Forensic Phonetics and Forensic Acoustics are related areas. Below is a brief outline of their subject matter. FRA provide lectures and workshops on these topics; please contact us for details.
1. Speaker Comparison
The analysis, by ear and computer, of two recorded speech samples. One sample is the speech of an unknown perpetrator. The other sample is the speech of a suspect. Analysis evaluates the degree of consistency between the samples and, where consistent, the degree of distinctiveness of the samples.
2. Speaker Profiling
Where there is a recording of a criminal’s speech but no suspect has been identified, a profile can be compiled of the speaker based on his/her speech.
3. Content Determination
This involves analysis and detailed phonetic transcription of a recording where the content is uncertain, due to factors such as poor recording quality.
4. Voice Lineups
Where a witness has heard a perpetrator’s voice but not seen their face, it is possible to construct a lineup of voice recordings parallel to visual ID parades.
1. Audio Enhancement
Where recordings are of poor quality, filters may be applied in an attempt to improve the intelligibility of a recording, and/or to reduce listening fatigue.
2. Recording Authentication
Auditory, acoustic and other techniques may be applied to determine whether a recording has been edited or otherwise manipulated.
Casework may require analysis of various kinds of acoustic material other than speech, such as coughing or gun fire.