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How to record EVP

Practical directions

Basically, recording EVP is nothing unusual or mysterious - in fact it's like a normal recording: A microphone is connected (optimally via a microphone pre-amplifier) to a cassette recorder or to the sound card of a computer and the recording is started ([German] mikrophone method).

Usually a low background noise is being played back during the recording which is used by the originators of the voices as a "raw material" to form the messages. This could for instance be a radio set which is tuned to a foreign-language radio station ([German] radio method), or "preserved sound", i.e. a prefabricated tape with various noises on it, e.g. a foreign language speaker or reversed speech ([German] conserve method), or the noise of rippling water from a fountain. Some experimenters also use a language similar noise made by a computer artificially. The sweep method represents an extension of radio method. The [German] Psychophon by Franz Seidl uses a combination of several recording methods at the same time.

If possible use an external microphone, not the built-in microphone of the cassette recorder, and place it in about 1 to 3 meters of distance to the acoustical source (radio, computer ...). Do not turn the background noise too loudly - just loud enough that it is being recorded well distinctly onto the tape.

Now start the recording. If you want, you can ask some questions, for instance to deceased persons known to you. However, you can also ask common questions without addressing someone specific. Some experimenters even don't say anything at all. After each question make pauses of about 15 seconds in order to leave room for the answers to be expected.

The entire recording should not last for more than 5 minutes because the subsequent evaluation is very time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration. After termination of the recording, wind the tape back to the beginning of the recording and start with the evaluation. Listen precisely to the places between your questions, repeat them if you believe to have understood something. A cassette recorder with a "Review" button for fast rewinding during playback will facilitate the repeated listening of short tape sections for the location of the voices very much. First attempt to listen very "uncritically" until you detect something. Then check "critically", syllable by syllable, if it's really what you meant to hear. Don't expect long dialogues lasting for minutes! Many voices are spoken faint or fast or show a strange rhythm or sound. In the majority of the cases, you will receive individual names or only a few words referring to your question or to a certain situation. Long sentences are an exception.

One tip: Take down every recording! Announce date, time and the names of the persons present at the beginning of every recording briefly. These information can be very helpful for later archiving purposes. Reset the counter of your cassette recorder to "000" at the beginning of a new cassette side. Write down the detected voices together with the counter number and the asked questions. Only this way it will be possible to discover the voices later again.

If possible, keep to a specific rhythm. For example, make your recordings every day or every week around the same time (however, you should be free and easy in this respect). On the one hand you will get more practice in evaluating EVP recordings, and on the other hand it is also likely that the invisible partners have to prepare themselves for the contact (see the [German] experience report by Roswitha Calnaido [P81, 4/95]).

However, the most important thing is: P a t i e n c e ! You can't force anything in the case of the EVP - finally it is not ONLY a technical phenomenon. Success of the contact depends on conditions which we partially still don't know at all. Not least, this way of communication is probably as new and amazing and no doubt connected with difficulties for our invisible partners as for us. Also if the same equipment is used under identical test conditions, it happens that once many voices are obtained and then again lasting for weeks nothing at all. The exact reasons for this are not known entirely by now, but it is presumed that the mental or emotional condition of the experimenter also has a part to play here. Possibly a kind of energy which allows the contact is made available through specific emotion states.

So do not give up immediately after a couple of unsuccessful tries! Some experimenters may try for weeks or even for months before they receive their first voices - respectively hear them! -, because it also requires some habituation especially if you haven't heard any paranormal voices before. Therefore, try to contact experienced tapers! It is really very helpful to join in a recording session first in order to get an impression of it. For thispurpose, VTF has regional contact addresses, where you can be advised.