Improvements of Voice Timbre Control Based on Perceived Age in Singing Voice Conversion

Kazuhiro KOBAYASHI  Tomoki TODA  Tomoyasu NAKANO  Masataka GOTO  Satoshi NAKAMURA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E99-D   No.11   pp.2767-2777
Publication Date: 2016/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2016EDP7234
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Speech and Hearing
statistical singing voice conversion,  perceived age,  gender-dependent modeling,  direct waveform modification,  unsupervised adaptation,  

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As one of the techniques enabling individual singers to produce the varieties of voice timbre beyond their own physical constraints, a statistical voice timbre control technique based on the perceived age has been developed. In this technique, the perceived age of a singing voice, which is the age of the singer as perceived by the listener, is used as one of the intuitively understandable measures to describe voice characteristics of the singing voice. The use of statistical voice conversion (SVC) with a singer-dependent multiple-regression Gaussian mixture model (MR-GMM), which effectively models the voice timbre variations caused by a change of the perceived age, makes it possible for individual singers to manipulate the perceived ages of their own singing voices while retaining their own singer identities. However, there still remain several issues; e.g., 1) a controllable range of the perceived age is limited; 2) quality of the converted singing voice is significantly degraded compared to that of a natural singing voice; and 3) each singer needs to sing the same phrase set as sung by a reference singer to develop the singer-dependent MR-GMM. To address these issues, we propose the following three methods; 1) a method using gender-dependent modeling to expand the controllable range of the perceived age; 2) a method using direct waveform modification based on spectrum differential to improve quality of the converted singing voice; and 3) a rapid unsupervised adaptation method based on maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation to easily develop the singer-dependent MR-GMM. The experimental results show that the proposed methods achieve a wider controllable range of the perceived age, a significant quality improvement of the converted singing voice, and the development of the singer-dependnet MR-GMM using only a few arbitrary phrases as adaptation data.