Modern ITC Software: Are They Valid Paranormal Research Tools?
Tim Woolworth – December 2014
*Please note that since the publication of this article, ITC Voices in no way endorses, recommends, nor uses products made by Ghost Hunter Apps. The videos seen below are trial runs of the software only. These products remain in the article as a service to the ITC community.
Within the last year, the ghost box community has seen a lot of ITC software that purports to connect with the realm of spirit. Do this software work? How can the Others communicate using software? I am not an expert at software coding, but I will try to explore these questions non-technically based solely upon experience and what these software developers have shared with both myself and others.
White Noise, Stochastic Resonance and Early EVP Technology
Since ancient times, holy men have gone to waterfalls, rivers and lakes to commune with the spirit world. The sound of rushing water creates white noise. As you may have read on this site, or elsewhere from your other paranormal resources, white noise has been inextricably linked to successful EVP communications since the dawn of EVP recordings. White noise also propagates ghost box communication as it is an inherent part of using a ghost box.
White noise is several audible frequencies together varying in frequency and amplitude. White noise is found in almost every environment, but it is not always audible. It is thought that providing more audio frequencies into an environment facilitates spirit communication because of a process called stochastic resonance. Stochastic resonance is where a carrier wave matches amplitudes with another signal and a larger amplitude results. As an example, think of a chorus singing. When you have only the soloist, you can hear the soloist’s voice. When you add several more voices to make a full chorus, the soloist drowns in the chorus; but something interesting happens: the chorus is much louder than the soloist ever could be on their own. This is because the vocal frequency range of the soloist matches up with the vocal frequency range of the others in the chorus, or as it’s known in the musical world, they singers are “in key” with one another. This is also the same relationship between white noise and stochastic resonance in the field of EVP communication. When you provide white noise, the voices of the Others will find frequencies to resonate with and thereby become loud enough to be recorded by your devices.
White noise is random audio. When Friedrich Jürgenson first inadvertently recorded an EVP while recording bird songs, he was in an outside forest which is full of white noise (leaves rustling, animals, wind, etc). When he tried recording at home, the voices were not as pronounced so he introduced white noise (radio static) and the “voices from space,” that resulted became EVP history. Raudive continued on in the same fashion and white noise was introduced to his EVP system via a “cat’s whisker” hooked to an antenna aerial.
Early recordings needed white noise; reel-to-reel recorders and cassette recorders were manufactured to be quiet as it was the only recording technology available at the time. Today, unless you have a discreet audio system, chances are you are using a portable audio recorder for your EVP and ghost box sessions. Current digital recorders use integrated circuits (IC’s) for recording which also generate, you guessed it, noise! That is why white noise generators aren’t typically needed for EVP sessions any longer.
The Quest for Random Audio – EVP Maker
White noise is random audio. In the heyday of ITC where random video noise was creating stunning visual ITC, thought began to circle about using random bits of recorded audio in an attempt to make EVP communication easier. In 1988, the president of the German Association for Transcommunication Research (VTF), Fidelio Köberle, struck upon the idea of using randomness as a source for communication. He envisioned that truly automated random audio would be very successful and addressed it in a VTF publication:
“[…] to provide an artificially generated raw material, like for instance the often used noise from rippling water or Struck’s “rubbing method”. Ideal would be a continuously produced synthetic raw material which comes as close to speech as possible. As close as possible in order to allow the interlocutors on the other side to form real speech from it using as little energy as possible. Little energy, because we know that this works best. The raw material must of course not already be speech but should be transformed into reasonable speech easily. It should bubble without periodicity. It should, like usual speech, contain pauses. Without the use of random generators this won’t be managed. […]”. (VTF-Post, issue 2/88)
The quest for the practical automation of random audio began with a Danish electrical engineer and EVP researcher named Peter Stein. Stein utilized two cassette walkman’s and switched between them with an electronic switch. Each cassette can hold four tracks of audio, so he was effectively switching between eight tracks of pre-recorded audio. This provided random audio, but was not very functional due to the limits of cassette playback technology.
Building upon the idea of random audio, Stefan Bion created the first random audio software for paranormal research called EVP Maker; it is PC software and it has been available for free since its first release in the year 2000. EVP Maker allows you to import 8 or 16 bit wave files or gives you the option to record live sound to be used once it is recorded. Many users choose to import books on tape or even foreign language broadcasts. The software then segments the audio into milliseconds, the term of which is controlled by the end-user from the interface, and then plays back these segments randomly in successive order. The EVP Maker software allows you to save the question and the EVP response so your research can be documented. The software works and messages are relayed, albeit not with a lot of clarity. There is always a lot of gibberish, but within that gibberish you can often pull a sentence or three that may or may not relate directly to the question you are posing.
EVP Maker was a big step forward towards where we are today with ghost boxes and software, and it is still used by several ITC researchers around the world with great results.
The inventor of the ghost box, Frank Sumption, sought to automate random audio through the use of random voltage applied to radio tuners. Obviously, ghost boxes were a success. Ghost boxes not only automate random bits of audio through a sweeping mechanism, they also generate white noise in the process. Communication ensues and now there are ghost boxers all over the world making real contact with the other side using ghost boxes.
As we progress technologically, we look forward to making things smaller and more functional. With that in mind, ghost box apps have become the next logical step in the progression of ITC research.
A New Dawn in the Evolution of Paranormal Research – Software
The first truly successful modern ITC software application was Echovox. Echovox was developed by Danny “Bigbeard” Roberge of Big Beard Audio as a dedicated means of spirit communication. As a musician and sound engineer, Danny has roots in the fundamentals of sound and how it is perceived by the listener.
Echovox, as of this writing, has three banks of audio available (two for iPhone/iPad users). Each of these banks contains thousands of sound files. There are some complete words, but the majority of the files are sectioned sounds of a few hundredths to tenths of a second long. These sound sections do not make words, and most cannot be considered standard morphemes or allophones on their own.
The functionality of Echovox is truly unique in the field of ITC; and more importantly, it was a breakthrough for random audio ITC. Echovox draws from your chosen sound bank up to four files at a time and blends them together in an output sound. The files are blended together based upon a user-set delay for each of the four channels. This sound is then played through your electronic device’s speaker and then picked up again by the internal microphone (the user can set the microphone input volume) of the device causing it to echo through the device once more at a set speed (zero to ten seconds) and ultimately blended with a new set of sound files. The culmination of several internal sounds being blended together along with externally produced sounds being pushed through the system again with a delayed echo creates communication – communication based upon random audio.
Here is the app creator discussing what the application is designed to do in very simple terms:
Like many people who have had years of ITC experience, I was quite skeptical of Echovox at first. I was pretty sure that Echovox was another piece of software with no merit, and I’m glad to admit that I was wrong in that initial assumption. The ITC world has been inundated with shoddy apps proclaiming spirit communication and radars that will not only show you where a ghost is in relation to your place in the room, but what the ghost is saying! The apps being used as ghost hunting tools prior to Echovox were as far removed from ghost hunting as can possible and were created to bilk money out of an uninformed, gear hungry crowd of paranormal enthusiasts.
Before buying Echovox, I looked into some of the evidence out there and wasn’t sold on it. Due diligence required me to try it as I had been getting several emails and questions about it, so I bought the app.
At first, I was not too impressed with what I was hearing due to the sound quality of Echovox. The constant blending of sounds and having the resulting sounds pushed through the system again makes many of the communications sound quite muddy. The high-end is missing and the words are primarily all mid-ranged mud. During an Echovox session, the frequencies supplied by Echovox can make for difficult real-time monitoring. I was able to hear some of the communication during my first session, but I ignored the bulk of what I thought I heard while letting my ears get accustomed to the sound.
The big surprise was during playback. There were several communications that popped out once my ears were accustomed to what I was hearing. My name, Frank, and even my Tech Tom were all mentioned. To me, this is evidence of spirit communication. If I am receiving the same words on Echovox that I receive via ghost boxing, then it is successfully allowing for ITC to occur! There are also EVP’s that are being generated over the noise of Echovox that are pertinent answers to questions being posed.
FLUX GB-1 and RIFT
Within the last few months, Ghost Hunter Apps entered the ITC software market with two new window’s exclusive software applications, Flux GB-1 and Flux Paranormal Rift Ghost Box. The coder of these applications, Anthony Sanchez, is a career software designer and it shows in the quality of the software.
The GB-1 was the first of the two software packages released by Sanchez and like Echovox, it has come under heavy scrutiny since hitting the market. The criticism has grown louder since the release of the GB-1 sister software, the Paranormal Rift, which has a different sound bank and different vocal profiles.
Both of these pieces of software have architecture that is exceptionally unique that no one in the field has attempted before. It is a little convoluted to explain, but I will do my best to make it easy to understand.
The software generates two complete sine waves per second per Bluetooth frequency (there are a total of 79 Bluetooth frequencies). At the same time, the software is also scanning the ISM UHF band (in which the 79 Bluetooth frequencies are located) that is found between 2.4 to 2.485GHz on short-range radio (it should be noted that these are carrier waves for wireless transmission only and contain no voices). The software-generated sine waves look for interference from the ISM UHF band by scanning Bluetooth frequencies. When your PC is Bluetooth capable, the sine wave generated by the software registers the Bluetooth frequencies read by your PC as interference and it breaks up the sine wave amplitude. When this happens, a corresponding sound is triggered from the sound bank and played.
In instances where your PC is not Bluetooth capable, the software looks for electromagnetic interference generated by your computer itself. Your monitor, hard drive, CPU, fan and other hardware pieces all generated electromagnetic fields and the same scanning technology used for Bluetooth is applied to your computer hardware to read this EMI interference. Once there is an EMI conflict with the generated sine wave, once again a corresponding sound is triggered from the sound bank and played.
Currently, there are over 11,000 sound files in the sound banks for Sanchez’s software. There are complete phrases and words along with word segments such as phonemes, morphemes and allophones all in .mp3 format. When these sounds are played back, they are subjected to a fixed frequency carrier wave at 432 Hertz (Verdi’s ‘A’) upon which white noise and pink noise is coded. The base frequency range of the human voice is anywhere from approximately 80Hz to 250Hz, but there are harmonics and octaves that extend beyond this. By setting the white/pink noise carrier at 432Hz, it is fundamentally setting the communication outside of the base vocal range and well within the harmonic range of human speech (216Hz and 108Hz). Both pink noise and white noise have hundreds to thousands of individual frequencies of varying amplitude, and each of these also has the capability to interact harmonically with the base frequencies of vocal communication.
As a result, sometimes the software will produce vocal communication. Much of the communication is pre-recorded words or phrases; but there is almost just as much communication that is produced from word segments. There are ample times when multiple segments are played that form a word because they are often buried within the hiss of programmed noise. This communication, by being subjected to white and/or pink noise is being inundated with random audio – the whole premise of this article.
The most prominent criticism that is being heard in the field of ITC research right now is that Echovox and Ghost Hunter Apps are producing software with words and phrases included so they must therefore be fraudulent. Nothing with pre-recorded audio can be taken seriously, right?
To be frank, people who level these criticisms have not done their research or are too entrenched in standard EVP ITC recording models or traditional ghost box communication.
Let’s take ghost box audio for example. Every song and commercial you hear on the radio is pre-recorded audio; the only live sounds come from DJs, sportscasters or newspersons when they are talking. Most radio stations (like the 1,200+ Clear Channel Radio Stations) have a set limit of fifteen minutes of commercials per hour and approximately 40-42 minutes of music, leaving only 3-5 minutes on average of live audio (ex. a DJ talking) per hour. Obviously live sports and stations like NPR will skew some of these figures more towards live audio. Much like the software apps written about in this article, ghost box sessions primarily use recorded audio!
As for traditional EVP sessions, Jürgenson and Raudive both implemented white noise, and they both embraced the AM band using the “Cat’s Whisker” to facilitate communication.
To quote Raudive’s book Breakthrough directly:
A wireless receiver is coupled to the tape recorder exactly as is done for the recording of any radio programme, preferably via the “diode-cable”. A small piece of wire is inserted into the aerial box in order to keep out any long-distance reception. Raudive finds a spot in the medium wave band in between two stations where background noise is as blank as possible. Other investigators choose the moment when a transmitter starts to beam out the carrier wave (6) just before beginning to transmit a programme or else they select a slow-speaking lecture programme in which the pauses between groups of words are so considerable that call-signs can be interspersed. A carrier appears to be necessary, or, at any rate, desirable. (More on this can be found by reading this site’s article on the Raudive Diode).
So as you can see, Raudive was also using radio signals as carriers for recording – even using radio stations where he knew a radio program was being broadcast!
In my mind, as an ITC researcher, the use of pre-recorded sounds does not hinder ITC for it has been an integral part of ITC since the very first day of EVP recordings (Jürgenson’s first EVP was recorded outside in a forest where natural white noise is everywhere). Ghost boxes were created specifically to use random, primarily pre-recorded audio for ITC communication. It is odd that most ITC researchers do not question the authenticity of EVP Maker results these days because it has a decade and a half of field use with great results – all obtained with pre-recorded audio (even ATransC, a group that denigrated the ghost box as a non-ITC tool, found that EVP Maker produced valid results in two different experiments, one a single year and the other a three-year experiment). But yet, many of these same researchers who use EVP Maker and ghost boxes proclaim that pre-recorded audio in modern ITC software makes it unusable as an ITC tool.
Maybe over several years, after more seasoned practitioners have used these types of software, they may become more accepted in the field of ITC research.
Personal Views and Experiences Using ITC Software
To be completely honest, I do not choose Echovox or the GB-1/Rift software very often for my ITC sessions. While I enjoy the software, and I know for a fact that they provide adequate ITC communication, I find them cumbersome to listen to. The voices are obfuscated behind noise or often do not have the necessary clarity. This can lead to the skeptic crutch of auditory pareidolia, and the skeptics lean on pareidolia quite often with everything from EVP to ghost box sessions. ITC software can, and often does, get lumped in with auditory pareidolia.
I say this because the clarity is often lacking. The same can also be said of ghost box communication where often frequencies are modulated to the point where they are interpreted differently by different listeners. There are several reasons for this, including user (and listener) experience, hearing loss, monitoring situations, recording methods, editing, noise reduction, etc. Every session is subject to scrutiny, as it should be. When you put a session out into the world, it will get scrutinized by peers and often by those who have never conducted a session themselves (but yet, miraculously they have all the answers). Pareidolia will often be thrown around, and there is no way to combat this since we all hear differently. It is the faith that communication ensues and the evidence that comes forth from these sessions that keeps us going!
That being said, there are often a couple of breakthrough communication gems of great clarity that happen in every software ITC session that still amaze me. Even though breakthrough communication is proof positive of communication from the Others, this is not enough of a draw for me to dedicate hours of work listening back, transcribing and creating a video for software ITC unless it is a truly amazing session. For a typical ghost box session, it usually takes about 30-45 minutes to transcribe each minute of audio recorded (and this doesn’t include the video!). For software ITC sessions, that time can be upwards of an hour and a half of transcription per minute due to the muddy sounds or other mitigating factors.
I am also off-put a bit by recorded phrases in software. Words are not ideal, but they can be used via fragmentative communication. A phrase on the other hand cannot be spirit communication in my mind, for a phrase has prerequisite intention and it is unknown if the Others can alter a phrase via software (although they can in ghost box sessions via fragmentative communication) as the whole phrase is triggered to play.
All of that being said, the software profiled above works. Period. Questions are receiving direct answers in real-time. Key communications that are relevant to the researcher are being uttered with regularity, including names and other key words. Plus, some researchers are receiving valid responses regarding what is going on at the time of the session in the room where the session is taking place.
Most intriguingly, much of the blended audio from Echovox or the individual word/segmented word communication from the GB-1/Rift software is producing phrases. The skeptic will say that the phrase was prerecorded, but it has been shown time and again that these phrases (three words or more) are comprised of individual sounds and words from different voices. When these phrases are cogently produced in an answer or key communication known to the ITC researcher, this demonstrates conscious intent to communicate. To have several voices (or sounds) combine to say (as one of dozens of examples) “I hope you hear us/I did/We help Tom,” absolutely blows me away (I have been receiving the name Tom since ’09 and he is my Tech, he is present in almost every session I do). ITC is the study of the consciousness coming from an unknown origin, and ITC software continually shows conscious intent to communicate!
Simply put, empirical evidence shows that ITC software allows communication from the Others much like that communication which is made manifest through ghost boxes. How the Others are able to manipulate software responses is still being puzzled out currently, but I believe the basis of all valid ITC software communication lies in random audio – and both Echovox and the GB-1/Rift software provide random audio in abundance.
The best part? You can own all of the above software for less than $100, which is much less than a boutique ghost box (Andy’s, Frank’s, Steve’s, etc.). So if you purchase any of these apps, you are not losing much (~$30 each) if it does not work for you. On the other hand, you have so much more to gain by communicating with ITC voices.
The following videos demonstrate key communications obtained using all of the software listed above. Each of these videos is from the very first session done with each type of software to show you that it works from the very first time turning it on.
First Echovox Session
In this session, I had just turned on Echovox for the very first time. I was blown away by hearing my name, Frank’s and most importantly, hearing the part about my Tech Tom at about 1:30 into the video. Getting evidence like this, which is the same type of evidence I get in my ghost box sessions was simply astounding to me.
First Flux GB-1 Session
Once again, Tom makes an appearance in this clip at about 06:30, in a reverse message and it supplied a direct answer to my question of whether or not there was anyone communicating that I know. Other than that, there are several communications in this session, including a wonderful example of fragmentative communication at 8:40 (“Tim was dead”).
First Flux Paranormal Rift Session
There are some communications present in this video. Modulated sounds forming statements are interesting at about 3:03 (“I think I’m Dead”). The Others tell me to call my step-mother Teresa.
As always, take from this article what you will. This site is open to all ITC researchers to post their evidence and articles, even if it is contrary to another article posted on this site. If you have a well-informed opinion on this or any other ITC topic that can add to this knowledge base, we want to hear from you! You can email us at ITC@itcvoices.org