French is not entirely sure what aural spectrograph is. If if is like the discredited voiceprint analysis, combined with listening, it is not reliable. Never been used in the UK. No speech scientist anywhere in the world would condone it. West asks if there is any such thing as a voiceprint. Dr. French says "no." There is never an exact match between individual signatures, nor between individual words being said. Each speech event is unique. I think the reference is just to compare the time/level signals - literally measuring the sound wave/pressure over time.
Have you reviewed Dr. Reich's report? Yes. It bears similarity to acoustic listening method French already described, farther from the voiceprint analysis. He finds a number of things in Reich's report disturbing - for example, finding certain words (stop) via resonant frequencies relative to the normal male. Reich suggests that because the value (pitch) is 10% higher, that the vocal tract must be that of Martin, due to him not being full grown. French says there is not a correlation between growth (overall maturity), and vocal tract maturity, and speakers age. There is NO accepted data to support finding age. West asks if a 28 year old could make that sound. French says a 50 year old could. Goes on to detail the physics, moth would be more open. West asks if French has any experience in phonetics. Yes, French's postgrad was in phonetics, and he has had ongoing training in this area, and is called on to train other people in phonetic analysis.
Back to Reich hearing the word "stop." Part two, was this related to screams in particular, or something else? French says yes, there are remarks about words head, "these shall be," etc. Not a single one of those does Dr. French hear. He hears breathing or other random sounds, but he can't accept that any of those sounds is speech. West asks if there is a recognized phenomenon where listeners under high amplification. Dr. Frazer in Australia has a body of work where people mistake for speech, non-speech sounds or patterns. Is that phenomenon recognized in your work? yes, we are aware of this and endeavor to eliminate. How do you deal with this? Dr. French says other than overall caution, there is no way. He says in this recording, if you didn't know from outside information, you wouldn't know that the person was screaming in English, was a male or female.
BTW, Mantei objected to the line of questioning about predisposition or inclination to hear words or speech where none is being uttered, on the grounds that it aimed to obtain a psychiatric impression of the listener. Objection overruled, and Dr. French said he would "be careful to not trespass on the grounds your opponent has identified."
West wants a few moments to make sure he's covered the bases. Asks maybe for a recess. Nelson says no recess until we are done with this witness.
Your first testimony in a US court? Yes. You do not hear "you're going to die tonight motherfscker" or "you got me"? No, I don't hear those things. French isn't saying that there is nothing that might not be construed as that (with imagination), but he doesn't hear it. Mantei goes on to describe the recording arrangement - 40 feet from outdoors to indoors, phone, recorded, competition with other voices on the tape. How much effort or power would be required to generate the signal from the outside. French says not enough info - depends on head, mouth placement of screamer; microphone on phone direction, how close the phone is to the speaker's face, quality of phone line. Can't give a meaningful view of that.
How about whether or not a scream was smothered or muffled. French could not tell either way.
Is voice recognition a generally valid undertaking? Yes, we evaluate a great number of samples. Mantei says you do not have a minimum amount of words or time. Yes, true. Mantei asks if French listened to the sounds without assistance, and also with SoundForge and other analytical tools. French says yes, he did. SoundForge is described as a blunt tool. Mantei says you measured the pitch? Found it to be 300-900 Hz? French says he may have recalculated these values with assistance from his PhD student and the technique she uses. Average pitch 526 Hz, Max 843 Hz, minimum 342 Hz. Mantei asks why did you do that? French explains, his first cut was use of default program, and the PhD student has techniques that ameliorate errors that the speech software tends to make in spectral analysis. French makes a great point that the difference would not change his conclusion. Just because you change something to improve your result isn't something that should concern scientists, should it?
Mantei fairly correctly summarizes French, that none of the processes will deliver reliable results; French adds that biometric analysis is completely inappropriate. Mantei tries to say that none of the methods are bad; but the issue is the sample. French says that the methodology of Owen would not be accepted by the scientific community (biometric).
Mantei goes on to the vocal tract development. French says that this comparison is invalid for screaming. Mantei asks if adolescents and men have deeper voices as they age. Mantei is done.
Redirect by West.
Would French describe the process of voice change in men. Typically in early teen years, he is not an expert on this, but typically between 12-16, maybe a little older. Lowering of larynx, enlargement of sinus cavities, enlargement of larynx. Is this time of change associated with other physiological changes? Yes, with puberty. West says what about facial hair, pubic hair - French says this strays outside of his area of expertise, and a juror or judge could answer those questions as well as French could. West asks if French has any data / conclusion as to whether or not Martin had undergone puberty. Based on the video of martin, French thinks Martin is in or past puberty. Witness is over.
15 minute recess.
Mantei's cross exam was lame.