The Panasonic RR-DR60 IC Recorder an EVP Legend No Longer.

panasonic

This past fall during the Tewksbury Library Tuesday night paranormal lectures that I frequented regularly. I was introduced to a legendary EVP recorder the, “Panasonic RR-DR60”. The exact date was October 14, 2014 and the speakers that night where Mike Sullivan & Karen Mossey (authors of, “Spooky Creepy New England”). Karen and Mike did a fine presentation regarding EVP’s that night but one thing stuck with me. It was a tiny little recorder that Karen had brought along with her and was by her side during the presentation. Just before they began to wrap up the lecture Karen held up the recorder and made mention that this particular recorder was one of the best recorders to use for capturing EVP’s. She pointed out that she had purchased hers back in 1998 for a mere $20 and now they are fetching anywhere between $300 & $700 on EBay! Me being a paranormal investigator I had to know more about this recorder and the legend surrounding it.

When I got home I started my research that night on the, “Panasonic RR-DR60”. I found article after article on this model of recorder. This recorder was responsible for gathering multiple EVP’s during investigations when other recorders on hand gathered nothing! Bottom line I needed to get my hands on one pronto and see what all the hype is about. Well Karen Mossey was correct these recorders were no longer $20! You could not touch one of these for under $300 on Ebay. The legend of the recorder was in full effect and my hopes of finding one cheaply were crushed. I recall reading that one lucky person found two of them for $4 each at a yard sale. I thought to myself, I don’t go to many yard sales and even if I did what were the odds of finding a recorder of this make and model? Then it hit me! Craig’s List could be an option on finding one out in the wild without a crazy mark up. I search State by State going down the Eastern Seaboard starting with my home State of Massachusetts. When I reached Florida, I hit pay dirt! There it was the legendary, “Panasonic RR-DR60” for sale in Ft. Meyers for $50.

I knew I had to act fast, as there was no telling how much longer this elusive jewel of the EVP world would last. I sent my first Email asking if the owner still had it for sale. His response Email was back quick to me, “Yes it is still for sale but it must be a local cash transaction only”. Again my hopes were dashed. I followed up with a sincere Email stating that I was not local. I even came clean with him on how I was a paranormal investigator out of Boston, MA. I explained to him about really wanting to get my hands on this model of recorder and how difficult they are to come by. I ended the Email with a link to my website asking him to check it out and get back to me. Well much to my surprise the next morning I was greeted with another Email from my new found Craig’s List pen pal. “Hey I checked you out last night on your website and you seem legit. The only way this is going to happen is if you send me cash. Once I get the cash I will send you the recorder” his reply said to me. I thought to myself, I can take a leap of faith for $50 and sent him the cash that same morning. If it he sends it, he sends it, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and I will leave it at that. Seven days had passed; the Craig’s List ad for the Panasonic was no longer up and had been deleted by its owner (I wondered if I was scammed). Then on the eighth day while retrieving my daily mail I noticed a small package with a post mark from Ft. Meyers FL in my mailbox (It had arrived)!

Like a kid on Christmas morning I tore open the package and was holding the legendary recorder in my own hands. Once in my hands I could not help to realize that this thing was light and I mean really light. The packaging that housed it on its trip from Florida to Boston clearly out weighted it. None the less, I had done it and I now owned the legend for myself. I could not wait to try it out and my first though was going to my old paranormal stomping grounds the Tewksbury Hospital pauper cemetery. Granted I haven’t had a ton of good luck there during past investigations but I did manage to get a few EVP’s here and there in the past years I’ve gone thru there. To me it was local and if I was to capture something it would be there in the Tewksbury Hospital cemetery. I made my way out to the cemetery right after installing a fresh set of batteries in the recorder. I also grabbed my Trifield 100EX EMF meter for the mini investigation and EVP session I was going to hold there.

So my first session on the recorder was a memorable one but not in the way I had hoped. The recorder turned on and was set to go. I pushed record and spoke my usual rehearsed questions about ten or so in total and paused about 10 seconds in between questions. On play back I was completely taken back by what I had heard or to put it correctly what I could not hear. I could barely understand my own words spoken into the recorder! It sounded like I was under water with cotton stuffed in my mouth! Then there were strange noises in my periods of waiting for a response! I can tell you this they were not EVP’s! My best guess is that this was static noise (sound artifacts) generated from the recorder itself. Could it be that this is what is causing folks to THINK that they are capturing EVPs?

Once I left the cemetery that day I went back online and searched for recordings of EVPs that where obtained via the Panasonic. I have to say in my own opinion the ones that I heard that were posted on line I would grade below a “Class C”. Not that this, “Class A, B & C” grading system of EVPs is official but it’s the only thing we have right now to make my judgment with and to get my point across.

In the end, whether it’s the legendary Panasonic RR-DR60 or any other cheap recorder for that matter. We the paranormal investigator community need to be more truthful with our captures and ourselves. We need to help progress the field and raise the standard in the type of equipment we use especially if we want any type of collaboration within the scientific community.

-JR

61 thoughts on “The Panasonic RR-DR60 IC Recorder an EVP Legend No Longer.

  1. I agree that cheap, and I mean cheap recorders are absolutely awful for capturing evp’s. Sure you can capture something but it is usually muffled movements, clothing rustles, even your breath.

    I have a really cheap model, so cheap it hasn’t even got a name that all of the ghost hunting websites are selling (I didn’t spend the £30 they are asking for it, I got mine at £17 off amazon, it was the exact same picture) and it is bloody awful. To paraphrase, “I could not help to realize that this thing was light and I mean really light. The packaging that housed it on its trip from Amazon to Shropshire clearly out weighted it.” The actual housing of the recorder is far too thin to shield it properly from minute movements and the microphone is so sensitive you do capture everything, even a heartbeat from your own hands. The compression is awful as well and the distortion is horrendous. I suppose for beginners, it is quite exciting to get some unheard noises coming through but they are far from actual evp’s.
    (http://www.bestghosthunting.com/accessories.html – bottom of page)

    Contrary to that, I have had one of the more expensive models which I sold, because it was too clever, it had auto-gain, noise reduction (yuck) and a host of other ‘useful’ things that your sound engineer would probably need but a PI wouldn’t want.

    I now have a mid range Olympus, paid £30 for it and you can set it to just record. It does so in MP3 (I would prefer wav but after using it, it doesn’t matter quality wise) and you can turn off all of the ‘enhancements’ such as noise filters ect. It’s not so sensitive you can hear a grasshopper fart so there is little chance of getting a result from some bloke on his way home from the pub 300 meters away, which is nice.

    I did think about putting the model numbers in this reply but I don’t think it matters too much, if you would like to know my current model number, then give me a shout.

  2. Horrible article, what was the point of writing this? That you picked up a bad recorder and now all RR-DR60’s are crap for getting evps. It sounds like you got a dud. EVP researchers like the RR-DR60 due to the lack of noise filters and the wide harmonic range that is found on the recorder which some believe that makes it better candidate for EVP.

  3. Jonas I think you need to do some research of your own. I don’t think you understand what Harmonic Range is or how better recorders compensate for noise. First, harmonic range (also called harmonic series) does not apply to recording devices, it only applies to things that actually make sound, not record it. I can only assume you mean “frequency response” or “Frequency Range” which is the range of frequencies that the device can record. In this case, the RR-DR60 is terrible (below 18 Khz) much worse than other recorders. This poor over head can affect the clarity of some consonants (mainly fricatives and sibilants). Second, Better recorders do not filter out frequencies in the noise reduction process. That would result in poor / inaccurate recording quality and that’s not the case. Their goal is a precision recording.

    They reduce noise by increasing the sample rate and using quieter circuitry and better components. A sample rate is the number of samples of audio carried per second. The more samples, the quieter the noise and the better the sound. Keep in mind that the noise you hear with the Panasonic is NOT ambient noise that could be affected by a “being” in a room, it’s actually artificial noise caused by bad components (like bad tape). The RR-DR60 has an absolutely horrible sample rate at only 6 kHz. That’s probably as bad as you can get. It’s off the charts bad. Even a cheapo Radio Shack voice recorder chip has an 11 Khz sample rate. The good recorders sample at 48 Khz which is above CD quality (44.1 Khz). That;s a quiet recording without noise reduction.

    Noise reduction in software such as Audacity or Audition etc. IS bad. Because that creates a noise profile and removes all frequencies withing that profile range thus destroying the good audio with the bad, ultimately changing what you hear. So in other words don’t clean your EVP’s with software.

    A better recorder is ALWAYS better and noise is ALWAYS a contaminant and ALWAYS bad. The RR-DR60 is a terrible recorder and the only reason they are popular among some folks for EVP recording is because they create so much noise that people believe they hear voices in the mess created by this piece of junk. If you analyze the EVP’s recorded on this recorder using Spectrum Analysis (like you always should) you will see there is NO voice articulation present at all. No formant or phonetic structure… only noise. I suspect you happen to have one of these recorders and are upset reading this article because many (if not most ) of your “EVP” recordings are not truly genuine.

    I suggest you do some reading of your own and learn how these devices work. Knowledge is power. Don’t fall into the hype of people who don’t know what they are doing. The Panasonic RR-DR60 is JUNK… bad junk. End of story.

  4. You guys are all nuts the only evp recordings that i trust are recordings that i hear with my own ears . I have hadthe opportunity to hear the voice of my former landlord that fell down the stairs and hit his head on the water meter ( the old brass type ) and was dead before i could walk down the stairs and get to him (i was in the kitchen when he fell he lived in the basement his name was fred) i had three nephews that fred liked to give a hard time he also likedto give them a couple of dollars to goto the store he was actually fond of the boys anyways fred died at 8 p.m. at 11ish pm same night i heard fred call up stairs and ask me if the boys were comming to visit i moved out 2 months after fred died andi heard fred talk to me right up to the night before i moved i lived in freds house for 6 years before he fell and i told fred many times not to walk down them stairs when he was drinking he used to yell at the boys to stop running they were pretty noisy and would run around and wrestle im sure it was quite loud for fred down stairs the boys were comming to stay the night on the saterday after fred died im not surebut i think it was a monday when fred fell down the stairs anyways thAt saterday the boys came over and they were asking how and where fred died we had supper and were getting ready to watch a movie the boys were running in circles around the main floor of the house and fred hollered you boys quit running around well the boys ran to mei was sitting on the chair and and within 5 minutes i was on my way to take the boys home they never came back to the house but i heard fred talk no less the 2or 3 times a day for 2 months and it was always the same thing he wouldask me if the boys were comming to stay over on the day freds house for good i took a picture of the boys and went down to freds room and hung it on his wall that was in the late 80’s every time i go back to the town i grew up in i would go buy the house to see if it was still there itwas a old house very well built it was brick on the outside i went back home in 2013 and someone had fixed the house up it looked real good just like the day i left i always wondered if fred’s spirit was still there because not only would i hear fred but i would see him walk by the stair case and pass by where i had my chair that i would sit in and watch t.v. and a few times the basement door opened and closed it was around 15 ft from my chair and their was no mistaking the creaking of the door it made two sounds one when it opened and one when it closed.

  5. That’s the point, your ears (or anyone elses) are not trust worthy. You’re just fooling yourself into hearing what you believe, not what’s truly said or not said. You have no verification of what is being said other than your own opinion, which in the world of factual research is next to useless. I’ve done tons of research on this subject, more than half of what you hear when it is contained in a non contextual statement or buried in noise can’t be trusted and are most likely incorrect. Oh well, I’m not here to try to convince you, and you know what they say…”When you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.” So good luck with that…bon voyage.

  6. Michelle

    The EVP we sell yields excellent results, I guess this is the usual case of user error. if you are having issues with the sensitivity of the internal microphone I guess it’s because you are lying the evp recorder on a solid table that will amplify every vibration including those may by sound waves. Put your ear flat on a table and you will see what I mean. We strongly recommend using an external mic on any Evp to isolate the potential for this. Ideally the external mic should be clipped to something that will offer maximum isolation from vibration.

  7. Vibration is not an issue. The recorder was placed on a cushion and there was no vibration artifacts present in spectro-graph analysis. It’s certainly not user error. I can build equipment like this, operating it is second nature. The problem is that the recorder samples at 6K which is hideous and extremely noisy. It’s a piece of garbage and causes a wide array of audio mis-perceptions for people who hear what they want to hear. I would be willing to bet you have done little research or experimentation into human perceptions. What have you done to qualify your results beyond personal opinions of you or your group? Do you have analysis of EVP’s captured with this recorder? Do they have formant structure? Can you identify vowel segments of F1 and F2 visually? How about consonants such as fricatives and sibilants? Does the voice print clearly show articulation? Indicative onset frequencies and vowel duration? Again, I don’t think so. Personal opinion is not evidence… what you hear is not reliable. Confirmation bias is going to skew your opinion on this device.

Leave a Reply