How to interrogate a sound?



I often see people (reddit, forums etc) trying to ID a sound, so I am writing an article about “how to interrogate a sound” i.e. techniques to work out how a sound was created…
So my Q: what techniques do you use?

Obvious techniques include:
– slow it down – listen at half speed, quarter speed
– speed it up
– play it backwards

Analyse spectrum for pitch:
– what is fundamental freq?
– is pitch quantised or free? modulated?
– are naturally complex harmonics present?
– are quantised/tuned harmonics present?

Memory of similar sounds is useful, and analysing those for comparison…

Anyone do #forensic audio for a living?

I’ll do more research as I put it together…
Appreciate & will credit any suggestions

2 thoughts on “How to interrogate a sound?

  1. Richard

    A good critical listening exercise you’re calling out here.

    Another one comes to mind: are there processing artifacts such as FFT smearing or chirps?

    1. tim Post author

      True, thank you!

      I will go deep on the subject of filter use too, to reveal aspects. I bought a rack from a local auction site a while ago and it turned out to be ex NZ Police surveillance, presumably sold off as achieved digitally now – it contains a really lovely Orban 622B Parametric Filter which can be tuned sharply!!

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