Departmental Papers (ESE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

May 2006

Comments

Copyright 2006 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Volume 14, Issue 2, May 2006, pages 952-963.

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Abstract

The objective of voice conversion algorithms is to modify the speech by a particular source speaker so that it sounds as if spoken by a different target speaker. Current conversion algorithms employ a training procedure, during which the same utterances spoken by both the source and target speakers are needed for deriving the desired conversion parameters. Such a (parallel) corpus, is often difficult or impossible to collect. Here, we propose an algorithm that relaxes this constraint, i.e., the training corpus does not necessarily contain the same utterances from both speakers. The proposed algorithm is based on speaker adaptation techniques, adapting the conversion parameters derived for a particular pair of speakers to a different pair, for which only a nonparallel corpus is available. We show that adaptation reduces the error obtained when simply applying the conversion parameters of one pair of speakers to another by a factor that can reach 30%. A speaker identification measure is also employed that more insightfully portrays the importance of adaptation, while listening tests confirm the success of our method. Both the objective and subjective tests employed, demonstrate that the proposed algorithm achieves comparable results with the ideal case when a parallel corpus is available.

Keywords

gaussian mixture model, speaker adaptation, text-to-speech, voice conversion

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Date Posted: 07 June 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.