It may seem irritating and time consuming - but I find that it is vitally important to get down on paper/on screen, EVERYTHING that you do.
Here I will guide you through my own process so that should you wish to, you can deviate and develop your own methods to suit your own investigative style & interests.
Lost Voices EVP Cataloguing Process
Of course you want to work out your own process when it comes to cataloguing your EVP captures, but just for reference I’ll outline my method as it’s worked very well for me so far. Apart that is, from when I forgot to back-up and the computer crashed… I lost March to November 2020, and it actually hurts to think about all of those captures that have now slipped through my fingers. I still have the original notes but that’s it.
So, BACK UP EVERY DAY!
Imagine how easy it would be to within moments, have all the information about a certain recording at your fingertips? With this method you can do just that. I’ll run through the initial process.
When you initially listen to your main long files and think you have found an EVP, write down on paper:
- The main file number
- Where the recording was made, and be specific.
- What’s said?
- What time it occurred
- Individual file name
- Notes surrounding circumstances. Were birds singing, were you asking questions, is anyone else on site, did your tummy rumble?! Everything counts.
If you’re using Audacity, you save the indivudial EVP by highlighting it and saving to its own file/folder.
Once you have listened to your entire haul, create a simple spreadsheet. I use the FREE functional and easy to navigate suite, LibreOffice – it’s better than Microsoft Word/Excel etc, and as already mentioned, it’s free to download!
Enter all the above information into the columns and rows, and save. Every time you investigate, on your return always update your spreadsheet. That way if you want to pull up say, the man yelling “I need a sandwich!” you just search “sandwich” and up it will come. Then you can find the clip by its file name in your saved EVP section on the computer (I give them their own folders in Music by date).
I used to keep a physical print-out too, but once they list got into the thousands I was running out of ink. I’d suggest maybe a bi-yearly print-out, but if you have ink to spare and are inundated with paper, go for it. I’d love to but I’d be printing a new version after every investigation, and the forests of the world are in a heavy enough decline as it is! It looks pretty impressive once it’s presented in a binder, or taped together in a roll though.