2021 Volume 42 Issue 1 Pages 1-11
We propose non-parallel and many-to-many voice conversion (VC) using variational autoencoders (VAEs) that constructs VC models for converting arbitrary speakers' characteristics into those of other arbitrary speakers without parallel speech corpora for training the models. Although VAEs conditioned by one-hot coded speaker codes can achieve non-parallel VC, the phonetic contents of the converted speech tend to vanish, resulting in degraded speech quality. Another issue is that they cannot deal with unseen speakers not included in training corpora. To overcome these issues, we incorporate deep-neural-network-based automatic speech recognition (ASR) and automatic speaker verification (ASV) into the VAE-based VC. Since phonetic contents are given as phonetic posteriorgrams predicted from the ASR models, the proposed VC can overcome the quality degradation. Our VC utilizes d-vectors extracted from the ASV models as continuous speaker representations that can deal with unseen speakers. Experimental results demonstrate that our VC outperforms the conventional VAE-based VC in terms of mel-cepstral distortion and converted speech quality. We also investigate the effects of hyperparameters in our VC and reveal that 1) a large d-vector dimensionality that gives the better ASV performance does not necessarily improve converted speech quality, and 2) a large number of pre-stored speakers improves the quality.