Tag Archives: white noise

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 There are also wonderful techniques that due to times changing and new technology, are just outdated.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.

 

 

 


Speak with the Dead: Seven Methods for Spirit Communication by Konstantinos…

I’d considered getting this book for a few years. It seemed to pop up every time I searched for new books on the topic of spirit communication. I think maybe it was the cover art that kept me from committing to it, but I’m not really sure. But then Lee Allen Howard, a wise new friend from Building the Bridge recommended it to me. That’s all I needed. It was added to my summer reading list, which I have been making my way through quite nicely.

The Seven Methods…

Konstantinos, who is featured in a séance video from a previous post, discusses and gives how-to advice in his book Speak with the Dead: Seven Methods for Spirit Communication. These methods include (in his own words) Microphone Recording, Broadcast Static Recording, White Noise Recording, Video of the Dead, Scrying, Direct Mind Contact, and Séance Made Simple. Basically, in possibly more recognizable and current terms, these are instructions for the different ways of going about recording EVP, using radio sweep (such as a spirit box), recording Video ITC (Instrumental Trans-communication), communicating clairaudiently and clairvoyantly, and of course, séance, which you’ve heard enough about from me. If you’re not aware of what scrying is, Wikipedia tells usScrying (also called seeing or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and less often for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The most common media used are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke.” In this book, Konstantinos focuses on scrying using water.  

Is it for you?

Now as usual, I have to be honest here. Written in 2001, many of the technological information or instructions are already very outdated. Not many EVP researchers stock up on cassette tapes anymore. Also, I’m not sure if many of the feedback loop instructions for video ITC would work in the new HD and digital TV world. But, if you’re not someone who is already very experienced in these topics, there is still much to learn. It is very easy to understand. If, like me, you’ve read a trillion books on EVP and have spent quite a bit of time researching and practicing it, you won’t gain much from it (unless you’re looking to learn about old school techniques). But, video ITC and scrying are two things I haven’t tried, and reading this book may have just given me the inspiration and confidence to give it a try sometime. And trust me, when I do you’ll hear about it here. 

My Favorite Part!

Want to know my favorite part? The author shows you how to perform a ritual he calls the “Ancient Rite” to prepare your mind for spirit communication and “summoning” specific spirits. I know from previous comments that summoning is somewhat controversial among my readers. I tend to think it can be done respectfully, and frankly, in this field it seems like it would be very necessary at times. Anyway, if I continue to be honest, like most practices that even mention the word “candle”, this ritual had me at hello and just seems cool and fun. But more importantly, may end up helping to prepare for some of the séances that I’ll be participating in and documenting this fall.

“But you don’t have to take my word for it!” (Ha! Cue the Reading Rainbow theme)

Peace!

 


EVPMaker and Spirit Box…

Yesterday was the 10th  day of my EVP experiment. Although I did not find anything I would consider to be a true EVP, I did hear some interesting “responses” in the segment where I used the EVPMaker. I decided I would post this segment along with another example, because its use in EVP and paranormal research is somewhat controversial. I tend to be very careful when claiming things are truly communication from spirits. On this blog and on the Missouri Spirit Seekers website you’ll often see me list audio examples as a “possible EVP”, or like I mentioned above… “interesting responses”. Since absolutely nothing about the paranormal or EVP can be 100% proven (that sucks, I know), I have to be pretty confident before I’ll claim something is a true EVP. With that being said, as a very spiritual person I don’t need science to know in my own heart that life doesn’t end at death, or that sometimes spirits hang around or communicate with us (whether earthbound or from the other side). I’m just not willing to claim that a sneeze from another investigator is an EVP, or that the asthmatic breathing of the person holding the recorder is a ghost spookily telling you to “Get out!” In the rush of wanting to find cool evidence I think this happens too often in paranormal research these days. I’ve spent probably hours in the last week alone analyzing segments of recordings which sound like they could be impressive EVPs only to throw them out because I realized (sadly) the noise came from something in the natural environment around me.

Transform EVP…

Most likely, the EVP that you may be familiar with, have heard through  my blog or on TV, are examples of Transform EVP. An example of this would be if you were to take a basic tape or digital recorder and were fortunate enough to capture a spirit voice in the natural environment around you.  When I use a sound source, such as white, pink, or brown noise in the background, this is also an example of transform EVP, although it’s sometimes harder to review. More and more we are finding that spirits seem to be able to use this energy and sound source to create or form their own words and phrases. You may remember that just a few days ago I got what may have been a response of “yes” when I asked if turning up the volume on the pink noise made it easier to communicate. Many EVP researchers have even found quite a bit of success using just a fan (something with a motor) or running water nearby. I’ve used both for this current experiment.

More Controversial types of EVP…

EVPMaker is a computer program that many EVP researchers have used in the last few decades. It’s an example of what we call Opportunistic EVP. According to the site where the software can be downloaded, “EVPmaker is an experimental software for the generation of acoustic ‘raw material’ for recordings of paranormal voices on tape, also known as ‘Electronic Voice Phenomena’ (EVP). For this purpose, the program divides any recording of speech into short segments and then plays them back continuously in randomly order. The resulting ‘gibberish’ still sounds like speech, but can’t be understood anymore, and is therefore suited as background noise for EVP recordings.”

For my experiment I recorded my own voice reading a couple paragraphs out of a book. You can tell EVPMaker how short you want the segments to be chopped into.  The segments are always played back randomly. In addition, I have it set to overlap segments and have the speed set to 122%.

Why is it so controversial? Since what you’re hearing is already portions of a human voice, it is harder to tell if it is a spirit manipulating the data and random sounds to create their own voices, or if the message you’re hearing is a pattern of sounds that coincidentally forms a message. Sometimes our brains hear what they want to hear. This would be an example of auditory pareidolia (commonly referred to as matrixing).

Here’s my example. I won’t tell you what I hear right now. You kind of have to develop an ear when working with opportunistic EVP. After each question I ask in the example I hear several possible responses. I hear maybe 4 or 5 responses in the whole example. Are they truly answers from a spirit or spirits present for my session, or is this just coincidental sounds that my brain just wants to hear? I look forward to your comments and feedback!

Audio Example: (click the link below)

EVP Maker with “How many of you are present with me today?” 

Audacity sound wave for "How many of you are present with me today?"

Another example of opportunistic EVP that is fast growing in popularity is the use of Radio Sweep or Spirit Box (sometimes “ghost box” or “Frank’s box”). Recently I’ve gotten to know Darlene, founder of Joplin Paranormal Research Society (JPRS). They have had lots of success with using the spirit box. Below is a video of just a few of their many examples.


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!


Daily EVP Research…

Now days in paranormal investigation, EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) tend to be the most popular form of evidence caught.

As the founder of Missouri Spirit Seekers, I can tell you we are probably a little more cautious at claiming ANY evidence is paranormal than a lot of other groups out there. Therefore, we don’t have a ton of dramatic EVP evidence that we believe is 100% paranormal, but our biggest piece of evidence in the form of EVP is from one of our investigations of Friedens United Church of Christ in St. Charles, MO. Below is a video of this EVP that I put together.

 

 

Not all who study EVP do it via paranormal investigations of haunted locations.

There are many people who have a daily routine of recording and communicating with spirits on the other side and those that remain earthbound. Many people claim to also record voices of entities from other planets or galaxies. There is so much to learn about EVP, who we are talking to, and how it works, and in my opinion the study of it is still very much in its infancy.

One of things I like to do occasionally is record random EVP sessions in my home. I’m not really good at being consistent (and that’s important) because life gets busy and it’s not always easy to find a quiet time and place. Before these sessions I try to ground and center and sometimes have a quick meditation. During the sessions I always ask if there are any entities from the light present who are willing to communicate with me to further the study of EVP and life on the other side. I frequently ask to talk to some of the EVP pioneers who have been known to communicate with people around the world. For portions of the recordings I’ll usually use three different kinds of “white noise” that has been known to help entities produce sound and communicate. I also frequently use Stefan Bion’s EVP Maker, which many people use study EVP use. After learning how many people have been contacted through electronic devices, such as a computer, I’ve also been opening a new word document for each session as well. Why not? This kind of documented evidence (and EVP itself) is an example of Instrumental TransCommunication, or ITC.

I’ve not had a lot of success with my personal EVP sessions yet, but I’m determined to keep trying. As I said, I haven’t been very consistent. Starting this week I am on vacation for two weeks. I plan to conduct short EVP sessions daily during this whole time period. I’ve learned a lot from Sarah Estep’s Voices of Eternity and I recently joined the Association TransCommunication (formerly AA-EVP that was started by Estep herself). I’d like to try some new things. I hope to have some things to share with you in the next few weeks.

I highly recommend the following books if you’re interested in EVP.

"There is No Death and There Are No Dead" by Tom and Lisa Butler. They are the current directors of ATransC.

 

"Voices of Eternity" by Sarah Estep

 

"Talking to the Dead" by George Noory and Rosemary Ellen Guiley

 

"Something Unseen" by Stephen Hill


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