Don’t Fool Yourself
When it comes time to review all of the evidence you have collected there are many software products out there to help you with that long and daunting task. It seems that everyone has their favorite one to use, but when you finally get that new and improved program you need to be careful not to accidently fool yourself into thinking you just captured the best evidence ever.
Lately Maine Ghost Hunters has been exploring different aspects of paranormal fraud. Not all fraud is done purposely, but inexperience with equipment or software could lead someone to release a piece of evidence that was nothing more than ordinary events that happened in the environment being investigated. I want to use this blog to talk about some of the software that is used help us retrieve our paranormal experiences.
When you finally get that new software you have been wanting, make sure you take the time to learn how it works before you use it to review any newly acquired evidence. I like to start with normal every day recordings of audio or video, depending on the software, and manipulate it every way possible. Doing this helps me learn the program and also shows me how these sounds can be manipulated into something that would “seem” to be paranormal. Knowing how I created this illusion will help me from accidently doing the same thing with real evidence. This will also teach me how to spot evidence that might have been accidently or purposely altered to the point of being mistaken as paranormal. Your best evidence will often require little to no editing.
Audio files are really delicate and need special care when running them through the software of your choice. Always work with a copy of the original file just in case you make a mistake. Some programs will only let you undo a few actions, and when you have to use that great little feature of “undo” you could be losing little bits of data every time you press it. Noise reduction can sometimes add sounds to a file that may be mistaken for voices. If you have heard an audio file that sounds like it has digital music in the background; that is an example of too much noise reduction. I personally like to use band pass or band stop filters to help eliminate background noise. I also try not to amplify too much as this can produce digital sounds that can be mistaken for EVP’s
When you edit your clips be sure to write down every action you make in the order your make them. You may want to take the same clip and perform the same actions in a different order to get a totally different outcome. You then need to save your file, and depending on your program, there are several different formats to use. Be aware that some formats will remove some of the data to “compress” or make the file more manageable. Try and keep your evidence as true as possible to the original file.
MGH John B