Collaborating Authors

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.

Progress in animation of an EMA-controlled tongue model for acoustic-visual speech synthesis Artificial Intelligence

We present a technique for the animation of a 3D kinematic tongue model, one component of the talking head of an acoustic-visual (AV) speech synthesizer. The skeletal animation approach is adapted to make use of a deformable rig controlled by tongue motion capture data obtained with electromagnetic articulography (EMA), while the tongue surface is extracted from volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Initial results are shown and future work outlined.

WaveCycleGAN2: Time-domain Neural Post-filter for Speech Waveform Generation Machine Learning

WaveCycleGAN has recently been proposed to bridge the gap between natural and synthesized speech waveforms in statistical parametric speech synthesis and provides fast inference with a moving average model rather than an autoregressive model and high-quality speech synthesis with the adversarial training. However, the human ear can still distinguish the processed speech waveforms from natural ones. One possible cause of this distinguishability is the aliasing observed in the processed speech waveform via down/up-sampling modules. To solve the aliasing and provide higher quality speech synthesis, we propose WaveCycleGAN2, which 1) uses generators without down/up-sampling modules and 2) combines discriminators of the waveform domain and acoustic parameter domain. The results show that the proposed method 1) alleviates the aliasing well, 2) is useful for both speech waveforms generated by analysis-and-synthesis and statistical parametric speech synthesis, and 3) achieves a mean opinion score comparable to those of natural speech and speech synthesized by WaveNet (open WaveNet) and WaveGlow while processing speech samples at a rate of more than 150 kHz on an NVIDIA Tesla P100.

STFT spectral loss for training a neural speech waveform model Machine Learning

This paper proposes a new loss using short-time Fourier transform (STFT) spectra for the aim of training a high-performance neural speech waveform model that predicts raw continuous speech waveform samples directly. Not only amplitude spectra but also phase spectra obtained from generated speech waveforms are used to calculate the proposed loss. We also mathematically show that training of the waveform model on the basis of the proposed loss can be interpreted as maximum likelihood training that assumes the amplitude and phase spectra of generated speech waveforms following Gaussian and von Mises distributions, respectively. Furthermore, this paper presents a simple network architecture as the speech waveform model, which is composed of uni-directional long short-term memories (LSTMs) and an auto-regressive structure. Experimental results showed that the proposed neural model synthesized high-quality speech waveforms.

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.