EVP Question
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Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  EVP Question

There's been a bit a talk about EVP's on the forum of late. Some people claim to have recorded them and others doubt their very existence. I confess that I am not expert on this but there's been a couple of points that confuse me a little and I wonder if anyone could enlighten me.

On the one hand we've had Hairyfairy stating that 'Digital Voice recorders can only record noises/voices etc that we can hear', and the fact that if a digital voice recorder picked up a ghostly voice then you must have also heard it! Maybe not conciously but you HAVE heard it!

This may very well be the case.

On the other hand we have Andrea saying that EVP recorded on Digital Voice recorders 'can be anything from a voice/sound picked up on radio Frequency which has happend before'.

This is where my confusion arrises. If Digi recorders can pick up stray radio/phone signals and record them but are only supposed to be able to record noises/voices etc that we can hear, how does this work? Without a mobile phone or a radio tuned to a station, try as I might, I cannot seem to hear these transmissions with my naked ear?

Confused :?

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

at a guess I'd say its cos those radio/phone signals can be picked up by the human ear as they are meant to be heard, ie they are 'translatable' by our hearing system the same range of which the recording equipment operates in????????
Thats my guess going on what you've quoted there in that context and going on the premise that things can be picked up when they have 'happened before' as Andrea says
The obvious difference between the recorder and the human ear system is the 'mind'....the recorder just records whatever it recieves on the frequencies it is designed to pick up...the human ear will also pick up those frequencies which it is designed to pick up however the 'concious mind' will dictate to us what we are 'aware of'....and therefore 'hear' whereas the recorder doesnt have that filter.
Also the recorder will pick up things in a specific range same as we do however different people have different hearing ranges too for different reasons so maybe the 'ear' equipment itself with or without the added pain in the arse of the concious mind will not be as sensitive as a good recorder...???
Fuck me I talk some shite hehehehehehehe!!!Thats me just logically 'guessing' at this , no idea if correct or not lets see what Hairy and Andrea say seeing as they know what they are taking about and I'm just logically and methodically and basically blagging a guess!!!

Author:  pam-ngi [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

but putting a dictaphone in a room that has zero outside noise, and is left alone ,, from everyone ,,then surley something will be picked up if paranomal?? :wink:

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!
Warning: Science Alert!

I'm not an "expert" on sound .. but my understanding is :

The human ear is designed to pick up frequencies between 16 Hz to 16,384 Hz (0.016 kHz to 16.3 kHz) possible up to 20,000 Hz max .. as a comparison to a dog, for instance, its pretty shit .. a dog can hear 40 Hz to 60 000 Hz .. although we are more able to pick up low frequencies (although, only a tiny amount) .. the dog blows us away at upper levels.

There is of course a variation in what we can hear from person to person. As we get older, for instance, the range begins to shrink .. however, this shrinking starts to occur from about 8 years old .. not 80 .. :mrgreen:

The important base to understand is : What is sound? What we define as sound is a pressure wave moving through a medium (air, water or solid for instance) which causes the itty-bits in our ear to vibrate, convert into electrical nerve impulses and passed on to the processing department of the brain - primarily the frontal lobe - which then decodes the signals and creates the "sound" we hear. Once more, that "sound" is our own individual interpretation based on numerous factors.

Under normal circumstance - despite the range of hearing mentioned above - all sound isn't equal. Although the signal comes in we don't consciously register all sound. We are able to focus our attention on particular sounds and dimish all others. This is akin to having a conversation in a busy room with somebody and being able to hear them clearly. If all sound was "equal" in our conscious mind - the ambient sounds in the room would make it difficult to hear them (like in a REALLY loud room with REALLY loud music playing). However, when someone on the other side of the room says your name - your focus can instantly switch to the source of your name and you can hear that conversation more clearly and not hear the person you'd been having a conversation with previously (distraction).

Note : Frequency Range does not mean "loudness" .. You can have a loud low frequency sound and a quiet high frequency sound. This is also affected by the distance from the source.

Once more - like with visual signals - we edit out of our conscious awareness those things we don't deem important. When we hear our name - we believe its important - so our focus switches to it and we can consciously hear whats being said. All the signals go in - but we're not consciously aware of it all. Its why you don't hear the ticking clock in your room.

So how then does a digital recorder work? First of all - its not an ear. It is our attempt to mimic an ear. Secondly, it doesn't have an edit department in its "brain" and records and deems all signals it receives, equally. Although, most digital recorders like to focus on a particular range (the frequency range of a normal conversation ie, 300-3400 Hz ) to produce the highest quality during playback - yet they will still pick up on sounds outside this frequency, but the quality will be reduced depending on how far out of this range the sound is. Thirdly, a microphone (which is needed for a Digital Recorder) can amplify sound .. ie, makes it louder.

A digital recorder attempts to record sound in the same frequency range of the ear. It stores this sound as a series of 1s and 0s (binary) and then converts these 1s and 0s, during playback, into an analogue signal.

The quality of the sound is determined by its sample rate (bitrate comes into it, but not as much). Sample rate is the amount of samples from the continuous signal it records, per second. A normal CD is recorded at 44.1 HZ .. or 44,100 samples per second. It does this at such a high frequency to cut out sound entropy (noise) in the recording and to fool the ear into thinking its got a perfect recording.

This is similar to a TV. A normal movie is recorded at 24 frames per second (its "sample rate") .. yet you only need to display it at approximately 15 frames per second to fool the eye into believing were seeing a continuous motion on the TV.

Its impossible for a digital recorder to record a radio transmission .. a radio transmission is an electro-magnetic signal (ie, a radio wave) which is at a frequency way higher than what we can hear and for us to be able to "hear" the signal, we need a radio wave receiver to convert it into something we can hear. Digital Recorders don't have radio wave receivers and so can not record "voices" from a radio signal - as said, we'd hear the radio signal ourselves if it was picked up on a digital recorder .. that would severely reduce the sales of radios if we could.

So to summarise ...

Human Hearing falls in the range of 16 HZ and 16000 HZ (20000 absolute max) but varies from person to person.

"Sound" exists outside this frequency as can be demonstrated by dogs which can "hear" a wider ranfe of frequencies.

This range shortens as we get older (from 8 years old onwards)

Volume is determined in decibels and can be affected by closeness to the source

Our brain "edits" the information we receive from our senses and prioritises what gets passed to our conscious awareness. This means "non-important" sounds will either be heard really quietly - or - at not at all in some cases.

A digital recorder attempts to mimic an ear

A digital recorder amplifies sound both during recording and playback

A digital recorder records all sounds equally and doesn't favour one sound over another (except closeness to the mic which will obviosuly be louder) - yet they focus for highest quality in the normal conversational range ( 300-3400 Hz )

A digital recorder is NOT a radio receiver and can't record radio transmissions as "sound". Neither can your ear.


Draw from that what you want ..

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Well you learn something every day. That's helped understand things a lot better. To be honest Hairyfairy's post about digital recorders did make sense to me, it's just when it was combined with talk about radio transmissions on other posts that things didn't add up.

Author:  pam-ngi [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

hey jay you could be a doc like me ,,,,hehehehe,, no all about hearing and the frontal lobe,, and you quite right our hearing does go down hill after the age of puberty 10plus, not 8, sorry for that,,, but you no us docs suckers for info :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

I started puberty at 8 Pam, was shaving at 9 and "firing one off" at 10 .. so 8 is the number .. :mrgreen:

Author:  pam-ngi [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

eye in your books ,, whats firing off?? :shock:

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

so barring the radiowaves bit my guess was correct hehehehehe I aint just a sexy beast then!!!!

Author:  pam-ngi [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

you are the sexy beast claire hehehehehehehehe , :mrgreen:

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

give the lady some mocha fudge :wink:

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

damn fuckin right hehehehehe!!!

Author:  pam-ngi [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

hehehhehehehehehehehe mark ,, you buying then we both want some :mrgreen:

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

So .. I'll ask the question :

Where does that leave you with EVPs .. "Ghostly" voices or not?

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Well I still think that It is possible to record a ghostly voice on an digital recorder but it would also have to be audible to the human ear as well. Still if 'ghosts' are real and want to speak in to a voice recorder (no idea why they would, but hey), then I don't see why you couldn't record evp.

I'm not sure about recording 'white noise' and picking things out that sound like voices though. Come to think of it, that's probably where Andrea got the radio transmissions thing from.

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

EVP's are just vibrations that are recieved and tranlated using binary to become the sounds we 'hear' when played back. The only sounds that they can pick up on are within the frequencies which u state above which they are designed to pick up on.
Yet again once peoplehave ruled out as much as they think they can it comes back to the old question of 'fuck knows' dunnit!!!
Yet again open to the interpretation of the persons listening to it same old same old hence why I prefer to use my digivoicerecorder things for useful reasons like taking notes but thats just me, I like to use one to stop and start mumble stuff into and leave on going continuously to help me when doing the report for anything I miss but I dont use them for the purpose if getting voices of the dead on them.

Not saying its not a canny thing to do, its no problem leaving a digirecorder on and a useful thing to do for all kinds or reasons and seeing as people do seem to hear 'ghostly groans and breaths and noises and voices then it would seem a natural thing to try and record these the same way that apparitions etc are recorded by the cameras and videos!

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

This is just "possibility" there is no "evidence" ..

The auditory range is 16 hz to 20000 hz max .. will people, in everyday life, hear sounds at this the extreme ranges?


Those ranges are the MAX possible. Potentially, a human being can run 100 meters in 9.65 seconds .. can you? Can I?

Potentially, a human being who would normally struggle to pick up a box of shopping can lift a car off a trapped kid who's being squashed. Go outside pick up a car now. Oh .. can't.

What were talking about with those ranges (and others) - is the maximum potential stored within us.

Having our bodies fully primed to perform at the absolute extreme ranges constantly is a complete waste of energy. When the most excitement most of us come across daily is having a poo - there is little need to have our bodies primed with the strength of Hercules, the intelligence of Einstein, the speed of Carl Lewis and the senses of a dog sniffing out a shag.

We don't. So what remains outside of "normal" human daily experience is just inherent potential. We have access to it in times of need .. but ordinarilly, we don't have to .. the energy of a sloth is all thats needed .. so day to day we perform at a fraction of what we are.

So its highly likely that the lower and higher frequencies are outside of our normal daily / nightly hearing range. Blind people, for instance, develop a higher degree of hearing. They don't go outside those ranges mentioned above - they just go outside the "normal" ranges sighted people need.

We even talk about Heightened Senses when we're in the dark. Again, we're not turning into Superman - we're still within the max ranges mentioned above - we're just going outside of the mini-range we normally need.

I don't know what the number is .. it will vary for everyone anyway .. but if normal conversation is in the 300-3400 hz range - our normal daily range won't be much more outside of that. Potentially, we might be able to go to 20000 hz in extreme circumstances, but we don't need to so our body will adapt to the conditions.

Now this could be an actual physical restraint thats kicking in .. or part of the brains editting of the signals. Anything over a certain frequency isn't deemed important (its not dangerous, for example) so - dull it out.

So its entirely possible that a "voice" could be picked up by a digital recorder and recorded without us actually hearing it at the time. if its at the upper reaches of whats possible to a human - and we're not "switched" on to that level because we don't deem it important to be switched on at that level. Some people tho, do hear the voices at the time - I've had a couple of instances in my investigations where I've hear a voice, a laugh, breathing etc etc Maybe I was just switched on and primed then more than other times.

.. But, the digital recorders most people use focus on a frequency range of 300-3400 for highest quality which is in the realms of normal conversation. They can still pick up on sounds OUTSIDE of this range but the quality will diminish ..

.. ever wondered why EVPs are crackly and hard to make out ............??

The issue tho - is we assume (like science demands and ignores the human factor) that everyone is primed to their maximum .. so if its recorded on EVP we MUST have been able to hear it ..

Again .. go outside and pick up a car .. or run 100m in 9.65 seconds .. we're all primed for maximum aren't we?

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

I'm liking the theory.

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Its not theory .. its possibility .. Science deals with FACT and isn't interested in possibility .. hence why we get no where .. :mrgreen:

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Ok Mr. Pedantic, 'Possibility'.
(ducks for cover as the Science guys march over the hill :shock: )

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Hhaha .. possibility .. theory .. I'm not fussed really .. :mrgreen:

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

to be honest I dont think thats the issue Jay...its obvious that there are always sounds which we can pick up but not hear / not be aware of either because of a hearing problem on our part or through filtering by the concious mind etc which are picked up on voice recorders, I recently heard a classic example of this in Yorkshire where a ghostly voice is clearly heard in a locked off room saying a relevant name but there is a good explanation for this although some people involved prefer thier interpretation that it is proof of a ghostly voice.

Like I said somewhere on here yesterday I think it was, just because it can be recorded it and therefore within our 'hearing ability' it doesnt say anything more other than the frequency of the thing!It dont say what caused the noise....the clue is in the name of the equipment used - sound RECORDER not INTERPRETER

Seems again to be another example of people using equipment in the correct way but without fully understanding how it works and therefore how to utelise it in ghosthunting in the most relevant way as oppose to it being another case of people using it and getting excited over results which can be explained to a degree in almost all cases I've come across and the ones that cant be then its a case of it could be anything and ghost included in that but not the immediate conclusion as is all too often made...theres a word and it mamzes me I dont see it more in ghosthunting regarding investigations, i've harped on bout it before and will do again now as it seems a relelvant time to but its INCONCLUSIVE. For obvious reasons!
Annoys the shit out of me that once a varying degreee depending on those involved of options have been 'ruled out' correctly or not (as the unaware mumbling can show) than the conclusion people therefore jump to is that its a fuckin ghost.

Getting back though, one thing people are not aware of even though they swear they will be is the amount of noise they actually make themselves and the little sights and even whisphered almost inperceptable but still made even if we're not aware of them by all of us!

Yep absolutely agree too about the heightened senses when in the dark and 'listening' but also people listening for 'ghosts' and ghostly breaths and other ghostly noises will be likely to hear normal sounds and interpret them as ghostly voices, sighs breaths etcetcetc so that works both ways.

Author:  Jay [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

I'm not saying that if a voice is caught on a recorder thats it automatically means it a ghost .. I'm just theorising (there you go Mark!) of how things can be recorded that we don't hear at the time when we think we would. Just showing how this belief that if its recorded on digital recorder then we must have beemn able to hear it with it being in the physical range of frequencies we can pick up. Not necessarilly.

It could be a ghost, someone cocking about, a voice from outside on the street or the hum from the coke machine. None of those can be ruled out and barely none of them can be pointed to as the cause - you can't recheck it on another visit and repeat it as an experiment because the conditions won't be the same (maybe, barring the coke machine). As such - inconclusive or conclusive to some - won't ever be accepted as evidence.

Author:  doktor_phibes [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

Theorising is good Jay. I like theorising and playing devils advocate, but I'm always surprised at how many times that people think you're being all 'woo' when you do.

I'd go along with what you've said Jay (even though there is no evidence).

So after what I have leaned about digital recorders today, my own conclusions are that unless you are purposely recording a radio signal, a digi recorder cannot pick up transmissions on its own, so any noises/voices you do get are coming from another source that falls into the hearing parameters of a human being. I would also go along with the fact that it is possible to record something that we did not hear at the time (even though technically it is still in our hearing range).

Well that's where I stand at the moment until something convinces me otherwise.

Author:  pollen101 [ Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EVP Question

agreed Jay but I dont get why you seem to think that people are saying that if its recorded by the recorder we can absolutely definately hear it with our own 'ears' at the time......whos said that and when???
I think what people are saying is that if its recorded on the recorder then our hearing system will also be able to pick it up whether we can conciously hear it or not due to dickie hearing on our part or misdirection of our 'awareness'......plenty of ways of demonstrating how loud audible noises can happen yet if we are focused on other things we wont hear them even when they are under our noses....a recent thing I did not so long back was a classic example of that hehehe!!!
Or have I missed something?
Who has said that we MUST be able to conciously HEAR everything picked up on the recorders?

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