V2A-Mapper: A Lightweight Solution for Vision-to-Audio Generation by Connecting Foundation Models

18 Aug 2023  ·  Heng Wang, Jianbo Ma, Santiago Pascual, Richard Cartwright, Weidong Cai ·

Building artificial intelligence (AI) systems on top of a set of foundation models (FMs) is becoming a new paradigm in AI research. Their representative and generative abilities learnt from vast amounts of data can be easily adapted and transferred to a wide range of downstream tasks without extra training from scratch. However, leveraging FMs in cross-modal generation remains under-researched when audio modality is involved. On the other hand, automatically generating semantically-relevant sound from visual input is an important problem in cross-modal generation studies. To solve this vision-to-audio (V2A) generation problem, existing methods tend to design and build complex systems from scratch using modestly sized datasets. In this paper, we propose a lightweight solution to this problem by leveraging foundation models, specifically CLIP, CLAP, and AudioLDM. We first investigate the domain gap between the latent space of the visual CLIP and the auditory CLAP models. Then we propose a simple yet effective mapper mechanism (V2A-Mapper) to bridge the domain gap by translating the visual input between CLIP and CLAP spaces. Conditioned on the translated CLAP embedding, pretrained audio generative FM AudioLDM is adopted to produce high-fidelity and visually-aligned sound. Compared to previous approaches, our method only requires a quick training of the V2A-Mapper. We further analyze and conduct extensive experiments on the choice of the V2A-Mapper and show that a generative mapper is better at fidelity and variability (FD) while a regression mapper is slightly better at relevance (CS). Both objective and subjective evaluation on two V2A datasets demonstrate the superiority of our proposed method compared to current state-of-the-art approaches - trained with 86% fewer parameters but achieving 53% and 19% improvement in FD and CS, respectively.

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