is important because many EVP’s are whispery and low, unless you get a really nice one.
This brings up classification of EVP recordings. It is pretty well accepted that their are three grades of EVP: Class A is completely audible and understandable and many times a direct response to something an investigator has asked or said. Class B a little scratchy and can be talking or an unexplained noise. Class c is an unexplained noise and generally is not that clear. Anything under C should be filed away and not forgotten. You may capture something better that sounds similar and it will be good to have something to compare it to.
Next is the review! After capturing your evidence it is important to do a slow a deliberate review. Make sure to use headphones, if you are reviewing on the spot it is ok to listen to the recording over the built-in speaker but this is usually not the best method as it sounds very scratchy. After capturing anything that you perceive as evidence you should mark the times you heard it at, write down what you think it is or what it is saying and then transfer the evidence to a computer for storage. After you have done that bring your evidence to someone else and give them the times of the evidence without telling them what you think you have heard. Let them come to a conclusion and tell you what they think they have heard and then compare notes.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little lesson and can put it to use on your next or first investigation! If you have any questions of course you can contact me here at scottythenjmedium.com or on Instagram at Scotty The NJ Medium and heck even over on Twitter @scottynjmed Thanks for reading and I look forward to writing my next lesson on night vision cameras!