TorchAudio is an open-source audio and speech processing library built for PyTorch. It aims to accelerate the research and development of audio and speech technologies by providing well-designed, easy-to-use, and performant PyTorch components. Its contributors routinely engage with users to understand their needs and fulfill them by developing impactful features. Here, we survey TorchAudio's development principles and contents and highlight key features we include in its latest version (2.1): self-supervised learning pre-trained pipelines and training recipes, high-performance CTC decoders, speech recognition models and training recipes, advanced media I/O capabilities, and tools for performing forced alignment, multi-channel speech enhancement, and reference-less speech assessment. For a selection of these features, through empirical studies, we demonstrate their efficacy and show that they achieve competitive or state-of-the-art performance.
This paper presents a novel framework for joint speaker diarization (SD) and automatic speech recognition (ASR), named SLIDAR (sliding-window diarization-augmented recognition). SLIDAR can process arbitrary length inputs and can handle any number of speakers, effectively solving ``who spoke what, when'' concurrently. SLIDAR leverages a sliding window approach and consists of an end-to-end diarization-augmented speech transcription (E2E DAST) model which provides, locally, for each window: transcripts, diarization and speaker embeddings. The E2E DAST model is based on an encoder-decoder architecture and leverages recent techniques such as serialized output training and ``Whisper-style" prompting. The local outputs are then combined to get the final SD+ASR result by clustering the speaker embeddings to get global speaker identities. Experiments performed on monaural recordings from the AMI corpus confirm the effectiveness of the method in both close-talk and far-field speech scenarios.
Packet loss is a major cause of voice quality degradation in VoIP transmissions with serious impact on intelligibility and user experience. This paper describes a system based on a generative adversarial approach, which aims to repair the lost fragments during the transmission of audio streams. Inspired by the powerful image-to-image translation capability of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), we propose bin2bin, an improved pix2pix framework to achieve the translation task from magnitude spectrograms of audio frames with lost packets, to noncorrupted speech spectrograms. In order to better maintain the structural information after spectrogram translation, this paper introduces the combination of two STFT-based loss functions, mixed with the traditional GAN objective. Furthermore, we employ a modified PatchGAN structure as discriminator and we lower the concealment time by a proper initialization of the phase reconstruction algorithm. Experimental results show that the proposed method has obvious advantages when compared with the current state-of-the-art methods, as it can better handle both high packet loss rates and large gaps.
* Accepted at EUSIPCO - 31st European Signal Processing Conference,
Neural speech separation has made remarkable progress and its integration with automatic speech recognition (ASR) is an important direction towards realizing multi-speaker ASR. This work provides an insightful investigation of speech separation in reverberant and noisy-reverberant scenarios as an ASR front-end. In detail, we explore multi-channel separation methods, mask-based beamforming and complex spectral mapping, as well as the best features to use in the ASR back-end model. We employ the recent self-supervised learning representation (SSLR) as a feature and improve the recognition performance from the case with filterbank features. To further improve multi-speaker recognition performance, we present a carefully designed training strategy for integrating speech separation and recognition with SSLR. The proposed integration using TF-GridNet-based complex spectral mapping and WavLM-based SSLR achieves a 2.5% word error rate in reverberant WHAMR! test set, significantly outperforming an existing mask-based MVDR beamforming and filterbank integration (28.9%).
The CHiME challenges have played a significant role in the development and evaluation of robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. We introduce the CHiME-7 distant ASR (DASR) task, within the 7th CHiME challenge. This task comprises joint ASR and diarization in far-field settings with multiple, and possibly heterogeneous, recording devices. Different from previous challenges, we evaluate systems on 3 diverse scenarios: CHiME-6, DiPCo, and Mixer 6. The goal is for participants to devise a single system that can generalize across different array geometries and use cases with no a-priori information. Another departure from earlier CHiME iterations is that participants are allowed to use open-source pre-trained models and datasets. In this paper, we describe the challenge design, motivation, and fundamental research questions in detail. We also present the baseline system, which is fully array-topology agnostic and features multi-channel diarization, channel selection, guided source separation and a robust ASR model that leverages self-supervised speech representations (SSLR).
We performed an experimental review of current diarization systems for the conversational telephone speech (CTS) domain. In detail, we considered a total of eight different algorithms belonging to clustering-based, end-to-end neural diarization (EEND), and speech separation guided diarization (SSGD) paradigms. We studied the inference-time computational requirements and diarization accuracy on four CTS datasets with different characteristics and languages. We found that, among all methods considered, EEND-vector clustering (EEND-VC) offers the best trade-off in terms of computing requirements and performance. More in general, EEND models have been found to be lighter and faster in inference compared to clustering-based methods. However, they also require a large amount of diarization-oriented annotated data. In particular EEND-VC performance in our experiments degraded when the dataset size was reduced, whereas self-attentive EEND (SA-EEND) was less affected. We also found that SA-EEND gives less consistent results among all the datasets compared to EEND-VC, with its performance degrading on long conversations with high speech sparsity. Clustering-based diarization systems, and in particular VBx, instead have more consistent performance compared to SA-EEND but are outperformed by EEND-VC. The gap with respect to this latter is reduced when overlap-aware clustering methods are considered. SSGD is the most computationally demanding method, but it could be convenient if speech recognition has to be performed. Its performance is close to SA-EEND but degrades significantly when the training and inference data characteristics are less matched.
We propose FSB-LSTM, a novel long short-term memory (LSTM) based architecture that integrates full- and sub-band (FSB) modeling, for single- and multi-channel speech enhancement in the short-time Fourier transform (STFT) domain. The model maintains an information highway to flow an over-complete input representation through multiple FSB-LSTM modules. Each FSB-LSTM module consists of a full-band block to model spectro-temporal patterns at all frequencies and a sub-band block to model patterns within each sub-band, where each of the two blocks takes a down-sampled representation as input and returns an up-sampled discriminative representation to be added to the block input via a residual connection. The model is designed to have a low algorithmic complexity, a small run-time buffer and a very low algorithmic latency, at the same time producing a strong enhancement performance on a noisy-reverberant speech enhancement task even if the hop size is as low as $2$ ms.
Recent works show that speech separation guided diarization (SSGD) is an increasingly promising direction, mainly thanks to the recent progress in speech separation. It performs diarization by first separating the speakers and then applying voice activity detection (VAD) on each separated stream. In this work we conduct an in-depth study of SSGD in the conversational telephone speech (CTS) domain, focusing mainly on low-latency streaming diarization applications. We consider three state-of-the-art speech separation (SSep) algorithms and study their performance both in online and offline scenarios, considering non-causal and causal implementations as well as continuous SSep (CSS) windowed inference. We compare different SSGD algorithms on two widely used CTS datasets: CALLHOME and Fisher Corpus (Part 1 and 2) and evaluate both separation and diarization performance. To improve performance, a novel, causal and computationally efficient leakage removal algorithm is proposed, which significantly decreases false alarms. We also explore, for the first time, fully end-to-end SSGD integration between SSep and VAD modules. Crucially, this enables fine-tuning on real-world data for which oracle speakers sources are not available. In particular, our best model achieves 8.8% DER on CALLHOME, which outperforms the current state-of-the-art end-to-end neural diarization model, despite being trained on an order of magnitude less data and having significantly lower latency, i.e., 0.1 vs. 1 seconds. Finally, we also show that the separated signals can be readily used also for automatic speech recognition, reaching performance close to using oracle sources in some configurations.
This paper describes our submission to the Second Clarity Enhancement Challenge (CEC2), which consists of target speech enhancement for hearing-aid (HA) devices in noisy-reverberant environments with multiple interferers such as music and competing speakers. Our approach builds upon the powerful iterative neural/beamforming enhancement (iNeuBe) framework introduced in our recent work, and this paper extends it for target speaker extraction. We therefore name the proposed approach as iNeuBe-X, where the X stands for extraction. To address the challenges encountered in the CEC2 setting, we introduce four major novelties: (1) we extend the state-of-the-art TF-GridNet model, originally designed for monaural speaker separation, for multi-channel, causal speech enhancement, and large improvements are observed by replacing the TCNDenseNet used in iNeuBe with this new architecture; (2) we leverage a recent dual window size approach with future-frame prediction to ensure that iNueBe-X satisfies the 5 ms constraint on algorithmic latency required by CEC2; (3) we introduce a novel speaker-conditioning branch for TF-GridNet to achieve target speaker extraction; (4) we propose a fine-tuning step, where we compute an additional loss with respect to the target speaker signal compensated with the listener audiogram. Without using external data, on the official development set our best model reaches a hearing-aid speech perception index (HASPI) score of 0.942 and a scale-invariant signal-to-distortion ratio improvement (SI-SDRi) of 18.8 dB. These results are promising given the fact that the CEC2 data is extremely challenging (e.g., on the development set the mixture SI-SDR is -12.3 dB). A demo of our submitted system is available at WAVLab CEC2 demo.