Beat Transformer: Demixed Beat and Downbeat Tracking with Dilated Self-Attention

Jingwei Zhao, Gus Xia, Ye Wang

We propose Beat Transformer, a novel Transformer encoder architecture for joint beat and downbeat tracking. Different from previous models that track beats solely based on the spectrogram of an audio mixture, our model deals with demixed spectrograms with multiple instrument channels. This is inspired by the fact that humans perceive metrical structures from richer musical contexts, such as chord progression and instrumentation. To this end, we develop a Transformer model with both time-wise attention and instrument-wise attention to capture deep-buried metrical cues. Moreover, our model adopts a novel dilated self-attention mechanism, which achieves powerful hierarchical modelling with only linear complexity. Experiments demonstrate a significant improvement in demixed beat tracking over the non-demixed version. Also, Beat Transformer achieves up to 4% point improvement in downbeat tracking accuracy over the TCN architectures. We further discover an interpretable attention pattern that mirrors our understanding of hierarchical metrical structures.

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