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Publication numberWO1995001632 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/US1994/006962
Publication date12 Jan 1995
Filing date20 Jun 1994
Priority date2 Jul 1993
Publication numberPCT/1994/6962, PCT/US/1994/006962, PCT/US/1994/06962, PCT/US/94/006962, PCT/US/94/06962, PCT/US1994/006962, PCT/US1994/06962, PCT/US1994006962, PCT/US199406962, PCT/US94/006962, PCT/US94/06962, PCT/US94006962, PCT/US9406962, WO 1995/001632 A1, WO 1995001632 A1, WO 1995001632A1, WO 9501632 A1, WO 9501632A1, WO-A1-1995001632, WO-A1-9501632, WO1995/001632A1, WO1995001632 A1, WO1995001632A1, WO9501632 A1, WO9501632A1
InventorsRichard A. Rosenthal, Max L. Cardey, Iii
ApplicantRosenthal Richard A, Cardey Max L Iii
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Pressure sensitive audio control apparatus and guitar incorporating same
WO 1995001632 A1
Abstract
Electric guitar apparatus (10) includes a guitar body (12) and a neck (14) attached thereto and extending therefrom. A set of strings (44) is provided having one end attached to the guitar body (12) and another end attached to a distal end (54) of the neck (14). One or more pickups (22, 28) are provided for generating an electrical signal in response to vibration of one or more to the strings (44) and elongate pressure sensitive apparatus (60, 62) disposed on the neck (14) parallel to the strings (44) provides a control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive apparatus (60, 62).
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
WHAT I8 CLAIMED I8:
1. Electric guitar apparatus comprising: a guitar body; a neck attached to said guitar body and extending therefrom; a set of strings each having one end attached to said guitar body and another end attached to a distal end of said neck; pickup means for generating an electrical signal in response to vibration of one or more of the strings; and elongate pressure sensitive means for generating a control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means, said elongate pressure sensitive means being disposed on said neck parallel to said set of strings and at a position thereon enabling a user to simultaneously depress one or more of the strings and manually squeeze the pressure sensitive means.
2. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising control means for altering the electrical signal in response to the control signal.
3. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising amplifier means for enhancing the electrical signal and control means for controlling the amplifier means in response to said control signal.
4. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said control means is configured for causing the electrical signal to be enhanced by the amplifier means in order to cause a change in at least one of volume, tone, reverberation and special effects in a speaker connected thereto 5. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said pressure sensitive means comprises pressure transducer means for producing an analog control signal proportional to pressure exerted on said elongate pressure sensitive means.
6. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means comprises a sealed hollow tube and a pressure transducer connected therewith.
7. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means comprises a plurality of sealed hollow tubes and a plurality of pressure transducers connected therewith.
8. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said pickup means comprises a plurality of pickup coils and said control means is configured for switching between electrical signals generated by each of the pickup coils in response to the control signal.
9. Electric guitar apparatus comprising: a guitar body; a neck attached to said guitar body and extending therefrom; a set . of strings each having one end attached to said guitar body and another end attached to a distal end of said neck; pickup means for generating an electrical signal in response to vibration of one or more of the strings;' and pressure sensitive means for generating a analog control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means.
10. An audio control system for an electric guitar, said system comprising: elongate pressure sensitive means for generating a control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means, said elongate pressure sensitive means being sized for enabling placement along a neck of an electric guitar; control means, interconnected between said pressure sensitive means and an audio output device, for altering audio output from the output device in response to the control signal.
11. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 10 wherein said control means is configured for altering the audio output in order to cause a change in at least one of volume, tone, reverberation and special effects.
12. The audio control system according to claim 11 wherein said pressure sensitive means comprises pressure transducer means for producing an analog control signal proportional to pressure exerted on said elongate pressure sensitive means.
13. The audio control system according to claim 12 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means comprises a sealed hollow tube.
14. The audio control system according to claim 13 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means further comprises a pressure transducer connected to said sealed hollow tube.
15. The audio control system according to claim 10 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means comprises a plurality of sealed hollow tubes.
16. The audio control system according to claim 15 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means further comprises a plurality of pressure transducers connected to said plurality of sealed hollow tubes.
17. An audio control system for an electric guitar, said system comprising: a plurality of elongate pressure sensitive means each operative for generating a control signal in response to manual squeezing thereof, each of said elongate pressure sensitive means being sized for enabling placement along a neck of an electric guitar; control means, interconnected between said plurality of pressure sensitive means and an audio output device, for altering audio output from the output device in response to the control signals.
18. The electric guitar apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said control means is configured for altering the audio output in order to cause a change in at least one of volume, tone and reverberation.
19. The audio control system according to claim 18 wherein said pressure sensitive means comprises pressure transducer means for producing an analog control signal proportional to pressure exerted on said elongate pressure sensitive means.
20. The audio control system according to claim 18 wherein said each elongate pressure sensitive means comprises a sealed hollow tube.
21. The audio control system according to claim 20 wherein said elongate pressure sensitive means further comprise a pressure transducer connected to said sealed hollow tube.
22. An audio control system for an electric guitar, said system comprising: elongate pressure sensitive means for generating a pressure pulse in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means, said elongate pressure sensitive means being sized for enabling placement along a neck of an electric guitar; and transducer means, connected to said elongate pressure sensitive means for producing a control control signal in response to said pressure pulse.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


  
 



   PRESSURE SENSITIVE AUDIO CONTROL APPARATUS
 AND GUITAR INCORPORATING SAME
 The present invention generally relates to electric guitars and systems for controlling output characteristics of electric guitars.



   Typical electric guitars include volume and tone controls which are usually disposed at a position remote from the strumming area in order to prevent interference therewith.



   Often, performing artists are desirous of changing the tonality, volume and adding special effects during performance of a number. Thus, the artistic rendition of a musical piece necessitates an interruption in the strumming in order to increase or decrease the volume, tone, reverberation or other special effects. In order to provide continuous output, the guitarist must sustain one or more notes, or stop strumming, while adjusting the controls and then quickly resume strumming. This procedure may be satisfactory for certain pieces; however, it does not provide an artist with sufficient freedom in interpretation of the music.



   Any number of devices have been fabricated to assist the guitarist in controlling the output from his instrument. These devices range from simple foot controls to elaborate musical tone control apparatus which may be mounted on a performer's body. See U.S.



  Patent No. 4,905,560.  



   The present invention is directed to electrical guitar apparatus and controls for enabling continuous control of volume, tone, reverberation and other special effects simultaneously with the strumming of the guitar. This enables enhanced artistic expression by the performer.



     SUMMARY    OF THE INVENTION
 Electric guitar apparatus in accordance with the present invention generally includes a guitar body and a neck attached thereto and extending therefrom. A set of strings is provided, each having one end attached to the guitar body and another set attached to a distal end of the neck.



   One or more pickups provide means for generating an electrical signal in response to vibration of one or more strings, and pressure sensitive means are provided for generating a control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means.



  Importantly, the pressure sensitive means may be elongate and disposed on the neck in a parallel relationship with the set of the strings and at a position thereon enabling the user to simultaneously depress one or more of the strings and manually squeeze the pressure sensitive means. In this manner, the player can maintain his hand in a playing position while effecting changes in volume, tone, reverberation or other special. effects, while playing a piece of music.



   Thus, intermittent interruptions in the actual playing of a piece in order to adjust the guitar  output are eliminated by the apparatus of the present invention.



   More particularly, the present invention may include control means for altering the electrical signal in response to the control signal and further amplifier means may be provided for enhancing the electrical signal through the control means.



   The pressure transducer means may include a pressure transducer for reducing an analog control signal proportional to the pressure exerted on the elongate pressure sensitive means in order to provide more control over, for example, special effects.



  Further, a plurality of pressure sensitive means may be provided and each may include a sealed hollow tube connected to a pressure sensitive transducer.



   In addition, pickup means may include a plurality of pickup coils and the control means may be configured for switching between electrical signals generated by each of the pickup coils in response to the control signal.



   Another embodiment of the present invention includes an audio control system suitable for use with an electric guitar with a system generally including elongate pressure sensitive means for generating a control signal in response to manual squeezing of the pressure sensitive means and control means interconnected between the pressure sensitive means and an audio output device for altering the audio output from the output device in response to the control signal.  



   The pressure sensitive means may be sized for enabling placement thereof on the neck of an electric guitar. More particularly, the control means may be configured for altering the audio output in order to cause a change in at least one of volume, tone, and reverberation. Further, the pressure sensitive means may include a pressure sensitive transducer for producing an analog control signal proportional to pressure exerted on the elongate pressure sensitive means.



   More particularly, the elongate pressure sensitive means may include one or more sealed hollow tubes with a pressure sensitive transducer connected thereto.



   BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The advantages and features of the present invention will be better understood by the following description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
 Figure 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;
 Figure 2 is a perspective view, in part, of a pressure transducer and tubes connected thereto;
 Figure 3 is a functional block diagram of a control system in accordance with the present invention; and
 Figure 4 is a schematic drawing of a control in accordance with the present invention.  



   DETAILED DESCRIPTION
 Turning now to Figure 1, there is generally shown an electric guitar apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention which generally includes a guitar body 12 with a neck 14 attached thereto and extending therefrom. The guitar body 12 may be of any conventional design, such as an acoustic guitar having an acoustic opening 18 as shown, or it may be of solid construction (not shown). Magnetic pickups 22 may be provided proximate a bridge 24 along the guitar body 12, and auxiliary pickups 28 may be disposed proximate a proximal end 30 of the neck 14.



   The mounting of the magnetic pickups 22, 28 and any separate controls there for (not shown) may be in accordance with U.S. Patent No. 4,817,486 which should be totally incorporated herewith, including all drawings and specification as describing a control system which may'be modified or used in part in the present invention.



   The magnetic pickups 22, 28 may be connected to an output jack 34, and an optional volume control 38 and tone control 40 may be disposed on the guitar body for the setting of interim volume and audio formality.



  A set of strings 44 is provided, each having one end 46 thereof attached to the guitar body 12 through a plate 50 and another end 52 attached to the distal end 54 of the neck 14 in a conventional manner, utilizing turn screws 56 for adjusting string tension.



   One or more variable incremental sizes of sixteen-inch pieces of 1/8" clear Tigon flexible plastic tubing 60, 62, to match the length of the neck  14, may be disposed by a silicon adhesive, Velcro, or the like, along the neck 14 in a parallel relationship with the strings 44 and at a position enabling the user (not shown) to simultaneously depress one or more of the strings by manually squeezing the tubing 60, 62. Connected to the tubing 60, 62 are pressure transducers 64, 66 which together with the tubing 60, 62 provide a means for generating a control signal in response to the manual squeezing of the tubing 60, 62.



  It should be appreciated that although lengths of tubing are described in order to illustrate how the present invention may be implemented, other shapes and types of pressure sensitive devices may be utilized in combination with the pressure transducers 64, 66.

 

   As shown in Figure 2, the pressure transducer 64 includes a pressure port 70 and electric outlet lines 72. Suitable pressure transducers 64, 66 are available from Motorola Corporation. The tubes 60, 62 may be interconnected by a manifold 76 to the port 70 or a separate transducer 64, 66 may be coupled to each of the tubes 60, 62 respectively. Preferably, the tubes are filled with a liquid, such as ethylene glycol, so that a squeezing of the tubes 60, 62 causes a pressure increase which is converted by the pressure transducers 64, 66 to a control signal.



   It should also be appreciated that while a
Motorola pressure transducer provides an analog control signal proportional to the pressure exerted on the tubes 60, 62, however, pressure sensitive switches (not shown) may also be utilized to provide an output with, of course, proper modification to the controller 80 (see Figure 3).  



   In general, the controller 80 provides a means for altering the electrical signal from the magnetic pickups 22, 28 in response to the control signal generated by the pressure transducer.



   Turning to Figure 3, there is shown a representative functional block diagram which may be used in combination with the pressure transducers 64, 66 which generally includes a low noise op amp 84, microcontroller 86, analog switches 88, and a 10 ohm to 1,000,000 ohm resistive network 90.



   A schematic diagram of the op amp 84 is shown in
Figure 4. While the microprocessor 86, switches 88 and resistors 90 are shown in conventional block diagram form in Figure 3, with each of the blocks shown being of conventional design, any conventional circuitry well known in the art may be used for modification, or alteration, of the electrical signal produced by the pickups 22, 28.



   The pressure transducer 64 produces an analog signal having a DC voltage which is linearly proportional to the applied pressure on the Tigon tubing 60, 62. This analog signal is then amplified by the low noise op amp 84 and outputted to an analog to the digital converter 92 in the microprocessor 86.



   Once the analog input is converted to a digital value, it is compared to a table of predefined voltage levels resident in memory 96. As an example, when this digital value is less than or equal to a predetermined value in the table, a 16 bit binary pattern 15 "0's" and 1 "1" are outputted to a  peripheral control address in the register 100 of the microcontroller 86.



   The peripheral control address register 100, in turn, sets an appropriate bit high (binary 1) and outputs a logic high (binary 1) to an appropriate input control register 102, 104, 106, 108 where it is thereafter received by one of the four CMOS analog switches 88. This results in the high impedance signal from the magnetic pickups 22, 28 on the guitar body 12 to be gated to one of sixteen resistors attached to the line "out" on the appropriate analog switch 88. This sampling process is repetitive and operates in a continuous cycle, increasing and decreasing a desired volume, tone, reverberation or other special effects.



   It should be appreciated that a great number of special effects are available, and many electronic circuits have been designed for. the control of electric guitars. For instance, an example of a controller circuit is shown in U.S. Patent No.



  5,007,324, which is to be incorporated herewith entirely, including all diagrams, for the purpose of illustrating the state of the art in electronic circuitry suitable for use with a guitar. The output from the resistors 90 may be inputted to a conventional transmitter 114 which sends an appropriate signal to a receiver 116 and thereafter to an audio amplifier 118. Alternatively, the output may be fed directly through a hard-wired line 122 from the control system 80 to the audio amplifier 118. It should also be appreciated that the transmitter 114, receiver 116, and audio amplifier 118 may be of any conventional design.  

 

   Further, while the controller 80 and transmitter 114, as well as the wire 72, are shown exterior to the guitar body 12 in Figure 1, they may be incorporated within the body 12, thereby making an entire electric guitar apparatus 10 an integral unit.



   Although there has been hereinabove described a pressure sensitive volume control and guitar incorporating same in accordance with the present invention, for the purpose of illustrating the manner in which the invention may be used to advantage, it should be appreciated that the invention is not limited thereto. Accordingly, any and all modifications, variations, or equivalent arrangements which may occur to those skilled in the art, should be considered to be within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims. 

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3443018 *10 Jun 19656 May 1969Krebs LeoGuitars or like stringed musical instruments
US3555166 *19 Mar 196812 Jan 1971Robert A GasserGuitar-like electronic musical instrument with plural manuals
US4336734 *9 Jun 198029 Jun 1982Polson Robert DDigital high speed guitar synthesizer
US4570521 *30 Mar 198418 Feb 1986Jeffrey FoxElectronic musical instrument with string-simulating switches
US4580479 *13 Dec 19838 Apr 1986Octave-Plateau Electronics Inc.Guitar controller
US4817486 *31 Dec 19864 Apr 1989Saunders John HControl system with memory for electric guitars
US4867028 *11 Jul 198819 Sep 1989Dynacord Electronic-Und Geratebau Gmbh & Co.Music synthesizer especially portable drum synthesizer
US4905560 *8 Dec 19886 Mar 1990Yamaha CorporationMusical tone control apparatus mounted on a performer's body
US4998457 *22 Dec 198812 Mar 1991Yamaha CorporationHandheld musical tone controller
US5007324 *14 May 198916 Apr 1991Demichele GlennSpecial effects control for portable musical instrument
US5300730 *7 Dec 19925 Apr 1994Ekhaus Ira BDevice for controlling musical effects on a guitar
USRE31019 *25 Jun 198031 Aug 1982 Stringless electronic musical instrument
Classifications
International ClassificationG10H1/46, G10H1/055, G10H3/18, G10H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10H1/0556, G10H2240/211, G10H1/055, G10H3/181, G10H1/0058, G10H1/46
European ClassificationG10H1/055, G10H3/18B, G10H1/46, G10H1/00R2C, G10H1/055P
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