NHSS: A Speech and Singing Parallel Database

Bidisha Sharma, Xiaoxue Gao, Karthika Vijayan, Xiaohai Tian, Haizhou Li

We present a database of parallel recordings of speech and singing, collected and released by the Human Language Technology (HLT) laboratory at the National University of Singapore (NUS), that is called NUS-HLT Speak-Sing (NHSS) database. We release this database to the public to support research activities, that include, but not limited to comparative studies of acoustic attributes of speech and singing signals, cooperative synthesis of speech and singing voices, and speech-to-singing conversion. This database consists of recordings of sung vocals of English pop songs, the spoken counterpart of lyrics of the songs read by the singers in their natural reading manner, and manually prepared utterance-level and word-level annotations. The audio recordings in the NHSS database correspond to 100 songs sung and spoken by 10 singers, resulting in a total of 7 hours of audio data. There are 5 male and 5 female singers, singing and reading the lyrics of 10 songs each. In this paper, we discuss the design methodology of the database, analyze the similarities and dissimilarities in characteristics of speech and singing voices, and provide some strategies to address relationships between these characteristics for converting one to another. We develop benchmark systems for speech-to-singing alignment, spectral mapping and conversion using the NHSS database.

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