A forensic audio transcription is a complete and accurate documentation of the words spoken in an evidence recording. These are completed to the best of our ability using high-quality headphones and reference monitors. We have been practicing audio and video forensics for many years and have a deep understanding of audio equipment to better clarify and hear the events in a recording.
When processing audio recordings or surveillance with audio, we often create a forensic transcript. A forensic transcript is the scientific observation of words under controlled conditions, and accompanies an audio enhancement. Audio enhancement is the process of removing unwanted sound and enhancing the wanted sound. Usually, the wanted sound is dialogue. If after the enhancement, the audio is still difficult to hear, that is when we will do a forensic transcript. We then add on the forensic transcript, that is a scientific document that is signed and sworn by the expert witness as to the words that are spoken. Often times the forensic transcription will use the word “unintelligible”, because sometimes you can’t make out what is being said and it is best to air on the side of caution when this occurs.
As forensic experts, we have processed thousands of audio recordings. We enhance all recordings forensically using principles accepted by the scientific community. Our experts have a very keen sense of hearing and have going through hearing tests to ensure they can hear different levels of sound. As we listen to these recordings that have been enhanced, we can hear things that the normal person can’t. The difference between a transcript and a forensic transcript is that the forensic transcript was created by an expert. Somebody who is an expert at understanding and deciphering dialogue. Not just with critical listening, but by also analyzing syllables and the format of words in audio recordings.
We also compare the words in question in one part of the recording to words that maybe repeated in another part of the recording. Then we are able to match the known word to the sentence that matches an unknown word. Our experts then are able to conclude, beyond a reasonable degree of scientific certainty what’s being said. If the created forensic transcript was from a video, then we can also add the words to the screen to create a demonstrative exhibit for court use. This is especially helpful when the audio recording can’t be used as a standalone piece of evidence.