US 3603170 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Appl. No.
Filed Patented Assignee Priority Takao Yamauchi Hamamatsu, Japan Feb. 13, 1970 Sept. 7, 1971 Nippon Gakki Seizo Kabushiki Kaisha Harnarnatsu-shi, Shizuoka-ken, Japan Feb. 18, 1969 Japan KNEE-LEVER DEVICE OR ARRANGEMENT FOR ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 Field of Search 74/515, 523, 519, 547
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,288,450 6/1942 Hapman 74/515 2,543,812 3/1951 Sparklin 74/515 Primary Examiner-Milton Kaufman Attorney-Irving M. Weiner ABSTRACT: A knee-lever arrangement for an electronic musical instrument comprises a plurality of knee-operated levers which, in a nonoperable position, rest on the instrument so as not to be obstructive to the player, and which can be simultaneously operated to control various sound effects, in an operable position in which they may be selectively set ready to operate.
PATENTEUSEP Han 3.603170 SHEET 1 U? 2 ATTORNEY KNEE-LEVER DEVICE OR ARRANGEMENT FOR ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a knee-lever device or arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument, in particular a keyboard instrument, for controlling sound effect.
In a conventional electronic keyboard instrument, musical sound effects, such as sustain," reverbration, tone color, balance and the like are controlled by manually operable push-pull button switches or the like. This causes certain difficulties in performance especially when such switches are to be operated while keys of the instrument are being operated; On the other hand, an electronic keyboard instrument is known in which a foot-operated pedal is employed to control one of the sound effects. However, in many cases, such an instrument has also a pedal keyboard to be operated by foot and it is difficult to operate the pedal and the pedal keyboard at the same time. Moreover, such a pedal is not sufficient for simultaneously controlling a desired number of sound effects.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One object of the present invention is to provide a kneelever device or arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument in which a sound effect is easily controlled by the manipulation of a knee-operated lever. Another object of the present invention is to provide such a knee-lever device or arrangement in which a knee-operated lever can selectively rest in an unobstructive nonoperable position or be put in an operable position for control of a musical sound effect. Further object of the present invention is to provide such a knee-lever arrangement in which a plurality of sound effects can be selectively produced at the same time by the manipulation of a plurality of corresponding knee-operated levers.
BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of a knee-lever arrangement embodying this invention with a supporting plate removed;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the arrangement shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the arrangement; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the arrangement as applied to a keyboard instrument.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a plurality of knee-levers 10, I1 and 12 made of tubular metallic material are secured to a support 14 by means of clamps 13 and 13 at their horizontally extending portions 10a, 11a and 12a in a manner such that said horizontal extensions 10a, 11a and 12a are selfrotated, but owing to a suitable stopper means not shown do not move in the longitudinal direction thereof. As best shown in FIG. 3, the knee-levers 10, 11 and 12 include downwardly extending portions whose lower free ends 10b, 11b and 12b are looped to assure positive pressing and releasing operation of the knee-levers. The looped portions of the downward extensions are arranged in alignment with each other so that they may be collectively pressed and released. For this purpose the downward extensions have bent-back portions 100, 1 1c and 12 each having a different length. The upper ends of the downwardly extending portions are sidewardly projected to form shoulders 10d, 11d and 12d which are inclined slightly downwardly in perpendicular to the axes of the horizontal extensions la, 11a and 12a The inclination of each shoulder defines an operative position when the shoulder engages the bottom surface of the support 14 by sidewardly pressing or pushing the looped portions of the knee-lever. In the embodiment shown, rubber stoppers 18 are mounted on the bottom surface of the support 14 to respectively engage the shoulders d, 11d and 12d thereby defining the extent of movement of the looped portions of the knee-levers.
To the opposite ends of the knee-levers are connected upwardly extending arms 10e, 112 and l2e which may be integral therewith. The upper ends of the arms 10c, lle and 12e are respectively connected to one end of helical springs 15 whose opposite ends are connected to hooks 16 secured to a support not shown. The upper portion of each arm also serves as a controller for mechanically operating a corresponding control element for controlling a predetermined sound effect (one being shown in FIG. 1 and designated by .17). An example of such a control element 17 is a switch. Another example is a variable resistor in which sound effect may be suitably controlled in response to the degree of the pressing operation of the corresponding knee-lever. Also such a control element may be a control device employing a light responsive variable resistance element associated with a lampand a shutter.
The tension of the springs 15 should be such that the downwardly extending portion of each knee-lever is normally retained vertically as shown in FIG. 4 and thus the knee-lever is in its operable position or in a position ready to operate. When the lever is pressed sidewardly by the players knee section till the shoulder thereof engages the rubber stopper 18 the horizontal extension thereof is partly rotated to permit the arm to engage the control element 17 against the action of the spring. When the knee-lever is released, the spring acts to return the knee-lever into its original operable position. Thus in the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the knee-lever 10, for example, may be used for producing the sustain effect, the knee-lever 11 for the vibrato effect and the knee-lever 12 for the tone color variation effect.
When any one or more of the knee-levers are not required in performance, they may be placed in a nonoperable position in which they rest on the bottom surface of the support 14 as shown in FIG. 3. In such a nonoperable position the spring is vertically held acting as a compression spring and prevents the arm sufficiently from moving upwards toward its vertical position, thus keeping the looped portion of the knee-lever in contact with the support 14.
Each of the knee-levers thus assumes two different stable positions, namely, the nonoperable position in which it rests on the support, and the operable position in which it is ready to be moved to its operative terminal position. It should be understood that the knee-levers in the operable position are to be operated collectively and that one or more sound effects can selectively be controlled by the manipulation of one or more corresponding knee-levers selected.
In the embodiment described above a plurality of kneelevers as shown in the figures are provided so as to obtain a plurality of sound effects, but only one knee-lever may of course be provided on the support so as to control a sound effect if it satisfies the requirement of an electronic musical instrument.
What I claim is:
1. A knee-lever device for use in an electronic musical instrument for operating a control element for controlling a musical sound effect, the device comprising a support, a kneelever having an extension rotatably mounted on said support, a knee-operated portion andan arm for engagement with the control element, and a spring means for keeping said knee lever selectively in a nonoperable position in which said lever rests on the support and in an operable position in which said lever is ready to operate, and for returning said lever to said operable position from an operative terminal position in which said arm of the lever is in engagement with the control element.
2. A knee-lever device for use in an electronic musical instrument as claimed in claim 1 in which said knee-lever has a shoulder engageable with the support to define the operative terminal position of the lever.
3. A knee-lever device for use in an electronic musical instrument as claimed in claim 1 in which said spring means comprises a coiled spring acting as a tension spring when the lever is pressed to the operative terminal position and as a compression spring when the leveris in the nonoperable position.
LA knee-lever arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument for operating control elements for controlling musical sound effects, the arrangement comprising a support, knee-levers each having an extension rotatably mounted on said support, a knee-operated portion and an arm for engagement with the control element, and spring means for keeping said knee-levers selectively in a nonoperable position in which said levers rest on the support and in an operable position in which said levers are ready to operate, and for returning said levers to said operable position from an operative terminal position in which the arms of the levers are in engagement with the control elements.
5. A knee-lever arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument as claimed in claim 4 in which the kneeoperated portions of said knee-levers are substantially aligned in said operable position so as to be collectively pressed and released.
6. A knee-lever arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument as claimed in claim 4 in which said knee-levers have shoulders engageable with the support to define the operative terminal position of the levers 7. A knee-lever arrangement for use in an electronic musical instrument as claimed in claim 4 in which said spring means comprise coiled springs corresponding in number to said knee-levers and each acting as a tension spring when the lever is pressed to the operative terminal position and also as a compression spring when the lever is in the nonoperable posi- [1011.