What exactly is Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP for short? EVP are voices that are recorded on modern equipment, such as microcassette and digital voice recorders and video cameras, that are not usually heard until playback. While some EVPs could be interference from stray radio signals or misinterpreted sounds from the environment, many EVPs are believed to be paranormal in nature. Potential for capturing an EVP exists just about anywhere with an extensive history. The best part is that anyone with the right equipment can try to record for EVP and will likely get results. Listed below is a guideline to help you record your very own EVPs.
Obtaining the equipment
- Purchase the audio recorder of your choice. We recommend buying the best quality digital recorder your budget allows. The recording quality has drastically improved in recent years, greatly reducing the number of false EVPs obtained with recorders like the Panasonic RR-DR60. Digital recorders allow you to easily import your recordings to a computer for review an analysis. You may also choose a microcassette recorder or a cassette tape recorder. Some investigators still prefer these older devices due to their analog nature. Check our Gear Shop for a selection of recorders.
- Make certain to buy an external microphone if you have opted for an analog tape recorder to help eliminate the sound of the mechanical wheels inside the recorder. An external microphone has the added bonus of hands-free operation if you choose a lapel style microphone.
- If you opted for an analog recorder, you will need to acquire BLANK tapes. It is extremely important that the tapes are blank and were never previously recorded on. Magnetically erasing a tape does not suffice. Blank tapes will prevent any bleedthrough from previous recordings that could lead to false results.
- If you own a smartphone that is capable of recording audio, you may download or purchase an audio recording app. If possible, select the camcorder’s microphone to obtain a better recording.
- The price for this equipment is not too drastic, just use your keen saving senses. Remember that the price usually reflects the quality of the recording capabilities. Most recorders start around $25.
Using the recording device
- Use the recorder in areas where you believe there is paranormal activity. Cemeteries are a popular location for beginners, but abandoned structures and known haunted locations could also net results. You could even record for EVP in your own home, but it is not recommended.
- Use the highest quality recording setting that your device allows. this will likely reduce the amount of time you are able to record, but there will be less artificial artifacts and hiss when reviewing your audio.
- Always check the recorder to make sure it is recording. Look at the wheels that turn the tape on analog recorders and be certain they are turning before you begin your session. On digital unites, make sure the record symbol has appeared on the LCD screen and the recording lamp is lit red.
- Always tilt the recording device away from your body. If you’re using a lapel microphone, place it somewhere away from your chest or throat. This will reduce false-positive EVPs due to bodily noises like breathing and swallowing. We prefer to clip the microphone to the brim of a hat.
- Be sure to speak clearly while presenting your questions. Sometimes you will get a definite answer to what you have asked and other times it may be vague. We have successfully recorded EVP when we were just talking amongst ourselves. AVOID WHISPERING at all times!
- Be certain to make a note on your recorder whenever you hear a foreign sound (i.e. stomach growling, dogs barking, vehicles driving by, etc.). This will help reduce the chance of misidentifying that sound during playback.
- If your recording device permits, try using headphones while you are recording so that you can hear EVP in real-time. Our members have had several successful sessions while using headphones.
- After the questioning and investigating is complete, simply play back and listen to what you may have encountered during your adventure. it is very useful to listen with headphones for this process. If you come up with voices or sounds that were recorded but not heard while you were at the location, you are successful! Give yourself a pat on the back, you may have connected to another realm.
Extra equipment that may help your chances
- Audio software for your computer can make listening and enhancing your recordings easier. Using software, you can remove background noise to get a clearer understanding of the voice you have captured. Software will also allow you to extract your EVP to a smaller file to share with others. You can spend hundreds of dollars on software, but most prefer to use Audacity, which is free!
- An electromagnetic field (EMF) meter can give you a possible way to track a spirit. This detector shows the strength of electromagnetic energy that is often present during paranormal activity. You may have to tune out readings that are associated with living beings, televisions, microwave ovens, or any other electrical appliances. Make sure you purchase a DC meter as it detects the natural field where spirits may be present. Check out EMF Detectors in our Gear Section.
- Flashlights are a good tool to have in dark situations. Without the use of a light, you may not be able to use any form of equipment that has a visual aspect to it, such as an EMF meter.
- A thermocouple thermometer is handy in determining cold spots within an area. Unlike infrared thermometers, a thermocouple will measure the ambient air temperature instead of surface temperature, making it a good tracking unit that could compare to an EMF meter. Our investigators have successfully tracked cold spots emitting an electromagnetic field. Certain elements of the season and heating and cooling systems can rule out some characteristics. Please use your instincts and common sense.
- The last thing you should carry with you is an open mind and patience. Not every EVP session is successful. Always be ready to expect the unexpected.