Music Control

For the electronic music industry, NRI has developed a number of next-generation technologies relating to the generation and processing of control signals (such as MIDI or analog control voltages) which can be used to control other devices involved in the synthesis or processing of electronic or digital music signals. More broadly, such control signals can be used for the real-time control of signal processors, synthesizers, musical instruments, MIDI processors, lighting, video, and special effects in performance, recording, and composition environments.

1. Real-Time Derivation of Control Signals from Audio Signal Overtone Measurements

With this NRI technology, control signals (such as MIDI or analog control voltages) that can be used to control other devices involved in the synthesis or processing of electronic or digital music signals are derived from the time-varying amplitudes (and pitches) of an incoming audio signal’s overtone series. The NRI technology may be used to enhance audio-to-MIDI converters, or as an add-on to a traditional fundamental-pitch based audio-to-MIDI converters, giving musicians and vocalists valuable new levels of timbre control over audio synthesis and signal processing.

2. Sophisticated Real-Time Derivation, Processing, and Generation of Control Signals from Measured Audio Signal Amplitude Envelopes

Although not listed in the patent assets below, additionally see NRI’s pending 11/040,163 in the Music Signal Processing area which internally includes sophisticated control signal derivation and generation from processing the overall envelope of a presented audio signal for example provided from a string instrument, wind instrument, percussive instrument, human voice, etc. In an implementation without audio signal processing, the derived, processed, and generated control signals can be provided as outputs (for example in the form of MIDI or analog control voltages) which can be used to control other devices involved in the synthesis or processing of electronic or digital music signals.

3. Real-Time Processing and Generation of Control Signals for Real-Time Control of Music Signal Processing, Mixing, Video, and Lighting

This NRI technology provides rich real-time processing and generating of control signals (such as MIDI or analog control voltages) that can be used to control other devices involved in the synthesis or processing of electronic or digital music signals. The NRI technology provides for the processing of control signal values such as addition, multiplication, mirroring, offset, etc., individually or in combination with one another. The NRI technology further provides for the conversion of one type of control signal to another type of control signal, for example conversion of MIDI “note-on message” parameters such as note number and velocity into MIDI “continuous controller messages” etc. Additionally, the NRI technology provides for use of incoming control signals to control events and parameters of low-frequency oscillators and transient generators which in turn generate entirely new outgoing control signals.

4. Low Frequency Oscillator Providing Phase-Staggered Multi-Channel MIDI-Output Control-Signals

This NRI technology provides controlled and parameterized generation of time-varying control signals useful in creating spatial perturbation, chase effects, new forms of rich musical timbre modulation, spatially-distributed timbre constructions, and other types of sonic animation. Phase staggered multi-channel MIDI-format control signals are created using low frequency oscillators and algebraic phase shifting elements. Control signal waveshapers may be included in the control signal synthesis chain. Frequency, phase, amplitude, and waveform parameters can be made adjustable, with values that may be recalled from stored program control and/or modulated in real-time by incoming MIDI control signals.

5. Real-Time Floor Controller for Control of Music, Signal Processing, Mixing, Video, Lighting, and Other Systems

NRI has developed advanced-feature floor controllers issuing MIDI, analog, or other control signals for the real-time control of signal processors, synthesizers, musical instruments, MIDI processors, lighting, video, and special effects in performance, recording, and composition environments. Various combinations of physical controllers may be utilized (including foot switches, rocking foot pedals, touch-pads, touchscreens, pressure sensor arrays, etc.), as well as visual displays and internal control processing. Each physical controller may include a separate visual display of assigned name, status, and/or value. Continuous-Variation physical controllers such as “rocking” foot pedals can be configured to simultaneously control multiple parameters by inclusion of additional sensors. Each physical controller may be assigned specific control message functions, values, names, temporal event sequences, and invocation rules dictated by assignable state-machines. Assignments may be selected from organized structures via the physical controller elements. Physical controllers and assignments may be organized in hierarchical or other relationships rich in geometric metaphors useful for human operation. The control system accommodates MIDI and non-MIDI control signal implementations. Additionally, NRI has developed practical approaches and technologies for field-customized floor controllers built from inexpensive modular elements.

Issued Patents

TitlePatent NumberApplication NumberPriority DatesPDFText OnlyRelated Patents
Derivation of Control Signals from Real-Time Overtone Measurements7,960,64010/676,92605/15/1999PDFText Music Control
Processing and Generation of Control Signals for Real-Time Control of Music Signal Processing, Mixing, Video, and Lighting7,786,37009/812,40005/15/1999PDFText Music Control
Low Frequency Oscillator Providing Phase-Staggered Multi-Channel MIDI-Output Control-Signals7,638,70411/299,23305/15/1999PDFText Music Control
Modular Structures Facilitating Field-Customized Floor Controllers7,608,77610/737,04212/15/2003PDFText Music Control
Real Time Floor Controller For Control Of Music, Signal Processing, Mixing, Video, Lighting, And Other Systems6,689,94709/812,35705/15/1999PDFText Music Control




Pending Patents

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Pending Unpublished Applications

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