Every voice is unique Why

A person's voice is as unique as a fingerprint

When you hear the voice of the Schröder impersonator Elmar Brandt with your eyes closed, you really think you can hear the Chancellor. But no matter how deceptively real the supposed Schröder voice may sound, an analysis of the frequencies or harmonics contained in the language would reveal major differences, from which the voice of the chancellor and the impersonator could be recognized without a doubt.

The possibilities of voice analysis have been used in forensics for years to recognize and convict criminals based on their voice - for example with the help of recorded phone calls between kidnappers and the police. The almost forgery-proof characteristics of a voice are not lost when adjusting and can be distilled out of spoken words with almost 100% certainty with the technologies available today. In addition to the technique, however, the experience of the analyst in question always plays a major role.

The fact that a tape recording of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has now been identified as authentic by American experts does not need to come as a surprise, given the technical possibilities available. A comparison with previous voice samples clearly shows whether the speakers are the same person - as with a fingerprint.

Theoretically, it would of course be conceivable that bin Laden's preserved language material and very professional technology could be used to generate new texts with his original voice. But at the inevitable interfaces, the high-tech equipment of the voice analysts would discover the fraud. Particularly treacherous would be those words that had to be put together from individual sounds because they - with some probability - have not yet been uttered by bin Laden, such as "Bali" or "hostage-taking in Moscow".