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EVP recorder buying guide: let’s catch some ghost communications!

It doesn’t take expensive equipment to record EVPs.  Here are a few examples of different types of EVP recorders, but the one you chose it will come down to your personal preference.  There is also lots of other equipment that can be used, but these are a few of the most popular.

EVP recorder types

  • Cassette Recorders (aka Analog Recorders): As the name says, this one uses cassette tapes on which to record. There are 2 most popular types of cassette EVP recorders: the ones that use regular size tape cassettes and the ones that use micro cassette tapes. Keep in mind that, although cassette recorders are generally cheaper than digital recorders, they require an external microphone. This is because the sound of the wheels in the machine can add unwanted sound.  You also have to remember to buy lots of tapes. You should only use brand new cassette tapes and never use one again after you have already recorded on it!  I suggest opening the cassette tape you plan on using after you have gotten to your recording destination.  That way, you will know that it is an unused cassette and if anyone is watching you, they will know that there are no pre-recorded messages on the tape you use for your EVP recording.
  • Digital Recorders:  This has become the most popular types of EVP recorder.  They do not require cassettes or an external Mic.  Once big advantage that digital recorders have over cassette recorders is that they can record up to hundreds of hours of time, even on the smallest recorder. However, they do require a computer to download and save your recordings. You can also find digital EVP recorders that are smaller and lighter than microcassette recorders. And since there are no moving cassette wheels, you don’t need an external microphone. And finding specific parts of your EVP sound file are alot easier – no more need to rewind or fast-forward!  The downside with digital EVP recorders is that they are oftentimes more expensive than cassette recorders.
  • Computer Recordings:  This type of recording is done completely on your computer. You need a microphone for your computer and some software on your computer that you can record.  All you do is record on the software and listen back to see if you got any messages from spirits!
The TAPS team on a ghost hunt with an EVP recorder
The TAPS team on a ghost hunt with an EVP recorder

Companion products for your EVP recorder

This is a list of products that, partnered with your digital EVP recorder, will improve the quality of your EVP sessions.

  • Spirit Box: an EVP recorder with a Spirit Box are like fries with ketchup: they go together perfectly!  With the Spirit Box, you provide the ghosts with a tool to create the EVP, which you then capture with the EVP recorder.  Two Spirit boxes we recommend are the SB7 Spirit Box and the SB11 Spirit Box.
  • External Microphone:  This is required if you are using a cassette tape recorder to cut out some of the mechanical noise the recorder makes.
  • Headphones:  These are required to hear the Class B or Class C EVPs.  I suggest getting the ones that cover the whole ear because they seem to keep more external sounds out while listening to your recordings.
  • Computer:  I suggest that you use a computer when analyzing what you caught with your EVP recorder.  It makes it possible to edit the lower quality EVPs and enhance them.
  • USB cable or Audio cable:  These cables are used to connect your EVP recorder to your computer.  They are very important and rather easy to use.
  • Software:  If you use a digital recorder it is important to get software to download your EVPs onto your computer.  It is also a good idea to get some sort of editing software to enhance the softer EVPs.
  • Voice Denoiser.  You can also use a Voice Denoiser to remove ambient sounds from your EVP recorder files.
  • Batteries:  These are very important!!!!!  You should always have extra batteries around while recording.  Spirits sometimes drain brand new batteries in seconds, so it is always good to have extras around because this would be a perfect time for recording!
  • Journal:  It is a good idea to keep a journal, not only while recording but also while editing. When recording, you can keep a log on the conditions of the area and any background noises that occur so as not to get confused and mistake them for EVPs on playback.  While editing, it is good to mark in the journal any noises or voices you hear during playback and note their time on the recording, how long the noise lasts, and what you believe the noise or voice is.  Then you can flip through the journal anytime and find the info you are looking for.

Are there any items missing from the list above that you like to use with your EVP recorder?  If so, share this info in the Comments section below.

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What is an EVP?

Electronic Voice Phenomenon or Etheric Voice Phenomenon (EVP) is the recording of the voices of the dead through a device such as a cassette recorder or a digital recorders. However, people have also received EVP messages through phone and or answering machines! Sometimes white noise and static is provided for the the dead to manipulate and ‘speak’. Typically, these communications are not heard until the recording is played back.

Sarah Estep, founder of the AA-EVP has developed a three-level classification system for these recordings that takes into account the quality of the recording:

  • CLASS A: A Class A EVP is one that everyone can easily hear and agree upon. Headphones are not needed to decipher these communications as they are very clear and loud.
  • CLASS B: Class B is almost as good as a Class A EVP. You can hear all of the words but a few of them may be warped or inaudible.  This is the most common type caught.
  • CLASS C: This type is faint and hardest to hear. You likely need headphones to hear these EVPs. It may sound like a whisper and the words are difficult to make out. Sometimes the listeners disagree at first about what the words or phrases actually are saying.

History of EVP recordings

Thomas Alva Edison believed that an electronic device could be built to  communicate with people who had crossed over. He believed that if spirits could be captured on film, why not electronically. Edison announced in the October 1920 issue of Scientific American that he was working on such a device, but it was never completed. Edison  died in 1931 leaving behind no machine or blueprints.

evp recorder Edison quote

In the 1950’s, while recording a Gregorian chant on a magneto phone, Father Emetti (Catholic priest, scientist, physicist and philosopher), captured a voice responding to a question that he asked of his dead father. He was able to repeat this phenomena. The voice recorded even used a nickname only his father called him.  Father Emetti was disturbed by this, he would then seeked counsel of Pope Pius XII in Rome. The Pope assured him he had no reason to worry if the phenomena was in fact real. In 1965 Konstantin Raudive a professor of psychology. Began documenting words recorded on audiotapes. Between 1965 and 1974; he, with the help from a physicist and an electronics expert, made over 100,000 audiotapes under strict conditions. He published their findings in a book called “Breakthrough.”

From the 1970s until present day, Marcello Baci of Italy has been conducting Instrumental Trans-communication Voice (ITC) research in his laboratory. His ITC experiments, he uses Direct Radio Voice Method (DRV). This method obtains abnormal communications directly through the speakers of radios. These voices seem to acknowledge listeners by name, also respond to questions, and at times providing important information.

Precautions when recording an EVP

Recording EVPs is not for everyone.  Keep these precautions in mind when tryint to capture an EVP

  • It is very important to have a positive attitude when recording. Remember, positive will attract positive.
  • Always protect yourself when recording. Imagine that you are surrounded by for example: a bubble, spiral, etc whatever you feel most comfortable with. Make sure your intent is good.
  • You should say a power of protection, aloud, before you start recording. Here is an example “I surround myself with the white light of protection, only the highest spirits with good intent may contact or enter my aura.”
  • Do not accept any unfriendly, vulgar or threatening EVP. If you receive a negative EVP, delete this message and tell them, aloud, that you will not tolerate messages of this kind. Tell them that you will only speak with spirits who have good intent.
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SB11 Spirit Box: must-have ghost hunting equipment

SB11 Spirit Box

A few years ago, DAS Distribution unveiled the SB7 Spirit Box, a compact Spirit Box designed to help non-physical entities communicate through electronic devices with people like us. The SB7 is quite possibly the best-know if not most popular spirit box used by ghost hunters and paranormal enthusists to generate EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena).

The SB7 Spirit Box is manufactured by Pro-Measure, a division of DAS Distribution. If you’re not familiar with them, DAS Distribution is a much-respected company founded by Gary Galk that has been a pioneer in the field of ghost hunting equipment since 2006. Several years later, we’re here, welcoming the next generation SB into the world, the SB11 Spirit Box.

And, wow, is it a beauty!

The SB11 Spirit Box ITC Device is said to be the most advanced “Spirit Box” on the market. Released during Fall of 2014 this premium ghost hunting device is full of a lot of appealing features.

So how does it measure up?  Let’s find out…

SB11 Spirit Box has advanced sweep

The SB11 Spirit Box comes with two internal radio channels, which each work independently.  You can either sweep a single channel, or sweep both simultaneously. Sweeping both does eat up a bit more battery life, but creates more opportunity for the spirit box to produce EVPs.

You can scan either AM or FM frequency band, scanning either forwards or backwards. You can also select you sweep rate.  The SB11 Spirit Box offers a 50-350ms sweep rate of 50ms to 350ms for AM and 50 thru 300 for FM. This is an improvement over the SB7 Spirit Box, which began at 76 MHz.

SB11 Spirit Box audio quality

The SB11 Spirit Box comes with two internal speakers that deliver higher quality audio than what we’ve heard from other spirit boxes.  The speakers can also be turned up loud, which makes it much easier to hear whispered words, names or sentences or other messages.  An external set of speakers is not needed as with other spirit boxes. However, you may still want to get the Altec Lansing Orbit external speakers, which are a bit better and are commonly used by ghost hunters.

Another great device feature is the mute button, which is found on the side of the SB11 Spirit Box. This mute button lets you momentarily shut off the sound while you’re asking a question.

SB11 Spirit Box’s red LED flashlight is great for night-time use

While spirit boxes are sometimes used during daylight hours, the reality is that they’re most often used at night. With this in mind, the SB11 Spirit Box was designed to also house a handy high intensity red LED flashlight.  The red LED light can reach up to 50 feet in the dark and won’t decrease your night vision as much as other wavelengths of light.  Not to mention that, by having the flashlight built into the SB11 Spirit Box, you have one less piece of equipment to take with you on your ghost hunt expedition.

SB11 Spirit Box’s temperature monitor helps validate a ghost event

The SB11 Spirit Box comes with an ambient temperature meter that detects hot and cold spots of +5/-5 degrees, which are oftentimes associated with spiritual energy. The Ambient Temperature Meter detects and uses red and blue LED lights and ascending or descending tones to indicate changes to colder or warmer temperature. This is great for confirming a temperature change when a suspected ghost voice is picked up. Note that the red LED flashlight can’t be used simultaneously with the temperature monitor.

SB11 Spirit Box does a ‘stand-up job’

Wait, there’s more! The SB11 Spirit Box also comes with a very helpful built-in tilt stand so that you can prop up your device during an EVP session.

Power source for the SB11 Spirit Box

This device uses 9V batteries. How long the battery lasts depends on a variety of factors such as if you’re running both radio channels at the same time and, of course, if some nearby spirit decides to drain the battery itself.

SB11 Spirit Box Sturdiness

The SB11 Spirit Box’s hard casing is very sturdy and it would take a lot to damage it. So if you’re startled by a spirit and fling the device out of your hand, don’t worry, it should easily survive the drop to the floor!

SB11 Spirit Box Pricing and Availability

The SB11 Spirit Box will available in black, black and black (a little joke there).  The price is under $160.  Meanwhile, the SB7 Spirit Box, which has fewer features, is available for under $75.

SB11 Spirit Box Tips

Make sure you always record with video or/and a voice recorder when you use the SB11 Spirit Box so that you can go back and analyze the suspected spirit voice further. When new features are developed, you can purchase an upgrade to the SB11 Spirit Box without having to buy a new device. And remember to pack extra batteries!