Friday, June 6, 2008

Rookie Mistakes

A post by Denise and Andy
Finally, the audio is being digitized for review from our April 26th Ghost Hunt of Zoar, Ohio. Yes, I realize that it's been several weeks since the event, but life gets in the way.

As we are sitting here listening to the audio that we captured on our digital audio recorder, one thing is clear. We're rookies. Sure, we've watched Ghost Hunters on Wednesday nights and may think in the back of our mind that, "this stuff is easy!" But let me tell you, it's tough. Here's some examples of things not to do.

1. First, digital recorders are great at one thing. Picking up sounds. All kinds of sounds. Even when you think you are being quiet in one area that you are investigating, sounds from another room come through almost as good as if you were standing next to the recorder. Also, when speaking with others in your group, speak in a normal voice, don't whisper. Whispers can be mistaken for EVP's. That is of course if you are asking questions in hope of a response. And if you are doing the interview process, put the recorder on a surface away from you and don't touch it. The slightest sounds from shuffling it around get picked up VERY easily.

2. As for video, if you think you are picking something up on another device like an EMF meter or thermometer, point the video camera at it! Watch the "Yes" video to see what I mean. The EMF meter was going off and I had the camera pointed somewhere else. Duh!

3. Wear soft shoes, like sneakers. Going over our audio is driving us crazy with all the clomping around we're doing.

4. If someone makes a noise, like bumps against something, drops something, any loud noise, document it on audio. There are many sounds like this when we're asking for signs, and now we have no way of knowing if it was one of us. For instance, say into your recorder, "That was Dewey tripping over his own feet." Sounds simple, but helps immensely.

5. Watch your breathing. I hear myself breathing like a marathon runner. Honestly, it's VERY sensitive.

6. When capturing the audio to a computer, remember to adjust your levels! The first time through the computer, the mic input in windows was turned all the way up and the volume on the digital recorder was up all the way too. So when listening back to the recording, EVERYTHING was distorted to the point that it was barely understandable! As I monitor the recording levels on the capture now, it appears to be within appropriate levels and not spiking in the red.

Okay, so that's it for now. Our advice is just practice. Go with the flow. Trial and error. That's why it's a hobby for us and not a Wednesday night hit television show for us. Not yet, at least.

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