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A Two-Stage Beamforming Approach for Noise Reduction and Dereverberation

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2 Author(s)
Habets, E.A.P. ; Int. Audio Labs. Erlangen, Univ. of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany ; Benesty, J.

In general, the signal-to-noise ratio as well as the signal-to-reverberation ratio of speech received by a microphone decrease when the distance between the talker and microphone increases. Dereverberation and noise reduction algorithm are essential for many applications such as videoconferencing, hearing aids, and automatic speech recognition to improve the quality and intelligibility of the received desired speech that is corrupted by reverberation and noise. In the last decade, researchers have aimed at estimating the reverberant desired speech signal as received by one of the microphones. Although this approach has let to practical noise reduction algorithms, the spatial diversity of the received desired signal is not exploited to dereverberate the speech signal. In this paper, a two-stage beamforming approach is presented for dereverberation and noise reduction. In the first stage, a signal-independent beamformer is used to generate a reference signal which contains a dereverberated version of the desired speech signal as received at the microphones and residual noise. In the second stage, the filtered microphone signals and the noisy reference signal are used to obtain an estimate of the dereverberated desired speech signal. In this stage, different signal-dependent beamformers can be used depending on the desired operating point in terms of noise reduction and speech distortion. The presented performance evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed two-stage approach.

Published in:

Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 5 )