Forensic audio enhancement is a forensic process used to improve an audio recording’s clarity without damaging its authenticity. With access to clear, factual audio information, these recordings can work as admissible evidence in a court of law. This is crucial for the trier of fact can make determinations about the events within the recorded evidence. Above all, the goal of forensic enhancement is to better hear dialogue by removing unwanted noise. We can also enhance audio from video recordings as well. 

This forensic process of improving the quality of dialogue is also known as speech enhancement or voice enhancement.

WHAT WE CAN ENHANCE

Audio can take many forms in the modern age, and we have experience with many of them. We’ve handled an array of audio types, including:

The Forensic Sound Enhancement Process:

The general scope of the enhancement process includes listening for unwanted sounds, removing them and presenting observations. The sound removal procedure can involve a series of methods for unwanted sounds such as traffic noises and background static.

Once forensic audio enhancement experts remove the unwanted sounds, they can enhance the wanted ones, such as speech. At Primeau Forensics, we use industry-standard equipment to ensure we maintain the integrity of the sound. We can use our equipment on isolated audio files or audio in video footage

Take a look at some of our methods for forensic audio enhancement.

STEP #1

Identify the unwanted sounds.

STEP #2

Reduce or remove the unwanted sounds.

STEP #3

Report observations and opinions.

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE PROCESSES WE USE TO ENHANCE AUDIO RECORDINGS:

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DIALOGUE ISCOLATION

This powerful and newer tool preserves the ambience of a recording to ensure only dialogue intelligibility is improved. The software is designed to separate dialogue from background nosies like crowds, traffic, footsteps, weather, or other noises. 

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DIALOGUE DE-REVERB

Portable recording devices like a mobile phone (iPhone), tablet (iPad, Kindle), or concealed recording devices have advanced audio recording capabilities. Thus they are put into spaces that may be distant from the subject that is recorded. Our advanced tools can reduce the level of reverberance while preserving the dialogue. 

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SPECTRAL NOISE REDUCTION

During the noise reduction process, an expert uses a noise profile to systematically remove the wanted sounds without affecting dialogue or other important signals. They also use tools to reduce echo and reverb that affect the audio quality.

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CRITICAL LISTENING

Critical listening is the cornerstone of audio forensics. Audio experts have highly trained ears that can pick up crucial audio sections that need to be enhanced. They’ll use noise-canceling headphones and look at frequency ranges and recording levels.

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EQUALIZATION (EQ)

Equalization is a process that reduces unwanted frequencies and enhances needed ones. With distracting frequencies removed, audio enhancement experts can perform other procedures smoothly.

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DYNAMICS PROCESSING

Compressing the sound raises the volume levels and balances them for clarity. Experts may use compression and gates to boost the sound and reduce any remaining unwanted noise.

USING AUDIO ENHANCEMENT IN COURT

If you intend to use audio enhancement in a court setting, you should count on an expert such as Primeau Forensics. We follow all the best practices outlined by the scientific community to perform thorough enhancement services without harming the recording’s authenticity. 

We document procedures and present facts from an unbiased perspective. Our forensic audio enhancement experts will also identify critical dialogue and accurately present the information.

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IF YOU HAVE A RECORDING THAT YOU QUESTION OR NEED HELP UNDERSTANDING,

PLEASE CONTACT US FOR A PRO BONO CONSULTATION.