Friday, December 17, 2004

Listening to EVP Recordings

Before listening to EVP recordings it seems there are some things you should know.

First, it takes some practice to train yourself to hear the voices. It seems the ghost voices are created from the static noise picked up by the recorder. White noise, running water and radios tuned off station are commonly used as "sound energy" sources during EVP experimentation. You have to learn to listen through this noise to be able to hear the recorded voices.

I have to admit this makes me instantly skeptical. How can you tell me there is a voice if I have to train myself to hear it? I remember the days of back-masked records and the subliminal message fears. I never did hear the devil in a Beatles album played backwards or instantly crave popcorn or an A&W root beer at the drive in.

I have some extensive experience with sound working as a stage lighting designer and sometime sound designer/audio engineer for almost 20 years now. I've done audio work for theatre, bands and special events from boxcars in a field to the Georgia Super Dome so I have a college level understanding of the basic physics of sound. As a writer and a public speaker, I am more than familiar with the concepts of phonics, proper pronunciation and the psychology of language.

I could see how the mind could try and make sense of random or white noise and create 'words' out of it. You see people misunderstand speech all the time; from arguments over Rock and Roll song lyrics to radically different legal testimony. Sometimes people will hear what they want to hear.

But I still remain open minded and fortunately Sara Estep, founder of the AA-EVP has developed a system for grading EVP recordings. Samples seem to vary drastically in quality and there are three basic levels.
  1. A Class A EVP is a message that can be heard without headphones and that people can generally agree on its content.
  2. A Class B EVP requires a headphone to distinguish message content and not everyone will agree on the message.
  3. A Class C EVP requires headphones, often needs amplification and filtering and will seldom even be heard by others.

I think it might be a good idea for a novice like me to start with the Class A's and work my way down. I want to hear some clear voices not lose interest or become frustrated straining over unintelligible audio that only someone else can hear a voice in. I'm looking for amazing proof of life after death after all!

Another thing one must know when listening to an EVP recording is that the voices may sound distant, strange or seem to be singing. Sometimes they will have an unusual cadence or consonants and vowels will be compressed or elongated in an unusual way. The theory is that the "entities" can only use available audio energy to form the sounds of words in a recording device and are unable to create sounds on their own. Sometimes the needed sounds just are not there and they must make due.

This would explain some anomalies or why the voices may sound similar to the speaker in the tape. It seems logical that one cannot form a vowel or consonant one does not have a "template" for when communicating like this. It would be a lot like trying to write a letter to someone in English without the letters L, R, N, T and A!

I would think it would also be particularly difficult to exactly mimic one's earthy voice when deprived of those all important word forming flesh and bone organs. Without the lungs, vocal cords, tongue and lips how could you sound like yourself?

The last and final thing one must know before listening to your first EVP recordings is that volume is always an issue. These ghost voices never come through at the same level as a person speaking and often times can barely be heard. It's not uncommon for parts of a message to be recorded under live speech on the tape, making it even harder to make out.

So, get out your headphones and let's listen carefully, realize the voices might sound a little strange or be hard to hear and finally listen to some real live EVP recordings!


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like to point out if u paid any attention to the story in white noise; the 3 dark figures wasnt 3 dark figures, it was the shadow of the crazy dude seen thru the eyes of a ghost the man in the middle was the crazy guy with a light behind him projecting a triple image of him on a double block glass wall, with him being in the middle. it was just destorted because it was seen thru the eyes of a ghost seen thru a double glass blocked wall. get it? good....

Anonymous said...

hey. this is melissaaa (haha) from www.evpvoices.com. i just wanted to tell you that i love your spot here. i think you a very fair and balanced. :) hope to talk more to you some time. melissaaa www.evpvoices.com

Anonymous said...

MAN I JUST WANT TO HERE SOM EVP

Anonymous said...

Man, me too!

OrdMandell said...

I have some decent EVP recordings on my Archive Page.Hope you take a listen and any feedback is appreciated,thank you...

THE EVP SOCIETY
www.geocities.com/evp_society

Rick W said...

Having nearly 15 years in paranormal investigations I have recently begun to concentrate only on EVP. I think you are right, some EVP could be caused by mechanical, geostatic, atmospheric or other natural phenomena. BUT if we concentrate on interactive EVP I think we would first prove this is really "paranormal" and secondly that the source is intelligent and sentient. Look for my site soon.

Anonymous said...

Thay are there. I have heard them. may be not your family member....nor mine... but they have spoken to me. crazy?...you might say...humm...i'm frustrated..they are here. My sister pasted 10 trs ago. she was my oldest.I have never heard from her. Yet since White noise I feel there is a chance I WILL HEAR FROM HER. I have had "knowledge" or what I was told to say to my soon to be wife, on things I couldn't possibly know....answers from those who passed. crazy?...yep...I agree....but I was able to name her grandmothers dog...a touch she gave her and much more....just days after she past. I didn't ask for this ...but she cryed...I was right. As for my sister...nothing yet....I will contact her. I am not "crazy"..intuition? listen to it.

Anonymous said...

sgksgk
Thay are there. I have heard them. may be not your family member....nor mine... but they have spoken to me. crazy?...you might say...humm...i'm frustrated..they are here. My sister pasted 10 trs ago. she was my oldest.I have never heard from her. Yet since White noise I feel there is a chance I WILL HEAR FROM HER. I have had "knowledge" or what I was told to say to my soon to be wife, on things I couldn't possibly know....answers from those who passed. crazy?...yep...I agree....but I was able to name her grandmothers dog...a touch she gave her and much more....just days after she past. I didn't ask for this ...but she cryed...I was right. As for my sister...nothing yet....I will contact her. I am not "crazy"..intuition? listen to it.

Anonymous said...

i only wanted to hear some evp as well