US 3913443 A
Different chordal tones are recorded on the tracks of a tape at the same tempo and rhythm for producing background music on a tape player during the playing of a melody on a musical instrument. Chordal selections are made through a pedal operated keyboard. Pedal actuations rapidly change the pickup heads of the tape player made operative to effect reproduction of the chordal tones from the tracks of the tape.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Jewett Oct. 21, 1975  MUSICAL RECORDING AND METHOD AND 3,250,847 5/1966 Chamberlain 84/l.28 APPARATUS THEREFOR 3,257,493 6/1966 Hurvitz 84/l.02 3,270,135 8/1966 Schaeffer et al. 84/128 X Inventor: Aaron J 669 Merrlmon 3,272,907 9/1966 Chamberlain 84/128 Ave., Asheville, N.C. 28804 3,424,851 1/1969 Weitzner 84/1.28 3,604,299 9 1971 E l d 84 1.03 FllCCl; June 26, ng un 2 1 App] 2 37 3,647,929 3/1972 Milde, Jr 84/l.02 X 3,781,452 12/1973 Vauclain 84/128  C t' l rt l g il 1 5 8 221 J 30 OTHER PUBLICATIONS on mua ona o un 1971, l gg er 0 6 Ex parte S (Board of Appeals) Aug. 4, 1943 (Case No. 109).  US. Cl..... 84/1.28; 84/D1G. 29; 179/100.41 R;
274/11 R; 360/78; 360/92 Primary Examiner-Stephen J. Tomsky  Int. Cl. G10H 3/08 ss sta Examinerestanley J. Witkowski  Field of Search 84/1.02, 1.03, 1.28, DIG. 29; A y, Ag or -T R. Vestal 179/100.41 R; 346/1, 74 M; 360/78, 92; v
274/11 R  ABSTRACT 9 Different chordal tones are recorded on the tracks of  References a tape at the same tempo and rhythm for producing UNITED STATES PATENTS background music on a tape player during the playing 2,224,358 12/1940 Quisling 84/128 of a melody on a musical instrument. Chordal selec- 2,471,534 /1949 ,Muth et al.... 84/128 tions are made through a pedal operated keyboard. 2,533,461 12/1950 lllsley et a1 84/128 P dal a tuations rapidly change the pickup heads of Q the tape player made operative to effect reproduction no aug 2,737,840 3/1956 Gratian 84/128 of the Chordal tones from the tracks of the tape 2,767,607 10/1956 Barone 84/ 1.28 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 3,109,898 11/1963 Gray 360/92 US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 hlk U.S. Patent Oct.21, 1975 Sheet2of2 3,913,443
MUSICAL RECORDING AND METHOD AND APPARATUS THEREFOR This application is a continuation-in-part of my copendingapplication Ser. No. 158,221, filed June 30, 1971, now abandoned.
Various methods and apparatus have been devised for reproducing particular musical passages as an accompaniment for a melody player on a conventional instrument such as a guitar, organ or the like. However, such prior methods and apparatus have been limited in use, and difficult if not impossible for even an accomplished soloist to properly operate. It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of greater flexibility and relative ease of use by a soloist as an accompaniment to a melody.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, different chordal tones are pre-recorded on a conventional eight track tape by any combination of instrumental selections. Each chordal tone recorded on one multi-track tape, will be of the same tempo, rhythm and beat; i.e., the chordal tone recorded on one tape track will be positioned on that track to coincide beatwise with the remaining tracks of the tape. The tape, stored in a cartridge housing, may be plugged into a commercially available type of tape player associated with a novel pedal-operated keyboard apparatus. According to the present invention, the track selecting mechanism in the conventional cartridge tape player is replaced by pedal actuated means described more fully herein; By means of the pedals, a soloist may select and change the chordal tones that are reproduced from the tape while a melody is being played. Thus, soloists, whether instrumental, vocal, or a combination of both, could by utilization of the invention, create an entertainment presentation similar to that of a large number of musicians and vocalists by utilizing the multi-track capability of pre-recorded background music. Further the change in chordal tones is effected in accordance with the presentinvention in a rapid fashion so that there is no discontinuity or missing of beats.
These, together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent, reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to be accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention as seen from the front.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus as seen from the rear.
FIG. 3 is a partial side elevational view of the apparatus with parts broken away and shown in section.
FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 3 in a different operational condition.
FIG. 5 is an electrical circuit diagram associated with the apparatus.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a typical apparatus or accessory music instrument constructed in accordance with the present invention and generally denoted by reference numeral -10. In the illustrated embodiment, the apparatus is of the foot-pedal operated type and comprises a housing or cabinet generally referred to by reference numeral 12 adapted to rest on the floor and provided with a keyboard panel portion 14 sloping downwardly from a front panel portion 16. The rear side of the cabinet 12 is protectively enclosed by a mesh 16 forming the sound outlet of a speaker arrangement housed within the cabinet.
As more clearly seen in FIG. 3, the keyboard panel portion 14 is provided with a plurality of openings 18 through which pedal formations 20 project upwardly. In the illustrated embodiment, there are eight pedal formations. Also mounted within the cabinet is a commercially available type of tape player 22 into which a tape cartridge 24 is adapted to be inserted through a slot 26 formed in the front portion 16 of the cabinet. Suitable controls 28 for operating the volume and tone of the tape player; are shown mounted on the front panel portion 16 in FIG. 1.
Referring once again to FIG. 3, each of the pedal formations 20 is identical in construction and is associated with a lever element 30 from which the pedal formation extends upwardly in spaced relation to a pivot formation 32. Thus, the lever element is pivotally anchored by the pivotal anchoring facility 34 below the keyboard panel portion 14. A latch formation 36 is formed on the end of the lever element remote from the pivot formation 32 for engagement by a releasable pedal latch bar generally referred to by reference numeral 38.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the pedal formation 20 is in the form of an inverted hollow cup and is continuously urged upwardly by a spring 40 anchored at its lower end on an anchor formation 42 formed on the base 44 of the cabinet 12 while the upper end of the spring is achored by means of the formation 46 to the underside of the pedal formation. A microswitch 48 is fixedly mounted on the underside of the keyboard panel portion for engagement by the lever element 30. In the illustrated embodiment eight microswitches 48 are provided, each separately associated with one of the pedal formations 20.
Also shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, cam bar 37, extending upwardly from pivot 39, is positioned for operable engagement by latch formation 36 in its actuated position. Cam bar 37 is urged clockwise by conventional spring means (not shown). When pedal 20 is actuated downward, cam bar 37 is forced counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 3, into contact with a switch 52 mounted within the housing adjacent front end 50. In the embodiment shown, two cam bars 37 are each actuated by four pedals 20, and, in turn, actuate a single switch 52. Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 7, the lower switch 52 and the lower group of four switches 48 are controlled in sequence by the four rightmost pedals 20, which, in turn, also actuate a mutual cam bar 37. The upper switch 52 and the upper group of four switches 48 are controlled in sequence by the four leftmost pedals 20, which in turn actuates a mutal cam bar 37 separately from the rightmost pedals.
The latch bar 38 rotates about pivot means 54 and is supportedby spring means 56 attached to the keyboard panel portion 14. A stop (not shown) in pivot means 54 prevents latch bar 38 from rotating counterclockwise beyond the horizontal position as shown. The latch bar is free to rotate clockwise, however. The latch bar 38 is also engageable with the front of the latch formation 36 associated with each of the pedal formations 20 as shown in FIG. 4. Accordingly, when one of the pedal formations is actuated or depressed downwardly, the
latch bar is cammed or displaced by a slight amount in a clockwise direction, thereby releasing the actuated pedal formation to pass beneath the latch bar. When the depressing force is removed, spring 40 urges the pedal upward but the pedal is arrested by the latch bar 38, which has been returned to its normal position by spring means 56 after latch formation 36 has passes in its downward direction. The newly actuated pedal formation will then be held in its actuated position by the spring latch bar 38. When another pedal 20 is depressed, latch bar 38 will be cammed or displaced again in a clockwise direction, releasing the originally arrested pedal to return to its normal position. Thus, the latch bar 38 is operative to not only releasably hold an actuated pedal in its actuated position, but will also release the actuated pedal when another pedal is actuated and hold the newly actuated pedal in its actuated position. Cam bar 37 as shown in FIG. 3, is in one of its operative positions since engaged with one group of four pedals, one of which is actuated. The cam bar 37 as shown in FIG. 4, is in the other operative position inasmuch as its associated group of pedals are all released.
As mentioned earlier, each latch bar 54 is associated with one of two microswitches 52 by means of which the operative position of the switch is sensed in order to control the position of a group of four pickup heads 62 associated with the tape player 22 as diagrammatically shown in FIG. 5. The pickup heads 62 are accordingly shifted between two operative positions by means of a pair of oppositely wound solenoids 64 and 66 respectively connected to the two microswitches 52. As an arrested pedal is released automatically by latch bar 38, only one switch 52 will be actuated at any given time when another pedal is depressed. Accordingly, only one of the switches 52 will be closed at any time in order to select the solenoid 64 or 66 to be energized. The four interconnected pickup heads 62 will therefore occupy one of two operative positions aligned with four of the eight recording tracks 68 on the recording medium or tape 70 associated with the tape player 22. The tape 70 will, of course, be housed within the tape cartridge 24 aforementioned and will have different chordal tones recorded on its eight tracks.
With continued reference to FIG. 5, it will be noted that the eight microswitches 48 aforementioned are interconnected with the pickup head 62 through circuits established through the two microswitches 52 in order to render the respective pickup heads operative for reproducing the background chordal tones on the tape tracks 68 through the speaker arrangement 72 associated with the tape player. By means of the two microswitches 52, the four pickup heads 62 may be shifted by means of the solenoids 64 and 66 between the two operative positions in order to provide reproduction from the eight recording tracks in accordance with selections made by a soloist actuating one of the eight pedal formations 20 and associated microswitches 48.
It will also be appreciated that eight pick-up heads may be used in a manner that each pick-up head will be associated with a single recording track. The need for switches 52 and solenoids 64 and 66 will be eliminated. Each pick-up head can be actuated directly by the switch 48 associated with that particular pick-up head. In this embodiment, one or more pedals may be depressed simultaneously, thereby being arrested by the latch bar 38. In such a case, chordal tones may be superimposed on each other. Other variations of track selection are anticipated by the present'invention, the sole criteria being that the pick-up heads are to be operable selectively in any sequence. 1 r
In accordance with the present invention, a plurality of different tape cartridges will be available to a soloist. Each tape cartridge will have pre-recorded chordal tones on the eight tracks of its tape. The pre-recordings may be made by musicians playing such instruments as rhythm guitars, bass guitars, piano, drums and other combos. However, every chordal tone on the eight tracks will be recorded at the same tempo and rhythm and the beats synchronized so that rapid changing from one track to another does not miss a beat. Rapid switching from one track to another is effected as hereinbefore, indicated by actuation of the foot pedal formations 20. By the proper selection of a tape cartridge, the soloist will obtain the desired rhythm and tempo for accompanying the particular melody to be played on a conventional instrument which the solist is free to play as he actuates the pedal formations with the feet. The chordal tone outputs of the tape player while being primarily useful as background music, could also be utilized to automatically play during intermissions or as an accompaniment for a vocalist.
In constructing the tape of the present invention, a master tape is prepared by recording a single chord of constant rhythm and beat on a track until the track is filled. The track is then sprinkled with iron oxide particles on the tape in the area to be spliced and the tape is subjected to a magnetic field. The iron particles highlight the beat nodal points. The tape is then spliced so that the nodal points coincide. The remaining tracks are similarly processed. When all tracks are completed, they are matched relative to each other and recorded simultaneously onto the master tape. Subsequent tapes may be prepared from the master.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for reproducing chordal tones of complementary musical instruments, comprising a continuous-band, multiple-track magnetic recording tape and cartridge housing therefore, each of said tape tracks having recorded thereon, continuous throughout the length of each track, different chordal tones of said musical instruments in the same key, said chordal tones being synchronized to simulate background music with no discontinuity when selectively reproduced.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising magnetic tape reproducing means capable of receiving said tape cartridge housing a driving said tape, said reproducing means including magnetic tape pick-up head means selectively operable with each of said tape tracks in any sequence.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said magnetic tape reproducing means include a pedal board comprising a plurality of pedals and electrical switches affixed to said pedal board and latching means for engaging said pedals when actuated, and magnetic pick-up .heads, the electrical switches operable with said pedals to actuate the magnetic take-up heads selectively by tape track in any sequence.
4. A continuous multiple track magnetic recording tape and housing therefore, said housing and tape insertible in a sound reproducing means having pickup heads operative when actuated to reproduce sounds from the tracks of said tape, the improvement comprising, the individual tracks of said tape having different reproducible chordal tones of the same tempo and rhythm from complementary musical instruments the chordal tones being continuous throughout each track and synchronized with the other tracks of said tape to simulate background music with no discontinuity when the tracks are selectively reproduced.
5. A musical instrument adapted to be used as a source of background music comprising a cartridge tape recording player having a plurality of pick-up heads and a moving recording medium with a plurality of tracks on which different chordal tones are recorded at common tempo and rhythm, a plurality of means including actuator devices for respectively rendering the pick-up heads operative when actuated, for reproducing the chordal tones recorded on corresponding tracks of the recording medium, latch means for releasably holding a selected one of the actuator devices in an actuated position for sustained reproduction of a corresponding chordal tone, and means responsive to actuation of another of the actuator devices for changing without noticeable pause the pick-up heads rendered operative.
6. The combination of claim 5 including a keyboard panel having a plurality of openings through which said actuator devices project, each of the actuator devices including a lever element having a pedal formation projecting through one of the openings, a latch formation engageable by said latch means and pivot means anchoring the lever element to the panel spaced from said formations, and switch means engageable by the lever element and connected to one of the pick-up heads.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said switch means includes at least two cam bars engageable with different groups of said actuator devices, and means responsive to displacement of each of said cam bars to a switching position for shifting the pick-up heads relative to the recording medium into operative alignment with different groups of the tracks.
8. The combination of claim 5 wherein said responsive means includes at least two cam bars engageable with different groups of said actuator devices, and means responsive to displacement of each of said cam bars to a switching position for shifting the pick-up heads relative to the recording medium into operative alignment with different groups of the tracks.
9. A sound reproducing means operable with a cartridge type recording tape housing, comprising a cabinet, a keyboard panel in one face of said cabinet having a plurality of openings, pedals spring-hinge mounted to said cabinet and projecting through said plurality of openings, latch means for arresting said pedals when said pedals are depressed and simultaneously releasing prior arrested pedals, and electric switches affixed to said cabinet and openable by said pedals when depressed to actuate a magnetic tape pick-up head relative to tape tracks of said cartridge-type recording tape housing.