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The Average Direct Current Offset Values for Small Digital Audio Recorders in an Acoustically Consistent Environment

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In this research project, nine small digital audio recorders were tested using five sets of 30‐min recordings at all available recording modes, with consistent audio material, identical source and microphone locations, and identical acoustic environments. The averaged direct current (DC) offset values and standard deviations were measured for 30‐sec and 1‐, 2‐, 3‐, 6‐, 10‐, 15‐, and 30‐min segments. The research found an inverse association between segment lengths and the standard deviation values and that lengths beyond 30┬ámin may not meaningfully reduce the standard deviation values. This research supports previous studies indicating that measured averaged DC offsets should only be used for exclusionary purposes in authenticity analyses and exhibit consistent values when the general acoustic environment and microphone/recorder configurations were held constant. Measured average DC offset values from exemplar recorders may not be directly comparable to those of submitted digital audio recordings without exactly duplicating the acoustic environment and microphone/recorder configurations.
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Keywords: DC offset; audio analysis; audio authenticity; digital audio recorders; digital authenticity; forensic science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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