Spherical Microphone Array Processing for Acoustic Parameter Estimation and Signal Enhancement

In many distant speech acquisition scenarios, such as hands-free telephony or teleconferencing, the desired speech signal is corrupted by noise and reverberation. This degrades both the speech quality and intelligibility, making communication difficult or even impossible. Speech enhancement techniques seek to mitigate these effects and extract the desired speech signal. This objective is commonly achieved through the use of microphone arrays, which take advantage of the spatial properties of the sound field in order to reduce noise and reverberation. Spherical microphone arrays, where the microphones are arranged in a spherical configuration, usually mounted on a rigid baffle, are able to analyze the sound field in three dimensions; the captured sound field can then be efficiently described in the spherical harmonic domain (SHD). In this thesis, a number of novel spherical array processing algorithms are proposed, based in the SHD. In ...

Jarrett, Daniel P. — Imperial College London


Flexible Multi-Microphone Acquisition and Processing of Spatial Sound Using Parametric Sound Field Representations

This thesis deals with the efficient and flexible acquisition and processing of spatial sound using multiple microphones. In spatial sound acquisition and processing, we use multiple microphones to capture the sound of multiple sources being simultaneously active at a rever- berant recording side and process the sound depending on the application at the application side. Typical applications include source extraction, immersive spatial sound reproduction, or speech enhancement. A flexible sound acquisition and processing means that we can capture the sound with almost arbitrary microphone configurations without constraining the application at the ap- plication side. This means that we can realize and adjust the different applications indepen- dently of the microphone configuration used at the recording side. For example in spatial sound reproduction, where we aim at reproducing the sound such that the listener perceives the same impression as if he ...

Thiergart, Oliver — Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg


Fundamental Frequency and Direction-of-Arrival Estimation for Multichannel Speech Enhancement

Audio systems receive the speech signals of interest usually in the presence of noise. The noise has profound impacts on the quality and intelligibility of the speech signals, and it is therefore clear that the noisy signals must be cleaned up before being played back, stored, or analyzed. We can estimate the speech signal of interest from the noisy signals using a priori knowledge about it. A human speech signal is broadband and consists of both voiced and unvoiced parts. The voiced part is quasi-periodic with a time-varying fundamental frequency (or pitch as it is commonly referred to). We consider the periodic signals basically as the sum of harmonics. Therefore, we can pass the noisy signals through bandpass filters centered at the frequencies of the harmonics to enhance the signal. In addition, although the frequencies of the harmonics are the ...

Karimian-Azari, Sam — Aalborg Univeristy


Parametric spatial audio processing utilising compact microphone arrays

This dissertation focuses on the development of novel parametric spatial audio techniques using compact microphone arrays. Compact arrays are of special interest since they can be adapted to fit in portable devices, opening the possibility of exploiting the potential of immersive spatial audio algorithms in our daily lives. The techniques developed in this thesis consider the use of signal processing algorithms adapted for human listeners, thus exploiting the capabilities and limitations of human spatial hearing. The findings of this research are in the following three areas of spatial audio processing: directional filtering, spatial audio reproduction, and direction of arrival estimation. In directional filtering, two novel algorithms have been developed based on the cross-pattern coherence (CroPaC). The method essentially exploits the directional response of two different types of beamformers by using their cross-spectrum to estimate a soft masker. The soft masker ...

Delikaris-Manias, Symeon — Aalto University


Speech derereverberation in noisy environments using time-frequency domain signal models

Reverberation is the sum of reflected sound waves and is present in any conventional room. Speech communication devices such as mobile phones in hands-free mode, tablets, smart TVs, teleconferencing systems, hearing aids, voice-controlled systems, etc. use one or more microphones to pick up the desired speech signals. When the microphones are not in the proximity of the desired source, strong reverberation and noise can degrade the signal quality at the microphones and can impair the intelligibility and the performance of automatic speech recognizers. Therefore, it is a highly demanded task to process the microphone signals such that reverberation and noise are reduced. The process of reducing or removing reverberation from recorded signals is called dereverberation. As dereverberation is usually a completely blind problem, where the only available information are the microphone signals, and as the acoustic scenario can be non-stationary, ...

Braun, Sebastian — Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Acoustic sensor network geometry calibration and applications

In the modern world, we are increasingly surrounded by computation devices with communication links and one or more microphones. Such devices are, for example, smartphones, tablets, laptops or hearing aids. These devices can work together as nodes in an acoustic sensor network (ASN). Such networks are a growing platform that opens the possibility for many practical applications. ASN based speech enhancement, source localization, and event detection can be applied for teleconferencing, camera control, automation, or assisted living. For this kind of applications, the awareness of auditory objects and their spatial positioning are key properties. In order to provide these two kinds of information, novel methods have been developed in this thesis. Information on the type of auditory objects is provided by a novel real-time sound classification method. Information on the position of human speakers is provided by a novel localization ...

Plinge, Axel — TU Dortmund University


Integrating monaural and binaural cues for sound localization and segregation in reverberant environments

The problem of segregating a sound source of interest from an acoustic background has been extensively studied due to applications in hearing prostheses, robust speech/speaker recognition and audio information retrieval. Computational auditory scene analysis (CASA) approaches the segregation problem by utilizing grouping cues involved in the perceptual organization of sound by human listeners. Binaural processing, where input signals resemble those that enter the two ears, is of particular interest in the CASA field. The dominant approach to binaural segregation has been to derive spatially selective filters in order to enhance the signal in a direction of interest. As such, the problems of sound localization and sound segregation are closely tied. While spatial filtering has been widely utilized, substantial performance degradation is incurred in reverberant environments and more fundamentally, segregation cannot be performed without sufficient spatial separation between sources. This dissertation ...

Woodruff, John — The Ohio State University


Enhancement of Periodic Signals: with Application to Speech Signals

The topic of this thesis is the enhancement of noisy, periodic signals with application to speech signals. Generally speaking, enhancement methods can be divided into signal- and noise-driven methods. In this thesis, we focus on the signal-driven approach by employing relevant signal parameters for the enhancement of periodic signals. The enhancement problem consists of two major subproblems: the estimation of relevant parameters or statistics, and the actual noise reduction of the observed signal. We consider both of these subproblems. First, we consider the problem of estimating signal parameters relevant to the enhancement of periodic signals. The fundamental frequency is one example of such a parameter. Furthermore, in multichannel scenarios, the direction-of-arrival of the periodic sources onto an array of sensors is another parameter of relevance. We propose methods for the estimation of the fundamental frequency that have benefits compared to ...

Jensen, Jesper Rindom — Aalborg University


Robust Speech Recognition on Intelligent Mobile Devices with Dual-Microphone

Despite the outstanding progress made on automatic speech recognition (ASR) throughout the last decades, noise-robust ASR still poses a challenge. Tackling with acoustic noise in ASR systems is more important than ever before for a twofold reason: 1) ASR technology has begun to be extensively integrated in intelligent mobile devices (IMDs) such as smartphones to easily accomplish different tasks (e.g. search-by-voice), and 2) IMDs can be used anywhere at any time, that is, under many different acoustic (noisy) conditions. On the other hand, with the aim of enhancing noisy speech, IMDs have begun to embed small microphone arrays, i.e. microphone arrays comprised of a few sensors close each other. These multi-sensor IMDs often embed one microphone (usually at their rear) intended to capture the acoustic environment more than the speaker’s voice. This is the so-called secondary microphone. While classical microphone ...

López-Espejo, Iván — University of Granada


Cognitive Models for Acoustic and Audiovisual Sound Source Localization

Sound source localization algorithms have a long research history in the field of digital signal processing. Many common applications like intelligent personal assistants, teleconferencing systems and methods for technical diagnosis in acoustics require an accurate localization of sound sources in the environment. However, dynamic environments entail a particular challenge for these systems. For instance, voice controlled smart home applications, where the speaker, as well as potential noise sources, are moving within the room, are a typical example of dynamic environments. Classical sound source localization systems only have limited capabilities to deal with dynamic acoustic scenarios. In this thesis, three novel approaches to sound source localization that extend existing classical methods will be presented. The first system is proposed in the context of audiovisual source localization. Determining the position of sound sources in adverse acoustic conditions can be improved by including ...

Schymura, Christopher — Ruhr University Bochum


Direction Finding In The Presence of Array Imperfections, Model Mismatches and Multipath

In direction finding (DF) applications, there are several factors affecting the estimation accuracy of the direction-of-arrivals (DOA) of unknown source locations. The major distortions in the estimation process are due to the array imperfections, model mismatches and multipath. The array imperfections usually exist in practical applications due to the nonidealities in the antenna array such as mutual coupling (MC) and gain/phase uncertainties. The model mismatches usually occur when the model of the received signal differs from the signal model used in the processing stage of the DF system. Another distortion is due to multipath signals. In the multipath scenario, the antenna array receives the transmitted signal from more than one path with different directions and the array covariance matrix is rank-deficient. In this thesis, three new methods are proposed for the problems in DF applications in the presence of array ...

Elbir, Ahmet M. — Middle East Technical Univresity


A multimicrophone approach to speech processing in a smart-room environment

Recent advances in computer technology and speech and language processing have made possible that some new ways of person-machine communication and computer assistance to human activities start to appear feasible. Concretely, the interest on the development of new challenging applications in indoor environments equipped with multiple multimodal sensors, also known as smart-rooms, has considerably grown. In general, it is well-known that the quality of speech signals captured by microphones that can be located several meters away from the speakers is severely distorted by acoustic noise and room reverberation. In the context of the development of hands-free speech applications in smart-room environments, the use of obtrusive sensors like close-talking microphones is usually not allowed, and consequently, speech technologies must operate on the basis of distant-talking recordings. In such conditions, speech technologies that usually perform reasonably well in free of noise and ...

Abad, Alberto — Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya


Speech Enhancement Algorithms for Audiological Applications

The improvement of speech intelligibility is a traditional problem which still remains open and unsolved. The recent boom of applications such as hands-free communi- cations or automatic speech recognition systems and the ever-increasing demands of the hearing-impaired community have given a definitive impulse to the research in this area. This PhD thesis is focused on speech enhancement for audiological applications. Most of the research conducted in this thesis has been focused on the improvement of speech intelligibility in hearing aids, considering the variety of restrictions and limitations imposed by this type of devices. The combination of source separation techniques and spatial filtering with machine learning and evolutionary computation has originated novel and interesting algorithms which are included in this thesis. The thesis is divided in two main parts. The first one contains a preliminary study of the problem and a ...

Ayllón, David — Universidad de Alcalá


Antenna Array Processing: Autocalibration and Fast High-Resolution Methods for Automotive Radar

In this thesis, advanced techniques for antenna array processing are addressed. The problem of autocalibration is considered and a novel method for a two-dimensional array is developed. Moreover, practicable methods for high-resolution direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation and detection in automotive radar are proposed. A precise model of the array response is required to maintain the performance of DOA estimation. When the sensor environment is time-varying, this can only be achieved with autocalibration. The fundamental problem of autocalibration of an unknown phase response for uniform rectangular arrays is considered. For the case with a single source, a simple and robust least squares algorithm for joint two-dimensional DOA estimation and phase calibration is developed. An identification problem is determined and a suitable constraint is proposed. Simulation results show that the performance of the proposed estimator is close to the approximate CRB for both ...

Heidenreich, Philipp — Technische Universität Darmstadt


Informed spatial filters for speech enhancement

In modern devices which provide hands-free speech capturing functionality, such as hands-free communication kits and voice-controlled devices, the received speech signal at the microphones is corrupted by background noise, interfering speech signals, and room reverberation. In many practical situations, the microphones are not necessarily located near the desired source, and hence, the ratio of the desired speech power to the power of the background noise, the interfering speech, and the reverberation at the microphones can be very low, often around or even below 0 dB. In such situations, the comfort of human-to-human communication, as well as the accuracy of automatic speech recognisers for voice-controlled applications can be signi cantly degraded. Therefore, e ffective speech enhancement algorithms are required to process the microphone signals before transmitting them to the far-end side for communication, or before feeding them into a speech recognition ...

Taseska, Maja — Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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