EVP is probably one of the easiest, cheapest and common techniques used by investigators all over the world. For a brief introduction to EVP, see my article EVP- What does it mean and how do I capture one?. Following on from that and assuming you now know the basics of EVP, let's talk about burst sessions.
A burst session is a quick recording. Instead of having a recorder rolling for your entire investigation (which can last hours), it goes for only 1-2 minutes. Once the session is complete, you immediately review your audio on a speaker or with headphones to see if you have captured an EVP. You continue this during the night so your files are no bigger than 1-2 minutes and they are reviewed then and there on the spot.
For starters, it is a much more time-effective way of reviewing your evidence. If you do an overnight investigation and have several recorders running which have each recorded say 6 hours of audio, you potentially have dozens of hours of audio to sit and review. By doing a burst session, you are being much more productive and you can listen on the spot. If you pick up something you can take note of it and review it closer at home later, but it allows you to throw out any audio where you haven't caught anything (which is a lot of audio). It also means you can be more proactive with your investigation. If you get a response to your question, you know then and there and you can adjust your questions/investigating accordingly. If you wait until you get home, you won't be able to do anything about the answer until next time you are investigating the location - if you are even able to get back there.
They don't have to be, but it just makes it easier to review. If you do by chance find something worth pursuing, some of the cheaper recorders do not allow you to rewind so you would have to listen to the whole file again. It also means you aren't wasting time sitting in your investigation listening to audio for 1/2 an hour. You are using your time a lot more productively.
I personally am not a huge fan of modern technology these days - mainly due to the false positives that it can give us so I am focusing a lot more on EVP work. While magnetic tape on the old tape recorders is ideal, this is hard to find and expensive so most of us use digital recorders. There is a lot you can do with EVP but an important point to remember is that this is also not foolproof. Before doing EVP work, it is important to inform yourself on audio pareidolia. Our brain can cause us to hear things that are not really there in the same way we can see faces in clouds. This is the auditory version. It is worth noting that I feel during an EVP burst session, you are possibly more influenced and more likely to experience Audio Pareidolia during an EVP burst session. Why? I know how easy is it to get caught up in things and in the moment. If things are happening around you, potentially you may be convinced that you are likely to capture an EVP. A simple sound could easily be misinterpreted due to excitement. When you are reviewing later at home, you are more level headed and have had a chance to reflect on the night so you are not as inclined to get caught up in the moment. A lot of people also are doing the review on a speaker or sometimes from the speaker of the recorder. The quality is not as good as reviewing at home with noise-canceling headphones so what you think may sound like an EVP may be nothing at all - mainly due to the quality. This is where my own personal rule comes in. Unless it is a Class A EVP and everyone with you is unanimous in the decision, I throw it away, that is just me. Once you have been investigating for a while, you will know the difference between the good EVPs and the average ones not worth pursuing and you will have your own processes. I feel a simple sound or a whisper is really not helpful to you. Sure you might not be able to explain it but it still isn't really getting you anywhere or advancing your investigation any further. You need a full clear word or sentence. That is what we are looking for. If you don't have that and it isn't clear, don't waste your precious investigating time trying to decipher it. You may only have a certain amount of time at the location, and you don't want to waste a chunk of your time on a noise no one can work out. Trust me, if a Class A EVP is caught, you will hear it on your recorder without headphones and without needing to enhance. It doesn't happen all the time, but, it happens.
When I do an EVP burst session, I like the questions to be relevant. I am investigating for a reason and I don't want to ask the same old questions. I like to find out if a certain person I am looking for is around. If there is a certain person I am trying to talk to, I try to ask questions specific to them. I also like to throw in some control questions for my own satisfaction and a lot of people do this. We all have a question that we know the answer to and the spirit world knows the answer to and we use it as a control. A lot of people use their name because it is the easiest one. If this is the only time you are investigating this location, don't waste your time with the usual questions that you know the answer to. Try to make contact and make your conversation worthwhile. Also and this is a big one if you are in a place where the people may have spoken a language other than English, perhaps try talking in their native language. It astounds me that people somehow think that when you pass away a spirit automatically learns English. I will cover this in a later post, but my point is to think of it as a quick interview and make it worthwhile. You can get a lot of information in those 2 minutes.
Burst sessions are quick, easy, and cheap and once you go burst - you don't go back I assure you. This isn't to say you can't also do long recordings to review later because absolutely you can still do that, the burst just allows you to use your investigating time more productively and I have found I get a lot more answers and information I can use there and then on the spot.
Good luck and I want to hear your thoughts on burst sessions. Do you find them helpful? What is your control question (I always love hearing people's answers).
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