Vocal Effort Modeling in Neural TTS for Improving the Intelligibility of Synthetic Speech in Noise

We present a neural text-to-speech (TTS) method that models natural vocal effort variation to improve the intelligibility of synthetic speech in the presence of noise. The method consists of first measuring the spectral tilt of unlabeled conventional speech data, and then conditioning a neural TTS model with normalized spectral tilt among other prosodic factors. Changing the spectral tilt parameter and keeping other prosodic factors unchanged enables effective vocal effort control at synthesis time independent of other prosodic factors. By extrapolation of the spectral tilt values beyond what…Apple Machine Learning Research