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From Maskee to Audible Noise in Perceptual Speech Enhancement

Authors: Asmaa Amehraye, Dominique Pastor, Ahmed Tamtaoui, Driss Aboutajdine


A new analysis of perceptual speech enhancement is presented. It focuses on the fact that if only noise above the masking threshold is filtered, then noise below the masking threshold, but above the absolute threshold of hearing, can become audible after the masker filtering. This particular drawback of some perceptual filters, hereafter called the maskee-to-audible-noise (MAN) phenomenon, favours the emergence of isolated tonals that increase musical noise. Two filtering techniques that avoid or correct the MAN phenomenon are proposed to effectively suppress background noise without introducing much distortion. Experimental results, including objective and subjective measurements, show that these techniques improve the enhanced speech quality and the gain they bring emphasizes the importance of the MAN phenomenon.

Keywords: Perceptual speech filtering, maskee to audible noise, distorsion, musical noise.

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