Methods for speaking style conversion from normal speech to high vocal effort speech

Ana Ramirez Lopez

Research output: ThesisLicenciate's thesisTheses

Abstract

This thesis deals with vocal-effort-focused speaking style conversion (SSC). Specifically, we studied two topics on conversion of normal speech to high vocal effort. The first topic involves the conversion of normal speech to shouted speech. We employed this conversion in a speaker recognition system with vocal effort mismatch between test and enrollment utterances (shouted speech vs. normal speech). The mismatch causes a degradation of the system's speaker identification performance. As solution, we proposed a SSC system that included a novel spectral mapping, used along a statistical mapping technique, to transform the mel-frequency spectral energies of normal speech enrollment utterances towards their counterparts in shouted speech. We evaluated the proposed solution by comparing speaker identification rates for a state-of-the-art i-vector-based speaker recognition system, with and without applying SSC to the enrollment utterances. Our results showed that applying the proposed SSC pre-processing to the enrollment data improves considerably the speaker identification rates. The second topic involves a normal-to-Lombard speech conversion. We proposed a vocoder-based parametric SSC system to perform the conversion. This system first extracts speech features using the vocoder. Next, a mapping technique, robust to data scarcity, maps the features. Finally, the vocoder synthesizes the mapped features into speech. We used two vocoders in the conversion system, for comparison: a glottal vocoder and the widely used STRAIGHT. We assessed the converted speech from the two vocoder cases with two subjective listening tests that measured similarity to Lombard speech and naturalness. The similarity subjective test showed that, for both vocoder cases, our proposed SSC system was able to convert normal speech to Lombard speech. The naturalness subjective test showed that the converted samples using the glottal vocoder were clearly more natural than those obtained with STRAIGHT.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationLicentiate's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Alku, Paavo, Supervising Professor
  • Alku, Paavo, Thesis Advisor
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeG3 Licentiate thesis

Keywords

  • Speaking style conversion
  • High vocal effort
  • Lombard speech
  • Shouted speech

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