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.
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.
Recent speech technology research has seen a growing interest in using WaveNets as statistical vocoders, i.e., generating speech waveforms from acoustic features. These models have been shown to improve the generated speech quality over classical vocoders in many tasks, such as text-to-speech synthesis and voice conversion. Furthermore, conditioning WaveNets with acoustic features allows sharing the waveform generator model across multiple speakers without additional speaker codes. However, multi-speaker WaveNet models require large amounts of training data and computation to cover the entire acoustic space. This paper proposes leveraging the source-filter model of speech production to more effectively train a speaker-independent waveform generator with limited resources. We present a multi-speaker 'GlotNet' vocoder, which utilizes a WaveNet to generate glottal excitation waveforms, which are then used to excite the corresponding vocal tract filter to produce speech. Listening tests show that the proposed model performs favourably to a direct WaveNet vocoder trained with the same model architecture and data.
We present Deep Voice 3, a fully-convolutional attention-based neural text-to-speech (TTS) system. Deep Voice 3 matches state-of-the-art neural speech synthesis systems in naturalness while training ten times faster. We scale Deep Voice 3 to data set sizes unprecedented for TTS, training on more than eight hundred hours of audio from over two thousand speakers. In addition, we identify common error modes of attention-based speech synthesis networks, demonstrate how to mitigate them, and compare several different waveform synthesis methods. We also describe how to scale inference to ten million queries per day on one single-GPU server.