AUDIO ENHANCEMENT SERVICES,
Forensic audio enhancement services are the scientific process of clarifying audio recordings using safe techniques to preserve speech quality. 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. This scientific process of improving the quality of dialogue is also known as speech enhancement or voice enhancement.
TYPES OF RECORDINGS WE ENHANCE
So you more clearly understand, we perform enhancement on a variety of audio recordings. These include, but are not limited to:
AUDIO ENHANCEMENT PROCESS:
FORENSIC ENHANCEMENT METHOD
Our audio forensic experts apply enhancement techniques to remove sounds. These unwanted sounds include static, furnace and air conditioning fans, hums and other distracting sounds. Therefore, these distracting noises are also known as “unwanted sounds”.
Then, once we remove the unwanted sounds, we can apply enhancement processes. These enhancement processes will increase the “wanted sound” like speech.
We apply enhancement services using standard equipment that is widely used in the industry. Law enforcement also uses this equipment. Above all, this step in the process is necessary to improve speech with forensic accuracy. Once enhanced, we can admit the recording as a clarified exhibit to assist the trier of fact.
Similarly, the same is true for the audio quality of a video clip. We also perform enhancement to the audio within video recordings like police dash cameras, body cameras, doorbell surveillance devices (CCTV). That is why we have additional information for your review here how to enhance audio in a video file.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE PROCESSES WE USE TO ENHANCE AUDIO RECORDINGS:
Critical listening is a skill that is developed over time through training of the ears. It is key for identifying sections of the recording that require voice enhancement. In most investigations, we are performing critical listening to analyze speech in an evidence recording.
The critical listening criteria are characteristics in the audio recording which include recording levels, frequency ranges, or signal to noise ratios. We perform critical listening with professional grade equipment.
Similarly, this includes monitors as well as noise cancelling headphones to ensure the most accurate listening experience. These speakers and headphones must be calibrated to the environment the listener is in.
Afterward, we apply EQ. EQ is a filtering process that can reduce unwanted frequencies or increase wanted frequencies. The EQ process will filter distracting noises first to ensure the highest success of the enhancement.
The EQ process is most commonly done first to ensure that these irrelevant frequencies to not interfere with other processes. Specifically, equalizers filter out hums, buzzes, a/c compressor noise or other unwanted tones that are banded noise.
Next, we apply compression to raise and balance the volume levels of a given section. Gates and further compression can also help remove unwanted sound or boost desired sound. If there is excessive background noise, a gate can be helpful before most of the other processors, especially compression.
NOISE REDUCTION & DE-REVERB
Lastly, we must remove all types of noises or unwanted sounds. Noise Reduction improves the signal to noise ratio by reducing distracting sounds from a recording. These distracting sounds hinder the speech recognition ability of the listener. Noise removal is the most effective processing technique for voice enhancement.
The noise reduction process uses a noise profile to systematically reduce unwanted frequencies without affecting the dialogue or human voice signals. We also have tools that reduce reverb or echo cancellation.
ENHANCED AUDIO COURTROOM USE
Often times when a layperson processes an audio recording, these changes affect the recorded evidence in a negative way. For instance, the authenticity of the events change and an inaccurate representation of the events makes the recording inadmissible in court. This is oftentimes based on changes an unqualified technician makes that alters the sounds in the recording.
A qualified forensic expert must follow the best practices established by the scientific community. This includes performing the audio enhancement services accurately, documenting the procedures used and presenting the findings to the trier of fact. In order to identify dialogue with accuracy, a successful enhancement or voice enhancement investigation is essential. Our expert witness testimony communicates these results in an accurate way to the trier of fact.
In conclusion, our client’s experience will experience how improved speech can assist the trier of fact in making determinations. Whether it be a smaller criminal case or a multi-billion dollar civil case. When audio recordings that are difficult to hear are enhanced forensically, they only help the litigation process.