This paper presents our systems (denoted as T13) for the singing voice conversion challenge (SVCC) 2023. For both in-domain and cross-domain English singing voice conversion (SVC) tasks (Task 1 and Task 2), we adopt a recognition-synthesis approach with self-supervised learning-based representation. To achieve data-efficient SVC with a limited amount of target singer/speaker's data (150 to 160 utterances for SVCC 2023), we first train a diffusion-based any-to-any voice conversion model using publicly available large-scale 750 hours of speech and singing data. Then, we finetune the model for each target singer/speaker of Task 1 and Task 2. Large-scale listening tests conducted by SVCC 2023 show that our T13 system achieves competitive naturalness and speaker similarity for the harder cross-domain SVC (Task 2), which implies the generalization ability of our proposed method. Our objective evaluation results show that using large datasets is particularly beneficial for cross-domain SVC.
We present the second edition of the VoiceMOS Challenge, a scientific event that aims to promote the study of automatic prediction of the mean opinion score (MOS) of synthesized and processed speech. This year, we emphasize real-world and challenging zero-shot out-of-domain MOS prediction with three tracks for three different voice evaluation scenarios. Ten teams from industry and academia in seven different countries participated. Surprisingly, we found that the two sub-tracks of French text-to-speech synthesis had large differences in their predictability, and that singing voice-converted samples were not as difficult to predict as we had expected. Use of diverse datasets and listener information during training appeared to be successful approaches.
In healthy-to-pathological voice conversion (H2P-VC), healthy speech is converted into pathological while preserving the identity. The paper improves on previous two-stage approach to H2P-VC where (1) speech is created first with the appropriate severity, (2) then the speaker identity of the voice is converted while preserving the severity of the voice. Specifically, we propose improvements to (2) by using phonetic posteriorgrams (PPG) and global style tokens (GST). Furthermore, we present a new dataset that contains parallel recordings of pathological and healthy speakers with the same identity which allows more precise evaluation. Listening tests by expert listeners show that the framework preserves severity of the source sample, while modelling target speaker's voice. We also show that (a) pathology impacts x-vectors but not all speaker information is lost, (b) choosing source speakers based on severity labels alone is insufficient.
We propose a novel framework for electrolaryngeal speech intelligibility enhancement through the use of robust linguistic encoders. Pretraining and fine-tuning approaches have proven to work well in this task, but in most cases, various mismatches, such as the speech type mismatch (electrolaryngeal vs. typical) or a speaker mismatch between the datasets used in each stage, can deteriorate the conversion performance of this framework. To resolve this issue, we propose a linguistic encoder robust enough to project both EL and typical speech in the same latent space, while still being able to extract accurate linguistic information, creating a unified representation to reduce the speech type mismatch. Furthermore, we introduce HuBERT output features to the proposed framework for reducing the speaker mismatch, making it possible to effectively use a large-scale parallel dataset during pretraining. We show that compared to the conventional framework using mel-spectrogram input and output features, using the proposed framework enables the model to synthesize more intelligible and naturally sounding speech, as shown by a significant 16% improvement in character error rate and 0.83 improvement in naturalness score.
Non-autoregressive (non-AR) sequence-to-seqeunce (seq2seq) models for voice conversion (VC) is attractive in its ability to effectively model the temporal structure while enjoying boosted intelligibility and fast inference thanks to non-AR modeling. However, the dependency of current non-AR seq2seq VC models on ground truth durations extracted from an external AR model greatly limits its generalization ability to smaller training datasets. In this paper, we first demonstrate the above-mentioned problem by varying the training data size. Then, we present AAS-VC, a non-AR seq2seq VC model based on automatic alignment search (AAS), which removes the dependency on external durations and serves as a proper inductive bias to provide the required generalization ability for small datasets. Experimental results show that AAS-VC can generalize better to a training dataset of only 5 minutes. We also conducted ablation studies to justify several model design choices. The audio samples and implementation are available online.
Foreign accent conversion (FAC) is a special application of voice conversion (VC) which aims to convert the accented speech of a non-native speaker to a native-sounding speech with the same speaker identity. FAC is difficult since the native speech from the desired non-native speaker to be used as the training target is impossible to collect. In this work, we evaluate three recently proposed methods for ground-truth-free FAC, where all of them aim to harness the power of sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) and non-parallel VC models to properly convert the accent and control the speaker identity. Our experimental evaluation results show that no single method was significantly better than the others in all evaluation axes, which is in contrast to conclusions drawn in previous studies. We also explain the effectiveness of these methods with the training input and output of the seq2seq model and examine the design choice of the non-parallel VC model, and show that intelligibility measures such as word error rates do not correlate well with subjective accentedness. Finally, our implementation is open-sourced to promote reproducible research and help future researchers improve upon the compared systems.
We present the latest iteration of the voice conversion challenge (VCC) series, a bi-annual scientific event aiming to compare and understand different voice conversion (VC) systems based on a common dataset. This year we shifted our focus to singing voice conversion (SVC), thus named the challenge the Singing Voice Conversion Challenge (SVCC). A new database was constructed for two tasks, namely in-domain and cross-domain SVC. The challenge was run for two months, and in total we received 26 submissions, including 2 baselines. Through a large-scale crowd-sourced listening test, we observed that for both tasks, although human-level naturalness was achieved by the top system, no team was able to obtain a similarity score as high as the target speakers. Also, as expected, cross-domain SVC is harder than in-domain SVC, especially in the similarity aspect. We also investigated whether existing objective measurements were able to predict perceptual performance, and found that only few of them could reach a significant correlation.