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Publication numberUS3156770 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1964
Filing dateOct 31, 1960
Priority dateOct 31, 1960
Publication numberUS 3156770 A, US 3156770A, US-A-3156770, US3156770 A, US3156770A
InventorsTrainor Charles C
Original AssigneeHershman Musical Instr Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for selectively controlling sound emission
US 3156770 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,155 77 0 METHGD AND APPARATUS FUR SELECTIVELY CQNTRDLLENG SOUND EMKSSRQN Charles C. Trainer, Bronx, N.Y., assignor to Hershman Musical Instrument Company, Inc., New York, N.Y.,

a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 31, 19%, Ser. No. 66,149 2 Claims. (Cl. 179-1) This invention relates to a method and apparatus for creating a direction-sensing effect in multiple loud speaker systems. More particularly the invention relates to a system for selectively controlling instantaneously and/or momentarily the emission of sound from one or more loud speakers during the reproduction of sound through an electronic amplifier.

Switching devices have been incorporated into previously designed sound systems to enhance the eifect of such systems from the standpoint of the listener. However, the systems which have been devised previously have not permitted the listener or the entertainer to control the direction of the sound output or to instantaneously and/or momentarily change the direction of sound to simulate a multiple effect from a single sound source coincidentally with the emission of the sound. Some systems have included pre-recorded switching signals and some have had master switching systems which were not accessible to the entertainer or listener.

An important object of the invention is to make available to an entertainer, such as a soloist, a sound system by which he may direct his output, either voice or musical sounds, through selected loud speakers at all times having complete momentary control over the loud speakers through which the sound output will be delivered. The voice or musical sounds may be emitted under these selective control conditions by controls which are directly accessible to the performer and which can be operated by him. Control as to direction of sound output may be varied with pitch or musical phrasing at the choice of the performer, thus creating novel multiple sound effects from a single sound source, which multiple effects can be selectively and momentarily changed and rearrranged.

Another important object of the invention is to make available "to the listener a device under the listeners control to instantaneously and/ or momentarily selectively direct the emission of sound as it emerges from multiple loud speakers, thus creating any desired spatial effect from the monaural, achieving a binaural or stereophonic eiiect according to the lis'teners selective direction.

Another object of my invention is to make a sound system available to a plurality of musicians having electronically amplified instruments whereby such musicians may share a common amplifier, each having an extension speaker and controls adjacent his respective position whereby each individual musician may feature himself, in turn, by operating his own respective control from the common amplifier, momentarily if need be or for longer periods if desired.

Another object of my invention is to make available to a speaker, such as a raconteur or monologist, a device by which he may direct his changes of voice instantly and/ or momentarily to difierent extension loud speakers, placed at pie-selected positions in an auditorium, by means under his own control and without the need of signals or cues to a secondary control agent.

Another object of my invention is to make available to the musician having an electronically amplified instrument a sound system whereby the musician may preset the output level of his amplifier to a modified output level, said output level to be canceled to full level by means of a control adjacent to him which shall be con- 3,1553??? Fatented Nov. 10, 1964 nected to the output source of the emission of sound.

The invention comprises generally a sound system and a method of control of said system and apparatus for such system comprising multiple loud speakers which are spaced apart, means for delivering amplified sound to said loud speakers, and pressure operated automatic break electrical switch means for selectively directing instantaneously and/or momentarily the emission of sound from one or more of said loud speakers.

The invention also contemplates the employment of attenuator means which may also be selectively instantaneously and/ or momentarily operated for changing the volume as well as the direction of sound.

For a more complete description of the invention reference is made to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of the physical arrangement of one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1a is a circuit diagram of the arrangement shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic plan view of the physical arrangement of elements of another form of the invention;

FlG. 2a is a circuit diagram of the arrangement shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic plan view of the physical arrangement of elements of a further form of the invention; and

FIG. 3a is a circuit diagram of the arrangement shown in FIG. 3.

In FIG. 1 the system of the invention is arranged on a stage or platform facing an audience 9. The system shown in FIGS. 1 and la includes a microphone 8 connected to an amplifier 1 by lines 13 and 14. A centrally located speaker 10 which may be integral with the amplifier l, and two (or more) extension speakers are suitably spaced apart, as shown in FIG. 1. Momentary switching devices 5, 6 and 7 are provided to control each of the speakers. The momentary switching devices may consist of foot-operated area pad type devices or finger-operated push buttons or levers or other type of pressure-operated automatic release and break. A momentary contact switch is electrically connected to each of the speakers 16, Z and 3. The switches 5, 6 and 7 may be incorporated into a single unit for convenience. An attenuator 4 to modify or reduce the volume of the sound emitted is shown connected in series to speaker It). The attenuator includes a resistor 15 or fixed rating and a variable resistor 16. The terminal 15a of the fixed resistor 15 is connected to the line 28 from the amplifier terminal 1a and the terminal 16a of the variable resistor 16 is also connected to the amplifier line 20 in parallel with the terminal 15a. Terminal 15b from the fixed resistor 15 is connected to terminal lead 1619. Terminal lead 15b is also connected by line 21a. to line 21. Lead 161) of the variable resistor and lead 16c from movable arm 16d is connected into the line 24 from the terminal Ella of central speaker 19 to complete the connection between the amplifier line 20 and the speaker 10. It will be noted that the attenuator bypasses the momentary switch 6, so that the speaker 16 is continuously connected to the amplifier through terminal lira, and the attenuator 4 to line 2% of the amplifier and through terminal ltlb of the speaker 10, line 25, to amplifier line 21 which is connected to amplifier terminal 121. Speaker it) is connected to the amplifier for full volume output through momentary switch 6 which is closed by switch arm 60.

Speaker 2 is connected to the amplifier 1 through speaker terminal 2a, line 26 to switch terminal 5a, and switch terminal 55 is connected through amplifier line it) to the amplifier. The speaker 2 is connected through speaker terminal 21'), line 27, and amplifier line 21 to '3 a; amplifier 1. It will be noted that the switch which is in series in the line between the speaker terminal 2a is normally open so that the speaker is not operative unless the switch 5 is depressed. In the diagrammatic view shown in FIG. la the switch 5 is operated by applying pressure to the con'ductorbridge or switch arm 50 to close the circuit between the leads from the switch terminals 5a and 5b. Resilient means normally hold the bridge element 5c out or contact. Any suitable make and break pressure actuated switch may be used.

Speaker? is connected through its terminal 3a, line 28, to the switch terminal 7a, and switch terminal 711 is connected to amplifier line 20. Speaker terminal 31) is connected through line 3% to amplifier line 21.

As inthecase of speaker 22, it will be noted that in the connections of speaker 3 the switch '7 is connected in series in the line between the speaker terminal 3a and theamplifier-line so that the circuit of speaker 3 is normally open, that is, the speaker is not operative unless the switch 7 is closed by operating the conductor bridge 7c of the switch '7 to close the circuit.

In the'operation of the system shown'in FIGS. 1 and 1a the speakers 2 and 3 are spaced apart from the central speaker 10, as best'shown in FIG. 1. The performer P may position himself between the speaker and the audience in the central portion of the platform or stage, with an electrical transducer such as a microphone 8 easily available to pick up his voice and/ or musical sounds produced by him. Also arranged within easy reach or the-performer are the switches'5, 6 and '7 so that the performer may readily control the emission of sound from the three speakers 2, 3 and lit, in the following manner. As the performer sings or plays a musical instrument or, in the case or" a speaker, as he speaks, he may selectively direct the sound from all three speakers at full level of amplification. This he would achieve by applying pressure to pressure switches 5, 6 and 7. in this manner the circuits of speakers 2 and 3'would be closed, connecting them to the amplifier, and the circuit of speaker ltl would be directly connected to the amplifier through the switch 6, thereby by passing the attenuator If the performer wishes to reduce the volume or the sound he releases the pressure on switches 5, 6 and '7 so that speakers 2 and 3 are disconnected from-the amplifier' and the bypass through switch 6- to the speaker lid is disconnected so that speaker 16 is connected to the amplifier only through the attenuator 4, which attenuator permits only a portion of the line total power output from the amplifier to reach speaker 169. The amount of attenuation, or the degree to which the attenuator reduces the line power to the speaker, may be varied by move ment' of the arm the of the variable resistor 16. If the performer desires to have a low volume of sound emitted from the speaker lid and to direct the sound emission from one of the lateral speakers 2 or 3, he would depress only the switch controlling the desired lateral speaker. The switches may be operated in an instantaneous and/ or momentary manner. For example, in the case of foot switches they can be operated by a tap of the performers foot upon the switch or, if they are push buttons, by a tap of his finger. The emission may be thereby synchronized in any manner the performer wishes, for example the location and level of sound emission may be changed in time with the phrasing of the music that is being produced, or any other desired manner to obtain selection of direction and momentary change of sound location and/ or level of output. In the case of a monologist or ventriloquist, where separation of the voice of a single performer may be desirable to enhance the performance, ability to direct and select the location of sound is particularly useful. In terms of novelty musical performance in the modern medium, the device is particularly useful in the control of the direction or" sound and the level of sound. The effect which can be gained will bemore fully understood when it is d appreciated that the output from a single amplifier through the several speakers will have a total sound value at the full line volume which may be emitted through one, two or three of the speakers which, depending upon the selection and arrangement of speakers through which the sound is emitted, will give various sound spatial effects. If the sound isall released through one of the lateral speakers, such as 2, or 3;, the sound has a definite directional quality and, to the extent there is noreflection of sound from the walls, the effect is monaural; whereas if the sound is released fr'om'the two-lateral speakers and/or the central speaker the sound is dispersed and may be described as binaural.

By the system shown in FIGS. 1 and la, in which the speaker It) is arranged to emit sound at a controlled variable level, the changing of the sound from one lateral speaker to the other can be achieved without interruption or dead spots, i.e. blanks in the sound passages, in the event the performer does not actuate the switch for one speaker before releasing the switch for another speaker.

FIGS. 2 and 2a show another form of the invention, wherein a listener to a pro-programmed sound reproduction such as a record player, tape reproducer, or radio, may selectively control the sound emission through a plurality of speakers. Referring to FIG. 2, the listener would be located at 37, with momentary actuating switches and as directly available to him, which are connected for control of the lateral speakers 33 and S t-respectively. A simplified arrangement for such a system would include removable contact means such as spring clipsfsd and 39 which may be connected to the terminals 32a and 32b of the main speaker of the reproducer or radio 32, The speakers 33 and 34 are connected through lines and 42 to the spring clips 33 and 3?. The switch 35 is con nected in series in the line from the speaker terminal 33:? to the line 4% so that the circuit of the speaker 33 is open except when the switch is operated by closing the conductor bridge 350. Similarly this switch 36 is connected in series in the line between the speaker terminal 34a and the line 4d so that the line is open unless the conductor bridge 36c is operated to close the circuit between the terminals 36a and 36b of the switch 36.

in operation of the device shown in FIGS. 2 and 2a, sound is emitted from the central speaker 32. continuously. By actuation of the switches 35 and 36, the listener may direct the emission of the sound through either or both of speakers 33 and 34selectively, instantly and/or momentarily, to achieve directional sound emission ordispersion of sound. In the case of a monaural reproduction the listener may selectively shift the emission of sound from one speaker to another to achieve a spatial eirect and to vary the efiect in accordance with his taste, to simulate binatural or stereophonic effects from the monaural source. The form of the invention shown in FIGS. 2 and 2a is a simple but effective embodiment of the invention whereby it is employed with a radio, record player, amplifier or tape reproducer, to provide listener enjoyment and interest in control of the sound direction and spatial eilects which may be individually selected at the pleasure and on the initiative of the listener. As the pre-recorded program progresses the listener may direct the emission of sound to either of the'lateral speakers, the main speaker continuing to emit sound at all times, so that there is no interruption in the sound. Release of I the pressure switches inactivates the lateral speakers 33 and 34; 'In the form shown there is'no control of the on the total common audio output.

FIGS. 3 and 3a illustrate another embodiment of the The control of volume a .level is automatically achieved in the simple system of FIGS. 2 and 2a when either lateral speaker is impressed invention for handling and controlling the volume of sound emitted from one or more loud speakers. The system shown in FIG. 3 includes a momentarily actuable switch 55, an attenuator 53 connected in series to one speaker terminal 52a of speaker 52 and the output terminal 54a of the secondary coil of the output transformer 54 of amplifier 60. Speaker terminal 52b is connected to output terminal 541; of the secondary coil through line 61. The switch 55 is connected in series as a bypass of the attenuator from speaker terminal 52:: through line 62, switch terminal 5501, switch terminal 55b, line 63 to the secondary coil of terminal 54a. The attenuator 53 includes a fixed resistor 64 and a variable resistor 65. The attenuator level may be preset by the user at any desired volume level by shifting the arm 64d of the variable resistor 65 and the user may bypass the attenuator to allow full volume of the sound to issue from the speaker by operation of the momentary switch 55. Release of pressure on momentary switch 55 restores the preset lower volume of output of sound emission.

The device of FEGS. 3 and 3a may be used either by a performer or by a listener. In the case of a performer, such as an instrumentalist employing an electronically amplified sound instrument during parts of the performance, the performer would be enabled, without removing his hands from the musical instrument, to selectively control the volume of sound output from the preset attenuated level to full volume, instantly and/or momentarily.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the system of this invention includes a method and apparatus which makes available to a performer and/ or listener a sound system which is flexible in control of volume and direction of sound to achieve desired directional and sound level effects to emphasize musical phrasing or for the creation of novel multiple sound effects from a single source, which effects can be selectively and momentarily changed and rearranged, the controls for such system being immediately and directly within the selective direction of the performer and/ or listener. The system also permits the listener to control and instantaneously and momentarily select the direction of emission of sound and the level or volume of sound to achieve monaural, binaural or stereophonic effects. Furthermore it will be understood that the invention may be employed with a plurality of performers such as a group of musicians, each of whom may share a common amplifier as shown in FIGS. 1 and 1a, each controlling an extension speaker adjacent to his respective position, whereby an individual musician may feature himself by operating the speaker adjacent to his position for the period of his featured performance.

The usefulness of the invention for speakers in changing the direction for spatial effect of the voice will be appreciated, and particularly the fact that the speaker can control the direction and volume of the sound emission himself without the need of signals or cues to a secondary control agent.

It will also be appreciated that this invention may be usefully employed by a musician or group of musicians having electronically amplified instruments to change the sound output level from attenuated to full volume.

In accordance with the patent statutes the foregoing description has fully described the invention and the preferred embodiments thereof. However it will be appreciated that other elements and arrangements of parts may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. The following claims define the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a sound reproducing system, a loud speaker, an amplifier connected to said loud speaker, settable attenuator means associated with said speaker for regulating the volume of sound emitted from said speaker, a momentarily actuable switch selectively actuable to by-pass said attenuator and effect a full volume output from said loud speaker, a second loud speaker spatially separated from said first loud speaker and normally disconnected from said amplifier and a second momentarily actuable switch selectively actuable to connect said second loud speaker to said amplifier for effecting sound emission therefrom.

2. The method of controlling the emission of sound from a plurality of spatially separated speakers comprising the steps of energizing one of said speakers from an amplifying means through an attenuator adjusted to correspond to a selected volume for one portion of music, by-passing said attenuator and connecting said speaker directly to said amplifying means to obtain full volume of said speaker for other selected portions of said music, and selectively connecting said other speakers immediately and momentarily to said amplifying means to obtain spaced tonal effects from said other speakers as desired in the music selected.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,137,060 Kellllm Apr. 27, 1915 1,942,068 Owens Jan. 2, 1934 2,110,358 Dreisbach Mar. 8, 1938 2,157,557 Muller May 9, 1939 2,171,048 Rockwell Aug. 28, 1939 2,234,817 Bufiington Mar. 11, 1941 2,311,399 Chicott Feb. 11, 1943 2,323,626 Sheffield July 6, 1943 2,481,576 De Boer Sept. 13, 1949 2,996,580 Reid et al Aug. 15, 1961

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4048442 *May 22, 1975Sep 13, 1977Mannila Richard SStereophonic sound adaptor for simulating sound movement
US4862159 *Apr 18, 1988Aug 29, 1989Audio Technology, Inc.Centralized system for selecting and reproducing perceptible programs
US7424117Aug 25, 2003Sep 9, 2008Magix AgSystem and method for generating sound transitions in a surround environment
US20050049986 *Aug 26, 2003Mar 3, 2005Kurt BollackerVisual representation tool for structured arguments
U.S. Classification381/17, 381/109
International ClassificationH04R3/12
Cooperative ClassificationH04R3/12
European ClassificationH04R3/12