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HierSpeech: Bridging the Gap between Text and Speech by Hierarchical Variational Inference using Self-supervised Representations for Speech Synthesis

Sang-Hoon Lee · Seung-Bin Kim · Ji-Hyun Lee · Eunwoo Song · Min-Jae Hwang · Seong-Whan Lee

Hall J (level 1) #209

Keywords: [ speech synthesis ] [ text-to-speech ] [ Self-supervised speech representation ]


This paper presents HierSpeech, a high-quality end-to-end text-to-speech (TTS) system based on a hierarchical conditional variational autoencoder (VAE) utilizing self-supervised speech representations. Recently, single-stage TTS systems, which directly generate raw speech waveform from text, have been getting interest thanks to their ability in generating high-quality audio within a fully end-to-end training pipeline. However, there is still a room for improvement in the conventional TTS systems. Since it is challenging to infer both the linguistic and acoustic attributes from the text directly, missing the details of attributes, specifically linguistic information, is inevitable, which results in mispronunciation and over-smoothing problem in their synthetic speech. To address the aforementioned problem, we leverage self-supervised speech representations as additional linguistic representations to bridge an information gap between text and speech. Then, the hierarchical conditional VAE is adopted to connect these representations and to learn each attribute hierarchically by improving the linguistic capability in latent representations. Compared with the state-of-the-art TTS system, HierSpeech achieves +0.303 comparative mean opinion score, and reduces the phoneme error rate of synthesized speech from 9.16% to 5.78% on the VCTK dataset. Furthermore, we extend our model to HierSpeech-U, an untranscribed text-to-speech system. Specifically, HierSpeech-U can adapt to a novel speaker by utilizing self-supervised speech representations without text transcripts. The experimental results reveal that our method outperforms publicly available TTS models, and show the effectiveness of speaker adaptation with untranscribed speech.

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