October 2002 meeting of SC-03-12

[page updated 2002-12-21]

Report of the SC-03-12 Working Group on Forensic Audio of the SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio Recording meeting, held in conjunction with the AES 113th Convention in Los Angeles, CA, US, 2002-10-05

The meeting was convened by W. Dooley in place of Chair T. Owen.

The agenda and the report of the previous meeting held in conjunction with the AES 112th Convention in Munich, Germany, 2002-05-10 were approved as written.

Open projects

AES27-R Review of AES27-1996 (r2002) AES recommended practice for forensic purposes - Managing recorded audio materials intended for examination
It was felt that some review could take place prior to the 2007 review date, particularly with reference to the increased use of digital materials.

AES43-R Review of AES43-2000 AES standard for forensic audio - Criteria for the authentication of analog audio tape recordings
It was proposed that a review should begin next year, particularly with reference to the increased use of digital materials and the importance of chain of evidence considerations. E. Brixen agreed to post a request for suggested revisions and comments to the reflector.

AES-X10 Guidelines for Forensic Analysis - Study of Requirements for Identification and Enhancement of Recorded Audio Information
It was resolved that the project intent for AES-X10 should change to be an information document. The existing PWD, prepared by D. Queen for the New York meeting, 2001-12, needs to be completed before being proposed to the Subcommittee. A. Begault commented that AES-X10 prominently featured an insufficiently practical shopping list of enhancement options and hardware. It was generally agreed that such lists belong more properly in an instructional text on audio. Begault agreed to initiate fresh discussions on the reflector.

AES-X115 Forensic Audio for Video
This project had been awaiting a Project Initiation Request (PIR) and a scope. The death of N. Perle, who was leading the work on AES-X115, was noted with regret. The meeting proposed that this project be withdrawn.

AES-X116 Forensic Media
Resources discussed on the subject included a book on media formats for forensic purposes written by Brixen (1992), not in English, and ongoing work by the AES History Committee listing media formats and tape oxide formulations. R. Streicher raised the question as to whether this was a type of document the group particularly felt needed to exist and Brixen suggested that specific professional queries concerning strange media types could alternatively be directed to the working group.

This project had been awaiting a PIR and a scope. The meeting proposed that this project be withdrawn.

AES-X117 Forensic Audio Education
This project had been awaiting a PIR and a scope. The meeting proposed that this project be withdrawn.

However, Owen's interest in the area was noted and all present looked forward to the possibility of having a workshop at the upcoming AES 115th Convention in New York, NY. The shortage of good educational resources for forensic audio analyst training was duly noted. It was resolved to e-mail D. Puluse, Chair of the Audio Education Committee, suggesting that a list of forensic audio education offerings be included in a new category of the resource directory they maintain.

New projects

It was noted that Owen intends to open a project for VoiceID. Dooley reported that a writing group had developed a document called Forensic Audio Recordist Audio Evidence Collection (FARAEC).

At the AES 111th Convention, an ad hoc task group met with Owen's approval and reviewed a preliminary version of FARAEC. At AES 112th Convention, Owen recommended that the draft be rewritten to comply with the IEC Directive Pt. 2, IEC style guide. Under Dooley's supervision, P. Merrill undertook the revision. An initial Proposed Task Group Draft (PTD) of FARAEC was submitted to the group for consideration.

It was agreed that Dooley and Merrill would submit a FARAEC PIR to the reflector. It was felt that the FARAEC document should be drafted in the first instance as a standard so that practices of critical importance to collecting authenticable evidence could be clearly stated as requirements.

A Task Group was requested to handle the FARAEC PTD. Brustad expressed concern regarding the absence of treatment of digital media in the FARAEC PTD and volunteered to help develop material dealing with recommendations for digital forensic audio recording. It is hoped to have a PWD in time for the AES 114th Convention in Amsterdam, 2002-03.

New business

Six open projects were reviewed and it was agreed to eliminate three that have been inactive with no prejudice to pursuing the subject matter at a later date. Dooley noted that the sense of the meeting was that "we should be doing fewer projects in a more timely fashion." Parties present agreed that it seems good practice to close open projects that are not functioning as active projects. Future activity in these areas is welcome.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held in conjunction with the AES 114th Convention in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

AES - Audio Engineering Society