In our alphabetical look through the Waves product range, when we get to F we have to turn to a little known sector of the audio business - Forensics. Waves have a product that is aimed at audio forensics specialists - the Phil Manchester Waves Forensics Package.
The Phil Manchester Waves Audio Forensics Package is a collection of nine audio plugins chosen especially for their precision in covert audio investigation, this package is ideally suited for law enforcement agencies includes...
- W43 Noise Reduction Plugin
- C1 Compressor/Expander
- Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer
- PAZ Frequency Analyzer
- L1 Ultramaximizer™
Phil has been in forensic audio from the ground floor. His work was an indispensable part of the prosecution’s case against Parviz Khan and four others convicted in an infamous 2007 plot to kill a British Muslim soldier. Phil explained that one day he may be in a position to publicly comment on exactly how Waves' tools provided him with the arsenal to deliver results in this complicated investigation and others, but what he will say is that Waves processing technologies are without a doubt providing him with the finest tools available to allow him to continue as a world-leading expert. Phil continues...
“Waves Audio tools were used to identify, restore and evidentially provide critical audio for bringing to justice those responsible for high level criminality. Thanks to Waves, I was able to succeed where other law enforcement agencies had failed.”
Who Is Phil Manchester?
With over 20 years of technical experience as an international covert audio specialist, Phil Manchester was the originator of the West Midlands Police Forensic Audio Laboratory here in the UK. He works with law enforcement and military agencies and has conducted audio forensics on more than 750 major criminal investigations involving national security, counter-terrorism, murder, kidnap, international drug smuggling and other serious criminal offenses.
Phil is renowned worldwide for his high level of effectiveness. Phil told us...
“People often ask me how I am able to obtain evidence in a recording that others cannot, and the answer is experience and exposure. You need to live and breathe the material if you want to achieve results others cannot – just like music, artistry or any craft in life. You need raw passion and perseverance, and when that is paired with the right tools, you have the perfect match for excellence.”
Phil was instrumental in securing the vital evidence required in a groundbreaking, law-changing U.S.-to-U.K. extradition case in which the audio forensic evidence was crucial in securing the extradition. His audio forensics work has also proved indispensable in several high-profile terrorist conspiracy cases in the U.K. But Phil has always been a forensics specialist...
“Waves plugins are my primary palette of tools and have been since 2000. They are absolutely crucial to my work. Coming from a background using Waves plugins for music and mix engineering, I took that passion and applied it to my professional life in audio forensics, with wonderful results. I have been fortunate to use almost every form of restoration software and hardware available, including specifically-designed law enforcement equipment and commercially-supplied professional audio tools used by all of the major agencies; Waves processing provides the tools to do the job every time, especially when it matters most. In forensics, the quality of the material is often so poor that we really need to go the extra mile to be able to provide critical intelligence and evidence, and I have been proud to be able to restore recordings that others could not.
Many tools on the market today are designed for quick-and-easy, one-button fixes. Those are fine for certain situations and, for this type of approach, but in my opinion, forensics really is best suited to more detailed methods, and at the highest levels of covert investigation, I need the most precise levels of control available. Since we are trying to obtain accurate evidence, that level of fine-tuning makes all the difference in the world. Creativity can be a significant part of it too; strict uses of application-driven tools are often not the best way to obtain intelligence, and a little bit of imagination can go a long way. For instance, I have even used plugins that were designed for guitars to isolate the conversation of interest.”
Manchester sees the use of plug-ins and audio restoration software by forensics investigators as a growing trend.
“These plugins and methods will have a huge impact on how investigators approach their craft. For too long, audio forensics has been about racks and racks of equipment in laboratories. And law enforcement might tend to lag behind on certain developments – most police officers still record to tape, for instance. But the fact is now, with the power of a modern laptop, I can perform restoration that will exceed that of the most expensive laboratory systems, and it is only a matter of time before this type of investigation is the norm.”