Foley sound synthesis at the DCASE 2023 challenge

The addition of Foley sound effects during post-production is a common technique used to enhance the perceived acoustic properties of multimedia content. Traditionally, Foley sound has been produced by human Foley artists, which involves manual recording and mixing of sound. However, recent advances in sound synthesis and generative models have generated interest in machine-assisted or… Continue reading Foley sound synthesis at the DCASE 2023 challenge

ReNAR: Reducing Noise with Augmented Reality

Noise pollution has a significant impact on quality of life. In the office, noise exposure creates stress that leads to reduced performance, provokes annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour. Headphones with excellent noise-cancelling processors can now be acquired in order to protect oneself from the noise exposure. While these techniques have reached a high… Continue reading ReNAR: Reducing Noise with Augmented Reality

Spectral trancoder: using pretrained urban sound classifiers on undersampled spectral representations @ DCASE

Slow or fast third-octave bands representations (with a frame resp. every 1-s and 125-ms) have been a de facto standard for urban acoustics, used for example in long-term monitoring applications. It has the advantages of requiring few storage capabilities and of preserving privacy. As most audio classification algorithms take Mel spectral representations with very fast… Continue reading Spectral trancoder: using pretrained urban sound classifiers on undersampled spectral representations @ DCASE

Perceptual musical similarity metric learning with graph neural networks @ IEEE WASPAA

Sound retrieval for assisted music composition depends on evaluating similarity between musical instrument sounds, which is partly influenced by playing techniques. Previous methods utilizing Euclidean nearest neighbours over acoustic features show some limitations in retrieving sounds sharing equivalent timbral properties, but potentially generated using a different instrument, playing technique, pitch or dynamic. In this paper,… Continue reading Perceptual musical similarity metric learning with graph neural networks @ IEEE WASPAA

An interactive bi-objective optimisation process to guide the design of electric vehicle warning sounds @ Design Science

Abstract Electric vehicles (EVs) are very quiet at low speed, which can be hazardous for pedestrians, especially visually impaired people. It is now mandatory (since mid-2019 in Europe) to add external warning sounds, but poor sound design can lead to noise pollution, and consequently annoyance. Moreover, it is possible that EVs are not sufficiently detectable… Continue reading An interactive bi-objective optimisation process to guide the design of electric vehicle warning sounds @ Design Science

Mesostructures: Beyond spectrogram loss in differentiable time-frequency analysis @ JAES

Computer musicians refer to mesostructures as the intermediate levels of articulation between the microstructure of waveshapes and the macrostructure of musical forms. Examples of mesostructures include melody, arpeggios, syncopation, polyphonic grouping, and textural contrast. Despite their central role in musical expression, they have received limited attention in recent applications of deep learning to the analysis and synthesis of musical audio. Currently, autoencoders and neural audio synthesizers are only trained and evaluated at the scale of microstructure: i.e., local amplitude variations up to 100 milliseconds or so. In this paper, we formulate and address the problem of mesostructural audio modeling via a composition of a differentiable arpeggiator and time-frequency scattering. We empirically demonstrate that time-frequency scattering serves as a differentiable model of similarity between synthesis parameters that govern mesostructure. By exposing the sensitivity of short-time spectral distances to time alignment, we motivate the need for a time-invariant and multiscale differentiable time-frequency model of similarity at the level of both local spectra and spectrotemporal modulations.

Fitting Auditory Filterbanks with MuReNN @ IEEE WASPAA

Waveform-based deep learning faces a dilemma between nonparametric and parametric approaches. On one hand, convolutional neural networks (convnets) may approximate any linear time-invariant system; yet, in practice, their frequency responses become more irregular as their receptive fields grow. On the other hand, a parametric model such as LEAF is guaranteed to yield Gabor filters, hence an optimal time-frequency localization; yet, this strong inductive bias comes at the detriment of representational capacity. In this paper, we aim to overcome this dilemma by introducing a neural audio model, named multiresolution neural network (MuReNN). The key idea behind MuReNN is to train separate convolutional operators over the octave subbands of a discrete wavelet transform (DWT). Since the scale of DWT atoms grows exponentially between octaves, the receptive fields of the subsequent learnable convolutions in MuReNN are dilated accordingly. For a given real-world dataset, we fit the magnitude response of MuReNN to that of a wellestablished auditory filterbank: Gammatone for speech, CQT for music, and third-octave for urban sounds, respectively. This is a form of knowledge distillation (KD), in which the filterbank “teacher” is engineered by domain knowledge while the neural network “student” is optimized from data. We compare MuReNN to the state of the art in terms of goodness of fit after KD on a hold-out set and in terms of Heisenberg time-frequency localization. Compared to convnets and Gabor convolutions, we find that MuReNN reaches state-of-the-art performance on all three optimization problems.