@ozymandiasthegreat/vad
libfvad compiled to WASM to run in browsers, Node, and NativeScript
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libfvad-wasm

I had a need for a VAD library that would run on Android via NativeScript. Compatibility with browsers and Node would've been a bonus. After looking around for a bit I realized that my best bet would be to use VAD library extracted from WebRTC project compiled to WASM.

This would run on Android through NativeScript, and in browsers and recent versions of Node natively. The only downside I could think of, was no iOS support since WASM isn't allowed in apps by Apple.

I first discovered a Mozilla-owned repository that contained WebRTC_VAD code extracted and compiled with Emscripten. That was a great starting point, although ultimately not viable since it contained too much unnecessary C code and the whole repository seems abandoned.

Then, in my search, I found libfvad. This project is fairly active, contains no unnecessary code, and even packages VAD in easy-to-consume API. So I decided to go with this and package it with Emscripten so it can be run anywhere.

So here we are. On to the API reference.

API Reference

This package is an ES module. To use it with older browsers you'll need Babel or some such. To use it with Node, you'll need a version with support for ES modules and WASM. To use it with NativeScript, you shouldn't need anything extra, as {N} imports embedded version by default. There are also typings provided.

The main default export is an async function that resolves to class constructor VAD. There are also a few named exports VADMode, VADEvent, and VAD_FRAME;

VADMode defines the aggressiveness of VAD. Higher mode means fewer false positives and potentially more missed utterances. The available modes are:

  • NORMAL
  • LOW_BITRATE (optimized for low bitrate streams)
  • AGGRESSIVE (this seems to work best in most situations)
  • VERY_AGGRESSIVE

VADEvent is an enum with these members { ERROR, SILENCE, VOICE }.

VAD_FRAME is a constant size of a single frame processed by VAD. For best results your buffer should be divisible by VAD_FRAME.

VAD(mode: VADMode, rate: number);

// Convenience function for browsers, as AudioWorklet returns data as Float32Array
// which is incompatible with this library
static VAD.floatTo16BitPCM(buffer: Float32Array): Int16Array;

// Single frame processing used internally. Not very useful on its own
VAD.processFrame(frame: Int16Array): VADEvent;

// Buffer processing, larger buffers return more accurate results
VAD.processBuffer(buffer: Buffer | ArrayBufferView): VADEvent;

// Free the resources used by this instance. The instance is not usable afterward
VAD.destroy(): void;

You can also find the C API as exported by dist/libfvad.wasm in include/fvad.h.

Examples

Web

You can find a browser example in the ./docs. As of this writing, it only works in Chrome, since JavaScript private fields (#) are used in the library. You can also see it live in your browser here

Node

You can find example code in the ./examples/node. Just cd in there and run node ./index.js. The sample script only runs on Linux! However it's only a few lines of code, so it's exceedingly easy to adapt it to your OS.

NativeScript

Again, WASM is only supported on Android. Blame Apple.

To run sample app, cd ./examples/nativescript and run ns run android. That's it.

The sample uses a worker thread to run audio recording loop in the background and communicates with the main app asynchronously.