In this work, we propose an alternative solution for parallel wave generation by WaveNet. In contrast to parallel WaveNet (Oord et al., 2018), we distill a Gaussian inverse autoregressive flow from the autoregressive WaveNet by minimizing a novel regularized KL divergence between their highly-peaked output distributions. Our method computes the KL divergence in closed-form, which simplifies the training algorithm and provides very efficient distillation. In addition, we propose the first text-to-wave neural architecture for speech synthesis, which is fully convolutional and enables fast end-to-end training from scratch. It significantly outperforms the previous pipeline that connects a text-to-spectrogram model to a separately trained WaveNet (Ping et al., 2018). We also successfully distill a parallel waveform synthesizer conditioned on the hidden representation in this end-to-end model.
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.
Neural network based end-to-end text to speech (TTS) has significantly improved the quality of synthesized speech. Prominent methods (e.g., Tacotron 2) usually first generate mel-spectrogram from text, and then synthesize speech from the mel-spectrogram using vocoder such as WaveNet. Compared with traditional concatenative and statistical parametric approaches, neural network based end-to-end models suffer from slow inference speed, and the synthesized speech is usually not robust (i.e., some words are skipped or repeated) and lack of controllability (voice speed or prosody control). In this work, we propose a novel feed-forward network based on Transformer to generate mel-spectrogram in parallel for TTS. Specifically, we extract attention alignments from an encoder-decoder based teacher model for phoneme duration prediction, which is used by a length regulator to expand the source phoneme sequence to match the length of the target mel-spectrogram sequence for parallel mel-spectrogram generation.
We investigated the impact of noisy linguistic features on the performance of a Japanese speech synthesis system based on neural network that uses WaveNet vocoder. We compared an ideal system that uses manually corrected linguistic features including phoneme and prosodic information in training and test sets against a few other systems that use corrupted linguistic features. Both subjective and objective results demonstrate that corrupted linguistic features, especially those in the test set, affected the ideal system's performance significantly in a statistical sense due to a mismatched condition between the training and test sets. Interestingly, while an utterance-level Turing test showed that listeners had a difficult time differentiating synthetic speech from natural speech, it further indicated that adding noise to the linguistic features in the training set can partially reduce the effect of the mismatch, regularize the model, and help the system perform better when linguistic features of the test set are noisy.
Mel-frequency filter bank (MFB) based approaches have the advantage of learning speech compared to raw spectrum since MFB has less feature size. However, speech generator with MFB approaches require additional vocoder that needs a huge amount of computation expense for training process. The additional pre/post processing such as MFB and vocoder is not essential to convert real human speech to others. It is possible to only use the raw spectrum along with the phase to generate different style of voices with clear pronunciation. In this regard, we propose a fast and effective approach to convert realistic voices using raw spectrum in a parallel manner. Our transformer-based model architecture which does not have any CNN or RNN layers has shown the advantage of learning fast and solved the limitation of sequential computation of conventional RNN. In this paper, we introduce a vocoder-free end-to-end voice conversion method using transformer network. The presented conversion model can also be used in speaker adaptation for speech recognition. Our approach can convert the source voice to a target voice without using MFB and vocoder. We can get an adapted MFB for speech recognition by multiplying the converted magnitude with phase. We perform our voice conversion experiments on TIDIGITS dataset using the metrics such as naturalness, similarity, and clarity with mean opinion score, respectively.