13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Implementation of Simple Spectral Techniques to Enhance the Intelligibility of Speech using a Harmonic Model

Daniel Erro (1), Yannis Stylianou (2,1), Eva Navas (1), Inma Hernáez (1)

(1) Aholab Signal Processing Laboratory, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain
(2) Institute of Computer Science, FORTH, and Multimedia Informatics Lab, CSD, UoC, Greece

We have designed a system that increases the intelligibility of speech signals in noise by manipulating the parameters of a harmonic speech model. The system performs the transformation in two steps: in the first step, it modifies the spectral slope, which is closely related to the vocal effort; in the second step, it amplifies low-energy parts of the signal using dynamic range compression techniques. Objective and subjective measures involving speech-shaped noise confirm the effectiveness of these simple methods. As the harmonic model has been used in previous works to implement the waveform generation module of high-quality statistical synthesizers, the system presented here can provide the synthesis engine with a higher degree of control on the intelligibility of the resulting artificial speech.

Index Terms: speech intelligibility in noise, harmonic model, speech synthesis, spectral tilt, dynamic range compression

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Erro, Daniel / Stylianou, Yannis / Navas, Eva / Hernáez, Inma (2012): "Implementation of simple spectral techniques to enhance the intelligibility of speech using a harmonic model", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 639-642.