National Paranormal Society NPS FOCUS June 2016 - Page 77

magnetic tapes accompanied many of the early paranormal investigators, including the famous Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reel-to-reel tapes were first, then cassette, and now many smaller versions, such as mini and micro cassettes. There are benefits and there are drawbacks to this method, however. In today’s market there are many options in the digital recording field. Here we will take a look at how conventional tape recordings compare.

The initial theory is that ghosts magnetically imprint communication onto tapes. However, conventional tape recorders also create a lot of “noise” as well. This noise is both electric and mechanical. Electrical noise can be produced by the motor using current, while mechanical is the noise produced by the recorders wheels, motor, and the actual tape moving. It has been said that some of the electrical noise is conducive to spirits coming through, as it creates somewhat of a “white noise" effect.

Tapes also have the benefit of being a hard piece of evidence, which stores well for many years under the right conditions. Tapes are also more difficult to manipulate, thus creating potentially “credible” evidence. There is also no compression of the files, as in many digital

Digital audio recording is the method of sounds picked up by microphone or similar device being converted into a stream of numbers representing the changes over time in air pressure for audio, and then recorded to a storage device. To play back a digital sound recording, the numbers are retrieved and converted back into their original analog waveforms so that they can be heard through a speaker.

Explanations for exactly how EVP’s are captured vary greatly, from humans imprinting their thoughts directs onto the digital medium through physcokinesis to radio interference as well as the tendency of the human brain to recognize patterns in random stimuli, sometimes referred to as auditory pareidolia. Auditory pareidolia is a common phenomenon in that the human brain incorrectly interprets random sounds with familiar sounds.

Audio EVPs can also be gathered using video equipment, although the microphones on most low end video cameras is not of the quality of many digital audio recorders. None the less, many quality EVPs have been captured as video is shot either while investigating, or the camera being left unattended.

recordings, and no adjustments for sensitivity and noise reduction. What you record is what you get. However, tapes can be comparatively expensive, and they are generally limited in recording time to 30-45 minutes.

A drawback of analog is that eventually you will probably want to create a digital file anyway. This means you will first have to get it into your computer, and have software to use it. Inputting analog is not difficult, but is time consuming. Generally, you must input via the headphone or output jack in real time. Thus a 45 minute tape will take 45 minutes to input. Once in the computer, software allows you to cut out potential evidence, and even clarify it via noise filters, etc. This however, can lead to manipulation, which can lead to false conclusions.

Although digital recording had been around since the 1930’s, it was not perfected for studio use until the 1960’s, and for home use until the 1970’s. Although it was used sporadically by various paranormal investigators and parapsychologists, it was not until the Ghost Hunters TV show that digital voice recording for mainstream investigating became commonplace.