Forensic audio is the application of audio technology to the areas of criminal and civil law, security, and other matters of public interest.

Phoenix Sound Studios analyse audio recordings for authentication and enhancement in both analogue and digital formats and forensic transcription. Sophisticated processing techniques are applied to extract meaningful information from contaminated audio and improve the accuracy and reliability for transcription and forensic audio investigation.

Examples could include audio enhancement of voice mail and answering machine recordings, mobile devices, and concealed audio field recordings providing pre-trial preparation and expert witness testimony.

Phoenix Sound Studios can provide a complete detailed report of all work carried out and if required an audio/visual presentation of the results can be presented to law enforcement agencies, Police, law firms, courts, and other investigation agencies.

Sensitive material is kept secure and we provide complete confidentiality. We guarantee it.

Authentication

Authentication of audio involves four steps-

  1. File analysis. If an audio file is in a digital format, then sometimes the metadata or header within the file itself can be examined and information extracted. This can help identify its origins such as the date created and the software/platform used for its creation.
  2. Listening to the audio to detect any abnormal or abrupt changes in levels and background noise that could indicate possible editing or tampering, anomalies, or alterations. Audio is monitored through multiple nearfield speakers in a control room that has had advanced room geometry optimization applied. This results in a reliable flat frequency response. KRK Expose EB8, JBL, and Yamaha NS-10 monitors are used.
  3. Software is used for the measurement of certain frequencies and levels in program material. Spectrum analysis and spectral repair are utilized to detect specific characteristics and repair digital audio.
  4. Visual examination of audio files is used to identify any abnormal or abrupt changes in levels and background noise that could indicate possible editing or tampering of audio, anomalies, or alterations.

Below is an example of an edit point or alteration that was difficult to hear when critically listening however became quite obvious under visual examination. As you can see the noise floor has been cut and has disappeared momentarily indicating that the recording was not continuous and had been altered whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Enhancement

Certain filters can be applied to enhance and bring more clarity to audio recordings.

Compression and normalizing of audio are used to bring quiet sections up in volume and control the dynamic range or the material.

Equalization is used to cut or boost certain frequencies. This can either drastically reduce unwanted noise or make speech more intelligible.

Proprietary filters and spectral repair are used to remove elements of a recording such as spikes, hum, pops, and unwanted noise.

Forensic Transcription

This process usually occurs after the enhancement of audio. Once the audio is intelligible a direct transcription of the words or conversation spoken is documented.