The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder

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1 The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Bernhard Grill Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) grl 6/98 page 1

2 Outline MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) MPEG-4 Extensions: Perceptual Noise Substitution (PNS) Long Term Prediction TwinVQ Coding Core The MPEG-4 Scalable General Audio Coder Results of Listening Tests Demonstration of a Real-Time Player grl 6/98 page 2

3 MPEG-2 AAC Encoder Overview: Bitstream Output Bitstream Multiplexer Input time signal Gain Control Perceptual Model Filter Bank TNS Intensity/ Coupling Prediction M/S Scale Factors Quant. Rate/Distortion Control Noiseless Coding grl 6/98 page 3

4 Extension: Perceptual Noise Substitution (PNS) Bitstream Output Bitstream Multiplexer Input time signal Gain Control Perceptual Model Filter Bank TNS Intensity/ Coupling PNS Prediction M/S Scale Factors Quant. Rate/Distortion Control Noiseless Coding grl 6/98 page 4

5 Perceptual Noise Substitution (2) Background: Parametric coding of noise-like signal components has been used widely e.g. in speech coding MPEG-4: Perceptual Noise Substitution (PNS) permits a frequency selective parametric coding of noise-like signal components Noise-like signal components are detected on a scalefactor band basis Corresponding groups of spectral coefficients are excluded from quantization/coding Instead, only a "noise substitution flag" plus total power of the substituted band is transmitted in the bitstream Decoder inserts pseudo random vectors with desired target power as spectral coefficients grl 6/98 page 5

6 Perceptual Noise Substitution (3) "Perceptual Noise Substitution" (PNS): Perceptual coder + parametric represent. of noise-like signals Audio Input Encoder Perceptual Model Analysis Filterbank Noise Detection Quantization & Coding Noise subst. signaling Substituted signal energies Bitstream Multiplexer Bitstream Out Decoder Audio Output Synthesis Filterbank Inverse Quantization Bitstream Demultiplexer Bitstream In Noise Generator Noise subst. signaling Substituted signal energies grl 6/98 page 6

7 Extension 2: Long Term Prediction Bitstream Output Bitstream Multiplexer Input time signal Gain Control Perceptual Model Filter Bank TNS Intensity/ Coupling Prediction M/S Scale Factors Quant. Rate/Distortion Control Noiseless Coding grl 6/98 page 7

8 Long Term Prediction (2) Motivation: The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Tone-like signals require much higher coding precision than noise-like signals (e.g. 20 db vs. 6 db) Tonal signal components are predictable MPEG-2 AAC: Prediction of each spectral coefficient with backward adaptive predictor High complexity (ca. 50% of decoder computation & RAM) MPEG-4: Long Term Predictor (LTP) as known from speech coding Lower complexity: Saving of approx. 50% in terms of computation and memory over MPEG-2 predictors Comparable performance to MPEG-2 predictors grl 6/98 page 8

9 Extension 3: Twin-VQ The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Bitstream Output Bitstream Multiplexer Input time signal Gain Control Perceptual Model Filter Bank TNS Intensity/ Coupling Prediction M/S Scale Factors Quant. Rate/Distortion Control Noiseless Coding grl 6/98 page 9

10 Transform-Domain Weighted Interleave VQ (2) Background: Audio coding at extremely low bitrates (6-8 kbit/s) CELP speech coders do not perform well for music 0.5 Bits per frequency line at these data rates!! MPEG-4: Transform-Domain Weighted Interleave Vector Quantization (TwinVQ) as alternative coding kernel Vector selection under control of the perceptual model Fully integrated into MPEG-4 AAC coding system: Uses same spectral representation as AAC coder Makes use of other MPEG-4 tools (e.g. LTP, TNS, joint stereo coding) grl 6/98 page 10

11 Transform-Domain Weighted Interleave VQ (3) Structure: Normalization of spectral coefficients: LPC envelope (overall spectral shape) Periodic component coding (harmonic components) Bark-scale envelope coding (additional flattening) Vector Quantization (VQ) process: Interleaving of spectral coefficients into new sub-vectors Vector quantization (two sets of codebooks, weighted distortion measure allows distortion control by perceptual model) no bit/noise allocation or rate control iteration grl 6/98 page 11

12 Scalability Definition: Types of Scalability: Capability to decode useful sub-sets of the bitstream SNR / NMR (Noise to Mask Ratio) Scalability: Extension layers improve the SNR/NMR of the coded signal Audio Bandwidth Scalability: Extension layers increase the decodable audio band width Restriction of Generality: Very low bit rate core coder optimized for special signals, e.g speech. Additional layers provide good quality for all types of signals. Implementation Complexity: grl 6/98 page 12

13 Application examples The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Network based (packetized) transmission Requires routers which know about the importance of a packet Less important (outer layer) packets may be dropped if the available bandwidth decreases Broadcast The most important (inner layer) packets are transmitted with a better error protection scheme Music data base High quality content is encoded and stored Access to a lower quality version is possible without recoding to allow for pre-listening with a lower quality grl 6/98 page 13

14 Scalable GA Coder (I) Encoder Block Diagram MDCT Q&C Reconstruct Spectrum - + F S S Q&C Perceptual Model Encoding of the error signal of an AAC or Twin-VQ Quantization and Coding (Q&C) module in a second, or third, or n-th similar quantization module in the frequency domain Solutions using only AAC, or only Twin-VQ modules possible Additionally, Twin-VQ / AAC combinations defined Useful for large enhancement steps of >= 8 kbit/s per step grl 6/98 page 14

15 Scalable GA Coder (II) The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Decoder Block Diagram Reconstruct Spectrum Reconstruct Spectrum IMDCT Inv. FSS + Add Twin-VQ Q&C Modules 8 kbit/s fixed step size Vector Quantizer (VQ) modules optional 6 kbit/s in first layer first choice for a 6 or 8 kbit/s base layer for the coding of general audio signals AAC Q&C modules Any step size possible Reasonable step sizes from 8 to >64 kbit/s The same end quality can be achieved as from a single step AAC coder However, a higher bit rate may be required for the same audio quality grl 6/98 page 15

16 Scalable GA Coder : Combination with CELP Coder (I) CELP CODEC MDCT FSS Quantization & Coding MDCT Encoder Perceptual. model Very low bitrate core coder ( e.g. speech coder) Core coder typically operating at a lower sampling frequency MDCT used for efficient up-sampling grl 6/98 page 16

17 Scalable GA Coder : Combination with Core Coder (II) CELP DECODER MDCT IFSS IMDCT Requantization Requantization + Decoder grl 6/98 page 17

18 Scalable Stereo Coding: Stereo / Stereo grl 6/98 page 18

19 Scalable Stereo Coding: Mono / Stereo grl 6/98 page 19

20 Scalable Stereo Coding: Mono Core / Mono GA / Stereo GA grl 6/98 page 20

21 Scalable GA Coder : The MPEG-4 General Audio Coder Typical Configurations Some successfully tested mono/mono combinations: 6 kbit/s CELP + 18 kbit/s AAC 6 kbit/s TwinVQ + 18 kbit/s AAC 8 kbit/s TwinVQ + 8 kbit/s TwinVQ 6 kbit/s CELP + 18 kbit/s + 24 kbit/s AAC Mono/stereo combinations 6 kbit/s mono CELP + 18 kbit/s mono + 24 kbit/s stereo AAC 24 kbit/s mono + 16 kbit/s stereo + 16 kbit/s stereo AAC 24 kbit/s mono + 72 kbit/s stereo AAC Stereo/stereo combinations 2 x 6 kbit/s mono CELP + 36 kbit/s stereo AAC grl 6/98 page 21

22 Results (I) Mono Configurations 4,5 4 3,5 3 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0 Layer 3 24 kbit/s AAC 24 kbit/s CELP+A AC 24 kbit/s Tw inv Q + AAC 24 kbit/s AAC 18 kbit/s Series1 Series2 3,5 4,1 3,85 3,65 3,27 grl 6/98 page 22

23 Results (II) 5 4,5 Mono Mono / Stereo Configuration Stereo 4 3,5 3 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0 L3 24 kbit/s AAC 24 kbit/s scal kbit/s L3 40 kbit/s AAC 40 kbit/s scal 40 kbit/s L3 56 kbit/s AAC 56 kbit/s scal 56 kbit/s grl 6/98 page 23

24 Conclusions Highest quality coding with proven AAC technology PNS, LTP and TwinVQ further enhance the very low bitrate performance Mono, Stereo, and Multi-channel Stereo supported Bitrate range 6 - ~300 kbit/s per channel at 8-96 khz SR Additional flexibility with the scalable coding modes Unique capabilities through the availability of the monostereo coding modes Overall complexity within the limits of today s hardware ==> The MPEG-4 GA coder the most versatile audio coding system available today Low-Delay and Error Resilience Additions in MPEG-4 Version 2 grl 6/98 page 24

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