Voice Disguise Deception

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    Voice Disguise Deception

    Electronic & Non-Electronic Voice Modification

    ”   In the same manner that we use voice as a biometric identifier in our daily lives it should not come as a surprise that disguising our voices is a natural human counter-identification tactic.

    Disguising a voice is not a modern phenomenon; it could be reasonably argued that it probably began in pre-historic times as a natural result of the human social evolution. From the earliest writings we find stories with examples of the use of voice disguises. For example in the biblical book of Genesis, Chapter 27, we read a story about inheritance and deceit. Jacob, aided by his mother Rebekah, tricks his elderly and blind father Isaac into pronouncing the socially significant patriarchal blessing upon him instead of the legitimate heir, his brother Esau.

    ” And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau’ ”

    If we analyzed this story as a forensic speaker identification (FSID) case we could state that Jacob used a “multimode” disguise approach, changing his physical appearance as well as his voice. Under normal circumstances Isaac could have been considered a subject matter expert (SME) in FSID when it came to his sons but his failing health produced a “false positive” identity assessment.   ”

    Eliud Bonilla 2017 thesis

    There is no doubt that voice as a part of natural, biometric human makeup is a characteristic that has been used deceptively for a long time. The fact voice is a performance based human trait has made it particularly interesting. Compared to other biometric characteristics such as fingerprints, iris pattern or facial geometry – it is evident how changing your voice or signature would be easier to forge than other biometric parameters.

    Non-electronic voice disguise as described in the citation from Eliud Bonilla 2017 thesis (here) requires great ability, focus and stamina from the speaker. A trained voice-actor would be suited for such a type of disguise which can prove difficult to detect. Reaching a consistent level of performance with voice is not easy and excludes the majority of the public from using such techniques.

    The need for training and skill is not required when using electronic means and this has opened voice-disguise for much wider use just like the propagation of software solutions available today very clearly testify to.

    There is today no shortage of software and hardware solutions for voice disguise, and we are in our right to be skeptical of online identity of individuals who we identify primarily by voice alone. The performance of today’s solutions for modifying speaking patterns and vocal frequencies makes the question of voice identity more troublesome than ever before.

    There are two main types of applying digital electronic voice disguise, also referred to as protecting an identity for illegal acts (a) and protecting an identity for legal acts (b).

      a Voices disguised in subtle ways in an attempt to not be discovered
      b Voices clearly identified as disguised by listeners (i.e. Aliens, dogs etc.)

    The naive voice-modifications are often popularized by amateur software as it concerns the fun and prank side to voice disguise. It is also this type of apparent disguise that is used to protect the identity of a witness or interviewee. In these cases, voice-disguise is used in a legal manner and not with direct criminal intent.

    Naive voice disguise is easily recognized and the aural characteristics are rather severe with frequencies modified to sound much higher or lower than any natural state. It is apparent the voice is manipulated, but not to the point of being unlistenable as the content must be understood by the listener.

    Voices that are manipulated in a subtle manner on the other hand have the goal remain undetected for the public and imperceptible for aural analysis. This type of subtle voice-disguise will maintain enough natural sounding characteristics to sound authentic, while the voice features are modified sufficiently to constitute a recognizable new identity.

    The implementation of subtle electronic voice disguise is normally more difficult to attain as it uses more sophisticated algorithms and high quality audio channels will further put stress on the quality of the software as more information is processed and more detail is revealed by quality sound.

    It is quite recurrent to hear appeal to ridicule fallacies whenever voice-disguise is mentioned related to Conspiracy Theory. How anyone can be ignorant of the wide use and easy access of reliable voice modulating technology is problematic and speak more of the deceptive nature of conspiracy theory as a topic (article) than it speaks of genuine research.

    The very fact that the use of subtle voice disguise is closely linked to corrupt and unlawful behavior further stress how those who employ such techniques are already guilty of subterfuge and will not hesitate to use deception anew in order to protect their immoral actions.

    There is more to uncovering voice-disguise that mere opinions and in order to better research and validate suspicion of deceptive occurrences of voice-disguise. Not only do we all possess a very acute auditory system ourselves and should be capable ear witnesses in our own right, there is also an increasing number of forensic tools available (some automated) as well as usual corroborating evidence such veiled admissions, recognition of arguments and discourse, often used words, and recourse to forensic expertise and discrete expert analyses.

    Voice Vices (article)

    Voice Vices


    ”   The earliest commercial use of Auto-Tune as a vocal effect in a popular song was Roy Vedas Fragments Of Life in 1998 and later with Cher in Believe and Eiffel 65 Blue. The effect of Auto-Tune should not be confused with a Vocoder or the Talk box, both devices referenced by the producers of these songs when they were new in order to hide their use of Auto-Tune from music audiences.

    For example, in an early interview, the producers of ‘Believe’ claimed they had used a DigiTech Talker FX pedal, in what ‘Sound on Sound’ editors felt was an attempt to “preserve a trade secret”. After the success of ‘Believe’ the technique became known as the ‘Cher Effect’.   “

    No doubt the careful wording of the Wikipedia entry on Auto-Tune is intentionally “tuned down” as the actual technology of Auto-Tune (wiki) is better described as voice-modulation or voice-morphing.

    The fact all the above songs seems deliberately over-modulated as to be very distinctly recognized as artificially sounding voices further emphasize how the focus on Auto-Tune was most possibly intended leaks and that Auto-Tune in reality had been used for quite a while at the time of the Auto-Tune exposure…

    The exaggerated effects applied to the voices of the artists who broke the spell so to say could easily be mistaken with the inability of Auto-Tune technology to produce realisticly altered human voices. Nothing could be further from the truth as once sound is digitized, the result only depend on one’s preference, be it for producing a synthetic or natural voice.

    In many songs the producers seem to privilege an artificial sound style, but if they would like to produce a convincing fake new voice (electronic voice disguise), Auto-Tune is still one of the best ways to go…

    Proof The Music Industry Is Fake, Everybody Using Autotune & LipSync
    YouTube – Providence – 22 Dec 2014 – 12:54 mm:ss



    This is slightly off-topic,but I have always wondered about well known new-lifers who can easily change their hair, wear dark glasses, have plastic and dental surgery, slim/fatten up and age, yet their instantly recognisable voice will be a constant. Of course it couldn’t be [fill in your favourite celeb] next to you at the airport/on the beach because they died, didn’t they?

    But then there’s laryngoplasty.



    I think it would be fairly standard procedure for fake death processing.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  xileffilex.

    But then there’s laryngoplasty.

    I think it would be fairly standard procedure for fake death processing.

    As you highlight with possible voice-box (larynx) surgery as part of required disguise for a reassigned lifetime actor, it also goes to show the importance of sound and particularly the acute ability humans have to recognize voices.

    We have seen from the TCC thread how some contrived truthers do not shy away from using wigs, hats, fake teeth and acting out fake drinking and smoking habits (here). To alter one’s voice or accent would be just as intuitive for these characters as putting on their sunglasses or fake mustache. Or maybe even more if all we know of these types of individuals would be their voice from a recorded podcast series.

    In researching gender-deception in the EGI forum thread, it quite quickly became evident that altering the voice was one of the strong gender-typical parameters a transgender would think of modifying (here).

    Looking anew at laryngoplasty surgery it seems pretty invasive and probably not what a fake radio-host Truther would think of when starting a new show… lol.

    What i seem to have missed when i looked into voice-modification for transgenders is the fact that it is possible to alter a voice – less significantly than gender inversion – with something as straightforward as a filler… And it has been done for over a 100 years…

    In essence, to slightly change one’s voice for a new long-con role, it would only require a skilled practitioner and a syringe under local anesthesia. This type of hit and run procedure is previously known as Vocal fold Injection, now marketed as Injection laryngoplasty

    Vocal fold injection is a procedure that has over a 100 year history but was rarely done as short as 20 years ago. A renaissance has occurred with respect to vocal fold injection due to new technologies (visualization and materials) and new injection approaches. Awake, un-sedated vocal fold injection offers many distinct advantages for the treatment of dysphonia


    Electronic voice cloning (software)
    The increased use of voice disguise that we see today is clearly influenced by new digital advancements and research on biometric recognition and security which understandably are areas where State and Military intelligence communities have high stakes as they seek to surveil and control as best they can.

    The high stakes and security issues involved makes it difficult to assess how far the current state of the art voice recognition and voice disguise technology really has developed.

    Some recent voice-manipulation projects do give us some insight of what the technology is capable of and the sudden launch, then retreat of Adobe’s project VoCo represents a curious incidence.

    Adobe VoCo was launched in 2016 (wiki) as the “Photoshop for Voice” with quite some attention, but the software has since been left unpublished. The software nevertheless seemed to work quite well back in 2016 and was able to clone a voice with proximately 20 minutes of recorded speech and render it from text input thereafter. In short, Adobe VoCo made it possible to make someone say anything – with as little as 20 minutes of recorded speech…

    As Adobe broke water then retrieved, a number of new software solutions have become available with the very same abilities of cloning a voice then recreating it from text based input and the sample time has been dropped from 20 minutes to 60 seconds or less according to companies like Lyrebird, Baidu, Google Wavenet and more.

    Adobe MAX 2016 | Sneak Peeks (Adobe VoCo)
    Adobe Creative Cloud – 4 Nov 2016 – 07:20 mm:ss – 1,55 Million views

    VoCo: Text-based Insertion and Replacement in Audio Narration
    Adam Finkelstein – 11 Mai 2017 – 06:03 mm:ss – 60 K views

    This AI Can Clone Any Voice, Including Yours (Lyrebird)
    Bloomberg – 5 Jun 2018 – 06:13 mm:ss – 708 K views

    Adobe is Developing Photoshop for Your Voice
    Technology Going Too Far: Why Adobe’s New “VoCo” Causes Concern
    Adobe Voco ‘Photoshop-for-voice’ causes concern
    Adobe’s new software raises major security and privacy concerns
    Creepy Technology Can Mimic Your Voice With Just 60 Seconds Of Audio
    Lyrebird is an AI that can recreate your voice from 60 seconds of speech

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