Audio Transcription Services using Forensic Analysis

What is Audio Transcription?

Audio transcription services are the scientific observation of words under controlled conditions, and a forensic transcript accompanies an audio enhancement. Audio enhancement is the process of removing unwanted sound and enhancing the wanted sound. Most often, it’s dialogue. If the audio enhancement is still difficult to hear, and that happens a lot, then the forensic transcript is an add on that is a scientific document that is signed and sworn by the expert witness as to the words that are spoken. In that document, I often use the word “unintelligible” because some of the time, you can’t make out what is being said and it’s best to air on the side of caution when that happens.The transcript most commonly ends with the following language:

‘Based on the pains and penalties of perjury, I testify that the above forensic transcript is an accurate representation of the dialogue (or events) spoken during the time of this recording so help me’ then we sign it.



A forensic transcript is the scientific observation of words under controlled conditions, and a forensic transcript accompanies an audio enhancement. Audio enhancement is the process of removing unwanted sound and enhancing the wanted sound. Most often, it’s dialogue.

If the audio enhancement is still difficult to hear, and that happens a lot, then the forensic transcript is an add on that is a scientific document that is signed and sworn by the expert witness as to the words that are spoken. In that document, I often use the word “unintelligible” because some of the time, you can’t make out what is being said and it’s best to air on the side of caution when that happens.

The transcript most commonly ends with the following language:

‘Based on the pains and penalties of perjury, I testify that the above forensic transcript is an accurate representation of the dialogue (or events) spoken during the time of this recording so help me’ then we sign it.

A Forensic Approach

As a forensic expert, I have listened to thousands of audio recordings. I have enhanced them forensically using principles that are accepted in the scientific community. I have a very keen sense of hearing, and I call it critical listening. So as I listen to these recordings that have been enhanced, I can hear things that the normal person can’t hear.

The major difference between a transcript created by a transcriptional and a forensic audio transcription is the person behind the headphones.  An expert like myself goes deeper than simply listening but also analyzed the words spoken understand and decipher the dialogue that may be hidden. Often times i have to analyze details of the recording such as syllables and formants of words in a spectrogram which is a display of the sound.

It helps me to be able to conclude, beyond a reasonable degree of scientific certainty what’s being said. So I type it, and I transcribe it, and that’s what a forensic transcript is.

headphones

Audio Transcription for Video

Often times i am asked to enhance or clarify an audio signal from a video recording as well as transcribe it. I apply the same policies and procedures to preserve the integrity and quality of the audio recording for enhancement as well as transcription.

Once the recording is enhanced i then re attach it to the video recording and type the transcript on screen as subtitles. This makes the video exhibit very powerful for presentation to court. Now you can add the words to the screen and create a demonstrative exhibit from the forensic transcript in case the trier of fact will not let that in as a standalone piece of evidence.

When creating this exhibit, some concerns can arise with the changes that have occurred in the video recording:

  1. Audio evidence was extracted from original video recording
  2. Audio evidence was then enhanced or clarified
  3. Audio evidence was then re attached to the video evidence
  4. Closed captions were added as an overlay to the video evidence
  5. Video evidence was exported for courtroom use

So now we’ve got a demonstrative piece of video that has enhanced audio and the forensically transcribed and perceived words on the screen. The exhibit then becomes valuable based on its multi-functionality. And to top it all off, it has been created  based on a scientific foundation for the trier of fact.

But the bottom line is this forensic transcript helps support the evidence in your case. Just because we can hear something in the lab, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easily reproduced to the trier of fact, opposing counsel, and the jury accurately.

Audio Expert Witness

Primeau Forensics often provides audio enhancement to help the court better understand the events as they occurred. To help in this process, we will also often complete a transcript so that the judge and jury can follow along to the evidence as it is played in court. This additional work product can be extremely useful in poor listening environments where not all parties can clearly hear the recording during playback.

Primeau Forensics understands the importance our work products may have in the courts. High quality equipment is used for every transcript and each finished transcript is reviewed by multiple examiners in our firm.

If you have a video that you question or need help understanding, please give me a call for a pro bono conversation.mail your questions or

Call 800-647-4281 in the USA or +01-248-853-4091 Internationally.





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