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Publication numberUS1977997 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1934
Filing dateApr 25, 1931
Priority dateApr 25, 1931
Publication numberUS 1977997 A, US 1977997A, US-A-1977997, US1977997 A, US1977997A
InventorsBell Patterson Edward
Original AssigneeRca Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control system
US 1977997 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

oct. 23, 1934.

A@ @V Q A@ bh @V mm m Oct. 23, 1934. E. B. PATTERSON CONTROL SYSTEM Filed April 25, 1931 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 CmmEcT TU RECTIFIER PANEL oct. 23, 1934. E. B. PAfTERSON 1,977,997

CONTROL SYSTEM I N VEN TOR.

BYJR E E HIS ATTORNEY.

INPUT Patented Oct. 23, 1934 UNITED STATES "PATENT ol-Ficlaz CONTROL SYSTEM tion of Delaware Application April 25, 1931, Serial No. 532,822 24 claims. (C1. :s4- 464) My invention relates, generally, to control-systems and it has particular relation to systems wherein the control is exerted through the medium of original or recorded sounds.

'5 More specifically stated, my invention relates to the automatic correlation of light and sound eifects, or of mot-ion and sound, and it is especially adapted to theatrical and entertainment purposes though by no means restricted thereto.

The problem of synchronizing colored light and sound effects is one towhich considerable attention has been paid in the past and many devices have been proposed for controlling the energize.- tion of light-sources in response to musical tones, none of which, however, have given satisfaction.

Substantially all color-organs and the like, constructed prior to my invention, however, have not been suliciently exible in operationto :follow rapid changes in the volume, tempo Aand tone of the sound-source and, principally for thatreason,

have achieved no pronounced commercial success. Furthermore, no prior system has been devised whereby the controlled power may be substantially unlimited, i. e., hundreds or millions of 25 watts, irrespective of the complitude of the minute currents, representing sounds, used for control purposes.

It is, accordingly, an object of my invention,Vy

to provide improved means for synchronizing sound and light effects.

Another object of my invention is to providean improved system for correlating sound and illumination that shall be substantially devoid of time-lag. l

Another object of my invention is to provide an improved system of the type described that shall require mf'nimum moving mechanical parts.

Another object of my invention is to provide, in a system of thetype described, means whereby the` light-colors corresponding to various sound-frequency bands may be quickly and easily altered by the user according to his individual preference.

Another object of my invention .is to provide a system of the type described wherefn the intensity of the light emitted from any light source shall be a function of the amplitude of the sound that controls the energization of the said source.

` A still further object of my invention is to pro- 50 vide acontlrobsystern,v generally adaptable to the control of apparatus other than light sources,

whereby substantiallyunlimited lpower' may be controlled by minute electric currents representing sounds.

In accordance with my invention I provide means whereby sounds, either original, recorded, or derived from radio signals or the like are first converted into fluctuating electric currents at low amplitude. After suitable ampliiication, the electric currents are utilized to energize sound producing devices of any convenient type and to control the application of power, selectively, to a plurality of light-sources. The manner in which the intensity of the light from the several light sources is caused to be a function of the amplitude of the controlling sounds, and the variation in the intensity is caused to be stepless and devoid of time-lag, or is given a definite time-lag, constitutes an important phase of my invention. For thesepurposes I prefer to utilize electric discharge devices of the type known as Thyratrons, or other suitable grid controlled gaseous discharge or electrostatically controlled are rectiers, generally disposed in push-pull relation, the grid circuits of which are controlled by the currents representing the sounds being reproduced and the output currents from which are fed to the load or to saturating reactors which, in turn, control the potentials applied to the said load from a commercial electrical supply system.

In order that each sound-"frequency, or eachv of a plurality of bands of sound-frequencies, shall be accompanied by a specic color or color-combination, I interpose appropriate illters between the input circuits of the grid controlled rectier 86 devices and theV audio frequency amplier from which the control-potentials are derived.

I also nd it desirable tol provide means for causing the illumination pattern to change continuously. Such meansmay be constituted by re- 90 volving masks Aor the like interposed between certain of the light-sources and the screen or walls on whichl the light is thrown. Furthermore, to enhance the variety and beauty of the colorpattern, certain others of the light-sources may be provided with oscillatory reflecting devices s that vibrate in step with the sounds, each of the reiecting devices being so arranged that it directs a beam-of light through a prism or upon a revolving mirror whereby a ribbon of light is thrown across the screen.

A distorting prism or crystal or a plurality of such devices may be disposed between the revolving mirror and the screen, lif desired, to introduce .additional variety into the illumination and to obviate frequent repetitions of the same colorpattern. e y A f 'If'henovel features that I consider characteristic of my invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, 11

however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of avspecifc embodiment, when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a simplied schematic view of a complete control system comprising a preferred embodiment of my invention,

Figs. 2 and 3 are diagrammatic detail views of portions of the system shown in Fig. 1. u

Referring to Fig. 1 of the drawings, my irnproved control system, for purposes of description, may be considered as comprising 9 interdependent portions, namely, (1) means, such as a sound record 1, a radio receiver 3, a microphone 5, or other sources 7 and 9, for providing feeble electric currents representing sounds; (2) a plurality of amplifiers 11, 13 and 15 for increasing the magnitude of the said currents; (3) a pluralvity of loudspeakers 17, 19 and 21 energized from one of the amplifiers; (4) a plurality of bandpass filters 23, 25, 27 and 29 for separating the electric currents representing sounds into groups; (5) a plurality of rectifying devices 31, 33, 35 and 37, one corresponding to each of the band-pass filters; (6) a plurality of saturating reactors 39, 41, 43 and 45 controlled as to their reactance by direct currents respectively from the rectiiiers; (7) a plurality of grid or electrostatically controlled power rectifier units 47, 49, 51 and'53 containing controlled rectiiiers of the Thyratron type or other suitable-rectifiers of the grid or electrostatically controlled arc or gaseous discharge type controllable as to their grid potentials by the saturating reactors; (8) a area 55 to be illuminated and (9) a plurality of light-sources 57, 59 and 61, having various characteristics, dis,- posed adjacent the area to be illuminated and being provided with energizing circuits 63, 65 and 67 under control of the units 47, 49,-51 and 53.

In order that currents representing sounds from any desired one of the current sources may be utilized I find it preferable to interpose a switching device 69 between the said sound sources and the audio frequency amplifiers. A volume-control potentiometer 71 or the like may also be interposed between the input amplifier 11, and either of the audio frequency amplifiers, if desired, and additional volume-control devices 73, 75, 77, 79 and 8l may be employed, as shown in the drawings. .Y

It is also convenient to interpose a switching device 83 between the saturating reactors and the rectifier units whereby the characteristics of the lights which respond to any given frequency band may be under the control of the operator.

As illustrated in the drawings, the rectifier units 47, 49, 51 and 53 are supplied with alternating current at high potential over a supply circuit 85 and the direct current output therefrom is led directly to the load over distributing conductors 63, 65 and 67 or itlmay be. utilized through the medium of a plurality of saturating reactors 87, 89, 91 and 93, of well-known type, to control the application of power, from some other source 95 to the load.v

. It is contemplated that each' of the rectifier units 47, 49, 51 and 53, shall control a plurality o flight sources of the same general characteristics as, for example, the rectifier unit designated 47 might control the admission of power to a number of sources of red light in response to low frequencies; the rectifier unit 49 might controla number of sources of green light, and the rectifier unit 51 a plurality of sources of blue light or light of any other color that harmonizes well with the colors controlled by the first mentioned rectifier units.

It is, of course, obvious that the number of filters, rectifiers, saturating reactors and controlled rectifier units is substantially unlimited and that al1 of th'e colors of the chromatic scale 'could be utilized, if desired. 'I'he possibility of using additional cotrol circuits is exemplified in the drawings by the dotted line figures and connecting circuits.

Under certain circumstances, it may be desirable to interpose a revolving mask 97 between the illuminated area and a light source in order to cause the light projected therefrom to move. My invention, however, is not limited to the use of revolving discs or screens carrying patterns and also embraces the use of movable devices including diffusing-or distorting crystals wherebydevices which actuate the masks 97 or the light diffusing elements. 'I'he manner in which the grid or electrostatically controlled arc or gaseous discharge rectifier devices may generally be utilized for control purposes will, hereinafter, be explained more in detail. t

For a more complete understanding of my improved system attention should next be directed to Figs. 2 and 3 of the drawings.

Referring to Fig. 2, the output of the audio frequency amplifier 15, after passing through the master volume-control device 73, is impressed upon the input circuits of the electrical filters 23, 25, 27 and 29, which input circuits, in a preferred commercial embodiment, are connected in series.

Inasmuch as the subsequent apparatus individual to each of the filters 23, 25, 27 and 29 is all ofthe same general type there is no necessity for repetitions description. It is to be clearly understood, therefore, that the following explanation of the manner in which the output currents from the filter 23 are utilized is intended to apply to the filters 25, 27 and 29 as well.

The output current from the filter 23 flows through the resistor element of the volume-conlized to energize a direct current winding of the saturating reactor 39, the other windings 107 alterating current over a circuit switching means 83.

In the preferred yembodiment', ofmy invention `including the the switching means is constituted by a plurality of patching cords 111, 113, and 117; a plurality of jacks 119, 121, 123 and 125, to which the output terminals of the alternating current I windings of the reactors 39, 41, 43 .and 45 are, respectively, connected and a plurality of jacks 127, 129, 131 and 133. By means of the switching device 'any one of the reactors may be utilized' to control any one -of the rectifier units 47, 49, 51

and 109 of which are supplied, in parallel, with isc and 53 and the light sources energized thereby.

Referring now to Fig. 3 of the drawings, and assuming that the cord 111 inter-connects the Jacks 119 and 127, the windings 107 and 109 are supplied with alternating potentials from the ysecondary winding of actransformer '135 the primary winding of which is energized from any convenient source 137. The source 137, through the medium of a step up transformer 139, also supplies plate potentials to a plurality of rectifier devices, 141 and 143, comprised in the controlled rectier unit 47. These devices may be of the Thyratron type or may be of any other suitable grid controlled gaseous discharge or electrostatically controlled arc rectifier type. y

The controlled rectifiers 141 and 143 are disposed in push-pull relation and have a common input circuit including the secondary winding of a transformer 145. One terminal of the primary winding of the transformer 145 is connected to the mid-point of the secondary winding of the transformer 135 which supplies the windings of the saturating reactor 39', the terminals of the last mentioned transformer being connected to the terminals of the windings of the saturating reactor through a condenser 147 and a variable resistor 149, respectively. The other terminal of the primary winding of the transformer 145 associated with the rectiflers is connected to the junction point between the last referred to resistor and the terminal of the reactor winding to which it connects. The primary winding, therefore, of the rectifier input transformer, constitutes the diagonal of a bridge circuit one arm of which includes the condenser and the winding of the saturating reactor and the other arm of which includes the resistor. The resistor in question is of such magnitude as to balance the resistance of lthe-reactor winding in the absence of saturation current derived from the rectifier 31.

In the absence of direct current in the winding 105 of the reactor 39, the plate potential of each of the rectiers 141 and 143 is substantially 180 out of phase with the alternating potential impressed upon the grid thereof from the transformer 145. Under such circumstances substantially no current flows in the output circuit of the rectifier constituted by a conductor 151 connected to the cathodes thereof and a return conductor 153 leading to a mid-tap on the secondary winding of the transformer 139 which supplies plate potential for the rectiers.

' The output circuit may be connected directly to the load, such as to a plurality of sources of light, or to another saturating reactor 91 as shown in Fig. 1 WhiEh. in` turn, controls;` the potential applied to the light sources.

In the operation of my improved system, current representing a single sound frequency or a band of sound frequencies passed by the filter device is rectified and flows through the direct current winding of the saturating reactor. The direct current thus flowing is representative of the controlling sounds both in amplitude and in the rate at which it iluctuates in amplitude. The reactance of the reactor varies inversely as the amount of direct current flowing from the rectifier associated therewith thus disturbing the balance between the resistor and the resistance of the reactor winding. Any disturbance in the balance results in a phase-shift between the grid potentials applied to the rectiflers and the plate potentials applied thereto, thus permitting the rectiers to,V successively, become conducting earlier in the A. C. cycle to increase the average rectified output current therefrom.

Any change in the output current from the rectiers is accompanied 'by a change in the intensity of the light emitted from the light source associated therewith, the rate of change of the intensity being a function of the tempo of the controlling sounds and the extent to which the intensity changes being a function of the amplitude of the said sounds.

Since there are no moving parts between the first audio frequency amplifier shown in Fig. 1 of the drawings and the light source or load, there is little time-lag between the light ntensity changes and the variations in the controlling sounds. It lies, however, within the scope of my invention to cause a pre-determined timelag, if desirable, between sounds and the light changes accompanying them and this delay may be provided for by the introduction of suitable electrical time-delay networks at any suitable point such as at 72, in Fig. 7, in connection with the audio frequency amplier 15.

When extremely rapid variations and fluctua tions of light are desired still another type of excitation for the controlled rectiiiers may be employed without departing from the spirit of my invention. In such case I find it expedient to omit the input rectiers and the saturating reactors and, instead, to lead the audio frequency currets themselves, as delivered by the lter 23, or after appropriate amplification, directly to the grids of the controlled rectifiers over a net- Work substantially the same as that shown, in Fig. 3, as interposed between the reactors and the said controlled rectiers. The modified network includes the transformer 145 and the transformer 135, the latter transformer serving to introduce grid voltages out of phase with the anode voltages whereby the no sound condition is represented by zero illumination. The conductor 101 and the variable contact device 103 are connected, respectively, to the secondary winding of the transformer 135 in lieu of the connection thereto of the windings 107 and 109 of the reactor 39. 'I'he condenser 147 may or may not be omitted. l

' It is, of course, obvious that switching means may be provided whereby a shunting circuit may be established, at will, around the rectifier 31 and the reactor 39. It is also feasible, in the event that the output from the filterY 23 has insufficient amplitude to directly control lthe unit 47, for example, to provide a step-up transformer that is automatically connected in circuit through actuation of the said switching means.

Although primarily intended for the control of illumination in response to sound, my invention is not limited thereto. It is applicable to the control of moving mechanical devices; the flow of liquids, as in fountains' or the like, such as the fountain indicated at 68 in Fig. 1 in connection with the distributing conductors 63, 65 and 67, or to the control of any other instrumentalities in synchronism with fluctuating electric currents no `/matter from what source the said currents areI the control of many thousands or even millions of Watts, should the necessity therefor arise, the system being limited only by the current-handling capabilities of the rectifiers used for control purposes.

My improved system is also advantageous by reason' of the flexibility afforded by the switching device 83, between the saturating reactors and the controlled rectiflerunits 47, 49, 51 and 53, that permits the operator to exercise his individual judgment as to which colors should, automatically, be thrown upon the illuminated area in response to certain sound frequencies.

Once the switching is set up, however, the equipment is entirely automatic requiring no further attention.

Although I have illustrated and described a specific embodiment of my invention, other modifications thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains. My invention,` therefore, isnot to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a system for synchronizing light an sound effects, a source of fluctuating electric signal currents at audio frequencies, rectifying means for deriving -corresponding unidirectional control currents therefrom, light source, and means responsive to said unidirectional currents for variably controlling the energization of said light source. f

2. The combination as lspecified in claim 1 furthercharacterized in that the last mentioned means includes an electric discharge device of the Thyratron type.

, 3. The combination as specified in claim 1 further characterized in that the last mentioned means includes a plurality of electric discharge devices, of the Thyratron type, disposed in pushpull relation.

4. The combination as specified in claim 1 further characterized in that an electrical filter is interposed between the source of fluctuating electric currents and the rectifying means.

5. In combination, a source of fiuctuating electric current, means for separating said current into a plurality of components at differing frequencies, means for ,rectifying said components, a plurality of light-sources having differing characteristics and means responsive to said rectified currents for selectively energizing said lightsources.

6. The combination as set forth in claim 5 further characterized in that the direct-current responsive means include a plurality of electric discharge devices of the 'Ihyratron type.

7. The combination as set forth in claim 5 further characterized by the inclusion of switch-v ing means permitting the inter-relation of the respective light-sources and the direct'current responsive means to be changed at will, whereby the characteristics of the light-response to currents of predetermined frequenciesmay be altered.

8. In combination, a source of fluctuating electric current, means for rectifying said current to provide direct current, a light-source, means responsive to said direct current for controlling the energization of said light source and means for modifying the light from said light source before it is utilized for illuminating purposes.

9. The combination as set forth in claim 8 wherein said last mentioned means includes a movable element having varying light-transmission characteristics.

10. The combination as set forth in claim 8 further characterized in that means are provided for automatically controlling the light-modifying means in response to the output currents from said rectifying means.

11. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, means responsive to said fluctuating currents for reproducing said sounds, a light source, rectifying means for deriving uni-directional control currents from said fluctuating currents, and means responsive to changes in the amplitude of said control currents for variably controlling the energization of said source whereby the light emitted by said source and the reproduced sounds are synchronized one with the other and are simultaneously responsive to the iiuctuating electric currents.

12. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, means responsive to said fluctuating currents for reproducing said sounds, a light source, means responsive to changes in the amplitude of said fluctuating currents for controlling the energization of said source, a time delay net work interposed in circuit between the light source and the sound reproducing means, whereby the reproduced sounds and the light emitted by said source are varied in accordance with said ,fluctuating currents and in a predetermined time relation one with respect to the other.

13. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, means responsive to said fluctuating currents for reproducing said sounds, a light source, means responsive to said fluctuating currents for controlling the energization of said source, and means for modifying the effect of the light emitted by the source.

14. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, means responsive to said fiuctuating currents for reproducing said sounds, a light source, means responsive to said fiuctuating currents for controlling the energization of said source,` said last named 120 means including a grid controlled gaseous discharge rectifier, an alternating current supply circuit to which said rectifier is connected, an

.output circuit for said rectifier connected with said light source to control the same, and a control circuit for said rectifier connected with said source of fluctuating currents and with said alternating current supply circuit..

1'5. In a control system of the character described, the combination of a light source, a sound producing means, means for operating said sound producing device and said light source simultaneously therewith, to produce a variable illumination corresponding to the amplitude of sounds produced by said device, in a predetermined synchronized relation thereto, said means including an amplifier for fluctuating currents representing sounds, circuit connections therewith for supplying amplified currents to the sound producing device, a gaseous discharge rectifier for supplying controlling current to said light source, a-control circuit for said rectifier arranged to receive said amplified electric currents whereby said controlling currents from the rectifier is caused to vary in response to fiuctuations of said electric currents, and means in said control circuit for modifying said fluctuating currents whereby said controlling current corresponds in amplitudel thereto.

16. In a control system of the character de- 150 scribed, means for amplifying fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, a sound producing device responsive to said amplified currents, a light source responsive to said amplified currents to cause a variable illumination and means for modifying the illumination created by said light source.

17. In a control system of the character described, means providing a plurality of fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, an amplifier for increasing the amplitude of such currents, switching means for connecting said amplifier with each of said' first named means, a sound producing device arranged to be energized in response to said currents to reproduce said sounds, bandpass lter means for separating said electric currents into sound groups, a plurality of light sources having various color characteristics, electrical circuitsv for connecting said light sources with said band-pass filter means, said electrical circuits including switching means whereby certain of the light sources may be connected with certain of said filter means thereby to be controlled by certain of said separated electric currents, and control means for modifying said iluctuating electric currents to control the illumination of said light sources in response to changes in the amplitude of the sounds which said fluctuating currents repr sent.

18. In an electrical control system, the combination of means for producing sound andlight variations from fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, said means including an electrically controllable light source, an electrically controllable sound producing device, a control circuit for said light source, a gaseous discharge relay in said circuit, a control circuit for said relay, means for supplying said fluctuating electric currents to saidlast named control circuit and means in said last named circuit for modifying said currents whereby the illumination produced by light source corresponds to the amplitude of the fluctuating currents.

19. In an electrical control system, the combination of means providing fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, electric discharge amplifiers for said currents, a plurality of loud speaker devices connected With and energized from at least one of said ampliers, a plurality of band-pass electrical filters for separating the electric currents into groups corresponding to groups of sound frequencies,'a plurality of light sources having electrical control circuits, a gaseous discharge relay connected with each of said ,q control circuits, a control circuit for each of said relays, a reactancedevice in each of said control circuits, and means for selectively applying controlling currents to said control circuits through said reactance devices from said band-pass iilter means.

20. In an electrical control system, a saturating reactor, means for supplying rectified signal currents to said reactor, an alternating current bridge circuit connected with said reactor and including a series condenser, a variable series impedance device and a reactance winding arranged ,to receive alternating current potentials, full wave grid control rectifier means having an input circuit, an output circuit, and a control circuit,'and means providing a connection between said control circuit and electrically spaced points on said bridge circuit including a tap point on the reactance winding and with said variable impedance device.

21. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents at audio frequencies,'rectify ing means for deriving corresponding uni-directional control currents therefrom, a fountain, and means responsive to said uni-directional currents for variably controlling the operation of said fountain.

22. In combination, means providing fluctuating electric currents at audio frequencies, rectifying means for deriving corresponding uni-directional control currents therefrom, current responsive indicating means, and means responsive to said uni-directional currents for variably controlling the operation of said indicating means.

23. An electric control system comprising in combination, an electrically controllable indicating means, electrically controllable sound producing means, a control circuit for said indicating means, an electrostatically controlled arc recti fier device in said circuit, a control circuit for said rectifier device, means for supplying fluctuating electric currents representing sounds to said last named control circuit and to said sound producing means, and means for modifying said currents whereby the indications produced by said indicating means correspond to the amplitude of the iiuctuating currents.

24. In a system for reproducing sounds and other physical indications from fluctuating electric currents representing sounds, the combination of a sound producing device, means for supplying thereto fluctuating electric currents corresponding to sounds, a rectifier, filter means, means for supplying fluctuating electric currents correspondingmto sounds to said sound producing EDWARD BELL PATTERSON.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification84/464.00R, 239/12, 239/18, 239/17, 352/36, 236/69, 239/16, 352/85, 704/276, 315/201, 352/201
International ClassificationA63J17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63J17/00
European ClassificationA63J17/00