TitleTowards blind reverberation time estimation for non-speech signals
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSantos, JF, Peters, N, Falk, TH

Reverberation time (RT) is an important parameter for room acoustics characterization, intelligibility and quality assessment of reverberant speech, and for dereverberation. Commonly, RT is estimated from the room impulse response (RIR). In practice, however, RIRs are often unavailable or continuously changing. As such, blind estimation of RT based only on the recorded reverberant signals is of great interest. To date, blind RT estimation has focused on reverberant speech signals. Here, we propose to blindly estimate RT from non-speech signals, such as solo instrument recordings and music ensembles. To estimate the RT of non-speech signals, we propose a blind estimator based on an auditoryinspired modulation spectrum signal representation, which measures the modulation frequency of temporal envelopes computed from a 23-channel gammatone filterbank. We show that the higher modulation frequency bands are more sensitive to reverberation than the modulation bands below 20 Hz. When tested on a database of non-speech sounds under 23 different reverberation conditions with reverberation time (T40) ranging from 0.18 to 15.62 s, a blind estimator based on the ratio of high-to-low modulation frequencies outperformed two state-of-the-art methods and achieved correlations with EDT as high as 0.92 for solo instruments and 0.87 for ensembles.