US 3796122 A
Apparatus is provided to process or purify music, which apparatus comprises a plurality of carefully tuned strings utilized in conjunction with and secured to a framework in which extraordinary means are employed to insure that each string responds only at its fundamental frequency and only vibrates in a plane perpendicular to the plane defined by the entire set of strings. In variant configurations, the sturdy framework may be lined with lead about its inner periphery to inhibit response of the individual strings in any other plane. A single, centrally positioned series of strings may be utilized or a pair of strings may be disposed on each side of the framework. One or more removable soundboards may be incorporated into the apparatus, and each soundboard is configured to be extremely flexible. Flexibility may be enhanced by providing a number of apertures in a soundboard according to a predetermined layout. Music to be processed from a live source or from a prerecorded source may be directed at the apparatus from one or, preferably, both sides to achieve the sought after purification and conditioning. Microphones to pick up the purified sound may be placed within the apparatus or between the source of music and the apparatus. In order to achieve further control over the conditioning and purification of the music source, isolation baffles are provided, selectively, between the strings of each octave or between adjacent strings in such a manner that the vibratory communication therebetween can be controlled in degree at the option of the operator of the apparatus.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Kaminsky [451 Mar. 12, 19.74
[ MUSIC PROCESSING AND PURIFYING APPARATUS Abraham R. Kaminsky, 4527 N. 74th Pl., Scottsdale, Ariz. 85252  Filed: May 19, 1972  Appl. N0.: 254,876
Primary ExaminerRichard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cahill, Sutton & Thomas  ABSTRACT Apparatus is provided to process or purify music, which apparatus comprises a plurality of carefully tuned strings utilized in conjunction with and secured to a framework in which extraordinary means are employed to insure that each string responds only at its fundamental frequency and only vibrates in a plane perpendicular to the plane defined by the entire set of strings. In variant configurations, the sturdy framework may be lined with lead about its inner periphery to inhibit response of the individual strings in any other plane. A single, centrally positioned series of strings may be utilized or a pair of strings may be disposed on each side of the framework. One or more removable soundboards may be incorporated into the apparatus, and each soundboard is configured to be extremely flexible. Flexibility may be enhanced by providing a number of apertures in a soundboard according to a predetermined layout. Music to be processed from a live source or from a prerecorded source may be directed at the apparatus from one or, preferably, both sides to achieve the sought after purification and conditioning. Microphones to pick up the purified sound may be placed within the apparatus or between the source of music and the apparatus. ln order to achieve further control over the conditioning and purification of the music source, isolation baffles are provided, selectively, between the strings of each octave or between adjacent strings in such a manner that the vibratory communication therebetween can be controlled in degree at the option of the operator of the apparatus.
8 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR 12 I976 sum 1 or 4 All PATENTEB 12 974 SHEET B (If 4 MUSIC PROCESSING AND PURIFYING APPARATUS This invention relates to the musical processing arts, and, more particularly, to apparatus for purifying the musical sounds.
When man's urge for expressing himself audibly is not sufficiently fulfilled by himself, per se corporeally, he supplements, expands, ramifies and otherwise enriches his self-expression by inventing sound producing devices. In these endeavors, man develops woodwind, brass, and other instruments which he operates by blowing air with his mouth and by tactile manipulations of valves, by using bellows, and in other ways. Additionally, he develops percussion instruments which he operates by striking as on drumheads, xylophones, or other surfaces, and he develops string instruments which he operates by plucking, by moving slightly abrasive surfaces over the strings and by other means. He also develops electronic means for producing and for amplifying sounds, and such amplified sounds have clearly discernible or barely perceptible metallic or other non-human, impure qualities.
Each class of instruments can be recognized by its structure, by the specific characteristics (relationship of fundamentals and overtones) and by the modus operandi thereof. In addition, there are identifiable individual values of the personalities of the performers such as qualities of voices, creative virtuosities and mannerisms which are peculiar to individual performers.
Just as the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state of every performer affects the quality of his voice and/or his instrumental performance, so it is that the kind and the quality of the materials and the architectural fashioning of the instruments determines their quality and their fidelity of response to the performers as extensions of the human source which seeks selfexpression. However, in carrying out such selfexpression, the human source, with or without the cooperation of an instrument operated by himself or by others, alone or in combination, often imparts impurities of tone to the total result of sound and additionally may create an imperfect dynamic composite sound created from a plurality of sound sources. Thus, those skilled in the art will recognize the need for dynamic, purifying development which retains the identifiable individual characteristics of the performers and the instruments which at the same time eliminates impurities of tone and provides greater dynamics to the sound to be treated. That is, an instrument which can selectively amplify sounds presented to it without introducing artificial and/or metallic qualities characteristic of electronic amplification.
There have been prior attempts to provide apparatus for conditioning and purifying sounds through sympathetic vibration, most notable being my earlier United States application Ser. No. 142,678, filed May 12, 1971, for Instrument for Purifying Sounds through Sympathetic Vibration," now U.S. Pat. No. 3,696,698. However, advanced investigation has revealed the necessity for providing such apparatus in which the individual resonant elements are free to vibrate in one plane only and only in the fundamental mode, andl have determined that very complete consideration must be given toward isolating each string of the purifying apparatus against extraneous excitement in other then the intended mode.
Thus, it is a broad object of my invention to provide improved apparatus for purifying musical sound.
It is another object of my invention to provide such apparatus in which extraordinary efforts are made to insure that resonant elements constituting important portions of the apparatus are constrained against vibration in any but a single plane.
It is a still further object of my invention to provide such apparatus in which all the resonant elements vibrate in parallel planes and in the fundamental mode.
A still more specific object of my invention is to provide such apparatus in which extraneous disturbances which might tend to excite the resonant elements in other planes are inhibited.
Yet another and further object of my invention is to provide such apparatus with a framework specially constructed to eliminate such extraneous disturbances.
In another aspect, it is an object of my invention to isolate selected ones or groups of resonant elements, one from another, in order to eliminate or control sympathetic harmonic response.
The subject matter of the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway perspective view of a presently preferred embodiment of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial top view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 with portions cutaway to show certain of the internal structure and optional placement position of acessories therefor;
FIG. 3 illustrates the manner in which a soundboard, which may be either impervious or systematically peripherated, may be removed from one or both sides of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 4a and 4b illustrate exemplary means by which strings, or groups of strings, may be isolated from one another in a controllable manner to permit selective harmonic response at the option of the operator;
FIGS. 5a and 5b illustrate variant exemplary configurations of the isolating means of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 illustrates a manner in which the apparatus of the present invention may be set up to purify sound from a source represented by a plurality of speakers, and further illustrates a variant configuration of the basic apparatus utilizing a single set of strings;
FIG. 7 illustrates the linearizing effect of directing opposed speakers uniformally toward the purifying apparatus;
FIG. 8 illustrates the less desirable, non-linear result of utilizing a source on only one side of the purifying apparatus;
FIG. 9 illustrates a top view of the purifying apparatus showing the installation of the shutter elements;
FIG. 10 illustrates a cutaway view of the shutter elements mounted within the purifying apparatus; and
FIG. 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the shutter element mounting mechanism.
Referring now to FIG. 1, it will be observed that the purifying apparatus 1 comprises generally of a very sturdy framework 2 reinforced about its facing peripheries by metal beams 3 and by a vertical brace 4. The
triangle described by the framework 2 is not equilateral inasmuch as I prefer to place the resonant elements corresponding to the diatonic scale on one side of the vertical brace 4 with the resonant elements tuned to the intermediate tones completing the chromatic scale being disposed on the other side of the vertical brace 4. The resonant elements are preferably vertically oriented by strings 5 fitted, at one end, to tuning pins 6 which permit accurate tuning in the obvious manner. The generally triangular configuration is, of course, merely exemplary, and rectangular, round, and other shapes are contemplated with corresponding changes in the positions of the strings and tuning pins.
A soundboard 7, depicted in FIG. 1 as being systematically perforated for reasons which will be set forth below, is removably disposed inwardly from the plane defined by the bank of strings 5. On the opposite side of the purifying apparatus 1 depicted in FIG. 1 is an identical set of strings, identically tuned, and provision for a second soundboard corresponding to the soundboard 7.
I have found that is is necessary for the framework 2 to be extraordinarily sturdy and also it should have a considerable depth. Thus, the framework 2 illustrated in FIG. 1 is made of very thick wood, three or more inches in thickness, and is also lined about its inner surface with lead sheathing 8. The purpose of taking extraordinary care to strengthen and shield the framework 2 is to prevent extraneous sounds from exciting the strings 5 in such a manner that they might vibrate in planes other than very specific, parallel planes, inwardly and outwardly with respect to the depth of the purifying apparatus 1.
As will be explained more fully below, the purifying apparatus 1 as well as variant configurations to be described, have the facility for purifying and/or conditioning sound from a prerecorded source or from a live source, both of which are represented by the speakers 9a and 9b, disposedon opposite sides of the purifying apparatus 1 and directed to the strings 5 thereof. The purified and/or conditioned sound may be audited directly or may be rerecorded after being detected by microphones 10a, 10b, 10c, and 10d. As shown in FIG. 2, the various microphones 10 may be placed within the interior of the purifying apparatus 1 or between the speakers 9 and the purifying apparatus. Such variety of placement enables the skilled operator to select the degree and type of purification and conditioning which may, in his judgement, be most appropriate for a given performance or sound.
Still referring to FIG. 1 and 2, I have determined that further deadening of impurities may sometimes be achieved by overlaying the soundboard 7 with thin lead sheathing 11 as indicated in the broken away portion through which the microphone 1011 is observed. In the exemplary purifying apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, 49 strings are disposed on the larger side and 35 on the smaller side whereby a chromatic range of seven octaves is achieved.
Attention is now directed to FIG. 3 which illustrates the manner in which one or more of the soundboards 7 may be removed by sliding them out the side of the purifying apparatus 1. It may be noted that the upper portion 12 of the soundboard 7 is illustrated in FIG. 3 as being imperforate. I have found that slightly different effects are achieved by combinations in the purifying apparatus 1 of no soundboards, of perforated soundboards, of imperforate soundboards, and the several combinations which may be achieved with provision for accepting two soundboards. One approach which is proven in practice to be very effective in placing the apertures 13 in the perforated soundboard 7 is to draw diagonal intersecting lines between the corners of the boards. The distances between the lengths and the widths of the boards are then divided in half, and lines are again drawn between these points, to intersect each other, and so on. The apertures are then prepared at the points of intersections with the largest being toward the centers of the boards, diminishing gradually in diameter toward the framework 2. The purpose of these apertures 13 is to achieve uniformity of flexibility across the soundboard. To further improve the uniformity of flexibility, numerous smaller holes are drilled in those areas where the boards are otherwise less flexible such as toward the sides of the device where the strings are shorter in order that the strings of the higher register achieve response equal to those of the longer strings in the lower registers. Additional smaller apertures may be drilled empirically by manually testing the flexibility of the board across its surface until the desired uniformity is achieved.
As will become presently more apparent, I seek to insure that each string in the purifying apparatus vibrates sympathetically to the live or recorded sound only in the fundamental mode and only in a plane of vibration which is transverse the plane defined by the bank of strings 5. In order to achieve this control over the individual strings and also in order to control, selectively, the harmonic response of the strings one to another, I provide means for selectively isolating the strings in each octave by means of longitudinally apertured slats which slide against one another to permit, inhibit, or impede the interaction of strings in the different octaves as may be understood from an examination of FIGS. 4a and 4b. The two piece shutter mechanism illustrated in FIGS. 4a and 4b and also in FIG. 5b comprises a first, wider shutter element 14 and a second, narrower shutter element 15. The shutter elements 14 and 15 are each provided with longitudinal slots 16 and 17, respectively, of the same width with the slat portions 18 of the narrower shutter element 15 being slightly wider than the longitudinal slots 16.
Thus, referring again to FIG. 4a, the shutter mechanism is shown in the fully open position in which the longitudinal slots 16 and 17 are aligned to permit vibratory communication between the strings of the octaves divided thereby. On the other hand, in FIG. 4b, the shutter elements 14 and 15 have been mutually repositioned in such a manner that the longitudinal slots 16 of the shutter element 14 align with the slat portions 18 of the narrower shutter element 15 whereby vibratory communication between the strings of adjacent octaves is inhibited. It will be apparent, from an examination of FIGS. 4a, 4b and 5b, that any position intermediate those depicted in FIGS. 4a and 4b will result in a controlled degree of vibratory communication between adjacent octaves. The position of the shutter elements 14 and 15 may be manually set by the operator according to his experience or desires to achieve the effect he seeks, and it is not necessary that each of the several shutter mechanisms be set identically. It is, of course, a simple mechanical matter to support the ends of the shutter mechanisms slideably within the inner surface of the framework 2 and, further, means for rendering the adjustment of the shutter mechanisms simple will occur to those skilled in the art.
A finer degree of adjustment, as well as a greater wide open area may be achieved by using three, rather than two, shutter elements 19, 20, and 21 inasmuch as the longitudinal slots 22, 23, and 24 may be wider than the slat portions 25, 26, and 27. A limit to the number of shutter elements is, of course, reached when the cumulative thickness approaches the distance between adjacent strings since the strings cannot be allowed to touch the shutter elements.
The concept of using shutter elements to isolate string groups by octaves provides the operator with great versatility in purifying and conditioning the sound being operated upon. It will be understood, however, that additional shutter mechanisms may be incorporated into the apparatus to the ultimate possibility of utilizing a shutter mechanism between each adjacent string of the entire purifying apparatus.
It will be recalled that sympathetic vibration of the resonant elements in the purifying and conditioning apparatus must, to the extent possible, vibrate only in their fundamental mode, at the fundamental frequency, and in a single plane. This is in contrast to the usual stringed instrument which may vibrate in overtones as well as at the fundamental, which may when first actuated vibrate at a slightly sharp frequency and which may vibrate in revolving or otherwise perturbed planes. FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 illustrate the desired result achieved according to the principles of my invention and also serve to illustrate a variant form thereof in which a single plane of strings is centrally positioned within the purifying and conditioning apparatus. A
As best shown in FIG. 6, the variant purifying apparatus 30 utilizes very sturdy framework 31 reinforced by metal beams 32 on each side and lined with lead sheathing 33 about its inner surface. Removable soundboards 34, of the previously described imperforate or apertu'red types, are disposed on each side of the purifying apparatus 30, and a single row of strings 35 are vertically oriented, but centrally positioned across the width of the purifying apparatus 30. It will be understood that the shutter apparatus depicted in FIGS. 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b can be incorporated into the purifying apparatus 30; however, in the interest of clarity, these mechanisms are not shown in FIGS. 6, 7, and 8.
It is highly desirable, as one factor in maintaining the sought after plane of oscillation of all the strings, that the sound source be presented to the purifying apparatus as a wall rather than from a single source which would cause the planes of oscillation to be arrayed like a fan. For prerecorded music, this ideal situation may be achieved by utilzing banks of speakers 26 and 37 placed sufficiently close to one another that the sound emananting therefrom excites the strings 35 into oscillation in parallel planes. Additionally, it may be noted here, that the use of a large number of speakers in this manner, in certain instances, permits the sought after purification and conditioning to be achieved with the soundboards 34 (and the corresponding soundboards of the purifying apparatus 1) absent. The speaker cones themselves appear to carry out the soundboard function to the extent necessary for achieving certain effects within the operators purview.
Microphones for picking up the processed sound produced by the apparatus 30 are not shown in FIG. 6 but may be placed in accordance with the discussions of FIGS. 1 and 2. It must be noted, however, that in order for the cones of the speakers to function as soundboards, the speaker banks must be very close to the purifying apparatus in order to create an air chamber within the apparatus in the absence of soundboards per se. If it is not necessary to position a microphone between a speaker bank and the purifying apparatus, the speaker banks 36 and 37 may be unitary with the purifying apparatus.
Utilization of opposing banks of speakers 36 and 37, or a live performance on one side and a bank of speakers on the other, has a steadying influence on the plane of oscillation of the various strings inasmuch as a tendency of the speakers on one side to cause a deviation in the plane of vibration in those strings 35 at which it is not directly aimed are compensated by the tendency of the corresponding speaker on the opposite side to urge the same string to vibrate in a plane angled the same amount from the desired plane of oscillation, but in the opposite direction. The net result is vibration only transverse the apparatus.
However, the use of sound sources on both sides of the purifying apparatus has another effect which is not readily apparent. As shown in FIG. 7, the two sound sources 36a and 37a are projecting the same tone mixture which, for exemplary purposes, includes a component very close to the tuned frequency of the specific string 35a. Thus, the string 35a vibrates sympathetically and the excursions 38 and 39 of its midpoint are exactly equal because the sound waves issuing from the sources 360 and 37a are pushing against one another to force the excursions 38 and 39 of the string 35a to be equal and somewhat compressed. The effect is closely analogous to negative feedback in electronic circuitry to achieve linearity.
In FIG. 8, the single sound source 37a exciting the string 35a into sympathetic response results in excursions 40 and 41 of the midpoint of the string which are asymmetrical and also somewhat greater in amplitude although the difference between the sums of the excursions 38 and 39 in FIG. 7 and 40 and 41 in FIG. 8 are somewhat exaggerated to make the point clearer. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the type of vibration illustrated in FIG. 8, brought about by exposing the purifying apparatus to a sound source from one side only, is less pure and less dynamic (even though the excursion is greater) than that illustrated in FIG. 7 although the placing of a soundboard on the side opposite the single source decreases the impurity. The type of excursion illustrated in FIG. 8 cannot be deemed to be linear or Class A in the physics sense and therefor must generate harmonics and also be slightly off pitch. While the effect is not great, and the purifying apparatus 1, as well as the purifying apparatus 30, will function generally satisfactorily utilizing a sound source from only one side, the ultimate perfection in purifying and conditioning the sound source, whether live or prerecorded, is achieved by utilizing dual sound sources to achieve the mode of vibration illustrated in FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 illustrates a vertical view of the purifying apparatus I particularly showing the installation of shutter elements 14 and 15. A combination of shutter elements l4 and 15 segregate a plurality of groups of seven adjacent strings 5. In this manner, it is possible to control the vibratory communication between the strings of adjacent groups. Similarly, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the strings 5 on the right hand side of the purifying apparatus 1 are divided into groups of five adjacent strings 5 by shutter elements 14 and 15.
Referring to FIGS. 9, l and 11 jointly, the mode of attaching shutter elements 14 and 15 within the purifying apparatus 1 will be described in further detail. One shutter element, such as shutter element 14, is fixedly secured at the top and bottom of purifying apparatus 1. It is not secured to sound board 7 whereby the shutter element will not impede the vibratory response of the sound board. Shutter element 15 is slidably mounted within a pair of inwardly directed channels 39 and 40, which channels are fixed to the purifying apparatus 1. A handle 28, which may be a simple U-shaped wire ex tending laterally from shutter element 15, is used to control and regulate the relative position of shutter element 15 with respect to shutter element 14. Handle 28 extends external to purifying apparatus 1 through apertures 29 disposed within the sound board. In this manner, shutter element 15 may be laterally displaced without having either the shutter element or the handle impinge upon or otherwise impede the vibratory response of the sound board. As shown in FIG. 9, handles 28 may extend from each lateral side of purifying apparatus 1 to permit an operator to have greater control in positioning shutter element 15.
Although shutter elements 14 and 15 are shown as relatively widely spaced apart, it is to be understood that they may be immediately adjacent one another or even in physical contact with one another to obtain a complete sound seal therethrough. Further, the degree of closeness between the shutter elements will have a direct relationship upon the effective sound baffling capability of the shutter element.
While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in an illustrative embodiment, there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention which are particularly adapted for specific environments and operating requirements without departing from those principles.
1. Apparatus for purifying sound from a source through sympathetic vibrations comprising:
a. a very sturdy airchamber including:
1. a basic framework of a sturdy material;
2. beam reinforcing means disposed on each side of said framework about the outwardly facing peripheral edges thereof;
3. sheathing of a heavy metal disposed completely about the inner periphery of said framework; and
b. at least one set of tuned strings encompassing a plurality of octaves stretched between the base of said frame and the two sides thereof;
c. means for directing sound from a source toward said strings; and
d. microphone means for intercepting the sounds generated by the sympathetic response of said strings.
2. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 1 which further includes at least one soundboard.
3. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 2 in which said soundboard is removable.
4. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 3 in which said soundboard is systematically perforated to equalize flexibility across its surface.
5. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 1 which includes a plurality of removable soundboards.
6. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 5 in which at least one of said soundboards is completely overlayed with thin lead sheathing.
7. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 1 which further includes means for isolating adjacent strings from one another longitudinally to inhibit sympathetic response therebetween.
8. The sound purifying apparatus of claim 7 in which said means for isolating adjacent strings is adjustable to permit a predetermined amount of interaction between said strings.