AES Technical Committee

Audio Forensics

Chair:    Jeff M. Smith      Send Email
Vice Chair:    Daniel Rappaport      Send Email
Vice Chair:    Eddy Bogh Brixen      Send Email
Forum:    Committee Discussion Forum

The Technical Committee on Audio Forensics is pleased to announce the next conference on Audio Forensics to be held June 15-17 in Arlington, VA USA and chaired by Daniel Rappaport and Jeff M. Smith.

See the conference website:

Call for Contributions:

Current Areas Of Work

  • To extend knowledge of audio forensic practice and techniques world-wide
  • To identify areas requiring additional research
  • To bring together professionals and students in the area of audio forensics
  • To encourage publication of papers, and to arrange tutorials, conferences and workshops, within the AES
  • To support standards committees on forensic audio via fostering of refereed journal publications

Recent/Planned Activities

At the AES 139th Convention in New York, the Technical Council’s Heyser Lecturer was former FBI agent and forensic consultant Bruce Koenig, who illuminated the mysteries of acoustic gunshot analysis. Complementing the forensics theme of the Heyser lecture, the TC-AF put together a mini track of its own on the Friday of the convention, consisting of a couple of overview tutorials, one chaired by Eddy Brixen and the other by Jeff Smith. There was also a valuable workshop on audio enhancement chaired by Daniel Rappaport, with Eddy Brixen and Gordon Reid on the panel.

Another successful conference of the AES on Audio Forensics was held June 12-14, 2014 in London. See the website for specific program and sponsor details: Proceedings from this conference, as well as the previous audio forensics conferences (26, 33, 39, 46) are available here:

Mission Statement

Audio Forensics refers to engineering and scientific analysis, evaluation and presentation of audio and acoustic evidence in a judicial inquiry normally leading towards a presentation in court. The complex challenges faced by the field transcend borders and jurisdictions, and becomes increasingly complex with the proliferation of new types of digital media. In order to establish a reliable scientific basis for the procedures and analysis of the outcomes of audio forensic analysis, the technical committee meets at AES conventions to plan conferences, workshops and tutorials; to encourage dissemination of scientific information through peer-reviewed journal and conference publications and posters; and to communicate educational opportunities in the field. Presently, the technical committee meetings for audio forensics are open to all attendees.

Emerging Trends in Audio Forensics

Last updated: 10/31/2015

General Considerations -

Forensic audio has important applications in law and investigations. These continue to grow as the ability to record and share digital media proliferates. Therefore, it is important for the practitioner working with forensic audio to be trained in and apply processes related to proper evidence handling and laboratory procedures. Analog audio evidence, once commonly cassette and micro-cassette tapes, make up an increasingly small percentage of cases. As such, digital audio evidence, which in practice is closely related to and often times generated by computer forensics investigations, requires handling practices such as imaging physical digital media, hashing file duplicates, authenticating recordings, and recovering and/or repairing corrupt or carved files.

Modern challenges for the forensic audio examiner have expanded to include dealing with evidence from social networks and sharing websites such as YouTube and Facebook. These pose unique challenges in attributing provenance due to processing applied automatically by the hosting site. Additionally, growing concern for privacy rights has led citizens and providers of Internet services to question authorities law enforcement entities have in requesting and accessing digital media hosted on these sites. Similarly, mobile phone manufacturers have adopted policies and operating system designs resistant to collection of probative material and using "backdoor" access to password protected devices. As social media awareness and use continue to evolve, so will public and commercial policies related to privacy rights.

The use of probabilistic methods in the presentation of scientific evidence is of increasing interest to the forensic sciences as a whole. As a result, we anticipate seeing the integration of methods and techniques in forensic audio employed within a probabilistic framework such as Bayesian likelihood, which enjoys application in forensic speaker comparison.

Difficulty in the area of audio enhancement continues due to lossy data compression common in small digital recorders, data compression and bandwidth limited signals in telecommunications, and non-ideal recording environments common to surveillance and security. In the presence of heavy data compression, classical algorithm designs for noise reduction filters are challenged and thereby require that new techniques to be developed.

AES Technical Committee on Audio Forensics -

Numerous papers on audio forensics appear in the Journal of AES and are presented at AES Conventions each year. Additionally, there have been five AES Conferences on audio forensics since 2005 (AES 26th, 33rd, 39th, 46th, and 54th) with the next slated for 2016. Additionally, regular workshops and tutorials organized by the TC-AF exploring these and many other emerging trends appear at AES Conventions in the US and Europe each year.

Meeting Report:

These documents do not necessarily express the official position of the AES on the issues discussed at these meetings, and only represent the views of committee members participating in the discussion. Any unauthorized use of these publications is prohibited. Authorization must be obtained from the Executive Director of the AES: Email, Tel: +1 212 661 8528, Address: 551 Fifth Ave., Suite 1225, New York, New York 10176, USA.

2014-10-16     137th AES Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: Minutes from TC-AF meeting in LA on Oct. 11, 2014

2014-5-23     135th AES Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: TC-AF meeting minutes from the 135th AES Convention, New York, Oct. 2013

2013-9-3     134th Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: May 2013 TC-AF meeting minutes

2013-9-3     133rd Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: October 2012 TC-AF meeting summary

2013-9-3     132nd Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: April 2012 meeting minutes

2013-9-3     131st Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: October 2011 TC-AF meeting minutes

2013-9-3     130th Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: May 2011 meeting minutes

2013-9-3     129th Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: November 2010 TC-AF meeting minutes

2013-9-3     128th Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: May 2010 TC-AF meeting minutes

2013-9-3     127th AES Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: October 2009 TC-AF meeting minutes

2013-9-3     125th AES Convention TC-AF Meeting Report
Description: Oct. 2008 TC-AF meeting minutes

Committee Members

 Christoph Musialik  Durand Begault  Gordon Reid 
 Rob Maher  W.A. Deutsch  Wes Dooley 
 Eddy Bogh Brixen  Wanda Newman  Anibal Ferreira 
 Douglas S. Lacey  J. Keith McElveen  Lise-Lotte W Tjellesen 
 Robert-Eric Gaskell  Philip Esterhazy  Margaret Luthar 
 Davis Appelt  Todd Makinen  Lars Clausen 
 Pascal Lorenz  Kuldip Raj  Thor Legvold 
 Florian Raschke  Erik Achrén  Tom Owen 
 Mark Stebbeds  Ronny Max  Myke Roy 
 Truls Birkeland  Ryan Hansen  Jeff M. Smith 
 Robert Lusk  Jacob Setinhour  Michaela Schuster 
 Sebastian Schneider  Phil Manchester  Andrey Barinov 
 Alexander Zaknewski  Neil Muncy  Bruce Koenig 
 Norm Broner  Vlado Delic  Marisa Dery 
 Catalin Grigoras  David Hallimore  Kristin Bidwell 
 Daniel Rappaport  Doug Gregory  Hafiz Malik 
 Jeff Harris  Matthew Owens  Matthew Eardley 
 Felix Klemke  Steve Saunders  Dan Nyberg 
 Thomas Guzman-Sanchez  Federico Jankilevich 

To request membership in this Technical Committee please email the Chair by using the link above.

AES - Audio Engineering Society