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"Laboratory Notebook"

 

 

Morphing

At one time, when tape recording was new, on hearing it for the first time, most people could hardly believe that the sound they heard on playback was their own voice.

Most were surprised by the fact that their voice had some sort of accent - in other words that it had audible and distinct features.

There is actually no good reason in terms of survival/evolution why one should be particularly tuned to the sound of one's own voice. The voices that it would be most important to recognise would be those of one's own family or group.

This is very relevant to EVP. It is important to ensure that one does not mistake something that one said - or perhaps just muttered - during a session, as EVP. One is not tuned to recognise one's own voice as an external event and so mistakes can occur.

In the overall sum of things such oversights do not matter too much - but we carry out our work, if we allow public access to it, under the suspicious gaze of the cynical and unconvinced. We may gain the reputation in their eyes of being a person of dubious propriety, and the subject as a whole of being a hoax, trick or joke.

The disciplined experimenter sticks to a pre-arranged script - and that takes care of the possibility of mistaking something one said for EVP. That is an admirable practice, but there are little problems.

At present, I think that it is true to say that most of the leading experimenters frequently get responsive communications. An example is given on page 1 here - where a cogent remark, ('I prefer to drink'), although not an answer to a question, indicates a degree of responsiveness.

One example does not prove the point, of course, but most of us in our archives have numerous examples of us saying one thing and an utterance following which seems to be a response to that origination.

'What is your name?' is one that has come down through the ages. Indeed the seasoned experimenter is so used to it that nowadays it seems commonplace.

But the effect of responsive communication is to draw us away from the script, to originate 'on the fly'. A solution to this would be to use a lapel Mic and a separate recorder to record what one said, so that no confusion could arise.

The more difficult case is that of 'morphing' - and the main cases here at present seem to occur in the author and Sonia Rinaldi's experiments. In morphing what occurs is that one's voice becomes in some way transposed - so that what one is heard as saying is not actually what one said.

Morphing may be so complete that not only are the words changed, but the character of the voice is also. You can imagine how this leaves the field open to manipulation by the unprincipled or mischievous.

Here is an example of morphing caught in mid-stride.

It says, 'I like youth' - possibly an allusion to the Celtic paradise, Tir nan Og' - The Land of Youth. The word 'I' is in my speech but then it changes over to a form of 'buzz speech and the following are changed words.

'I like youth.'

 

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Alpha article