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How To Record EVP…


Every now and then I look through the summary of the search engine terms that bring people to The Big Séance. The list is huge, but in some way or another, several people have been searching for EVP instructions, and
some have asked various questions about capturing EVP.

There are many many ways of recording for and capturing EVP. For decades, people all over the world have successfully recorded spirit voices in their own individual way. There are basic techniques, and there are techniques that are rather complicated, some requiring more equipment and more explanation. There are also wonderful techniques that due to times changing and new technology, are just outdated.

My experiences with EVP began as a paranormal investigator, but more recently it comes from research and conducting frequent EVP experiments in my home. EVP sessions during a paranormal investigation are typically a different ballgame all together.

Rather than writing a blanket “how to” post, I want to make it clear that this is simply me sharing how I typically go about recording for EVP for experiments in my own home.

My technique for recording EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena)

Finding a location

Find a location that is both quiet and comfortable. In my opinion, good vibes help. You want a location where you are familiar with your surroundings. Do certain noises or creaks happen at certain times? The central air kicking in, the fridge, the ice maker, be familiar with it all. For example, at my home there is a bathroom near my typical recording location. I’ve learned that after anyone takes a shower or uses a lot of hot water, the water lines will pop and make loud thud sounds in the wall off and on for 10 or 20 minutes.

The environment

Ideally, you will want to record when you are alone in the house/location. If someone is in the home with you and cooperating with your session, be sure to document their location and the fact that they are there, just in case confusion pops up later and you don’t remember. With certain sensitive recorders, someone speaking softly or making noise several rooms away or on a different floor will seem incredibly close, even if you don’t hear it with your own ears.

You’ll want to pick a time of day where the neighborhood (if that is an issue for you) is at its quietest. This is perhaps why many people choose to record in the evenings.

Either in your recording or in a log of your session, document specific equipment you’re using (if it’s out of the ordinary). Document anything you may be trying or changing as far as technique goes. Also, as mentioned above, document anything odd in your surroundings for a session. Is the ceiling fan on? Is your husband downstairs reading the paper? Are there roofers across the street? Is there thunder and lightning outside? Also, (and this is important and comes from personal experience) is the dog in the room? Sometimes my dog is with me and other times not. When listening back later it may be important to know.

Recorders and their placement

Sony ICD PX-820/720 (they look the same)

Now days I think it is safe to say that most researchers and investigators use digital recorders, but if you go digital, definitely look for USB capabilities. There are several brands and models that are very easy to use and upload to your computer for listening and analysis. I use the Sony ICD PX-820, the Sony ICD PX-720 (those specific models probably aren’t made anymore), and the Tascam DR-07 with an external Tascam microphone.

In my opinion, it is important to use two recorders at the same time for sessions. These recorders should be different models or brands. Let me explain why I do this.

One of my recorders (the Tascam) is a little fancier and a little more expensive than the others. I also tend to use a pretty good external microphone with it. The other recorders are more basic and simple and most of the time I just use the internal microphone with those. I almost never capture EVP with the better recorder, and that’s okay. Because of how well it records and how sensitive it is, muffled or unclear sounds from the environment picked up in another recorder will most likely be more obvious when I listen to the recording from the better recorder. Many times I’ll hear something that sounds like it is crawling up from the depths of hell. I’ll replay it thirty times trying to figure out if it is saying “Let’s get Keller” or “We’re hiding in the cellar”, etc. But then when I listen to the other recorder it is clear that it was just my wheezing intake of breath or my stomach processing my last meal. Because of its history of not recording EVP, and because analysis of EVP recordings consumes so much time, I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even go through the entire recording from the better recorder unless I have to. Sometimes I’ll just compare the flagged moments from the other recorder.

Tascam DR-007

Many paranormal investigators or EVP researchers will tell you that EVP are not often recorded in multiple recorders at one time. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be the case with my research, anyway. If I’ve recorded a mysterious sound that I can’t identify, or if I am having trouble deciding if something is paranormal in nature, I listen for the same moment in both recordings. If I hear something or a voice out-of-place in one recorder, but not in the other, I’m more likely to believe it is truly paranormal and possibly an EVP.

Place your recorders near you, but far enough away where you won’t hear your every breath… but definitely keep the recorders in the same room as you. I like to put my recorders on opposite sides of me or in different spots in the room. You may decide to keep both of your recorders close to each other. I have never heard of a reason why putting both recorders next to each other would be a mistake, and there may be some experimental situations where having them right next to each other would be important.

Sometimes I choose to use headphones with one of my recorders as I’m conducting the session. It gives you a better chance of having a real-time two-way conversation. It also allows you to make mental notes of places where you think you may have heard something. A downside to this would be that using the headphones will most likely amplify sounds from the environment, sometimes making things more dramatic than they really are. Also, if knocks or other sounds are heard, you won’t always know what direction they came from when headphones are worn.

Lastly, when it comes time to press record, starting both recorders at the same time (or close) will be very helpful when comparing time stamps during analysis.

Some advice for your session to save you time and frustration later

Many paranormal investigators are familiar with what is sometimes called “tagging” while investigating or during an EVP session. Tagging helps to eliminate the possibility of claiming an investigator’s sneezing or a stomach growl is an EVP or paranormal. Depending on how quiet and stable my environment is, sometimes I have to tag a lot. Use familiar language or some kind of quick and easy code that you can say aloud while recording. Common tags that I end up using are “Meril” (for any noise the dog might be creating), “shifting” (if I have to shift in my chair or scratch my nose), “noise outside the window”, “stomach”, etc.

The EVP Session

Sometimes before a session I will choose to do a quick meditation or prayer. This is certainly not required. There is a debate among some EVP researchers regarding whether praying or asking for protection prevents them from recording EVP. On many occasions my meditation is a prayer or a request for help in sending or inviting willing spirits to help me with my recording and research. This is somewhat controversial, however. Sometimes I do all of this and sometimes I don’t, but I try to document when I have and haven’t in case I notice correlations. Sometimes I record the meditation/prayer and sometimes I choose to not start the recording until after. Sometimes before a session I’ll simply play relaxation or meditation music lightly in the background to help me chill out. I think it is important to be in a good place or frame of mind when practicing any form of spirit communication.

Once I start recording I allow for at least 30 seconds of silence since many times EVP are captured as soon as the recording starts.

Often the first thing that comes out of my mouth is another verbal request for either protection or for help with inviting willing spirits to help me out. Then, unless documented somewhere else, I’ll quickly state the date and time, describe the equipment and where it is placed, and anything unusual in my surroundings.

Then after more silence I’ll begin asking some basic questions. I feel it is important in EVP recording to treat those who may be joining us from the other side with absolute respect. I also feel that questioning spirits like they’re in court or being interrogated is insulting and unnecessary. Another pet peeve of mine is when people speak as if they are automatically smarter than a spirit because they happen to be alive. Don’t assume they want or need your help. Don’t assume they’re miserable. After all, most of the time you won’t really know who you’re communicating with (sometimes scary) and for all we know our talkative visitors could be beings that have crossed over and simply here for a visit. Too many investigators assume that whoever they are communicating with must be “earthbound” or troubled and in need of help. (But if I’m ever asked for help, I’ll certainly do my best.)

Unless I know who I’m speaking to, most of the time I try to spark conversation by asking the same usual questions, followed by whatever happens to be on my mind that day. Make sure you allow plenty of time (20 to 30 seconds) in between questions. Also, if you have a complicated or deep question in mind, consider breaking it up into smaller chunks.

Some of the questions I start out with.

  • Hello. Is there anyone with me today?
  • Please tell me your name?
  • Have you visited me before?
  • How many spirits are with me today?
  • Do I know you? Are you a friend or family member?
  • Are there any messages you’d like to pass on today?

I don’t always instigate it, but often I get spirits who like to let me know of their presence by knocks or “rapping”. And the investigator in me would LOVE to be touched or to witness physical objects being moved, so sometimes at the end of a session I’ll ask for some kind of validation through a noise or knock or the moving of an object. I’ve never witnessed any cool physical phenomena like this, but I know that when I get two or three loud knocks or raps when I ask for it, I’m way more likely to be confident about any EVP captured in that session. It’s also a really cool experience to document when it happens.

Before ending a session I always give any spirits present the opportunity to give me any feedback or suggestions to make my research more successful. Then finally I thank them for their energy and presence and invite them to return for future sessions.

I think my sessions are longer than most people prefer. A typical session for me is 15 to 20 minutes. Just remember that depending on how thorough you are during the analysis of your audio recordings, it will take at the very least twice as long to listen and analyze as it took to record. Some of my more complicated and longer sessions can take a day or more to get through.

Other techniques

Often I will allot a few minutes of my EVP sessions for using a background noise source such as “white noise” or “pink noise” (pink is my preference). This is also somewhat controversial, but many believe that this may help entities to communicate. Also, I will sometimes use a “spirit box” (sometimes referred to as a “ghost box” or “Frank’s box”) or any device that will help me practice the “radio sweep” method, which is an example of “opportunistic EVP”.

 

 

I have to give some credit to the following researchers/authors who have influenced me: the late Sarah Estep, one of the great EVP pioneers; Tom and Lisa Butler, directors of Association TransCommunication; and Randall Keller, a wise and experienced researcher who has been a great mentor. A lot of what I know and the “how to” came directly from them in one way or another.

 

More later on the analysis of your audio and what to do when you actually think you’ve captured an EVP! For right now this post is long enough.

 

 

 


EVP Recorded in a Session Last Week…

On April 19th I was conducting an EVP session at my desk. I had just gotten several knocking or tapping responses. I never plan on communication through rapping, but it has been happening a lot lately in my sessions. I just go with them, obviously. 

Nine minutes into the session I decided I was going to play some pink noise in the background for a few minutes. In the recording below you can hear me say “Maybe that’ll help. Maybe not.” I was referring to the pink noise. Immediately you hear the voice in what seems like a whisper while I’m moving my mouse across the desk to find the file.

As usual, I was using two recorders for this session. The voice was only captured on my Sony PX-820. What do you hear? I can’t make anything out of it yet… but I hear 5 syllables.

 

Maybe it’ll help. Maybe not. 4/19/12

Unedited Original Audio

Audio with Noise Removal and Amplification


EVP Experiment: Day Nine…

Does More Volume Help?

Two not-s0-exciting days in a row, really… however, I may have finally gotten an answer that may help me make these recording sessions more successful. Apparently when I use background noise (specifically pink noise in this situation), turning the volume up makes it easier for this individual spirit to communicate.

Tonight’s EVP was picked up on the Sony PX-820 digital audio recorder a little after eleven minutes into the session. I had just turned up the volume of the pink noise and asked “Does more volume help?” I hear what sounds like a soft male voice saying “Yes.” I’ve cleaned it up as much as I can. This EVP was not audible in the Tascam DR-07 recorder.

Possible EVP from 3-21-12
(Best heard with headphones)

“Yes.”

Unedited Audio

With Noise Reduction

With Noise Reduction & Amplification

Mirror, Mirror on the… floor…

The addition to my EVP sessions. Supposedly the frame to this mirror dates back to the 1800s.

It is probably important for you to know that today I finally decided to add a medium size mirror in the room. If you’ve been following this journey, you know that in the 1980s several EVP researchers began recording voices instructing the researcher to “Get a mirror!” Some other documented messages were “Use a mirror,” “I told you to get a mirror,” “Talk into a mirror,” “If you use this mode, we can help you” (referring to a small mirror that was replaced on top of the recording device),  “I’m in front of you. I love to watch your conscious and your mirror” (only a tad bit creepy), “Can’t you watch your husband in the mirror?” (also creepy), “Yes, I see with them. Doesn’t seem to help me today. I will go over and learn to use it,” “I look at you with this energy,” and “Now we look down. There’s mirrors enough.” In the last example, apparently the researcher went a little overboard with their mirrors. There is little documentation of further reasearch on mirrors and EVP since then.

Among many questions and topics I bring up in my sessions, I’ve tried to also make conversation about mirrors and if they really do help some spirits communicate. Including my session from today, I haven’t received any specific answers yet.

 

 

 

 


EVP Experiment: Day Eight…

The Experience…

As someone who has spent a lot of time working with EVP and hours and hours of audio from investigations in the past, I know how time-consuming it can be. You wouldn’t think a daily 15 minute EVP session would really tie you down for long periods of time. Because I’ve been recording each session with two recorders, and because it takes at least twice as long to review a recording as it took to record it, and because you then have to dig in and really analyze anything you’ve flagged along the way, this project has taken a couple of hours out of each day. This is especially true recently because even though they’ve been very soft, I’ve begun to hear voices. Because they’re not incredibly clear yet, they can more easily be confused with other natural sounds from the environment.

I feel like I’ve learned so much from this experiment… and not just about EVP, surprisingly. I’ve had so much fun and I really feel like I need to extend it and keep going after the two weeks are over. Since the voices are only beginning to come through it seems really silly and almost irresponsible to stop now. One problem… on Monday my spring break is over and life continues. Can I devote the time without going crazy and still stay in the focused, positive frame of mind that I’m finding EVP needs? My last session for this experiment as it is now will be on Monday evening, which is a school day for me… and no doubt it will be a long day. I guess that will be a good time to decide if I can keep going for a while. Would recording once or twice a week be effective? I’ll have to ponder the subject and keep you posted.

Here’s an Update…

Yesterday’s two EVP sessions (I did an extra one just for the heck of it) were uneventful. I did not hear anything impressive enough to document. However, in today’s session (day eight) I have flagged some interesting audio. I would not feel comfortable taking a stab at what this voice is saying, if it is a voice at all. Feel free to submit your opinion.

The audio below comes from the Tascam DR-07, using the Tascam TM-ST1 stereo microphone. Exactly nine minutes into the recording you can hear a possible voice speaking  (through the pink noise I was playing in the background) what seems to be several words or a phrase. I apparently heard it through my headsets because I turned up the volume of the pink noise and asked “Is someone here?” The last thing I asked before this possible EVP was “Cathy, or anyone from The Big Circle, are you here with me?” and then “Are you available?” followed by “I’m really enjoying your mom’s book about you” (I plan on posting on the topic of The Big Circle sometime soon. It’s a wonderful group and an amazing story…I’m waiting to finish a book first). Twenty-four seconds later the possible EVP was recorded. Nothing from this moment was picked up in the Sony PX-820.

Possible EVP from 3-20-12
(Best heard with headphones)

Unedited Audio
You can’t hear much in this file, but I like to always let you hear the unedited file. The Tascam tends to be softer and I have to amplify those recordings a lot. 


With Noise Removal & Amplification
This file has been cleaned up a lot. I with I could make it more clear.


With Noise Removal & Even More Amplification


Peace!


You Speaking?: One Week Into My Two-Week EVP Journey…

It was several minutes after my official 3-18-12 recording. Joe had just gotten in the shower. I decided to record just a few minutes of his shower with my Tascam DR-07 digital audio recorder and Tascam TM-ST1 stereo microphone. If there were any remaining spirits or entities chilling out with me, maybe they could help me determine if the sound of the water running (or the water itself) helped them communicate? I recorded for about a minute and a half and spoke quietly into the recorder because I did not want Joe to know that I was recording. When I mentioned it later in the evening he said he never heard me and didn’t know. After asking “Is there anyone present with me? Can you speak?” there is what I believe could be a true EVP saying something like “you speaking?” You can hear the water running as well as the podcast playing from Joe’s iPhone. Joe (who is a 100% skeptic) did not remember speaking to me or saying anything from the shower and claims it is not his voice. I know it was not my own voice because I was wearing headsets and heard it while it was happening. After hearing it I wondered if it was Joe saying “Are you speaking?” It apparently was not. If anyone has an opinion on what you hear, feel free to share.

“You speaking?”

Unedited Audio
With Noise Removal
With Amplification
With Noise Removal & Amplification
With Noise Removal, Amplification, & Slowed Down

 Obviously, recording EVP with a podcast in the background is not recommended. We immediately wondered if I was just picking up a voice from the podcast. Joe mentioned there are several people on that podcast and they very often talk over each other. I downloaded the episode of The Vergecast that Joe was listening to and tracked down the exact moment to make sure there was no one talking over the main person speaking. No one is talking over him… and for sure no one says anything that could possibly sound like this EVP. Because I’m not sure how legal it would be, I won’t post the segment of the Vergecast that is captured in this EVP. However, it is a free download on iTunes if you’re interested. Look for episode 22 from 3-16-12. You’ll want to cruise through and listen from about 29:04-29:12.

_________________________________

After the excitement of hearing what could be my first clear EVP from this experiment (I’m not sure yet what it would be classified as), I was very excited to review the audio from the main session that I actually recorded just before. The results were not as spectacular, but about three minutes into recording I did get a very soft one-syllable response after the question “Is there anyone present with me today?”. I apparently thought I heard something while recording because I then say “Did I just hear an answer? Can you please reply again? Is there anyone present with me today?” A second or two later this time you again can hear a very soft one-syllable response. This was all before adding any background noise.

I’ve been using two recorders for my main sessions, so I went to the same two spots from the other recorder, the Sony PX-820. This time the first response sounds more like a “bonk” or something being struck to me. Weird. This will happen occasionally when comparing EVPs from investigations. One recorder will record what sounds like a voice while another recorder picks up something very different. While listening to the portion of the recording where the Tascam picked up the second one-syllable response, the skeptic side of me wonders if what I heard was the bark of a dog… possibly coming from outside. Who knows.

Lastly, about a minute after the responses from above, I said “Thank you for trying if you’re here.” Again, some kind of soft one-syllable response was recorded from the Sony PX-820, followed by some other very soft noises.  Cleaning it up in Audacity didn’t make it any more audible. Nothing from this moment was picked up by the Tascam DR-07.

_________________________________

The recordings from above were from yesterday. Today’s recordings marks my seventh day, the halfway point in this journey. I have yet to review them, but considering the above progress I am very hopeful!

Peace!


Day Two of EVP Sessions…

Today’s EVP session was uneventful. I recorded for about 20 minutes. The transcript was very similar to day 1, with some differences in questions. The same background noises were tried and in the same order. Changes to day 2 included using an additional digital audio recorder (Sony PX-820 using the internal microphone) and running the above ceiling fan on medium for extra background noise (very soft). Because of the ceiling fan I had to use the wind shield with the Tascam Stereo Microphone used with the Tascam DR-07 digital audio recorder. I only flagged one segment from the PX-820 recording where I hear a low murmuring that stands out and seems to fade out and in for about 10 seconds, but is really soft. This was about 9 minutes into recording and was right after me asking “Was anyone able to assist in bringing in Sarah Estep?” After listening to the rest of the recording I realized that the light murmuring is most likely coming from the ceiling fan above. Even if it is not, it probably wouldn’t even be graded a Class C EVP. I plan on uploading the audio into Audacity for further review.

I am still hopeful that I will eventually record EVPs and possibly real-time spirit communication before the end of the two weeks. Yesterday I contacted Tom and Lisa Butler, directors of Association TransCommunication, and let them know of my two-week journey of daily EVP sessions. They responded with some helpful advice and encouragement.

For those who are curious, here are samples from my recordings where you can hear the white, pink, and brown noises, as well as the EVP Maker manipulating my voice for background noise.

White Noise Example from an EVP Session

Pink Noise Example from an EVP Session

Brown Noise Example from an EVP Session

EVP Maker Example from an EVP Session

 

Stay tuned!


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