- It’s a good idea to record a short segment and play it back to make sure the unit is working as it should.
- On an investigation it’s better to put the unit down versus carrying it around. Any clothing or fingers rubbing across the speaker will cause noise and/or distortion on the recorder.
- If you’re using an audio recorder outside on a windy day, use a windscreen if one is provided, and know that depending on the amount of wind the audio will likely be un-useable. Mics and wind don’t mix well.
- Every time you move rooms or locations get in the habit of tagging the audio as to time, location and team members present.
- Tag any sounds, by making a verbal comment, that might be mistaken for an unexplained audio.
Seaford Jones investigation 9.9.17
Jones investigation kitchen Raw audio 9.9.17
Jones investigation master bedroom Raw audio 9.9.17
I always designate when files are raw or edited so I know what I'm looking at. Now you can dump your audio in the appropriate folders. Your unit will number them, For the moment I would leave them as they are.
I then open Audacity and pull up the first file. My unit records audio in 3 hour segments, which is simply too big a file. So the first thing I do is chop the raw files up in 1 hour increments and rename them to make them more useable. I suggest you number them in chronological order. Example below. Again I always designate the investigation and the date, the room the audio recorder was in and whether it's raw audio or edited audio.
Jones investigation 9.9.17 kitchen raw audio 1
Jones investigation 9.9.17 kitchen raw audio 2
Jones investigation 9.9.17 kitchen raw audio 3
Audio Technica and Sennheiser are two brands that I recommend. And of course there's always Bose. A team member of mine bought a Bose headset and we compared my Sennheiser to his Bose, and found they were pretty equal.
But before do all that, jot it down in your log book. Below is a picture of my log book, which I've had for ten years now. It's always along on investigations and it's always beside me as I review evidence. Anything I think may be of interest is recorded in the log book - and don't forget to also note which file you were listening to at the time (the same is true for any video you watch. I start the log entry with the name of the investigation and the date. I also record who was present at the investigation, and I log when investigators enter and leave a room.
Notice the numbers on the left side of the logbook. Those are time codes - very important if you want to be able to find that interesting segment of audio again. The time code in Audacity is at the bottom right screen. Time code simply tells you how far into the file you are. It lists the hour (if you've hit the hour mark) minutes and seconds. For example, 1:22:15 would indicate that you are 1 hour, 22 minutes and 15 seconds into a file.
So if you found what you believe is an EVP, or simply want to get other team members opinions on a segment, it's usually easiest to isolate a small segment of the audio. These isolated segments are then small enough to send as an attachment in an email. Again, I create a new folder in the investigation folder indicating that it's possible evidence.
Jones Investigation 9.9.17 Possible Evidence
I dump any of my edited files in there as well as well as other edited footage that my team sends me. After all the audio and video have been reviewed and anything we find interesting has been isolated, these clips become what I present to the client.
The procedures for simple video editing, i.e. isolating a small clip of video with audio is much the same procedure. The group is using Windows Movie Maker for the reason that it's a free download and a simple program to use. A comprehensive video that demonstrates how to use Windows Movie Maker is below: