by Tom and Lisa Butler
Previously published in the Spring 2012 ATransC NewsJournal
Several members in the Idea Exchange have been using recordings of foreign language as background sound for EVP sessions. What we refer to as “live voice” is not understandable to our English-trained ears so there seemed to be little danger of mistaking the input speech for EVP. Well, … that is the theory.
We used the same foreign-language input file for the Big Circle recording sessions over six months. This gave us ample opportunity to test the technique. What we found has been a real eye-opener. Both of us recorded and nearly every utterance one of us identified as an EVP could be found on the other person’s recording and the original sound file.
Each session, we played the foreign-language sound with a Sony ICD-B26 and recorded with a pair of Panasonic RR-DR60s placed about two feet away from the Sony. The only other sound in the meditation room we used is the normal, ambient sounds one would expect from a closed room with no forced air movement. Lisa typically turns off the Sony while we ask a question and then turns it back on while we seek a reply. DR60s are always in VOX mode.
The input file includes both male and female voice, making it easy for us to locate segments to compare. Because we did identify a few utterances in the input file that sounded a lot like English, we began comparing the two output sound files to see if any suspected EVP were in both. As it turned out, the majority were.
The current best practice for field recording is to use two recorders and discard anything found in both recording processes. (See: Using a Control Recorder for EVP) This is a good practice because it is well established that EVP occurs in one analog segment so that two recorders will not “normally” record the same EVP.
EVP does occur as a transformation of the foreign language into English words, but based on our study, naturally occurring sounds in the foreign language are too often mistaken as English. This is enough of a problem to warrant recommending that, when using live voice, two recorders should be used and both output files examined to assure suspected EVP are only in one of the files.
This recommendation applies to all forms of live voice including recording with EVPmaker, radio-sweep, and of course, foreign language speech. The opportunistic presence of English sounding words does not automatically mean transcommunication. This is especially true of short utterances, for instance, “yes” and “help.”
The best practice for using a control recorder will be updated in the Collective forum and a new one for live voice will be started. These practices are considered “living documents,” and will evolve as we learn. You are invited to help us develop these and similar articles. Your viewpoint is important and may help many others as a practice.