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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Speech Synthesis (LASC11062)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course explores issues in text-to-speech synthesis by taking a detailed look at the theory and practice of the state of the art speech synthesis systems. Through lectures students will learn the theory of speech synthesis through the lab sessions and assessment students will learn about the practical application of this theory as they design and build their own synthetic voice for a unit selection speech synthesiser.

Students deciding whether to take this course should visit the lecturer's blog where much of the course material can be found.
Course description The course is delivered as a combination of lectures, flipped classrooms, an online forum, short videos, readings, and a practical exercise in the lab.

In the lab, students build their own fully-functional speech synthesis voice, within the Festival framework.

Syllabus: approaches to speech synthesis, text selection and recording data for corpus based approaches, searching inventories for unit selection approaches, prosody, pitch tracking and pitch marking, speech coding and vocoding for speech synthesis, statistical parametric speech synthesis using Hidden Markov models, statistical parametric speech synthesis using Deep Neural Networks, evaluating speech synthesis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Speech Processing (LASC11065)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 18, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 60 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Comments will be provided on submitted coursework and a structured marking scheme will be used. All students will have the opportunity for an individual 15 minute summative feedback session with the lecturer covering the coursework assessment, after it is returned.

Class-wide formative feedback will be provided based on work previously submitted for Speech Processing (from multiple students, anonymised),
since the style and format is very similar to that required for this course. The event will take the form of a video lecture and blog post, made available by Block 3 Week 5, with follow-up questions answered via the course forum and in-person in the lab.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the speech synthesis process, and be familiar with the processing steps required to convert text to speech and be familiar with the different speech synthesis methods currently used by speech synthesis systems and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each
  2. have a detailed understanding of the principles of unit selection speech synthesis, and the issues involved with choosing suitable candidate units to match a given target sequence and understand the design issues associated with recording data suitable for building a unit selection voice
  3. have the practical experience of having built a synthetic voice themselves
  4. be familiar with the different speech coding techniques that can be used for speech synthesis, and understand how these can be used to aid the joining of individual speech segments and how using different signal processing techniques to manipulate speech synthesis output affects the speech quality
  5. be in a position to discuss current issues in speech synthesis and see where speech synthesis research is heading in the future
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - ability to use the industry-standard speech synthesis toolkit, Festival
- ability to make high-quality recordings of speech in the studio
- ability to build and tune a unit selection voice
- scientific writing
- experimental design and analysis
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures and labs as scheduled
Students only need to attend ONE of the two lab sessions. You will be assigned a lab session by the lecturer.
Keywordstext-to-speech synthesis,speech signal processing,statistical modelling using Hidden Markov models
Course organiserProf Simon King
Tel: (0131 6)51 1725
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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