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Digital audio recorders are used to document the presence of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP).
EVPs are disembodied voices and sounds detected and imprinted on audio recording devices.
EVPs cannot currently be explained with known physical principles. The voices typically
constitute short utterances of just a few words, often in direct response to questions or
comments about occurrences in the environment. In their basic form, EVPs are not heard at the
time they are recorded, but only on playback of the audio recording. Analog tape recorders have
been known to also record EVPs. The use of an analog tape recorder along with a digital audio
recorder is useful in recording natural sounds in the 'debunking' process.
TIPS WHILE CONDUCTING AN EVP RECORDING SESSION
- Be sure that fresh batteries are in the digital voice recorder. Carry another set of batteries
also. New batteries have known to mysteriously drain during an investigation.
- Check the time and date stamp on the recorder. Set it to the current time and date before
conducting an EVP session.
- Familiarize yourself with the functions of the recorder prior to conducting a session. Be sure
that the voice activation mode is deactivated to insure that recordings are not cut off.
- Be sure to identify the investigator(s), time, and session location at the beginning of each
recording. It is useful to have each investigator state their own name. This aids in distinguishing
an investigator's voice from an anomaly during the review of the recording. If the session is
being conducted outside, it is useful to also note the weather conditions.
- Conduct the session in a stationary position preferably sitting. The recorders are very sensitive
and movements are picked up as ambient noise on the recording.
- If you should make a noise during the session, identify the incident during the recording. This
will prevent the noise from being misidentified during the review.
- EVP sessions appear to be more ‘productive’ with a limited number of investigators involved (2
investigators is recommended).
- Speak in a normal voice, avoid whispering. EVPs tend to be in a lower volume and tone (almost
a whisper). This will prevent the investigator’s voice from being misidentified during the review.
- EVP sessions should be limited to a period of 15 to 30 minutes. A shorter session makes for an
easier review of the evidence. State the end of session time on the recorder before turning it
- Ask questions based on the investigation site survey. Initial questions should be simple and
closed ended (can be answered by a ‘yes’ or ‘no’).
- Allow ample time for a response when a question is asked. Many identified EVPs occur 10-15
seconds after the question has been asked.
TIPS WHILE REVIEWING EVP EVIDENCE
- Use specialized audio editing software to review the files. Software such as Audacity works
well. Audacity® is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.
(http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) There is also reasonably priced software such as Wave Pad®
Sound Recording Software or Wave Pad Basic Edition - free.
- The use of external amplified speakers connected to the computer can amplify hard to hear
sounds or voices.
- Use over the ear headphones and not ear buds when reviewing evidence. Over the ear
headphones help reduce ambient noise during the review.
- It is helpful to make copies of the sound files so that different investigators can review the
evidence simultaneously. Notes should be taken and compared when conducting the analysis.
- Care should be taken to identify any recorded ambient noise. The review should include the
visual analysis of frequency variations during the audio analysis. Patterns should be noted for
further detailed review.
- EVP voices can be very indistinct or garbled and subject to misinterpretation.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF EVPs
Class A - The voices are understood by most all that listen. The words are actually somewhat
loud and clear when listening over a speaker or headphones.
Class B - Voices cannot be deciphered clearly and tones are very low and hard to understand.
Results are usually open to varied interpretation.
Class C - Voices and sounds are extremely faint and almost incomprehensible. They can normally
only be heard using headphones.
Note: Be aware of a condition known as matrixing or 'pareidolia'. This is an individual's tendency
to interpret a vague stimulus (audio or visual) as something known to the listener or viewer.
Translation - Your conclusion should be based on what you hear and not what you think you
EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena
The procedures and techniques referenced are those that have been proven to work for
Old Town Paranormal Investigations. They are provided as a guide only and should not be
inferred as the only protocol possible. We believe that you may be able to use what has
been presented when determining what works for your own research and investigations.