Basic EVP Recording Technique

By Tom and Lisa Butler
Also see: White Paper on Transcommunication with emphasis on Electronic Voice Phenomena

What is EVP?

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) are intelligible voices found in recording media that have no known physical explanation. Many of the voices are thought to originate from deceased people. This is the primary reason that people first began experimenting with EVP.

Characteristics of the Voices

The recorded voices may be very quiet and may be difficult to hear and understand. Most EVP experimenters say that they have developed an “ear” for the sounds after learning to distinguish them from background noise. In transform EVP, the voices can often be recognized as male or female, young or old. Messages are seldom longer than two to four words. The words may be spoken very quickly, and there is often a distinctive cadence to the voices. Analysis shows that they are simulations of voice made from whatever sound is supplied, and are often missing voice box frequencies and have oddly arranged formants.

Types of Recording

In controlled conditions recording, it is possible to control ambient noise and supply special forms of background noise. Biofield energy is thought to accumulate in a “special” recording area, which is thought to help make contact. In field recording, it is difficult to control environmental conditions or supply background sound, but in known “haunted” locations, the energy helpful for contact may already be present.

EVP formed in an audio recorder by transforming available background sound is referred to as “transform EVP.” In this, it is sometimes possible to recognize the voice of the speaker. EVP formed by sweeping a radio dial, or with a computer program such as EVPmaker, are referred to as “opportunistic EVP” because sounds for voice formation must be made available on an “as needed” basis. Radio-sweep also known as “ghost boxes” or “spirit boxes,”), and in some applications, EVPmaker, depend on the use of “live” voice. ATransC will not use live voice examples for research because of the problem of undetected false positives. EVPmaker using synthesized voice is preferred for opportunistic EVP.

Environmentally stimulated speech synthesis is a relatively new and promising technique, but it should be noted that all speech synthesis approaches currently being tried do not support speaker recognition.


Recording Procedure

Recording Equipment

Digital voice recorders are recommended for transform EVP. Less expensive models produce more internal noise which is useful for voice formation. High quality units will probably require added background noise. A computer can also be used, but will probably require added noise.

Scheduling

Entities will speak at any time of day or night. In the beginning, however, it is advisable to record at a regular time and place. By doing this, the entities learn when there will be an opportunity for contact and expectation of the upcoming session helps focus attention on the process. Try to find a place that will be quiet and free of interruptions. Background sounds are okay, but it is important to be aware of these so that they can be distinguished from the EVP.

Background Sound Source

Research has shown that for transform EVP, the entities use sounds in the environment to help form the words. Most recording situations have some background sounds, but it may be necessary to add noise with something like a fan or running water. Some people use foreign language radio, crowd babble or audio tapes; however, as more has been learned about EVP, the recommended practice has been to avoid the use of radio static or live voice of any form.

Preparation

Begin with meditation and a short prayer to ask for only those intending the highest good and an invitation to friends on the other side to participate. It is best to record when personal energy is the highest.

Recording

Vocalize your comments during an EVP session. The entities will often come through as soon as the recorder is turned on. These beginning messages may be the loudest, so it is a good idea to turn on the recorder and wait a few seconds before speaking. Questions should be recorded, and a period of time between each comment should be left for the entities to respond–about ten seconds. At the end, ask if the entity has something to say.

It may help to make an “appointment” with the intended entity the day before, during prayer or meditation. Some also provide feedback before the session so that the entities will know what worked in the last experiment. It is not necessary to record in the dark. People often try different devices and energy sources to help the entities communicate. Leaving written questions in the EVP experiment area the day before has worked for some.

Keep recording short. Recordings should be closely examined, at least until it is understood where to find the voices. A best practice for field recording is to use two recorders. As a rule, EVP will only occur on one recorder or sound track, making it possible to avoid mistaking local sounds for EVP (false positives).

Playback

In transform EVP, the voice is usually not heard until playback. Experimenters report that the voices tend to become stronger and clearer as the entities gain in experience, but at first the voices may speak in whispers. Voices may not be recorded in every session and it may take several sessions to discover the first voice. Hearing the voices is a learned ability. It might take thirty minutes to examine a three or four minute recording.

Classes of Voices

The following system of classification is based on a Best Practice being developed in the Collective at atransc.org/bp/Classification#Practice. You are invited to participate in developing the practice. Please use the Contact tool to let us know you are interested.

type-1-and-type-2
Two-type classification

A distinction is made between phenomena which are always present and phenomena which are transient features. A face seen in the decomposition pattern of a leaf is more or less always there, as opposed to a face found in moving water or video-loop noise. As a general rule, “always there” phenomena appears to be formed by opportunistically adapting naturally occurring processes to express the message, assuming one is intended. If perceived as phenomena, “always there” features would be considered Type 2.

Features found in ever-changing noise are thought to be formed by

expected-distribution-by-class
Expected distribution of of class

transforming that noise into the voice or face. While the resulting features are fleeting unless caught in media (photograph or audio recording), they tend to be better formed and more easily identified as anomalous. So for both audible and visible phenomena:

Type 1: Transformed physical media; not always present
Type 2: Always present; often as a persistent artifact

Both Type 1 and Type 2 examples are divided by three classes:

Class A: Evident without explanation
Class B: May require directions
Class C: May be vaguely experienced; mostly obscured by noise

Keeping a Log

Maintaining a record of recording results is very helpful. Include the date, time, seconds into the recording, the message itself and the question asked. Be sure to label and save the audio file so that they can be found at a later time. Experimenters report that they feel weather may affect results, but this has not been well studied.

Digital Voice Recorders

Digital voice recorders are recommended for EVP experiments. Today, all sound tracks—digital or analog—should be listened to in a computer and with a headset. Unlike tape recorders, the built-in microphone is usually satisfactory for EVP. Consider the selection guide for audio recorders here. Audacity is an effective audio management program that can be downloaded at no cost.

Computer Recording

A computer instead of a digital recorder can be used for recording EVP. It should have an audio input jack, speakers, headphone jack and sound player application such as Audacity. Most experimenters use the computer to analyze and store examples. If the recorder does not have a USB interface, it is possible to play the recording into the computer while recording with a recorder program. The Earphone jack of the recorder can be connected to the Microphone or Line 1 jack via a cable. The sound source should be set to the correct jack via the pull-down menu in Audacity. Recording with a sample rate of 11025, mono and 16 bit resolution is sufficient for EVP. Files should be edited as *.wav format, but shared as *.mp3.

Analyzing the Recording for EVP

Always use headphones when listening to the recording in a computer. The earmuff style that completely covers the ear is best, but also good are the soft rubber ear buds that are inserted in the channel of the ear.

Be sure to set up a method of saving your recordings in your computer that will allow you to easily locate examples. A good practice is to save the raw recording session in a dated folder and then also save clips containing the EVP in the same folder. Field recordings are saved under the name of the location and the date. It is helpful to keep a separate folder for your Class A examples for easy retrieval for demonstration to friends. ATransC follows the labeling practice of: (c)lisa_butler2008-what_evp_says.mp3. The (c) symbol indicates the intention to protect rights to the example. If you are making the example available under the Creative Commons license, then use (cc) instead of (c). Using first and last name helps sort many examples in the folder for easy retrieval. The underline and dash symbol with no use of capitals helps assure that computer systems and the Internet accept the name. A 200 kb audio file can be reduced to around 15 Kb when converted from a *.wav file to an *.mps file. This makes it easy for sharing files via the Internet.

22 thoughts on “Basic EVP Recording Technique

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    • Thanks for the good words! We are doing okay now with the eBay and Amazon affiliate program and sales of a book. If you want to help, the best thing would be to read the new book, Your Immortal Self and tell a friend.

      Always happy to answer questions on the Idea Exchange.

  2. Hello Tom, excellent work. If possible I would like to feature some of it in our course that teaches individuals about such phenomena. Very well wrote Tom, and easy for the begginer to understand. If possdible, I’d like to include some of it.

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    Steve Mera
    The scientific establishment of parapsychology.

    • Thanks for the good words Steve.

      As part of our effort to inform the public, we use the Creative Commons license wherever possible (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). So, if there is not a copyright (c) symbol on the article, please feel free to use the material with proper attribution.

      It is always a good idea to check with us or the author for articles written by someone other than Tom Butler or Lisa Butler. Please let us know if you need the material in a different format.

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    • Each comment contributes in its own way. I really like all of the comments because they teach me a little about who is interested in these subjects. For instance, I find it facinating that the “How to” article has received the majority of comments since we remodeled the website.

      My personal website is at http://ethericstudies.org/. I do use Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ThomWButler) and we maintain a ATransC page at https://www.facebook.com/ATransC/. I set up a page to advertise the new book at https://www.facebook.com/YourImmortalSelf/ but I am still not sure I want to advertise.

      Even though it is basically a ghost town, we are maintaining the Idea Exchange discussion board for a while longer to see if people have questions about the new book. It is at http://atransc.org/forum/.

      Otherwise, Lisa and I keep a relatively low profile on the Internet. I do comment here and there as I feel able to contribute.

  11. I’ve been highly intrigued in the paranormal for a very long time and especially EVP. I’ve been interested in doing my own amateur “investigations” in search of EVP recordings and have a big question.

    There are countless TV shows that follow paranormal investigations (Ghost Adventures in particular) who use fancy equipment in their investigations. The gear I wonder most about is their spirit boxes, they always seem to manipulate continually changing radio frequencies. Do they use these devices because we believe spirits can manipulate the radio frequency itself or is it more related to the white nose being created by the device? Would a smartphone app that generates white noise without manipulating radio frequencies achieve the same result?

    I’m simply looking to educate myself more on the science behind EVP. In my search for tools to start my own amateur attempts to capture EVP, I found this white noise generator app for my smartphone. Would this app be capable of allowing EVP to be captured or would using the app be useless in an effort to generate EVP?

  12. You are doing the right thing by asking questions first. From experience, I know that so much of the TV ghost programs are acting that it is wise to assume all of it is acting. As a practical matter, with the possible exception of audio (EVP) and visual ITC, these phenomena seldom occur on demand. Being in a known haunted location might help. Certainly the expectation of experiencing phenomena raises the chances. But it is hard to concentrate on that expectation with a camera in your face.

    The popularity of spirit boxes is something of a disappointment for us, as it has attracted people into thinking the expensive boxes are a “silver bullet” that assures EVP. From all of our study, they do not appear to produce EVP. We recommend people stick to the transform method, at least until they know what they are doing and how real EVP actually sounds. There is plenty on this website to help you figure that out. I recommend the ATransC White Paper on Transcommunication at http://atransc.org/itc-white-paper/.

    As well as we can tell, the voices are formed by transforming available audio-frequency energy. That is why we call it Transform EVP. The transform process is consistent with many other forms of trans-etheric influence while the spirit boxes using radio-sweep seem to require the communicators impose their will on the radio announcer. We see no support for that concept, although finding support would be really important, should anyone have the gumption and talent.

    Your app will probably work, although white noise is something of a problem. As you will see in the suggested paper, the raw sound needs to be a little tilted toward human voice frequencies and irregularities such as noise spikes seem to help initiate the process. Just use the record tool in your phone in a place in which there are no people talking in the background. usually, ambient sounds are enough. Experiment. If needed, a running refrigerator or fan might help.

    Here is the best advice I can give you. It can take time to learn how to record transform EVP. Not everyone is successful. Those who are, are not always superstars. If you have patience, it is reasonable that you will eventually be able to record messages … from someone if not a loved one. If and when you do, there will be no doubt what you have done. About 25% of the time, your witness panel will be able to hear and understand your EVP. Always use a blinded witness panel. If more than a third say no, through it away. As can be seen with the ghost box crowd, we are really good at convincing ourselves there is speech when there is only ordinary sound.

  13. I had assumed that the majority of these shows utilize acting over real events, but I always believed the acting was used as an embellishment of what happens in reality. Without the acting embellishments these shows would never get syndication.

    The app I found will generate a plethora of “ambient white noise sounds” ranging from radio static to running fans, rustling leaves, a running vehicle or even a busy coffee shop. These sounds can also be ran simultaneously with each other for endless options of ambient sounds. Of course I’m not going to put all my eggs into one basket but I will experiment with these sounds in hopes of capturing transform EVP.

    I actually live a matter of minutes away from Grey Cloud Island in Minnesota which to my understanding is claimed to be the one of, if not THE most haunted location in all of Minnesota. My family has lived in the area for 3 generations so I’m privy to a few locations that are historically known to be paranormal hotspots (at least according to local urban myths), hopefully this will increase my chances of witnessing/capturing EVPs in some form. I will also be investigated at other locations I believe to have paranormal activity, these other locations however are not “publicly known” to have paranormal activity.

    I will expirement with this app and a secondary recording device to document/record any of my findings (if there are any). This app is free from the Google App Store so if there is anyone else interested in expirement on their own, here is a link for the app I will be expirementing with:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.relaxio.relaxio

    Thank you for all of the articles and insight!

    • Keep in mind that we have no evidence that a place is important for EVP. If you do record in the field, we recommend using two recording processes so as to be able to eliminate possible unnoticed sounds. Remember that your communicators are thought to be in the etheric where everywhere is here. They are not in that haunted place.

      We think there is an effect in which our thoughts about a place develop an etheric thoughtform or field representing the characteristics we attribute to the place. If that is true, our collective expectations that a haunted-looking place is actually haunted tends to increase the probability that a psi-sensitive (lucidity) person will enter the place and experience the expected haunting effect.

      According to the theory, it is likely that prior occupants of the pace will have embedded their view of the place into the associated etheric thoughtform. We do this with everything–car, bar, home– but not to the degree as occupants of a prison or hospital might.

      It looks like we are the channel for the etheric-to-physical influence necessary to form EVP. We psychically sense thoughtforms, so you can see that a place in which people have expressed intense emotions potentially has an intense thoughtform which we sense. Theoretically, that effect, plus our more contemporary thoughts about the place can produce a pretty potent haunted place.

      The problem is that all of that influence is in the etheric. I think most people trying to reach a specific person record in a quiet place in their home. Their expectation of contacting someone in their home also develops a thoughtform. In this case, we would call the thoughtform a contact field. The contact field helps them communicate because it helps them focus intention, and acts as a common reference for their etheric communicators.

      All of this is to say that you need not go to the haunted location because you can access the same thoughtform from any physical location. Going to the place makes for good television, a fine outing for a club and can help you focus your intention; in effect, raise your expectation. But please do not assume your communicators are in the haunted place. We have found no reason to think people are stuck or earthbound unless they just want to hang around. Or in grief, we might try too hard to keep a loved one close.

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