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Software Adapts Speech to Ambient Noise Level

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The new Adapt DRC software adjusts spoken messages perfectly to the noise level, even in a noisy train station.

Researchers in the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed software that compensates for noisy environments by improving the intelligibility of speech.

Credit: Daniel Schmidt/Fraunhofer IDMT

Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) researchers have developed ADAPT DRC, new software that significantly improves the intelligibility of speech.

ADAPT DRC continually analyzes ambient noise via a microphone, and the speech is adjusted to it in real time.

"Our algorithms are able to prioritize certain frequencies and to reinforce, at the right time, precisely those which are particularly disturbed by the ambient noise," says IDMT researcher Jan Rennies-Hochmuth.

In addition, the software accounts for the parts of the speech signal that are of different volumes. Speech intelligibility increases particularly when loud parts are systematically subdued and quiet parts are specifically amplified, a technique known as Dynamic Range Compression (DRC).

The ADAPT DRC software has already been developed to the point of application maturity and is available to industrial partners. Modern conference equipment and mobile phones already have built-in microphones, meaning they already possess the technology that is necessary to be able to record the ambient noise.

Meanwhile, the speaker systems of railway systems or airports would need additional microphones installed before the ADAPT DRC software could be implemented.

From Fraunhofer Institute
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