If you’ve ever spent time researching the paranormal, you’ve probably noticed that much of the discussion surrounding the topic can be summarized as nothing more than opinions being debated among believers and non-believers alike. While this statement might not sit well with those of us who dedicate our time to the field of paranormal research, the truth we must admit to ourselves is that nearly every premise we operate under is unproven; they are merely surmises generated by a collective of individual perception and personal belief.
For those who have never been involved in a lively debate on, for example, the types of paranormal activity, this concept might not make sense at first glance, but you’ve probably seen at least one television show peppered with the term ‘personal experience’. This term is the key to the entire field of paranormal research. Everything we do is affected by our personal experiences, and those experiences are all based on our individual perception of the world around us. This long-standing situation has allowed those outside the field to target our research as pseudoscience.
All of this begs the question: Should the ‘data’ collected through paranormal research—photographs of orbs, video of strange shadows, audio recordings of what most interpret as a voice—which relies on individual perceptions be considered evidence? Its a difficult question to answer. The collection of data might seem to be science-based as it makes use of technology, yet even with modern recording devices, it all begins in the mind.
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Imagine the scene: You’re sitting quietly in a silent room, hours into a rather luckless investigation of a reportedly haunted building, when suddenly you hear footsteps on the floor above you; the floor currently unoccupied by living beings. Your heart pounds as you silently beseech every God you can remember, begging them for the audio to come through onto the video camera you hold in your hand. After the investigation wraps up for the night, you’re so exhausted that you know the review will have to wait. The next day, you remember the events and rush to download the video from your camera, eagerly watching it, headphones pressed tightly to your ears. Moments tick by until…there! You can hear the far away sound of footsteps in the hall above. The sound is so faint, though, you’re not certain anyone other than a bat might be able to hear it. What’s a paranormal investigator supposed to do at this point? Exactly how does one perform that arcane magic which transforms the softest whisper into the startling ‘enhanced audio’?
In the realm of paranormal research, evidence is key and audio is a cornerstone to that evidence. Listening to the enhanced audio clips from an investigation can turn a rather ho-hum presentation into a fantastic discovery that leaves everyone involved speechless. The problem is, many investigators aren’t sure how to get from raw film footage to workable audio files. While we’ll be the first to admit that the process of data review is tedious and time consuming (how long can YOU stare at a quiet, empty room before you fall asleep?), the process of extracting the audio from your video files is actually quite simple. With the help of this article, you’ll be splitting audio from video in no time, and even performing a few basic enhancements (enhancements, not enchantments!) to that audio in no time!
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According to most sources, the term paranormal found popularity in common use relatively recently; they claim that the designation dates back only to the 1920s. In order to uncover the true roots of the word, we have to first examine it’s separate parts.
The word is formed by combining the Greek prefix para-, which means “alongside, beyond, altered, contrary,” with the word norma, a Latin word meaning “rule or pattern”. By understanding that the word is created through the combination of these two parts, we can draw a simple conclusion: whoever coined the term was educated enough to have at least a passing acquaintance with both Latin and Greek. While it might not seem like a major clue, it eliminates a large portion of the population at the time.
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