Environment friendly parallel audio technology – Google AI Weblog

The current progress in generative AI unlocked the opportunity of creating new content material in a number of completely different domains, together with textual content, imaginative and prescient and audio. These fashions usually depend on the truth that uncooked knowledge is first transformed to a compressed format as a sequence of tokens. Within the case of audio, neural audio codecs (e.g., SoundStream or EnCodec) can effectively compress waveforms to a compact illustration, which might be inverted to reconstruct an approximation of the unique audio sign. Such a illustration consists of a sequence of discrete audio tokens, capturing the native properties of sounds (e.g., phonemes) and their temporal construction (e.g., prosody). By representing audio as a sequence of discrete tokens, audio technology might be carried out with Transformer-based sequence-to-sequence fashions — this has unlocked fast progress in speech continuation (e.g., with AudioLM), text-to-speech (e.g., with SPEAR-TTS), and basic audio and music technology (e.g., AudioGen and MusicLM). Many generative audio fashions, together with AudioLM, depend on auto-regressive decoding, which produces tokens one after the other. Whereas this methodology achieves excessive acoustic high quality, inference (i.e., calculating an output) might be gradual, particularly when decoding lengthy sequences.

To deal with this situation, in “SoundStorm: Efficient Parallel Audio Generation”, we suggest a brand new methodology for environment friendly and high-quality audio technology. SoundStorm addresses the issue of producing lengthy audio token sequences by counting on two novel parts: 1) an structure tailored to the particular nature of audio tokens as produced by the SoundStream neural codec, and a pair of) a decoding scheme impressed by MaskGIT, a lately proposed methodology for picture technology, which is tailor-made to function on audio tokens. In comparison with the autoregressive decoding method of AudioLM, SoundStorm is ready to generate tokens in parallel, thus lowering the inference time by 100x for lengthy sequences, and produces audio of the identical high quality and with greater consistency in voice and acoustic circumstances. Furthermore, we present that SoundStorm, coupled with the text-to-semantic modeling stage of SPEAR-TTS, can synthesize high-quality, pure dialogues, permitting one to regulate the spoken content material (by way of transcripts), speaker voices (by way of brief voice prompts) and speaker turns (by way of transcript annotations), as demonstrated by the examples under:

Enter: Textual content (transcript used to drive the audio technology in daring)        One thing actually humorous occurred to me this morning. | Oh wow, what? | Nicely, uh I awakened as standard. | Uhhuh | Went downstairs to have uh breakfast. | Yeah | Began consuming. Then uh 10 minutes later I noticed it was the midnight. | Oh no method, that is so humorous!        I did not sleep effectively final night time. | Oh, no. What occurred? | I do not know. I I simply could not appear to uh to go to sleep someway, I saved tossing and turning all night time. | That is too unhealthy. Perhaps it’s best to uh strive going to mattress earlier tonight or uh perhaps you can strive studying a ebook. | Yeah, thanks for the strategies, I hope you are proper. | No downside. I I hope you get a superb night time’s sleep
Enter: Audio immediate       


Output: Audio immediate + generated audio       


SoundStorm design

In our earlier work on AudioLM, we confirmed that audio technology might be decomposed into two steps: 1) semantic modeling, which generates semantic tokens from both earlier semantic tokens or a conditioning sign (e.g., a transcript as in SPEAR-TTS, or a textual content immediate as in MusicLM), and a pair of) acoustic modeling, which generates acoustic tokens from semantic tokens. With SoundStorm we particularly handle this second, acoustic modeling step, changing slower autoregressive decoding with sooner parallel decoding.

SoundStorm depends on a bidirectional attention-based Conformer, a mannequin structure that mixes a Transformer with convolutions to seize each native and international construction of a sequence of tokens. Particularly, the mannequin is skilled to foretell audio tokens produced by SoundStream given a sequence of semantic tokens generated by AudioLM as enter. When doing this, it is very important consider the truth that, at every time step t, SoundStream makes use of as much as Q tokens to characterize the audio utilizing a way referred to as residual vector quantization (RVQ), as illustrated under on the best. The important thing instinct is that the standard of the reconstructed audio progressively will increase because the variety of generated tokens at every step goes from 1 to Q.

At inference time, given the semantic tokens as enter conditioning sign, SoundStorm begins with all audio tokens masked out, and fills within the masked tokens over a number of iterations, ranging from the coarse tokens at RVQ degree q = 1 and continuing level-by-level with finer tokens till reaching degree q = Q.

There are two essential features of SoundStorm that allow quick technology: 1) tokens are predicted in parallel throughout a single iteration inside a RVQ degree and, 2) the mannequin structure is designed in such a method that the complexity is simply mildly affected by the variety of ranges Q. To assist this inference scheme, throughout coaching a rigorously designed masking scheme is used to imitate the iterative course of used at inference.

SoundStorm mannequin structure. T denotes the variety of time steps and Q the variety of RVQ ranges utilized by SoundStream. The semantic tokens used as conditioning are time-aligned with the SoundStream frames.

Measuring SoundStorm efficiency

We reveal that SoundStorm matches the standard of AudioLM’s acoustic generator, changing each AudioLM’s stage two (coarse acoustic mannequin) and stage three (high quality acoustic mannequin). Moreover, SoundStorm produces audio 100x sooner than AudioLM’s hierarchical autoregressive acoustic generator (prime half under) with matching high quality and improved consistency when it comes to speaker identification and acoustic circumstances (backside half under).

Runtimes of SoundStream decoding, SoundStorm and completely different phases of AudioLM on a TPU-v4.
Acoustic consistency between the immediate and the generated audio. The shaded space represents the inter-quartile vary.

Security and danger mitigation

We acknowledge that the audio samples produced by the mannequin could also be influenced by the unfair biases current within the coaching knowledge, as an illustration when it comes to represented accents and voice traits. In our generated samples, we reveal that we are able to reliably and responsibly management speaker traits by way of prompting, with the objective of avoiding unfair biases. A radical evaluation of any coaching knowledge and its limitations is an space of future work in step with our accountable AI Principles.

In flip, the power to imitate a voice can have quite a few malicious functions, together with bypassing biometric identification and utilizing the mannequin for the aim of impersonation. Thus, it’s essential to place in place safeguards towards potential misuse: to this finish, we’ve verified that the audio generated by SoundStorm stays detectable by a devoted classifier utilizing the identical classifier as described in our unique AudioLM paper. Therefore, as a element of a bigger system, we imagine that SoundStorm can be unlikely to introduce further dangers to these mentioned in our earlier papers on AudioLM and SPEAR-TTS. On the similar time, stress-free the reminiscence and computational necessities of AudioLM would make analysis within the area of audio technology extra accessible to a wider neighborhood. Sooner or later, we plan to discover different approaches for detecting synthesized speech, e.g., with the assistance of audio watermarking, in order that any potential product utilization of this know-how strictly follows our accountable AI Rules.


We have now launched SoundStorm, a mannequin that may effectively synthesize high-quality audio from discrete conditioning tokens. When in comparison with the acoustic generator of AudioLM, SoundStorm is 2 orders of magnitude sooner and achieves greater temporal consistency when producing lengthy audio samples. By combining a text-to-semantic token mannequin just like SPEAR-TTS with SoundStorm, we are able to scale text-to-speech synthesis to longer contexts and generate pure dialogues with a number of speaker turns, controlling each the voices of the audio system and the generated content material. SoundStorm just isn’t restricted to producing speech. For instance, MusicLM makes use of SoundStorm to synthesize longer outputs effectively (as seen at I/O).


The work described right here was authored by Zalán Borsos, Matt Sharifi, Damien Vincent, Eugene Kharitonov, Neil Zeghidour and Marco Tagliasacchi. We’re grateful for all discussions and suggestions on this work that we obtained from our colleagues at Google.

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