Thu-1-11-6 MoBoAligner: a Neural Alignment Model for Non-autoregressive TTS with Monotonic Boundary Search

Naihan Li(UESTC), Shujie Liu(Microsoft Research Asia, Beijing), Yanqing Liu(microsoft), sheng zhao(microsoft) and Ming Liu(University of Electronic Science and Techonology of China)
Abstract: To speed up the inference of neural speech synthesis, non-autoregressive models receive increasing attention recently. In non-autoregressive models, additional durations of text tokens are required to make a hard alignment between the encoder and the decoder. The duration-based alignment plays a crucial role since it controls the correspondence between text tokens and spectrum frames and determines the rhythm and speed of synthesized audio. To get better duration-based alignment and improve the quality of non-autoregressive speech synthesis, in this paper, we propose a novel neural alignment model named MoboAligner. Given the pairs of the text and mel spectrum, MoboAligner tries to identify the boundaries of text tokens in the given mel spectrum frames based on the token-frame similarity in the neural semantic space with an end-to-end framework. With these boundaries, durations can be extracted and used in the training of non-autoregressive TTS models. Compared with the duration extracted by TransformerTTS, MoboAligner brings improvement for the non-autoregressive TTS model on MOS (3.74 comparing to FastSpeech's 3.44). Besides, MoboAligner is task-specified and lightweight, which reduces the number of parameterby 45% and the training time by 30%.
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