David S. Nelson
You can use any kind of recorder for capturing electronic voice phenomena (EVP). EVPs have been even captured on phone message machines. It does not matter if your EVP is caught on a digital or a tape recorder. Some people prefer one or the other according to their own personal preferences.
Some paranormal investigators say that the first generation digital recorders made noises that were sometimes mistaken for EVPs. The following generations of digital recorders do not have this problem. You can use whatever recorder you have although there are some disadvantages to using recorders with a built in microphone. A built in microphone may pick up noise from the recording machine itself.
Another consideration about recording equipment is to choose a recorder with a counter so that if you do find an EVP on your recording, the counter will make it easier to locate the EVP on the recording. If you have a recorder with a built in microphone, use its jack for a corded microphone. Get a microphone with a three-foot cord so any recording does not pick up any noise from the recorder.
Before you do an actual recording for EVPs, do a two-minute test with your recorder. Set your volume on its highest setting and then record the silence. Listen to your recording for any machine noise or other interference. If you get too much sound from the recorder, you should switch to another machine. Record at the same speed as your tape if you have that option.
When you are ready to do the recording for EVPs, set the recorder down on a level surface. Do not set the recorder near windows because sound travels easily through glass. Do not set the recorder near any doors, heaters, vents or air conditioners or power lines as these can all cause unwanted noise.
Always use new tapes and keep extra batteries handy. Record with the volume at its highest setting. Keep your hands away from the recorder and avoid brushing against the recorder. When you talk, speak in your regular voice because some ghosts speak in a whispered tone. Stay still during recordings as footsteps can obscure any other recorded sounds.
If you are doing an outside recording, choose a calm day without any wind. Record the sounds of yourself moving around so you know what it sounds like. Sound can travel farther than you think.
You will have to decide on how long you will be recording. Most of your recording will be silence. It depends on how much patience you have to carefully listen to a silent tape. Some paranormal investigators leave the recorder on for the entire length of the tape and others may record for only a few minutes.
Depending on your EVP recording style, you may just leave the recorder on while you leave the area or you may stay near the recorder. You could do an interview type of recording. Some investigators say that by talking to the spirits beforehand, you may be able to capture EVPs in only minutes. If you try to interview any nearby ghosts, have some questions ready. Do not ask questions that will upset the ghosts. Ask only respectful questions that will not make the spirit angry.
When you are done recording, you will have to listen to your recording for any captured EVP. Wearing headphones will make it easier. Some paranormal investigators advise listening to the recording at a low volume. This is because if you do capture an EVP, you could get actually frightened if the volume is too loud. As you listen, notice the background noise so that you will be able to recognize any unexplained voices on top of the background noise. You may only get one or two words. You may recognize an emotional human sound but be unable to tell what is actually being said.
You just might get lucky and get a clear EVP your first time. If not, do not get discouraged. Keep trying and you are bound get an EVP surprise.