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Musical Beat Display

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127573D
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-02
Document File: 13 page(s) / 4M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Mark Eyer: INVENTOR

Abstract

A variety of consumer electronics and entertainment devices utilize LED, LCD, electro-fluorescent, or incandescent displays that in some way respond to music being played, either in the device itself or to the sound of music being played in the proximity of the device. Boom boxes and home audio entertainment units may, for example, feature such displays. A common method to create such display output involves modulating the intensity of the light according to the instantaneous loudness (amplitude) of the music or sound. Sometimes, the audio signal is band-filtered; so that amplitude variations from different parts of the spectrum drive different light displays (different sets of colors, for example). A more visually stimulating, exciting, and attractive music-driven visual presentation can be created if the display device can derive and use the beat of the music in forming the display. Methods for automatically determining the beat of musical input signals are well-known in the art. However, these methods involve signal processing techniques that have heretofore been prohibitively expensive to implement in typical consumer entertainment products. With the advent of low-cost and low-power microprocessors and digital signal processing (DSP) chips, the cost of implementing beat detection becomes realistic and practical as an option. Beat detection involves processing the musical signal to look for energy patterns within certain frequency bands repetitive at a rate typical for Western music. Some amount of time (a number of seconds) of input must typically be processed before a reliable beat position and frequency can be derived. Therefore, for beat detection displays that receive their input from ambient sound, beat-synchronized output will be unreliable and error-prone at the beginning of a given musical track. On the other hand, in accordance with ideas presented in this invention disclosure, devices producing their own audio output (such as CD or MP-3 players) and incorporating beat detection and display will be able to pre-process the audio source before providing audio output, and hence be able to produce beat-accurate displays from the beginning of any given musical track. This invention reviews various techniques for deriving the musical beat, describes possibilities for deriving visual or kinesthetic outputs from that beat, and describes various types of consumer products and devices that could benefit from such technology.

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                                                                                                                                                                Sony Corporation

                                                                                                                                                                Sony Electronics Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                IPD Case #50U8028.00

Title:

Musical Beat Display

Description of the Invention:

A variety of consumer electronics and entertainment devices utilize LED, LCD, electro-fluorescent, or incandescent displays that in some way respond to music being played, either in the device itself or to the sound of music being played in the proximity of the device.  Boom boxes and home audio entertainment units may, for example, feature such displays.  A common method to create such display output involves modulating the intensity of the light according to the instantaneous loudness (amplitude) of the music or sound.  Sometimes, the audio signal is band-filtered; so that amplitude variations from different parts of the spectrum drive different light displays (different sets of colors, for example).
A more visually stimulating, exciting, and attractive music-driven visual presentation can be created if the display device can derive and use the beat of the music in forming the display.  Methods for automatically determining the beat of musical input signals are well-known in the art.  However, these methods involve signal processing techniques that have heretofore been prohibitively expensive to implement in typical consumer entertainment products.  With the advent of low-cost and low-power microprocessors and digital signal processing (DSP) chips, the cost of implementing beat detection becomes realistic and practical as an option.
Beat detection involves processing the musical signal to look for energy patterns within certain frequency bands repetitive at a rate typical for Western music.  Some amount of time (a number of seconds) of input must typically be processed before a reliable beat position and frequency can be derived.  Therefore, for beat detection displays that receive their input from ambient sound, beat-synchronized output will be unreliable and error-prone at the beginning of a given musical track.  On the other hand, in accordance with ideas presented in this invention disclosure, devices producing their own audio output (such as CD or MP-3 players) and incorporating beat detection and display will be able to pre-process the audio source before providing audio output, and hence be able to produce beat-accurate displays from the beginning of any given musical track.
This invention reviews various techniques for deriving the musical beat, describe...