Audio is an essential part of our life, but creating it often requires expertise and is time-consuming. Research communities have made great progress over the past year advancing the performance of large scale audio generative models for a single modality (speech, sound, or music) through adopting more powerful generative models and scaling data. However, these models lack controllability in several aspects: speech generation models cannot synthesize novel styles based on text description and are limited on domain coverage such as outdoor environments; sound generation models only provide coarse-grained control based on descriptions like "a person speaking" and would only generate mumbling human voices. This paper presents Audiobox, a unified model based on flow-matching that is capable of generating various audio modalities. We design description-based and example-based prompting to enhance controllability and unify speech and sound generation paradigms. We allow transcript, vocal, and other audio styles to be controlled independently when generating speech. To improve model generalization with limited labels, we adapt a self-supervised infilling objective to pre-train on large quantities of unlabeled audio. Audiobox sets new benchmarks on speech and sound generation (0.745 similarity on Librispeech for zero-shot TTS; 0.77 FAD on AudioCaps for text-to-sound) and unlocks new methods for generating audio with novel vocal and acoustic styles. We further integrate Bespoke Solvers, which speeds up generation by over 25 times compared to the default ODE solver for flow-matching, without loss of performance on several tasks. Our demo is available at https://audiobox.metademolab.com/
In this paper, we show that a simple self-supervised pre-trained audio model can achieve comparable inference efficiency to more complicated pre-trained models with speech transformer encoders. These speech transformers rely on mixing convolutional modules with self-attention modules. They achieve state-of-the-art performance on ASR with top efficiency. We first show that employing these speech transformers as an encoder significantly improves the efficiency of pre-trained audio models as well. However, our study shows that we can achieve comparable efficiency with advanced self-attention solely. We demonstrate that this simpler approach is particularly beneficial with a low-bit weight quantization technique of a neural network to improve efficiency. We hypothesize that it prevents propagating the errors between different quantized modules compared to recent speech transformers mixing quantized convolution and the quantized self-attention modules.
Generative models have gained more and more attention in recent years for their remarkable success in tasks that required estimating and sampling data distribution to generate high-fidelity synthetic data. In speech, text-to-speech synthesis and neural vocoder are good examples where generative models have shined. While generative models have been applied to different applications in speech, there exists no general-purpose generative model that models speech directly. In this work, we take a step toward this direction by showing a single pre-trained generative model can be adapted to different downstream tasks with strong performance. Specifically, we pre-trained a generative model, named SpeechFlow, on 60k hours of untranscribed speech with Flow Matching and masked conditions. Experiment results show the pre-trained generative model can be fine-tuned with task-specific data to match or surpass existing expert models on speech enhancement, separation, and synthesis. Our work suggested a foundational model for generation tasks in speech can be built with generative pre-training.
Speech and text are two major forms of human language. The research community has been focusing on mapping speech to text or vice versa for many years. However, in the field of language modeling, very little effort has been made to model them jointly. In light of this, we explore joint language modeling for speech units and text. Specifically, we compare different speech tokenizers to transform continuous speech signals into discrete units and use different methods to construct mixed speech-text data. We introduce automatic metrics to evaluate how well the joint LM mixes speech and text. We also fine-tune the LM on downstream spoken language understanding (SLU) tasks with different modalities (speech or text) and test its performance to assess the model's learning of shared representations. Our results show that by mixing speech units and text with our proposed mixing techniques, the joint LM improves over a speech-only baseline on SLU tasks and shows zero-shot cross-modal transferability.
Self-supervised learning (SSL) techniques have achieved remarkable results in various speech processing tasks. Nonetheless, a significant challenge remains in reducing the reliance on vast amounts of speech data for pre-training. This paper proposes to address this challenge by leveraging synthetic speech to augment a low-resource pre-training corpus. We construct a high-quality text-to-speech (TTS) system with limited resources using SSL features and generate a large synthetic corpus for pre-training. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed approach effectively reduces the demand for speech data by 90\% with only slight performance degradation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work aiming to enhance low-resource self-supervised learning in speech processing.
Recent work has shown that it is possible to resynthesize high-quality speech based, not on text, but on low bitrate discrete units that have been learned in a self-supervised fashion and can therefore capture expressive aspects of speech that are hard to transcribe (prosody, voice styles, non-verbal vocalization). The adoption of these methods is still limited by the fact that most speech synthesis datasets are read, severely limiting spontaneity and expressivity. Here, we introduce Expresso, a high-quality expressive speech dataset for textless speech synthesis that includes both read speech and improvised dialogues rendered in 26 spontaneous expressive styles. We illustrate the challenges and potentials of this dataset with an expressive resynthesis benchmark where the task is to encode the input in low-bitrate units and resynthesize it in a target voice while preserving content and style. We evaluate resynthesis quality with automatic metrics for different self-supervised discrete encoders, and explore tradeoffs between quality, bitrate and invariance to speaker and style. All the dataset, evaluation metrics and baseline models are open source
Large-scale generative models such as GPT and DALL-E have revolutionized natural language processing and computer vision research. These models not only generate high fidelity text or image outputs, but are also generalists which can solve tasks not explicitly taught. In contrast, speech generative models are still primitive in terms of scale and task generalization. In this paper, we present Voicebox, the most versatile text-guided generative model for speech at scale. Voicebox is a non-autoregressive flow-matching model trained to infill speech, given audio context and text, trained on over 50K hours of speech that are neither filtered nor enhanced. Similar to GPT, Voicebox can perform many different tasks through in-context learning, but is more flexible as it can also condition on future context. Voicebox can be used for mono or cross-lingual zero-shot text-to-speech synthesis, noise removal, content editing, style conversion, and diverse sample generation. In particular, Voicebox outperforms the state-of-the-art zero-shot TTS model VALL-E on both intelligibility (5.9% vs 1.9% word error rates) and audio similarity (0.580 vs 0.681) while being up to 20 times faster. See voicebox.metademolab.com for a demo of the model.
Expanding the language coverage of speech technology has the potential to improve access to information for many more people. However, current speech technology is restricted to about one hundred languages which is a small fraction of the over 7,000 languages spoken around the world. The Massively Multilingual Speech (MMS) project increases the number of supported languages by 10-40x, depending on the task. The main ingredients are a new dataset based on readings of publicly available religious texts and effectively leveraging self-supervised learning. We built pre-trained wav2vec 2.0 models covering 1,406 languages, a single multilingual automatic speech recognition model for 1,107 languages, speech synthesis models for the same number of languages, as well as a language identification model for 4,017 languages. Experiments show that our multilingual speech recognition model more than halves the word error rate of Whisper on 54 languages of the FLEURS benchmark while being trained on a small fraction of the labeled data.
In this paper, we introduce self-distillation and online clustering for self-supervised speech representation learning (DinoSR) which combines masked language modeling, self-distillation, and online clustering. We show that these concepts complement each other and result in a strong representation learning model for speech. DinoSR first extracts contextualized embeddings from the input audio with a teacher network, then runs an online clustering system on the embeddings to yield a machine-discovered phone inventory, and finally uses the discretized tokens to guide a student network. We show that DinoSR surpasses previous state-of-the-art performance in several downstream tasks, and provide a detailed analysis of the model and the learned discrete units. The source code will be made available after the anonymity period.
Self-supervised learning leverages unlabeled data effectively, improving label efficiency and generalization to domains without labeled data. While recent work has studied generalization to more acoustic/linguistic domains, languages, and modalities, these investigations are limited to single-source speech with one primary speaker in the recording. This paper presents Cocktail HuBERT, a self-supervised learning framework that generalizes to mixture speech using a masked pseudo source separation objective. This objective encourages the model to identify the number of sources, separate and understand the context, and infer the content of masked regions represented as discovered units. Cocktail HuBERT outperforms state-of-the-art results with 69% lower WER on multi-speaker ASR, 31% lower DER on diarization, and is competitive on single- and multi-speaker tasks from SUPERB.