Meeting Topic: CRAS AES Presents: Bryan Neumeister
Speaker Name: Bryan Neumeister, USA Forensic
Meeting Location: CRAS Gilbert Campus 1205 N Fiesta Blvd, Gilbert, AZ 85233
Tonight we were joined by Bryan Neumeister, a highly accomplished audio forensics expert (USA Forensics LLC). The student body filled the available seats—we were greatly encouraged by the interest! The CRAS AES student body prepared a number of questions for Bryan to address during the talk; however, as Bryan has been in the audio industry for over three decades, we were treated with many fascinating stories from this experiences.
Bryan got his start in music by writing and recording for Blue Oyster Cult and Tom Fogerty. He has written, recorded, and mixed high-profile artists including jazz greats Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. He has also worked in a multitude of commercials and several blockbuster video games. He has training in helicopter aerial photography, rescue, and surveillance. He is also accomplished in film, television, and is a recipient of multiple Emmy awards! How did he get the opportunity to work in such a wide range of fields? His attitude was: "Say yes, then learn how to do it." It's a notable quote, because it's very relevant to CRAS grads aiming to gain traction in the industry.
Needless to say that he is an expert in all things AV. He has directed his experiences in audio, video, and IT towards forensics audio! Bryan works with highly degraded data and what seems like highly irrecoverable data everyday. In terms of cleaning up degraded audio, Izotope is a standard in the toolbox. For example, he was able to recover dialogue from a mic set on top of a dryer, next to a grandfather clock! He is also an expert in video recovery. He discussed how he was able to obtain a grainy surveillance footage, blow it up to 4K, smoothed out the frame.
Bryan is also an expert in including data recovery. He often received damaged, corrupted hard drives and files. When he receives corrupted files, he can attempt to recover the file using a hex editor—changing the file's binary code!
He showed how much information can be recovered from a smart phone by scanning his own phone. He was able to recover all text messages received and sent, phone call received and sent, and photos with their geolocation! Every instance where his phone connects to a wifi hotspot or a cell tower is recorded for their time and location, which proves to be a powerful evidence in court. He showed us a visual representation of his social network derived from the data scraped from his phone. As for data privacy, he recommends that website passwords be a phrase over 15 characters.
Bryan also donates his time and expertise to the Innocence Project, an organization that works to free the wrongly convicted. He was able to leverage his expertise to free a man wrongly imprisoned for 20 years!
It was such an honor to have Bryan come to speak about his experiences, and we look forward to inviting him back to CRAS in the future!
Written By: Takuma Ono (CRAS AES Secretary)