US 3818693 A
A circuit including an oscillator generates pulse signals energizing selectively spaced indicator lamps excited in a pattern corresponding in location to the pattern described by an orchestra leader's hand movements indicating standard beat locations.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,818,693 Allard June 25, 1974 ELECTRONIC METRONOME 3,724,203 4/1973 Wittner 84/484  Inventor: Frank Allard, 1834 Hobart Dr., FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Camanno, Callf- 93010 46-10631 4/1971 Japan 84/484  Filed: Oct. 25, 1973 Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson  Appl' 409548 Assistant Examiner-U. Weldon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert K. Rhea  US. Cl. 58/130 E, 84/484  Int. Cl. G04b 19/00 57 AB A T  Field of Search 340/366 D, 378 R; 84/484; C
58/l3O R, 130 A 130 E A c1rcu1t including an oscillator generates pulse 51gnals energizing selectively spaced indicator lamps ex-  References Cited cited in a pattern corresponding in location to the pat- UNITED STATES PATENTS tern described by an orchestra leaders hand movements indicating standard beat locations. 3,467,959 9/1969 Zazofsky 84/484 X 3,534,649 10/1970 Andersson 58/130 A 5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures ELECTRONIC METRONOME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION able over a frequency range of, for example, 40 to 208 beats per minute. Such metronomes have included mechanical devices which are manually wound to build up spring tension with the gradual release of the spring tension causing a mechanical hammer to strike a solid structure and generate audible beat signals. This type of metronome must be set on a flat even surface to function and the accuracy varies as the spring tension decreases, necessitating frequent rewinding of the spring. I g
Metronomes have also included electrical and electro-mechanical devices. In some of the electrical devices, such as US Pat. No. 3,534,649, resistorcapacitor charging and discharging networks in conjunction with neon bulbs have been used to produce electrical signals for a loudspeaker output, with the variable beat being produced by varying the time constant of the RC network. Metronomes with accentuated beats have also been considered in the past (normally the first beat of music measure is made longer or louder than the remaining beats in the same measure). Metronomes with accentuated beats become overly sophisticated, cumbersome, and economically unfeasible. Metronomes that produce clicks or other audible sounds produce distraction, especially during soft music, and they can be difficult to hear when playing loud or fortissirno, as well as when playing very fast music.
Metronomes have also included electrical single indicator (lamp) devices. The single lamp is normally controlled in on-off time by an RC oscillator. Single lamp metronomes have distinct disadvantages. In very fast music a single lamp indicator is too difficult to follow and is generally distracting from music reading. Some metronomes have been offered with a single lamp that snaps on-off for the first beat of each measure only. This can provide some improvement during faster music, however, during slow music times the musician finds that he may reach the end of measures before or too late for the next measure first beat and the music then sounds jerky. In other words the musician has no way to gauge time inside the measure and as a result he may arrive at the end of a measure too soon or too late.
Metronomes with both audible and visual indicators have been considered in the past. These have been offered to provide combinations of audio and visual count, but again using only one visual (lamp) indicator. Besides the previously mentioned disadvantages these metronomes do not provide good synchronization between the audible and visual indicators, mostly due to the fact that the lamp requires additional time to heat up and illuminate. In addition the complexity of these metronomes makes them unfeasible economically.
, SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In conducting a musical assembly an orchestra leaders hand movements follows these patterns; for 2/4 (two quarter time), two beats per measure, the first arm movement is always down, a down beat, the second beat is upward, that is an upward arm movement. This sequence of down-up is followed for each measure of 2/4 time. For 3/4 time or three beats to the music measure; the first beat is again down, the second beat (arm movement) is to the right, with the third beat up to the top-center and repeating for each measure. For 4/4 time (four beats per measure) or multiples of this number; the first beat is down, the second to the right,
the third to the left, and the fourth to the top center That is; down, right, left, and up. This pattern repeating for each 4/4 time measure.
In accordance with the present invention a low frequency audio oscillator generates pulse signals that feed a counter made up of two binary flip-flops. The pulses from the flip-flops are then fed to four 2-input AND gates with the AND gates in turn feeding lampdrivers to illuminate selected indicators. Selection of different time patterns is facilitated by a switch feeding reset pulses to the counter.
The objects of this invention are: to provide an improved metronome that will simulate an orchestra leaders (any music director) hand movements by turning indicators on and off in patterns corresponding to standard music beat locations or multiples thereof; to provide a metronome that will be compact and inexpensive in initial cost and operation; and to provide a metronome whose frequency can be varied by changing the setting of its oscillator.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the device in a selfcontained cabinet; and,
FIG. 2 is a wiring diagram.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Like characters of reference designate like parts in those figures of the drawings in which they occur.
In the drawings:
Referring to the drawings, an oscillator 10 is provided for generating pulse signals at a low audio frequency, such as 40 to 208 cycles per minute. The oscillator may be a resistance-capacitor type such as a highly reliable integrated circuit. The oscillator control includes a variable resistor 12 connected in parallel with a capacitor 14 to establish the frequency range of the oscillator and to vary the oscillator frequency within this range by a manually operated indicator arm and control knob 15. The oscillator output pulses are applied by a conductor 16 to a first flip-flop 18 connected with a second flip-flop 20 by a conductor 22. Flip-flops l8 and 20 are connected as binary counters, that is flip-flop 18 will change state for every pulse received from the oscillator 10 and flip-flop 20 will change state for only alternate oscillator pulses.
As is well known each flip-flop has two states, and two outputs available, Q and Q, generally referred to as the Q and Q-not states, or true and false. Stated another way, each flip-flop can provide two states, 01 for either Q or Q. By utilizing both outputs from both flip-flops 18 and 20, the following four count patterns are available; 1001; 0110; 1010 and 0101.
A plurality, four in the example shown, of AND gates 24, 26, 28 and 30 are connected with the flip-flop circuits l8 and 20 by connecting the O output of the flipflop 18 with one input of the AND gates 24 and 28. The Q output of the flip-flop 18 is connected with one input of the AND gates 26 and 30. The Q output of the flip-flop 20 is connected with the other input of AND gates 24 and 26 and the Q output of the flip-flop 20 is connected to the other input of the AND gates 28 and 30. The output of the AND gate 24 is connected with an inverter amplifier 32 by a conductor 34. Similarly, the output of the AND gate 26 is connected with a second inverter amplifier 36 by a conductor 38. The output of the other two AND gates 28 and 30 are respectively connected to third and fourth inverter amplifiers 40 and 42. The output of each amplifier 32, 36, 40 and 42 is respectively connected to a source of electrical energy, such as a battery B, in series through a like plurality of indicators or lamps L1, L2, L3 and L4. Obviously each lamp may have a color distinct from the other lamps.
Obviously rectified alternating current may be used as a source of power if desired.
Each of the flip-flops 18 and 20 are connected to ground through a resistor 44 and to a single-pole three contact or position switch S through a capacitor 46. Terminal 2 of the switch S is connected with the conductor 38 and the switch terminal 3 is connected with the conductor 34. The purpose of the switch S is to insure that only the desired lamps will be illuminated in accordance with a selected beat count or pattern. As shown in FIG. 1, the lamps are mounted for exposure through the front face or wall 45 of a cabinet 50. The bottom lamp L3 is located near the medial lower limit of the wall 45; the top lamp L4 vertically above the lamp L3 and near the top of the wall 45; the right lamp L2 near the right edge of the wall 45 medially its height; and the left lamp L1 near the left edge of the wall 45 and'horizontally aligned with the right lamp L2.
The purpose of the capacitor 46 and resistor 44 is to form a constant time delay of a short duration to insure sufficient settling time for the counter prior to reset, as hereinafter explained.
OPERATION As set forth hereinabove, the four possible output states of the two flip-flops 18 and 20 are 1001, 0110, 1010 and 0101, thus it may be seen that if flip-flop 18 is in the lstate (O is l and Q is 0) and if flip-flop 20 is in the same state the AND gate 24 is the only gate that will be activated. Similarly, the following patterns 0110, 1001 and 0101 respectively activate the AND gates 26, 28 and 30. The oscillator provides pulses to the flip-flops 18 and 20 thus energizing one AND gate, lamp-driver or amplifier and exciting one lamp, for example, AND gate 24, amplifier 32 and lamp L1. With this arrangement (the arm of switch S closed with its neutral terminal 4) 4/4 time is obtained in a normal binary count sequence in which the bottom lamp L3 is first illuminated, then the right lamp L2, then the left lamp L1 and then the top lamp L4 in this sequence. With each lamp being de-energized as the next lamp in the order is energized in accordance with the respective oscillator pluse. To obtain 2/4 time a reset pulse is needed which is accomplished by closing the switch arm of switch S with its terminal 2 which resets the counter from count 2 normally illuminating the right lamp L2 to count 4 for illuminating the top lamp L4. This reset pulse occurs a few microseconds following the pulse normally illuminating the lamp L2 but the time lapse being short is not detected by the lamps. For 3/4 time the switch arm of the switch S is closed with its contact 3 to obtain a reset pulse and illuminate the top lamp L4 to complete the pattern.
Obviously the invention is susceptible to changes or alterations without defeating its practicability, therefore, I do not wish to be confined to the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings and described herein.
1. A metronome, comprising:
an oscillator for producing electrical signals;
means including a countercircuit having a plurality of output terminals for generating output signals in response to input signals applied thereto from said oscillator, the characteristic of said output signals being different than said input signals from said oscillator and the frequency of said output signals being lower than the frequency of the oscillator signals applied thereto;
a plurality of visual indicators; and,
means for applying said output signals to said indicators in a selected sequence.
2. The metronome according to claim 1 in which said countercircuit includes a pair of flip-flop circuits and said means for applying includes at least four AND gates respectively connected with the output terminals of said flip-flop circuits for selecting output signals to be applied to said indica- 101's.
3. The metronome according to claim 2 and further including an amplifier interposed between each said AND gate and said indicator.
4. The metronome according to claim 3 in which said signal applying means further includes:
a reset circuit including a normally open switch connected with the output of at least one AND gate and at least one said flip-flop circuit.
5. The metronome according to claim 4 in which said signal applying means further includes:
time delay means connected with said reset circuit,
said time delay means including a capacitor connected in series with said switch and a resistor connecting said reset circuit to ground.