High-Quality and Flexible Speech Synthesis with Segment Selection and Voice Conversion

Abstract

Text-to-Speech (TTS) is a useful technology that converts any text into a speech signal. It can be utilized for various purposes, e.g. car navigation, announcements in railway stations, response services in telecommunications, and e-mail reading. Corpus-based TTS makes it possible to dramatically improve the naturalness of synthetic speech compared with the early TTS. However, no general-purpose TTS has been developed that can consistently synthesize sufficiently natural speech. Furthermore, there is not yet enough flexibility in corpusbased TTS. This thesis addresses two problems in speech synthesis. One is how to improve the naturalness of synthetic speech in corpus-based TTS. The other is how to improve control of speaker individuality in order to achieve more flexible speech synthesis. To deal with the former problem, we focus on two factors: (1) an algorithm for selecting the most appropriate synthesis units from a speech corpus, and (2) an evaluation measure for selecting the synthesis units. Moreover, we focus on a voice conversion technique to control speaker individuality to deal with the latter problem. Since various vowel sequences appear frequently in Japanese, it is not realistic to prepare long units that include all possible vowel sequences to avoid vowel-to-vowel concatenation, which often produces auditory discontinuity. In order to address this problem, we propose a novel segment selection algorithm based on both phoneme and diphone units that does not avoid concatenation of ∗Doctoral Thesis, Department of Information Processing, Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, NAIST-IS-DT0161027, March 24, 2003.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Toda2003HighQualityAF, title={High-Quality and Flexible Speech Synthesis with Segment Selection and Voice Conversion}, author={Tomoki Toda}, year={2003} }