The Malaysian government finally released a recording today with their report of the conversation between Malaysian Flight 370 and Air Traffic Control.
I had the opportunity to listen to the recording and have several concerns from an audio forensic perspective:
First, the very beginning of the recording is of high quality and the background ambiance and noise floor are very low.
This is the quality we should expect with the technology that is available today. Then, at approximately 00:01:14 in the recording, the tone changes.
At first listen it sounds as if a digital recorder is being held up to a speaker to create this portion of the recording. An edit occurs at this time, transitioning the higher quality to the lower quality recording.
In addition, the background noise floor increases, while the tonality and quality of the voice communication decreases.
I believe that the portion of the recording from 00:02:06 to 00:02:15 was created with a digital hand held recorder because noise in the room where the recording takes place can be heard, such as a drawer closing and papers being shuffled.
There are also long gaps or silence in the communication where the room ambiance and background noise continue to be heard. Then at approximately 00:06:17 the conversation is clipped by an edit.
Shortly thereafter the quality of the recording goes back to the same high quality as in the very beginning.
As an audio forensic expert I feel that with the technology and tools available today; why wouldn’t the Malaysian government have released a high quality version of this entire recording?
Also, why would they only release parts of the recording and not the complete recording?
Surely the conversation must have been longer than seven minutes before Flight 370 went missing.
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