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A comparison of recent waveform generation and acoustic modeling methods for neural-network-based speech synthesis Machine Learning

Recent advances in speech synthesis suggest that limitations such as the lossy nature of the amplitude spectrum with minimum phase approximation and the over-smoothing effect in acoustic modeling can be overcome by using advanced machine learning approaches. In this paper, we build a framework in which we can fairly compare new vocoding and acoustic modeling techniques with conventional approaches by means of a large scale crowdsourced evaluation. Results on acoustic models showed that generative adversarial networks and an autoregressive (AR) model performed better than a normal recurrent network and the AR model performed best. Evaluation on vocoders by using the same AR acoustic model demonstrated that a Wavenet vocoder outperformed classical source-filter-based vocoders. Particularly, generated speech waveforms from the combination of AR acoustic model and Wavenet vocoder achieved a similar score of speech quality to vocoded speech.

Wasserstein GAN and Waveform Loss-based Acoustic Model Training for Multi-speaker Text-to-Speech Synthesis Systems Using a WaveNet Vocoder Machine Learning

Recent neural networks such as WaveNet and sampleRNN that learn directly from speech waveform samples have achieved very high-quality synthetic speech in terms of both naturalness and speaker similarity even in multi-speaker text-to-speech synthesis systems. Such neural networks are being used as an alternative to vocoders and hence they are often called neural vocoders. The neural vocoder uses acoustic features as local condition parameters, and these parameters need to be accurately predicted by another acoustic model. However, it is not yet clear how to train this acoustic model, which is problematic because the final quality of synthetic speech is significantly affected by the performance of the acoustic model. Significant degradation happens, especially when predicted acoustic features have mismatched characteristics compared to natural ones. In order to reduce the mismatched characteristics between natural and generated acoustic features, we propose frameworks that incorporate either a conditional generative adversarial network (GAN) or its variant, Wasserstein GAN with gradient penalty (WGAN-GP), into multi-speaker speech synthesis that uses the WaveNet vocoder. We also extend the GAN frameworks and use the discretized mixture logistic loss of a well-trained WaveNet in addition to mean squared error and adversarial losses as parts of objective functions. Experimental results show that acoustic models trained using the WGAN-GP framework using back-propagated discretized-mixture-of-logistics (DML) loss achieves the highest subjective evaluation scores in terms of both quality and speaker similarity.

Investigation of enhanced Tacotron text-to-speech synthesis systems with self-attention for pitch accent language Machine Learning

ABSTRACT End-to-end speech synthesis is a promising approach that directly converts raw text to speech. Although it was shown that Tacotron2 outperforms classical pipeline systems with regards to naturalness in English, its applicability to other languages is still unknown. Japanese could be one of the most difficult languages for which to achieve end-to-end speech synthesis, largely due to its character diversity and pitch accents. Therefore, state-of-theart systems are still based on a traditional pipeline framework that requires a separate text analyzer and duration model. Towards endto-end Japanese speech synthesis, we extend Tacotron to systems with self-attention to capture long-term dependencies related to pitch accents and compare their audio quality with classical pipeline systems under various conditions to show their pros and cons. In a large-scale listening test, we investigated the impacts of the presence of accentual-type labels, the use of force or predicted alignments, and acoustic features used as local condition parameters of the Wavenet vocoder. Our results reveal that although the proposed systems still do not match the quality of a top-line pipeline system for Japanese, we show important stepping stones towards end-to-end Japanese speech synthesis. Index Terms-- speech synthesis, deep learning, Tacotron 1. INTRODUCTION Tacotron [1] opened a novel path to end-to-end speech synthesis.

Training Multi-Speaker Neural Text-to-Speech Systems using Speaker-Imbalanced Speech Corpora Machine Learning

When the available data of a target speaker is insufficient to train a high quality speaker-dependent neural text-to-speech (TTS) system, we can combine data from multiple speakers and train a multi-speaker TTS model instead. Many studies have shown that neural multi-speaker TTS model trained with a small amount data from multiple speakers combined can generate synthetic speech with better quality and stability than a speaker-dependent one. However when the amount of data from each speaker is highly unbalanced, the best approach to make use of the excessive data remains unknown. Our experiments showed that simply combining all available data from every speaker to train a multi-speaker model produces better than or at least similar performance to its speaker-dependent counterpart. Moreover by using an ensemble multi-speaker model, in which each subsystem is trained on a subset of available data, we can further improve the quality of the synthetic speech especially for underrepresented speakers whose training data is limited.

Can we steal your vocal identity from the Internet?: Initial investigation of cloning Obama's voice using GAN, WaveNet and low-quality found data Machine Learning

Thanks to the growing availability of spoofing databases and rapid advances in using them, systems for detecting voice spoofing attacks are becoming more and more capable, and error rates close to zero are being reached for the ASVspoof2015 database. However, speech synthesis and voice conversion paradigms that are not considered in the ASVspoof2015 database are appearing. Such examples include direct waveform modelling and generative adversarial networks. We also need to investigate the feasibility of training spoofing systems using only low-quality found data. For that purpose, we developed a generative adversarial network-based speech enhancement system that improves the quality of speech data found in publicly available sources. Using the enhanced data, we trained state-of-the-art text-to-speech and voice conversion models and evaluated them in terms of perceptual speech quality and speaker similarity. The results show that the enhancement models significantly improved the SNR of low-quality degraded data found in publicly available sources and that they significantly improved the perceptual cleanliness of the source speech without significantly degrading the naturalness of the voice. However, the results also show limitations when generating speech with the low-quality found data.