This is the last issue dealing with the audio aspects of psychic investigating. We hope you found it insightful.
In the last Technical Notes, we discussed general audio concepts and equipment, tape types, and other aspects of audio recording. This Technical Note will focus on microphones, spectrum analyzers, and audio manipulating computer software.
Microphones are one of the key components involved in the recording process. The better the microphone, the better the quality of the recording, making it easier and more pleasant when it comes time to review the recordings.
The first type of microphone is the standard Electret Mic. These are the standard, general purpose, omni-directional microphones. They are the most popular because of their easy acquisition and five to twenty dollar price range. The drawbacks to this type are the high noise levels and lower quality. They are designed to hear anything within earshot and with their higher gain levels, are good for hearing distant or low-level sounds. They do tend to create excess hiss which can be very distracting and can impede the playback process.
The next type are the Cardioid or directional microphones. These types usually offer much higher quality and would be preferred for psychic recordings. Because they are directional, they must be pointed at the area of interest to be of any use. Cardioid microphones are designed primarily for vocal recordings where the singer or person speaking is close to it, so it is less sensitive to distant or low-level sounds than the electret mics. These units usually cost between twenty and one hundred dollars and are worth the investment.
The last type of microphone we will cover is the High-Gain microphone. These are directional mics that offer the best characteristics of both of the previously covered types. They offer the high quality, low induced noise levels of the cardioid microphones and gain levels higher than electret microphones as well as better filtering circuitry to cut down unwanted hissing. The high gain microphone would be the optimum microphone to be used for psychic recording but can be harder to find and will usually carry a high price tag (approximately one hundred fifty dollars or more).
Two more issues need to be addressed to conclude this series. First is the use of equalizers/spectrum analyzers. These units are a necessity if you do not plan on using a computer to analyze your recordings. A basic ten band per channel equalizer is all that is required for basic audio filtering and enhancement. They are used to cut/reduce unwanted frequencies and boost frequencies of interest. Spectrum analyzers are merely designed to give visual representations of the audio being heard. Many equalizer units may come with built in spectrum analyzers, these units are connected between the tape deck and amplifier of a component stereo system and will only take two or three minutes to connect. They can be found at any department or audio specialty store for prices ranging from eighty to two hundred or more dollars.
Finally, computer audio software. Many software programs, such as Cool Edit, have extremely useful tools to cut, boost, equalize, compress, etc the audio that has been stored in memory. These programs, if available, are THE best way to bring out the sounds/ frequencies of interest. Some of these heavy-duty programs can get fairly expensive but for a little money, the payoffs in good quality audio will be worth it.
This concludes the audio series of Technical Notes. The next issue deals with video, including camcorder types and formats, infra-red, night vision, and thermal imagers.