How to record EVP

Evaluating the recording

After finishing the recording, the real "work" begins: Evaluating the recording and finding the voices which may be lower or louder, depending on the used raw material. If a cassette recorder was used, the tape now has to be wound back to the beginning of the recording. If a computer with a sound card was used, the recording should saved first, so it can't get lost, for instance due to a crash.

Next, start listening to the recording bit by bit. Pay particularly attention to the passages between the questions or remarks where apparently only the background noise is heard. If you believe to have heard something conspicuous or understood something meaningful – even if it's only very vague at first – then repeat this section several times until the voice either gets clearer and "crystallizes" of the noise, or you realize that your interpretation doesn't match phonetically; in the latter case it likely was no EVP. If a cassette recorder is used, a "Review" button for fast rewinding during playback facilitates the process of repeated listening to short sections of the tape very much.

To find a voice, first try to listen very "uncritically" until you have detected something. Now check "critically", syllable by syllable, phoneme by phoneme, in order to verify if it's really what you thought.



As an additional test you can try to hear other words "into" the soundscructure that sound similar to your initial interpretation (for instance, if you heard "dog", try to hear "frog" instead). If this should succeed, then the "voice" obviously wasn't as clear as assumed initially. At this point a very exact work is necessary if the results are to be convincing and if you don't want to fool yourself.

The wording of the identified voices should be noted down on a sheet of paper, together with the counter number of the cassette recorder or the exact time if a MiniDisc recorder was used. Also the questions and utterances of the participants should be taken down in order to document the reference. For foreign words or for sound sequences which currently can't be identified, phonetic spelling can be very useful. Every record should be provided with date and time of the recording and, if applicable, the cassette or disc number to be able to find it again even after years.

If the recording is analyzed with a computer, the wording of the individual voices can also be entered directly via the keyboard. Sound editors such as Seite Adobe Audition (formerly CoolEdit) offer an ideal tool for this, the so called Seite cue list. next