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Amazon’s AI improves bass response, loudness, and echo cancellation on Echo devices

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Robert Massaro
Apr 11, 2019 07:05
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It’s a technique that modifies the volume of an audio signal across frequency bands, often with the effect of improving echo cancellation.

Namely, it doesn’t always cleanly separate signals into their component frequencies and it tends to use fixed bands, which in practice impact loudness and bass response and cause unpleasant distortions.

Fortunately, scientists at Amazon’s Hardware Technology and Architecture group have made headway in addressing MBDP schemes’ technical limitations.

In a newly published paper (“Reconfigurable Multitask Audio Dynamics Processing Scheme”) scheduled to be presented at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing later this year, they detail a novel, compact model design that not only enhances loudness and bass, but significantly improves performance on speech recognition tasks.

It began shipping in Alexa-enabled devices in 2017, they say.

As senior research scientist Jun Yang explains, MBDP has two primary functions: compression, or keeping the ratio of an audio signal’s maximum and minimum volumes within a certain range, and peak limiting, or cutting off volume spikes that can cause distortion (a phenomenon known as “brownout”).

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Robert Massaro
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