The auditory system plays a substantial role in shaping the overall human perceptual experience. While prevailing large language models (LLMs) and visual language models (VLMs) have shown their promise in solving a wide variety of vision and language understanding tasks, only a few of them can be generalised to the audio domain without compromising their domain-specific capacity. In this work, we introduce Acoustic Prompt Turning (APT), a new adapter extending LLMs and VLMs to the audio domain by soft prompting only. Specifically, APT applies an instruction-aware audio aligner to generate soft prompts, conditioned on both input text and sounds, as language model inputs. To mitigate the data scarcity in the audio domain, a multi-task learning strategy is proposed by formulating diverse audio tasks in a sequence-to-sequence manner. Moreover, we improve the framework of audio language model by using interleaved audio-text embeddings as the input sequence. This improved framework imposes zero constraints on the input format and thus is capable of tackling more understanding tasks, such as few-shot audio classification and audio reasoning. To further evaluate the reasoning ability of audio networks, we propose natural language audio reasoning (NLAR), a new task that analyses across two audio clips by comparison and summarization. Experiments show that APT-enhanced LLMs (namely APT-LLMs) achieve competitive results compared to the expert models (i.e., the networks trained on the targeted datasets) across various tasks. We finally demonstrate the APT's ability in extending frozen VLMs to the audio domain without finetuning, achieving promising results in the audio-visual question and answering task. Our code and model weights are released at https://github.com/JinhuaLiang/APT.
Universal sound separation (USS) is a task to separate arbitrary sounds from an audio mixture. Existing USS systems are capable of separating arbitrary sources, given a few examples of the target sources as queries. However, separating arbitrary sounds with a single system is challenging, and the robustness is not always guaranteed. In this work, we propose audio prompt tuning (APT), a simple yet effective approach to enhance existing USS systems. Specifically, APT improves the separation performance of specific sources through training a small number of prompt parameters with limited audio samples, while maintaining the generalization of the USS model by keeping its parameters frozen. We evaluate the proposed method on MUSDB18 and ESC-50 datasets. Compared with the baseline model, APT can improve the signal-to-distortion ratio performance by 0.67 dB and 2.06 dB using the full training set of two datasets. Moreover, APT with only 5 audio samples even outperforms the baseline systems utilizing full training data on the ESC-50 dataset, indicating the great potential of few-shot APT.
First-shot (FS) unsupervised anomalous sound detection (ASD) is a brand-new task introduced in DCASE 2023 Challenge Task 2, where the anomalous sounds for the target machine types are unseen in training. Existing methods often rely on the availability of normal and abnormal sound data from the target machines. However, due to the lack of anomalous sound data for the target machine types, it becomes challenging when adapting the existing ASD methods to the first-shot task. In this paper, we propose a new framework for the first-shot unsupervised ASD, where metadata-assisted audio generation is used to estimate unknown anomalies, by utilising the available machine information (i.e., metadata and sound data) to fine-tune a text-to-audio generation model for generating the anomalous sounds that contain unique acoustic characteristics accounting for each different machine types. We then use the method of Time-Weighted Frequency domain audio Representation with Gaussian Mixture Model (TWFR-GMM) as the backbone to achieve the first-shot unsupervised ASD. Our proposed FS-TWFR-GMM method achieves competitive performance amongst top systems in DCASE 2023 Challenge Task 2, while requiring only 1% model parameters for detection, as validated in our experiments.
Audio-visual video parsing is the task of categorizing a video at the segment level with weak labels, and predicting them as audible or visible events. Recent methods for this task leverage the attention mechanism to capture the semantic correlations among the whole video across the audio-visual modalities. However, these approaches have overlooked the importance of individual segments within a video and the relationship among them, and tend to rely on a single modality when learning features. In this paper, we propose a novel interactive-enhanced cross-modal perception method~(CM-PIE), which can learn fine-grained features by applying a segment-based attention module. Furthermore, a cross-modal aggregation block is introduced to jointly optimize the semantic representation of audio and visual signals by enhancing inter-modal interactions. The experimental results show that our model offers improved parsing performance on the Look, Listen, and Parse dataset compared to other methods.
Data-driven approaches hold promise for audio captioning. However, the development of audio captioning methods can be biased due to the limited availability and quality of text-audio data. This paper proposes a SynthAC framework, which leverages recent advances in audio generative models and commonly available text corpus to create synthetic text-audio pairs, thereby enhancing text-audio representation. Specifically, the text-to-audio generation model, i.e., AudioLDM, is used to generate synthetic audio signals with captions from an image captioning dataset. Our SynthAC expands the availability of well-annotated captions from the text-vision domain to audio captioning, thus enhancing text-audio representation by learning relations within synthetic text-audio pairs. Experiments demonstrate that our SynthAC framework can benefit audio captioning models by incorporating well-annotated text corpus from the text-vision domain, offering a promising solution to the challenge caused by data scarcity. Furthermore, SynthAC can be easily adapted to various state-of-the-art methods, leading to substantial performance improvements.
Despite recent progress in text-to-audio (TTA) generation, we show that the state-of-the-art models, such as AudioLDM, trained on datasets with an imbalanced class distribution, such as AudioCaps, are biased in their generation performance. Specifically, they excel in generating common audio classes while underperforming in the rare ones, thus degrading the overall generation performance. We refer to this problem as long-tailed text-to-audio generation. To address this issue, we propose a simple retrieval-augmented approach for TTA models. Specifically, given an input text prompt, we first leverage a Contrastive Language Audio Pretraining (CLAP) model to retrieve relevant text-audio pairs. The features of the retrieved audio-text data are then used as additional conditions to guide the learning of TTA models. We enhance AudioLDM with our proposed approach and denote the resulting augmented system as Re-AudioLDM. On the AudioCaps dataset, Re-AudioLDM achieves a state-of-the-art Frechet Audio Distance (FAD) of 1.37, outperforming the existing approaches by a large margin. Furthermore, we show that Re-AudioLDM can generate realistic audio for complex scenes, rare audio classes, and even unseen audio types, indicating its potential in TTA tasks.
Fish feeding intensity assessment (FFIA) aims to evaluate the intensity change of fish appetite during the feeding process, which is vital in industrial aquaculture applications. The main challenges surrounding FFIA are two-fold. 1) robustness: existing work has mainly leveraged single-modality (e.g., vision, audio) methods, which have a high sensitivity to input noise. 2) efficiency: FFIA models are generally expected to be employed on devices. This presents a challenge in terms of computational efficiency. In this work, we first introduce an audio-visual dataset, called AV-FFIA. AV-FFIA consists of 27,000 labeled audio and video clips that capture different levels of fish feeding intensity. To our knowledge, AV-FFIA is the first large-scale multimodal dataset for FFIA research. Then, we introduce a multi-modal approach for FFIA by leveraging single-modality pre-trained models and modality-fusion methods, with benchmark studies on AV-FFIA. Our experimental results indicate that the multi-modal approach substantially outperforms the single-modality based approach, especially in noisy environments. While multimodal approaches provide a performance gain for FFIA, it inherently increase the computational cost. To overcome this issue, we further present a novel unified model, termed as U-FFIA. U-FFIA is a single model capable of processing audio, visual, or audio-visual modalities, by leveraging modality dropout during training and knowledge distillation from single-modality pre-trained models. We demonstrate that U-FFIA can achieve performance better than or on par with the state-of-the-art modality-specific FFIA models, with significantly lower computational overhead. Our proposed U-FFIA approach enables a more robust and efficient method for FFIA, with the potential to contribute to improved management practices and sustainability in aquaculture.
Although audio generation shares commonalities across different types of audio, such as speech, music, and sound effects, designing models for each type requires careful consideration of specific objectives and biases that can significantly differ from those of other types. To bring us closer to a unified perspective of audio generation, this paper proposes a framework that utilizes the same learning method for speech, music, and sound effect generation. Our framework introduces a general representation of audio, called language of audio (LOA). Any audio can be translated into LOA based on AudioMAE, a self-supervised pre-trained representation learning model. In the generation process, we translate any modalities into LOA by using a GPT-2 model, and we perform self-supervised audio generation learning with a latent diffusion model conditioned on LOA. The proposed framework naturally brings advantages such as in-context learning abilities and reusable self-supervised pretrained AudioMAE and latent diffusion models. Experiments on the major benchmarks of text-to-audio, text-to-music, and text-to-speech demonstrate new state-of-the-art or competitive performance to previous approaches. Our demo and code are available at https://audioldm.github.io/audioldm2.
Language-queried audio source separation (LASS) is a new paradigm for computational auditory scene analysis (CASA). LASS aims to separate a target sound from an audio mixture given a natural language query, which provides a natural and scalable interface for digital audio applications. Recent works on LASS, despite attaining promising separation performance on specific sources (e.g., musical instruments, limited classes of audio events), are unable to separate audio concepts in the open domain. In this work, we introduce AudioSep, a foundation model for open-domain audio source separation with natural language queries. We train AudioSep on large-scale multimodal datasets and extensively evaluate its capabilities on numerous tasks including audio event separation, musical instrument separation, and speech enhancement. AudioSep demonstrates strong separation performance and impressive zero-shot generalization ability using audio captions or text labels as queries, substantially outperforming previous audio-queried and language-queried sound separation models. For reproducibility of this work, we will release the source code, evaluation benchmark and pre-trained model at: https://github.com/Audio-AGI/AudioSep.
Large Language Models (LLMs) have shown great promise in integrating diverse expert models to tackle intricate language and vision tasks. Despite their significance in advancing the field of Artificial Intelligence Generated Content (AIGC), their potential in intelligent audio content creation remains unexplored. In this work, we tackle the problem of creating audio content with storylines encompassing speech, music, and sound effects, guided by text instructions. We present WavJourney, a system that leverages LLMs to connect various audio models for audio content generation. Given a text description of an auditory scene, WavJourney first prompts LLMs to generate a structured script dedicated to audio storytelling. The audio script incorporates diverse audio elements, organized based on their spatio-temporal relationships. As a conceptual representation of audio, the audio script provides an interactive and interpretable rationale for human engagement. Afterward, the audio script is fed into a script compiler, converting it into a computer program. Each line of the program calls a task-specific audio generation model or computational operation function (e.g., concatenate, mix). The computer program is then executed to obtain an explainable solution for audio generation. We demonstrate the practicality of WavJourney across diverse real-world scenarios, including science fiction, education, and radio play. The explainable and interactive design of WavJourney fosters human-machine co-creation in multi-round dialogues, enhancing creative control and adaptability in audio production. WavJourney audiolizes the human imagination, opening up new avenues for creativity in multimedia content creation.