– Respect is the biggest key. Treat the spirits (and the location) as you would like to be treated. Kindness can go a long way when trying to get answers to questions.
– Don’t walk into an area intrepid or doubtful of a spirit(s) presence. Talk as though you are waiting for an answer. I personally might not answer a stranger if they couldn’t see me and asked, “Is anybody here?”
– Think of where you are and the known history of that location. If you are in a private home then act accordingly. If you are on a battlefield, then show respect for those who lost their lives for whatever cause. If you are in another country, then keep in mind that any spirit there might not understand all of your questions or misunderstand what you ask. Etc.
– When using a digital recorder it is not necessary to use an external microphone. I have found that it actually increases the amount of static recorded.
– When using a cassette recorder, be sure to use an external microphone and place the microphone as far away from the recorder as possible. Internal microphones can’t get away from recording the gears working and placing the microphone as far from the recorder as possible helps reduce the gear noise.
– Omni-directional microphones work best for trying to record for EVP. Think of it like a sieve, whereas a Uni-directional microphone would be more like a straw. More liquid (sound) can get through a sieve at once than through a straw.
– Do NOT use the voice activated setting available on some models of recorders. It only works after sound begins, which means that an EVP can be cut off or completely missed.
– Be sure to have the sensitivity level on your gear/microphone (if available) set to the highest setting. This way you are sure to get even the faintest EVP.
– When using a cassette recorder use High Bias tapes. They give your tape recording an almost CD quality of sound and decrease background noise substantially. This is not to say that regular tapes won’t work, they will. But using the better quality tapes makes it much easier to listen to after.
– Only use one side of any cassette tape, and only use that side once. This field is highly scrutinized, and not just by the skeptics, but also by other paranormal investigators. To reduce the chances of “bleed through” (a recording made on one side of the tape playing on the other side) make sure this tip is utilized. It will help add credit to any EVP you do record on tape.
– The use of white noise during an investigation is something that every investigator should experiment with. The white noise should be played softly as a background noise, not loud enough to interrupt recording. The use of white noise can give credence to an EVP by having a constant, unbroken noise behind the EVP, making the chances of the recording being faked extremely difficult.
When Recording Keep in Mind the Following:
– When you first begin to record at a location be sure to make note of the date, time and location. Also, if you are going to be moving from room to room/floor to floor be sure to mention it aloud. This will help you remember where you were when you process your recordings later.
– Many investigators get discouraged or frustrated by whispered or faint EVP. One thing that may (or may not) help would be to ask the spirits to please speak as loudly as they can.
– This one may sound easy, but it isn’t. When you are recording on an investigation, don’t whisper. Everyone does this a little, and it actually takes conscious thought not to. When you review your audio later, you will be grateful that you did not whisper, as it can create false positives and/or waste your time focusing on it until you realize what it is.
– Maintain the most silence during set up. Many investigators will tell you that they get some of their best EVP when the group is just talking amongst itself. Because of this, wait until you have at least one recorder going before you start talking much. Many groups end up walking into a location with a recorder going to see if they get anything right off the bat, if your group does not, then hold off from talking (to each other or the spirits) until a recorder is running.
– Try to word your questions so that you get as direct an answer as possible. Example: Instead of asking: “Do you know what the date is?” try asking, “What is the date?” That way you might get a date instead of a yes or no answer.
– One great tip for all investigators is to “keep it short”. When noting an outside noise during a recording session say the least amount you need to. Example: a car is driving by. Simply state, “car” and continue with your recording. No further words are necessary. Remember, the more you talk during a session, the more chance there is that you are talking over an EVP.
– When recording with a group of people, it is always a good idea to have everyone introduce themselves at the beginning of the recording so that their voices can be used for comparison later. This also helps eliminate false positives.
– When you are doing group work, a practice that many groups get into is designating 1 person from the group to note (aloud and written) any excess noise that occurs during a recording session. This helps by having only one person speak instead of everyone from the group noting the noise.
– To go along with the above, excess noise on a recording can be anything that is audible to the human ear. Some examples would be (but are not limited to) cars driving by, dog bark, footsteps, helicopters, floor creak, sirens from passing emergency vehicles, twig snap, coughs, sneezes, noticeable sound of cloth rubbing, etc. In short, keep your ears tuned to what is around you while recording. Doing so will help save you the time of examining false positives later.
Processing the Evidence:
– Headphones are a great way to hear even the faintest of EVP, as they put the sound right next to your ears.
– Common sense does come into play. If it sounds like someone in the group shuffled their feet, then they probably did.
– If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That means that if the EVP sounds great without anything, then leave it alone. The more filters you use to clean a recording make that recording come under more criticism from the skeptics.
– Have you ever heard an EVP that sounded like a robot or like it is inside of a tin can? Sometimes those are just bad recordings, other times (most often) they sound that way due to over processing. It is far better to leave a recording a little hard to hear than to completely distort it by over doing it. Keep it simple. The less filters you use, the better the sound quality will be. Some EVP are just too low/quiet/hard to understand and/or distorted normally, there is no need to add to it by trying to make it sound like something it’s not.