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Publication numberUS20090060208 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/845,484
Publication dateMar 5, 2009
Filing dateAug 27, 2007
Priority dateAug 27, 2007
Also published asCN101796855A, EP2181552A1, US20120230534, WO2009029471A1
Publication number11845484, 845484, US 2009/0060208 A1, US 2009/060208 A1, US 20090060208 A1, US 20090060208A1, US 2009060208 A1, US 2009060208A1, US-A1-20090060208, US-A1-2009060208, US2009/0060208A1, US2009/060208A1, US20090060208 A1, US20090060208A1, US2009060208 A1, US2009060208A1
InventorsDavis Y. Pan, Shiufun Cheung, Darby Edward Hadley, Ryo Maiguma, Takao Nakayama, Bruce C. Po, Katsumi Tomida, Petr Vicherek, Tobe Z. Barksdale, Ronald A. Fowler
Original AssigneePan Davis Y, Shiufun Cheung, Darby Edward Hadley, Ryo Maiguma, Takao Nakayama, Po Bruce C, Katsumi Tomida, Petr Vicherek, Barksdale Tobe Z, Fowler Ronald A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Manipulating Spatial Processing in a Audio System
US 20090060208 A1
Abstract
A vehicle audio system that includes a source of audio signals, which may include both entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals, speakers for radiating audio signals, and spatial enhancement circuitry comprising circuitry to avoid applying spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals.
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Claims(13)
1. A vehicle audio system comprising:
a source of audio signals, which may include both entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals;
speakers for radiating audio signals; and
spatial enhancement circuitry comprising circuitry to avoid applying spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals.
2. A vehicle audio system according to claim 1, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry applies no spatial processing operations to the audio signals received from the source if there is announcement audio content in the audio signals received from the source.
3. A vehicle audio system according to claim 1, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry includes:
first alternately selectable circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the audio signals;
second alternately selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the combined audio signals.
4. A vehicle audio system according to claim 1, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry comprises
circuitry for separating the audio signals from the audio signal source into entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals;
circuitry for applying spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals; and
circuitry for combining the processed entertainment audio signals and the announcement audio signals.
5. A vehicle audio system according to claim 1, wherein the source of audio signals comprises a source of front audio signals that may contain front announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as front audio:signals, and a source of rear audio signals that may contain rear announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as rear audio signals, the audio system further comprising:
front spatial processing:circuitry comprising
first alternately selectable front circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals;
second alternately selectable front circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable front circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the front audio signals, the audio system further comprising
rear spatial processing circuitry comprising
first alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals;
second alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry rear based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the rear audio signals
6. A vehicle audio system according to claim 1, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry applies spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals and does not apply spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals.
7. A method for operating a vehicle audio system comprising:
receiving audio signals that may contain announcement audio signals;
if the received audio signals do not contain announcement audio signals, applying spatial processing to the received audio signals;
if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals, not applying spatial processing to the announcement audio signals.
8. A method according to claim 7, further comprising:
if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals and entertainment audio signals, applying spatial processing to the entertainment audio signals.
9. A vehicle audio amplifier comprising:
an input terminal for receiving audio signals that may include announcement audio signals; and
spatial enhancement circuitry containing circuitry to avoid applying spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals.
10. A vehicle audio amplifier according to claim 9, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry applies no spatial processing operations to the received audio signals if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals.
11. A vehicle audio, amplifier according to claim 9, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry includes:
first alternately selectable circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the combined audio signals;
second alternately selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the combined audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signals in the combined audio signals.
12. A vehicle audio amplifier according to claim 9, wherein the spatial enhancement circuitry comprises
circuitry for separating the combined audio signals into entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals;
circuitry for applying spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals; and
circuitry for combining the processed entertainment audio signals and the announcement audio signals.
13. A vehicle audio amplifier according to claim 9, the input terminal comprising an input terminal for receiving front audio signals that may include announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as front input terminal and an input terminal for receiving rear audio signals which may include announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as rear input terminal, the amplifier further comprising:
front spatial processing circuitry comprising
first alternately selectable front circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals;
second alternately selectable front circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable front circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the front audio signals, the audio system further comprising
rear spatial processing circuitry comprising
first alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals;
second alternately rear selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals; and
circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable rear circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the rear audio signals.
Description
BACKGROUND

This disclosure relates to manipulating spatial processing in a vehicle audio system that is used to radiate entertainment audio and announcement audio.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, a vehicle audio system includes a source of audio signals, which may include both entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals, speakers for radiating audio signals, and spatial enhancement circuitry comprising circuitry to avoid applying spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may apply no spatial processing operations to the audio signals received from the source if there is announcement audio content in the audio signals received from the source. The spatial enhancement circuitry may include first alternately selectable circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the audio signals, second alternately selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the audio signals, and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the combined audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may include circuitry for separating the audio signals from the audio signal source into entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals, circuitry for applying spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals, and circuitry for combining the processed entertainment audio signals and the announcement audio signals. The source of audio signals may include a source of front audio signals that may contain front announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as front audio signals, and a source of rear audio signals that may contain rear announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as rear audio signals and the audio system may further include front spatial processing circuitry including first alternately selectable front circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals, second alternately selectable front circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals, and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable front circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the front audio signals. The audio may further include rear spatial processing circuitry that includes first alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals, second alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals, and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry rear based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the rear audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may apply spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals and not apply spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals.

In another aspect, a method for operating a vehicle audio system includes receiving audio signals that may contain announcement audio signals; if the received audio signals do not contain announcement audio signals, the method includes applying spatial processing to the received audio signals; and if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals, the method does not apply spatial processing to the announcement audio signals. The method may include, if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals and entertainment audio signals, applying spatial processing to the entertainment audio signals.

In another aspect, a vehicle audio amplifier includes an input terminal for receiving audio signals that may include announcement audio signals and spatial enhancement circuitry containing circuitry to avoid applying spatial enhancement processing to the announcement audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may apply no spatial processing operations to the received audio signals if the received audio signals include announcement audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may include first alternately selectable circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the combined audio signals, second alternately selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the combined audio signals; and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signals in the combined audio signals. The spatial enhancement circuitry may include circuitry for separating the combined audio signals into entertainment audio signals and announcement audio signals, circuitry for applying spatial enhancement processing to the entertainment audio signals, and circuitry for combining the processed entertainment audio signals and the announcement audio signals. The input terminal may include an input terminal for receiving front audio signals that may include announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as front input terminal and an input terminal for receiving rear audio signals which may include announcement audio signals, hereinafter referred to as rear input terminal. The amplifier may further include front spatial processing circuitry including first alternately selectable front circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals, second alternately selectable front circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the front audio signals, and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable front circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the front audio signals, and the audio system may further include rear spatial processing circuitry including first alternately selectable rear circuitry for applying the spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals, second alternately rear selectable circuitry for applying no spatial enhancement processing to the rear audio signals, and circuitry for selecting the audio signals from the first or second alternately selectable rear circuitry based on the presence of announcement audio signal in the rear audio signals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a vehicle with an audio system;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of elements of the audio system in bypass mode;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of elements of the audio system in extraction mode; and

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of elements of an audio system with two spatial processing paths

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a vehicle audio system 100 includes a head unit 120 coupled to an amplifier 140 through an amplifier input terminal 380. The amplifier 340 is in turn coupled to speakers 302, 303, 304, 306, and 308 through output terminals such a terminal 390. In this particular example, the head unit 120 provides a user with AM/FM tuning, and CD playback capability. The head unit 120 also is able to receive audio signals from external sources 125 a, 125 b providing audio to a vehicle listening space. The external audio sources may include digital music players (i.e. mp3, CD, DVD) 125 a, portable navigation device 126 b, satellite radio receiver, and/or other sources. In addition to entertainment audio, the head unit 100 provides non-entertainment, announcement audio. Announcement audio may include navigation system audio instructions, vehicle chimes, enunciated announcements, cell phone chimes/rings, cell phone conversation, and other non-entertainment audio sources.

The head unit 120 provides to amplifier 140 both the entertainment audio and announcement audio when present. The amplifier 140 include circuitry for applying spatial enhancement processing to the audio signal to enhance the presentation of entertainment audio inside the vehicle cabin. Spatial enhancement can include adding channels, such as center or surround channels, or other processing that can affect the spatial characteristics of the audio system, for example by “widening” the sound stage by modifying inter-aural crosstalk.

When announcement audio is present in a combined audio signal, spatially enhancing the combined entertainment and announcement audio signal can lead to undesirable audible artifacts. For example, the resulting audio presentation may include distorted sound, or bleeding of the announcement audio into entertainment audio. Similarly, the spatial enhancement processing could direct the pertinent audio signal so that the perceived source is in an illogical direction in relation to a listener's location.

In one particular example, a vehicle chime for reminding the car's occupants to fasten their seatbelt may sound as if it comes from the rear of the vehicle if certain spatial enhancement processing is applied to the signal. If this chime comes from the rear instead of the dashboard, occupants may be confused as to the meaning of the clime because most people are accustomed to warning/reminder chimes coming from the dashboard area of the vehicle. Misdirected signaling can be particularly concerning when audio signal is intended as a reminder or warning for the driver of a vehicle.

To reduce such audible artifacts the amplifier 140 contains circuitry that avoids applying to the spatial processing operations to announcement audio.

The head unit 120 also includes fader controls (not shown) that permit a user to control the relative volume between the front (302, 303, 304) and rear speakers (306, 308). For example, the user can manipulate the fader control to direct audio to be faded to the rear speakers only. However, in some implementations, the amplifier 140 directs announcement audio to the appropriate speaker to maintain the intended location of the announcement audio despite the fader setting. For example, if a a DVD movie is playing for children in the rear seat, a parent may fade adjust the fade control so that the entertainment audio is directed completely to rear speakers (306, 308). However if a cellular phone connected to (or integrated within) the entertainment system 100 sends a ring chime signal to the amplifier 340, the amplifier 340 will present the ring chime in one or more of the front speakers (e.g., speaker 302, 303 and/or 304).

The processing of announcement audio can be done in at least two ways: a bypass mode and an extraction mode.

For example, as shown in FIG. 2 an amplifier 140′ in bypass mode includes two branches, 320 a, b. An audio signal received from the head unit 120 is processed in parallel in both branches. Branch 320 a applies spatial processing (e.g., spatial processing described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,016,501) and branch 320 b applies no spatial processing. A crossfader 330 is coupled to both branches and selects audio from branch 320 a or 320 b based on an indication from a control signal from the head unit 120 on control signal line 370 as to the presence (or absence) of announcement audio.

The crossfader 330 also may process the selected signal so that transition from selection of one branch to another is smooth. The output matrixer then directs the audio signals to the appropriate speakers.

As shown in FIG. 3, an amplifier 140″ in extraction mode includes an announcement audio extractor 310 that extracts announcement audio from the signal received from the head unit. The remainder of the original signal (that is, the entertainment audio signal) is processed by spatial processor 360. The announcement audio is then summed back into the spatially processed entertainment audio signals at output matrixer 350. Audio signals are then directed to the associated speakers. In some implementations, the announcement audio is directed to associated speakers downstream from the application of fader settings, so that announcement audio is radiated properly irrespective of fader settings. In extraction mode, the speakers 302, 303, 304, 306, and 308 simultaneously radiate the spatially processed entertainment signals and the non-spatially processed announcement audio signals or radiate the spatially processed entertainment audio signals.

In systems in which the head unit transmits a front audio signal and a rear audio signal and inserts announcement audio in the front audio signal only, the announcement audio extractor 310 may compare the front audio signal and the rear audio signal and extract the difference between the front audio signal and the rear audio signal to determine the announcement audio content.

Referring to FIG. 4, a head unit 120′ is coupled to two processing paths that are each similar to the processing path illustrated in FIG. 2. A front audio signal (i.e., the audio signals intended for speakers located in the front portion of the automobile's cabin) is processed separately from the rear audio signal (i.e., the audio signals intended for speakers located in the rear portion of the cabin). Each path includes a separately controlled crossfader (360R, 360F) so that, for example, the front crossfader 360F can select the spatially processed signal from signal path 320 a-F based on the absence of announcement audio as indicated by the absence of an indication on front control line 370F. Similarly, the rear crossfader 360R could select the bypassed signal from signal path 320 b-R based on the presence of announcement audio as indicated by the presence of an indication on control line 370R. An amplifier that contains two implementations of the spatial pathway permits announcement audio to be separately radiated by both front and rear speakers, with less likelihood of misdirection. The use of multiple pathways permits greater flexibility in system design and allows for more announcement audio radiation source points. For example, some automobile warning systems have sensors that detect if there is an object near the rear of the automobile if the automobile is in reverse gear. The warning noise can come from one or both of the rear speakers, providing an audible cue of the presence of the object near the rear of the automobile.

Though the elements of several views of the drawing may be shown and described as discrete elements in a block diagram and may be referred to as “circuitry”, unless otherwise indicated, the elements may be implemented as one of, or a combination of, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, or one or more microprocessors executing software instructions. The software instructions may include digital signal processing (DSP) instructions. Unless otherwise indicated, signal lines and terminals may be implemented as discrete analog or digital signal lines or terminals, as a single discrete digital signal line or terminal with appropriate signal processing to process separate streams of audio signals, or as elements of a wireless communication system. Some of the processing operations maybe expressed in terms of the calculation and application of coefficients. The equivalent of calculating and applying coefficients can be performed by other analog or digital signal processing techniques and are included within the scope of this patent application. Unless otherwise indicated, audio signals or video signals or both may be encoded and transmitted in either digital or analog form; conventional digital-to-analog or analog-to-digital converters nay be omitted in some figures. Audio signal processing (for example equalization) that does not significantly affect the spatial characteristics of the audio is omitted from the figures. For simplicity of wording “radiating acoustic energy corresponding to entertainment audio signals” may be referred to as “radiating entertainment audio signals”, and “radiating acoustic energy corresponding to announcement audio signals may be referred to as “radiating announcement audio signals.”

A number of embodiments of the invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8059830 *Dec 7, 2007Nov 15, 2011Robert Connor GleasonAudio system and method of use
US8320581Mar 3, 2010Nov 27, 2012Bose CorporationVehicle engine sound enhancement
US8509454 *Nov 1, 2007Aug 13, 2013Nokia CorporationFocusing on a portion of an audio scene for an audio signal
Classifications
U.S. Classification381/17, 381/86, 381/77, 381/120
International ClassificationH04R5/00, H04B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04R2499/13, H04S7/30
European ClassificationH04S7/30
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 18, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: BOSE CORPORATION, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PAN, DAVIS Y.;CHEUNG, SHIUFUN;HADLEY, DARBY EDWARD;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:021402/0179;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070120 TO 20071206