i I i o
US 20140029766Al
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2014/0029766 A1
GEBAUER et al.
(54)
(43) Pub. Date:
EVENT DRIVABLE N X M PROGRAMMABLY
INTERCONNECTING SOUND MIXING
DEVICE AND METHOD FOR UsE THEREOF
Jan. 30, 2014
Publication Classi?cation
(51)
Int- Cl
H04R 3/00
(52) US, Cl,
(76) Inventors: Marc Dana GEBAUER, LaWndale, CA
(2006.01)
(US); Jerry Jeffrey MINNICH,
CPC ...................................... .. H04R 3/00 (2013.01)
Valencia, CA (US); Derek Anthony
USPC ........................................................ .. 381/119
CASARI, Sherman Oaks, CA (U S);
Ronald Lewis EVANS, Sherman Oaks,
CA (US); Timothy Edward LAUBER,
Sylmar, CA (US)
(57)
An event-drivable and programmable matrix that permits
recon?gurable mixing of a ?rst plurality of audio sources into
a second audio outputs Via digital control of analog-only
signal paths is disclosed.
(21) Appl, No.1 13/557,194
(22) Filed:
ABSTRACT
Jul. 24, 2012
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GENERAL PURPOSE
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US 2014/0029766 A1
EVENT DRIVABLE N X M PROGRAMMABLY
INTERCONNECTING SOUND MIXING
DEVICE AND METHOD FOR USE THEREOF
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0001]
1. Field of the Invention
[0002] The present invention relates generally to systems
and methods for mixing audio signals and more speci?cally
to an event-drivable matrix that permits recon?gurable mix
ing N audio sources into M audio outputs via programming.
[0003]
[0004]
2. Description of the Related Art
It is knoWn that audio recordings, including movie
soundtracks are recorded on a plurality of channels and mixed
together post production to produce the ?nal sound track. It is
Jan. 30, 2014
[0010] Typical ADR systems of today are also limited in
What they can accomplish. For example, anADR system may
provide a particular actor With portions or all of the sound
track that is temporally before the point Where the neW dialog
is to be included (ahead), While the dialog is to be included
(in) or after Where the neW dialog is to be included (past). If
the ahead portion of the sound track includes street noise and
ambience, and the neW portion of the sound track does not, the
result Would be that the performer Would hear What could hear
their oWn voice during the “in” portion of the sound track, but
With such substantially different ambience or background
noise so as to startle the performer. While it may be possible
to solve this problem by eliminating ambience and street
noise from all portions of the sound track (ahead, in and past),
this Would deny the performer With ambience information
the soundtrack subsequent to the original shooting. This may
that may contribute to the performance. What is needed is a
system that permits special effects such as ambience to be
included into sound outputs that are provided to the actors and
involve a substitution of voices of the actors shoWn in the
other participants for queuing purposes.
video portion of the media program by different performers
[0011] It is also desirable for the ADR mixer to be able to
communicate the output of the ADR/mixing process to
remotely located persons at or near real time, thus alloWing
also knoWn to perform “dubbing” . . . a process by Which
voices of actors or other audio information may be replaced in
speaking a different language, or the same performers in the
same language, but With altered dialog or replace sub standard
production recorded dialog. This is knoWn as automated dia
someone at a remote location to judge the quality of the ADR
log replacement or additional dialogue recording (ADR).
process or mix.
Music may also be dubbed into the media program after
[0012]
editing is completed.
[0005]
In typical ?lm production, a production sound mixer
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
records dialogue during ?lming.
[0006] Undesirable noise from the recording process (from
equipment, tra?ic, Wind, and the overall ambiance of the
surrounding environment) can cause undesirable sound for
the end product. These problems can be solved With a post
production process in Which a supervising sound editor or
ADR supervisor revieWs all of the dialogue in the ?lm and
decides Which lines Will have to be re-recorded. ADR is also
used to change the original lines recorded on set in order to
clarify context, or to improve the actor’s diction and timing.
[0007]
For animation such as computer-generated imagery
or animated cartoons, dialogue can be recorded in advance or
to a pre-edited version of the shoW. Although the characters’
voices are recorded in a studio, ADR may still necessary if
members of the cast cannot all be present at once, or if dialog
changes are necessary.
[0008] ADR is recorded during an ADR session, Which
takes place in an ADR sound studio. The actor, usually the
original actor from the set, may be shoWn the scene in ques
tion along With the original sound, folloWing Which he or she
attempts to recreate the performance as closely as possible.
Over the course of multiple re-takes the actor may repeatedly
perform the lines While Watching or listening to the scene, and
the most suitable take Will make it to the ?nal version of the
The present invention satis?es these needs.
[0013] To address the requirements described above, the
present invention discloses a sound mixing apparatus and
method for using same. In one embodiment, the apparatus
comprises an event-driven matrix programmably intercon
necting a ?rst plurality of audio sources to a second plurality
of audio outputs according to events. The matrix comprises a
control module, for accepting user input comprising event
controls, signal routing commands, and signal level com
mands and for generating control module commands accord
ing to the event controls and analog signal routing commands,
a plurality of audio modules, each of the plurality of audio
modules communicatively coupled to an associated one or
more of the plurality of audio sources, to the control module,
and to an event generator providing the events, Wherein each
of the plurality of audio modules comprises at least one audio
module ampli?er, non-digitally coupled to the associated one
or more of the plurality of audio sources and digitally con
trolled to provide an analog ampli?er output according to the
event controls, the signal routing commands, the signal level
commands, and the events. The matrix also comprises a mas
ter module, for combining each of the analog outputs accord
ing to the event controls, the signal routing commands, and
the events, the master module communicatively coupled to
the control module and to the event generator providing the
scene.
events, the master module comprising at least one master
[0009] This process is time consuming and involves a lot of
activity that can overload the person operating as the ADR
mixer. And if theADR mixer requires excessive time to set up,
queue, and record the retakes, the performers can lose the
How of the dialog and/or become irritated With the post pro
duction process. Also, all of the individuals and equipment
involved in the ADR process can be expensive, particularly
the actors and producers. What is needed is a system that
module ampli?er, non-digitally coupled to the analog outputs
via an associated one of a plurality of summers and digitally
controlled to provide the second plurality of analog outputs
according to the event controls, the signal routing commands,
the signal level commands, and the events.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
reduces the load on the ADR mixer and alloWs the ADR
[0014]
process to be completed rapidly, yet providing each of the
ence numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:
Referring noW to the draWings in Which like refer
players (the ADR mixer, the performer(s), the sound editor(s)
[0015]
and the producer(s) the information they desire.
sound mixing device;
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of on embodiment ofthe
US 2014/0029766 A1
[0016]
FIG. 2 is a diagram of an exemplary user interface
Jan. 30, 2014
output of the dialog audio module 106 may be provided to an
for the SMD;
effects processor 107, Which generates ambience duplicating
[0017] FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of one embodi
ment of the SMD;
[0018] FIG. 4 is a more detailed vieW of the controls pro
the ambience on the recorded sound track, and that ambience
may be routed as an input as an audio source into the “return”
vided by the SMD;
or patching, if necessary.
[0019] FIG. 5 is a diagram ofone embodiment ofthe SMD
as con?gured for remote control post production; and
[0020] FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating an exemplary pro
plurality audio source(s), selectably apply those the signals
cessing system.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
[0021] In the folloWing description, reference is made to
the accompanying draWings Which form a part hereof, and
Which is shoWn, by Way of illustration, several embodiments
of the present invention. It is understood that other embodi
ments may be utiliZed and structural changes may be made
Without departing from the scope of the present invention.
[0022] FIG. 1 is a block diagram of on embodiment ofthe
sound-mixing device (SMD) 100. The SMD 100 comprises a
control module 104 that provides control module commands
to one or more audio modules 106, a master module 110 and
a communication module 108 via the communications paths
indicated With dashed lines. The control module 104 also
includes user input controls further described beloW.
[0023] Event generator 102 provides events that are fed to
modules 106, 108 and 110 via dotted lines. Although events
may be transmitted to any of the modules 104-110 (for
example, the control module 104) and thereafter to the
remaining modules, sending the events to each of the modules
via independent paths assures that continuous operation of
the SMD 100 even With the failure of one of the other modules
104-110.
[0024] The SMD 100 also includes one or more audio mod
ules 106. The one or more audio modules 106 are coupled to
one or more of a plurality of audio sources 112, each of Which
can have a plurality of channels (e.g. tWo stereo channels or
?ve surround sound channels).
[0025] In the illustrated embodiment, the audio modules
include (1) a DIRECT audio module that carries the signal
from a performer’ s microphone, (2) a MONITOR audio mod
ule that carries the playback of the completed soundtrack
after the ADR process, (3) a DIALOG audio module that
carries the dialog already recorded on the soundtrack before
ADR, but not the music or effects, (4) a MUSIC audio module
that carries the music already recorded on the soundtrack
before ADR but not the effects or dialog, (5) an EFFECTS
audio module that carries sound effects already recorded on
the soundtrack before ADR, but not the dialog or music. The
level of each of these inputs can be controlled by user controls
300. The plurality of audio modules may also include a plu
rality of separate return audio modules and a cueing beep
audio module that carries beeps that cue the performers. Each
audio module. This may be implemented by external routing
[0027]
The audio module(s) 106 accept signals from the
112 to ampli?ers Within the audio modules according to com
mands from the control module 104, the user routing controls
described beloW, and events from the event generator 102,
gain controls (ampli?es or attenuates) the signals according
to the gain selected by the user, and provides the selected and
gain controlled signals to each of the master module 110 for
appropriate mixing.
[0028]
Communications module 108 is also coupled to one
or more of the plurality of audio sources 112 and also pro
vides one or more of the signals from the audio sources to the
master module, according to user inputs.
[0029] Each of the master modules 110 combine the out
puts of each of the audio modules 106 and the communication
module 108 as directed by the control module 104, as further
described beloW.
[0030] FIG. 2 is a diagram of an exemplary user interface
for the SMD 100. The user interface 200 illustrates some
controls used to operate the SMD 100, including controls
related to the control module 104, the plurality of audio
modules 106 (each vertical line of controls re?ects one audio
module such as audio module 106A), the master module 110,
and communication module 108. Reference to these controls
Will be made further beloW With respect to FIG. 3.
[0031] FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram ofone embodi
ment of the SMD 100. The SMD 100 receives event informa
tion from the event generator 102. These events are places
temporally disposed Within the sound track recording Where
it is desired to alter or place neW dialog or other information
into the sound track. The events can be de?ned by time, by
frame, or combination of time and frames. For example, if
20:42 and 5 frames after the beginning of a sound track, it is
desired to change the dialog from “to be or not to be” to
“doobie-doobie-doo,” the event generator may provide an
event at the indicated time. Multiple events corresponding to
other places Where dialog may be changed, added or sub
tracted may also be provided to the SMD 100. In the illus
trated embodiment, events are provided from the event gen
erator 102 to each of the control module 104, one or more
audio modules 106, one or more master modules 110 and the
communication module, via each module’s respective micro
controller 302, 320, 340 and 360. This permits the SMD 100
to operate even if one of the modules 104-110 becomes inop
erative. Alternatively or in addition to this topology, the
events may be provided to one of the modules 104-110 and
thereafter provided to the others via one or more of the busses
illustrated in FIG. 3.
of these audio modules may comprise multiple channels (eg
[0032]
the tWo stereo channels or six 5.1 surround sound channels),
source sWitches or user event controls 308A and 308B and
as required for the audio information conveyed. Hence, each
faders 310, Which may be potentiometers, as Well as data
source communication sWitches 312. The control module
microcontroller 302 generates control module commands
may include dedicated electronics for each channel.
[0026]
The audio sources 112 may include one or more
microphones, pre-recorded material, beeps from the event
The control module 104 has a plurality of data
modules 106 or channels may also be routed to be provided as
according to the state of user controls 308A, 308B, 310, 312,
and 313 and provides them to the bus. The control module
commands are generated in accordance With microcontroller
programming that can be implemented in a memory resident
an input to another audio module 106. For example, the
in the microcontroller 302 or elseWhere in the SMD 100. In
generator 102, and/or one or more analog or digital audio
reproducing devices or analogous. The output from the audio
US 2014/0029766 A1
one embodiment, this programming includes settings stored
in memory accessible to the microcontroller, specifying the
interconnections and positions of the sWitches described
below, thus controlling Which audio sources 112 and/or out
puts 114 are combined With Which other audio sources 112 or
outputs 114 to provide the soundtrack. The programming can
also specify the mapping relationship betWeen potentiometer
sWitch settings and commands to analog components. The
control module commands are provided from the control
module 104 to audio module(s) 106, the master module(s)
110, and the communication module 108. These control mod
Jan. 30, 2014
signal to the audio microcontroller 320 to provide the fader
setting information. The audio microcontroller 320 uses the
fader setting information to determine the setting for the
audio module ampli?er 330 via the MDAC (multiplying digi
tal to analog converter) controllers 326.
[0036] Hence, each of the audio module microcontrollers
320 generates digital audio module MDAC controller gain
commands and digital audio module MDAC routing or
sWitching commands from (1) the control module commands
from the control module microcontroller 302 (2) the user
ule commands command those modules to interconnect indi
cated audio sources 112 to the desired ampli?ers Within the
other of the modules as described further beloW.
[0033] The control module 104 also includes an optional
event controls 308A, (3) the digital user audio module gain
commands from the A/D converter 324, (5) events from the
event generator 102 and (6) programming from the bus and
table 322. For example, the table 322 may implement a loga
rithmic function used to map digital commands to ampli?er
display 306, Which may indicate the gain (for example in dB)
330 potentiometer settings.
of any audio channel in the system via the setting of any of the
potentiometers or faders. For example, in one embodiment,
When the user adjusts the gain of any fader or potentiometer in
either the audio module 112, the master module 110, or the
control module 104, the microcontroller associated With that
module transmits information back to the control microcon
troller 302 indicating the setting of the fader, and that infor
mation is presented on the display 306. The display may also
comprise an light emitting diode (LED) or cathode ray tube
[0037]
When assembling a sound track, audio quality is of
utmost importance. For that reason, the SMD 100 uses inter
connected microcontrollers to control the action of analog
components in the signal path, but the signal itself is not
digitiZed or manipulated in digital form. The reprogrammable
microcontroller digital control provides the ?exibility to
recon?gure the SMD 100 in a multitude of Ways, While the
analog signal path provides signal integrity and prevents
quantization, aliasing, time shifting and phasing distortions in
(CRT) display that presents a graphical representation of
the signal itself. In this sense, the SMD 100 is essentially a
Which audio sources 112 are coupled together to form each of
hybrid device having an analog signal path, With analog com
ponents being digitally controlled by the microcontrollers to
permit ?exibility. To implement this, each of the audio mod
the communications module 108 routing outputs using cur
rent communication microcontroller 360 programming and
table 362 settings, as Well as the settings of and related tables
of other microcontrollers 320, 340 and 360 in the system. This
can be accomplished because the control module 104 has
ules 106 comprise one or more audio module MDAC control
ler 326 (one for each channel provided by the audio module),
access to the resources of the communication module 108,
coupled to the audio module microcontroller 320. Each of the
MDAC controllers 326 accepts the digital audio module
and can therefore obtain the required information and receiv
ing user input from other devices such as a mouse and key
board shoWn in the communication module 108.
[0034] The audio modules 106 each include a audio module
MDAC controller gain commands and digital audio module
MDAC routing or sWitching commands from the associated
audio module microcontroller 320, and translates these com
mands into analog audio module sWitching commands and
microcontroller 320 that is communicatively coupled to the
analog audio module gain commands. The analog module
control microcontroller 104 via a bus such as an I2C bus to
gain commands are provided to an audio module ampli?er
330 to command an ampli?er gain or attenuation, While the
sWitching or routing commands are provided to an audio
receive control module commands responsive to user input
provided by input devices 308-313 and to receive events from
the event generator 102. The audio module microcontroller
320 is also communicatively coupled to user event controls
such as data source sWitches 308A. In the illustrated embodi
ment, these sWitches 308A are coupled to the audio module
microcontroller 320 directly through the bus and not via the
control module microcontroller 302. This design improves
the responsiveness of the system 100, as sWitching com
mands are more quickly received and responded to. In one
embodiment, three AIP sWitches 308 are provided: an
“ahead” sWitch, an “in” sWitch and a “past” sWitch. Selection
of the “ahead” sWitch commands the audio module micro
controller 320 to present the audio source 112 coupled to the
audio module 106 before an event from the event generator
102 occurs, While selection of the “in” and “after” sWitch
commands the audio module microcontroller to present the
audio source 112 coupled to the audio module 106 during and
module sWitch 328, Which selectably couples the audio
source 112 With the ampli?er 330 input.
[0038] As described above, there are a plurality of audio
modules 108, and these plurality of audio modules may
include a DIRECT, MONITOR, DIALOG, MUSIC, AND
EFFECT module, as Well as three RETURN modules, and a
BEEP module. One or more of these modules may comprise
a plurality of channels and hence, a plurality of MDACs 326,
sWitches 328, ampli?ers 330, one for each channel. For
example, the music audio module 106 may comprise 6 inde
pendent channels for 5.1 channel surround sound. The micro
controller 320 handles each channel independently, appropri
ately sWitching the appropriate channels of the audio sources
to be ampli?ed by ampli?ers 332 and provided as outputs.
[0039] As described above, output(s) of selected audio
module(s) 106 may be provided as an audio source to another
after the event, respectively.
audio module 106, optionally after processing by an external
[0035] Audio source faders 310 are also coupled to the
audio microcontroller 320 via A/D converters 324. The A/D
processor such as effects processor 107 shoWn in FIG. 1.
[0040] The communication module 108 comprises a com
converters 324 digitiZe the voltage presented on the potenti
ometers used in these faders 310, thus translating audio mod
ule gain commands into digital user audio module gain com
mands. The A/D converters 324 then provide this digital
munication module microcontroller 360 that is communica
tively coupled to the control module microcontroller 302 to
receive control module 103 commands and to the event gen
erator 102 to receive events. It is also communicatively
US 2014/0029766 A1
coupled to the communication control(s) 312, and generates
digital communication routing commands from the user com
munication commands from the communication controls
312, the control module commands, events from the event
Jan. 30, 2014
each communicatively coupled to one of the audio module
ampli?er outputs 332 associated With the channel. The sum
mer 352 generates a sum of the signals coming from the
associated audio module 106, and since Whether there is a
source sWitches 364 reside at user stations (e.g. producer,
signal appearing at the output of each module’s ampli?er is
controlled by the sWitching or routing commands provided by
control room, stage, editor, client) and typically provide an
the MDAC from control module commands and events as
generator 102, and the programmable routing table 362. Data
audio source 112 such as a talkback microphone and are
interpreted by each module’s microprocessor, it is possible
co-located With output devices to reproduce output 380. The
digital communication routing commands are provided to a
plurality of sWitches 368, each coupled to at least one of the
for the output of each master module ampli?er 350 to be a
audio sources 112. The state of the sWitches 368 determines
Whether the signal from the audio source 112 is provided to
the communications module ampli?er 370 input. The output
372 of the communications module ampli?er can be provided
to an alternate output 380 such as a remotely disposed station.
This alloWs communication or transmission of the audio
source (Which may include one or more of the plurality of
selectable and controllable combination of any proportion of
any of the audio sources 112, and via return paths, a processed
and gain controlled version of the output of any of the audio
modules 106.
[0044] FIG. 4 is a more detailed vieW of the controls pro
vided by the SMD 100. Each of the user audio source faders
310 controls the amount of a particular audio source that is
provided to the associated output channel 114. For example,
fader 3 1 0 controls the amount of the output on the direct audio
outputs 144 discussed beloW With a remotely disposed direc
source 112A (Which may be repurposed by the user) that is
tor or supervisor).
provided to foldback output 114. Further, audio source faders
[0041] The SMD 100 also comprises a master module 110.
The master module 110 may comprise an A/ D converter 344
puts (A-F). Accordingly, the relative gain of the output from
for translating user master module gain commands into digi
tal user master module gain commands. The master module
110 may also comprise a master module microcontroller 340
communicatively coupled to the user event controls 308 to
receive user commands relative to the events, to the A/D
converter 344 to receive the digital user master module gain
commands, and to the control microcontroller to accept the
control module commands and programming. The master
module microcontroller 340 generates digital master module
MDAC controller gain commands and master module MDAC
routing or sWitching commands for each output path 114
{including Foldbackl (left and right), Foldback2 (left and
right), Editor (left and right), Actor (left and right), Stage (left,
center, right), Control room (left, center, right, left surround,
right surround and loW frequency), and Effects}, from the
control module commands, events from the event generator
102, the user event controls 308, the digital user master mod
ule gain commands from the A/D 344, and the programming
according to a programmable master module log table 342.
[0042]
The master module MDAC controller 346 is com
municatively coupled to the master module microcontroller,
accepts the digital master module MDAC controller gain
310B controls the gain of audio source 112A across all out
each of the audio sources 1-9 across all outputs (A-F) can be
controlled, as Well as the contribution from each audio source
1-9 to each output channel A-F.
The use of audio source faders 310B to control the overall
gain of the DIRECT, MONITOR, DIALOG, MUSIC AND
EFFECT modules provides the ability for a third party to
exercise creative control over the mix of the soundtrack With
out requiring that the third party be trained in operation of the
SMD 100. For example, While the ADR mixer may be famil
iar With the operation of the detailed audio and mixing con
trols shoWn, but the producer of the movie associated With the
sound track may not. The use of audio source faders 310B
operating on the audio signals fed into these modules as
described above alloW the producer to exercise creative con
trol over the relative volumes of the dialog, music and effects
in real time, Whether While sitting at the SMD 100 With the
ADR mixer or at a remote location like a theater as described
further beloW. For example, the producer may be listening to
the output of the MONITOR audio module, and determine
that the sound effects associated With a depicted automobile
crash are not loud enough. The director can ameliorate this
problem by simply manipulating the related audio source
commands from the master module microcontroller 340,
accepts the master module routing or sWitching commands
fader 310B. The director could also increase the gain in the
from the master module microcontroller 340 translates the
digital master module MDAC routing or sWitching com
over the effects. Importantly, these adjustments may be made
independently of the other potentiometers or faders 310A,
Which may remain in the control of the ADR mixer.
[0045] Further, any of audio sources 1-9 may be returned
mands into analog master module sWitching commands, and
translates the digital master module MDAC controller gain
commands into analog master module gain commands for
each of a plurality of master module ampli?ers 350. The
master module comprises at least one master module ampli
?er 350 and associated sWitch 348 for each channel of output
dialog channel, should they believe that dialog must be heard
(i.e. after optional processing such as digital sampling and
manipulation) through audio sources 6-8 (Retl-3) and
thereby provided to outputs A-F With variable gain as Well.
Using these settings (as programmed into the microproces
from the master module 114 (including, for example (Fold
sors and their associated tables, any output from any of the
backl(L/R), Foldback2(L/R), Editor(L/R), Actor(L/R),
audio sources 112 can be provided in any combination to the
Stage(L/C/R), Control Room(L/C/R/LS/RS/Lfe). Each mas
ter module audio ampli?er 350 has a gain control input for
receiving the analog master module gain commands, a master
module analog ampli?er signal input and a master module
analog output, Which is coupled to one of the audio output
editor, actor, stage, or control room. Further, by using the
events triggering microprocessor commands to the sWitches
acting as inputs to the module ampli?ers 332, information can
be provided to the appropriate output (eg the actor’s head
phones via output D) before the event (so the actor hears What
114.
[0043] Finally, each channel of the master module com
prises a summer 352 having a plurality of summer inputs,
tion is to be inserted) by user selection of the “ahead” sWitch
308AA, What is on audio source 2 during the event by user
is on audio source 2 before the event Where the neW informa
US 2014/0029766 A1
selection of the “in” switch 308AB, and/or What is on audio
source 2 after the event by user selection of the “past” sWitch
308AC. As is shoWn in FIG. 2, but not reproduced in FIG. 4,
each of the audio module(s) 106 include an ahead, in and past
sWitch.
[0046]
FIG. 4 also shoWs that the user sWitch control set
Jan. 30, 2014
effects channels (eg the relative gain of each audio source)
can be remotely controlled by the user 504 using the remote
device 506 by programming the SMD 100 to transmit the
setting of the sliders 310B, to accept changes in those settings,
and to transmit the changed settings back to the SMD 100.
The SMD may then make the changes to the mix (altering the
tings may be tied to particular modes, Which may include a
rehearsal mode, a record mode, and a playback mode. In other
comparative gain of the dialog, music and effects content)
using microcontroller 302) and provide the soundtrack With
Words, the setting of sWitches 308 (only those associated With
the changes to the user 504 in the theater 502. This may also
Foldbackl A output are illustrated, but as shoWn in FIG. 2,
be implemented by Wired connection as Well.
these sWitches are repeated for the other outputs B-F) may
[0049] In one embodiment, the user interface 200 of the
SMD 100 is modularly constructed of the same form factor
(physical dimensions and interfaces) as standard ADR mix
have an on or off state for each of the multiple modes, and
selecting mode buttons 402 may control Which user sWitches
are activated. For example, the user may select “ahead,” “in,”
and “past,” for playback, but only “ahead” and “in” via
sWitches 308AA-308AC for rehearsal. Selecting the play
back button 402C before setting sWitches 308AA-308AC Will
alloW the microprocessors to store those settings for the play
back mode, While selecting the rehearsal button 402A before
setting sWitches 308AA-308AC Will alloW the microproces
sors to store those settings for the rehearsal mode. The user
can then go to each mode’s sWitch settings for all of the
ing components and using an I2C bus (eg the busses illus
trated in FIG. 3) for communications betWeen elements. This
permits the modular incorporation of the elements described
above into a standard sound mixing system. Further, since the
foregoing permits the mixing of a plurality of channels
together to form other channels, the SMD could be used to
mix signals in for non-ADR purposes, such as Would be
useful in small scale sound studios.
sWitches 308 by simply pressing the rehears or playback
HardWare Processor Environment
buttons 402A and 402C. Transport controls 404, Which may
be managed by the event generator 102, move the soundtrack
[0050] FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating an exemplary pro
cessing system 600, elements of Which could be used to
as recorded forward or back in time, so that already recorded
selections can be played back. Sampler 406 can sample any of
the audio sources 1-9 or outputs and provide the sampled
implement elements of the present invention, including the
audio output for digital processing. That digitally processed
event generator and microcontrollers 300, 320, 340 and 360
and remote device 606. A computer 602 comprises a general
purpose hardWare processor 604A and/or a special purpose
output can be provided as one of the audio sources (for
hardWare processor 604B (hereinafter alternatively collec
example, return paths 1-3) to Effects output G, Foldbackl
Output A, or Foldback2 Output B. This feature can be used to
recreate the add ambience to one of the outputs (for instance,
actors output D) so that the actor hears ambience similar to
tively referred to as processor 604) and a memory 606, such as
random access memory (RAM). The computer 602 may be
coupled to other devices, including input/output (I/O) devices
such as a keyboard 614, a mouse device 616 and a printer 628.
that of the already recorded soundtrack before, during or after
the actor provides the neW dialog. Digital sampling and re
insertion of the digitally sampled signals can be used in other
[0051] In one embodiment, the computer 602 operates by
the general purpose processor 604A performing instructions
contexts as Well.
Communications controls 312 may include a sWitch
operating system 608. The computer program 610 and/or the
operating system 608 may be stored in the memory 606 and
for forWarding one or more of the audio sources 112 to an
may interface With the user and/or other devices to accept
alternate output destination 380 such as a client (e.g. remote
client), and/or the feedback 1 or feedback 2 paths, one or more
of selected actors, or the entire stage.
[0048] FIG. 5 presents an embodiment in Which the SMD
input and commands and, based on such input and commands
and the instructions de?ned by the computer program 61 0 and
operating system 608 to provide output and results.
[0052] Output/results may be presented on the display 622
100 is con?gured to alloW remotely controlled post produc
or provided to another device for presentation or further pro
cessing or action. In one embodiment, the display 622 com
[0047]
tion mixing of the soundtrack in theater environments. This
alloWs the user 504 (Who may be a producer With little
soundtrack production experience) to station themselves in a
movie theater 502 or other environment that mimics the
acoustics and sound system of a typical or exemplary cus
tomer premises such as a home or movie theater, and remotely
adjust soundtrack parameters While listening to the
soundtrack in that environment using a tablet computer,
smartphone or similar remote device 506. In this embodi
ment, the remote device 506 is programmed to present some
or all of the controls depicted in FIG. 2 to the user 504 and
alloW the user 504 to control the post production sound mix
using the capability of the remote device 506 to display infor
mation and accept user input. For example, if the audio
sources include the monitor, dialog, music, and effects on the
soundtrack as described above, the monitor output can be
provided to Stage E output, ampli?ed and presented in the
theater on a multi-channel surround sound system. The extent
to Which that monitor output comprises the dialog, music, and
de?ned by the computer program 610 under control of an
prises a liquid crystal display (LCD) having a plurality of
separately addressable pixels formed by liquid crystals. Each
pixel of the display 622 changes to an opaque or translucent
state to form a part of the image on the display in response to
the data or information generated by the processor 604 from
the application of the instructions of the computer program
610 and/or operating system 608 to the input and commands.
Other display 622 types also include picture elements that
change state in order to create the image presented on the
display 622. The image may be provided through a graphical
user interface (GUI) module 618A. Although the GUI module
618A is depicted as a separate module, the instructions per
forming the GUI functions can be resident or distributed in
the operating system 608, the computer program 610, or
implemented With special purpose memory and processors.
[0053] Some or all of the operations performed by the com
puter 602 according to the computer program 610 instruc
tions may be implemented in a special purpose processor
US 2014/0029766 A1
604B. In this embodiment, some or all of the computer pro
gram 610 instructions may be implemented via ?rmware
instructions stored in a read only memory (ROM), a pro gram
mable read only memory (PROM) or ?ash memory Within the
special purpose processor 604B or in memory 606. The spe
cial purpose processor 604B may also be hardWired through
circuit design to perform some or all of the operations to
Jan. 30, 2014
presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is
not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the
precise form disclosed. Many modi?cations and variations
are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that
the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed
description, but rather by the claims appended hereto. The
above speci?cation, examples and data provide a complete
implement the present invention. Further, the special purpose
description of the manufacture and use of the composition of
processor 604B may be a hybrid processor, Which includes
the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can
dedicated circuitry for performing a subset of functions, and
be made Without departing from the spirit and scope of the
invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter
other circuits for performing more general functions such as
responding to computer program instructions. In one embodi
ment, the special purpose processor is an application speci?c
integrated circuit (ASIC).
[0054]
The computer 602 may also implement a compiler
612 Which alloWs an application program 610 Written in a
appended.
What is claimed is:
1. An event-driven sound mixing apparatus pro grammably
interconnecting a ?rst plurality of audio sources to a second
plurality of audio outputs according to events, comprising:
programming language such as COBOL, C++, FORTRAN,
a control module, for accepting user input comprising
or other language to be translated into processor 604 readable
event controls, signal routing commands, and signal
code. After completion, the application or computer program
610 accesses and manipulates data accepted from I/O devices
and stored in the memory 606 of the computer 602 using the
mands according to the event controls and analog signal
relationships and logic that Was generated using the compiler
612.
[0055]
The computer 602 also optionally comprises an
external communication device such as a modem, satellite
link, Ethernet card, or other device for accepting input from
and providing output to other computers.
[0056] In one embodiment, instructions implementing the
operating system 608, the computer program 610, and/or the
compiler 612 are tangibly embodied in a computer-readable
medium, e.g., data storage device 620, Which could include
one or more ?xed or removable data storage devices, such as
a Zip drive, ?oppy disc drive 624, hard drive, CD-ROM drive,
tape drive, or a ?ash drive. Further, the operating system 608
and the computer program 610 are comprised of computer
program instructions Which, When accessed, read and
executed by the computer 602, causes the computer 602 to
perform the steps necessary to implement and/ or use the
present invention or to load the program of instructions into a
memory, thus creating a special purpose data structure caus
ing the computer to operate as a specially programmed com
puter executing the method steps described herein. Computer
program 610 and/or operating instructions may also be tan
gibly embodied in memory 606 and/ or data communications
devices 630, thereby making a computer program product or
article of manufacture according to the invention. As such, the
terms “article of manufacture,” “program storage device” and
“computer program product” or “computer readable storage
device” as used herein are intended to encompass a computer
program accessible from any computer readable device or
media.
[0057]
Of course, those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that
any combination of the above components, or any number of
different components, peripherals, and other devices, may be
used With the computer 602.
[0058]
Although the term “computer” is referred to herein,
it is understood that the computer may include any device
With suitable processing, communication, and input/ output
capability.
level commands and for generating control module com
routing commands;
a plurality of audio modules, each of the plurality of audio
modules communicatively coupled to an associated one
or more of the plurality of audio sources, to the control
module, and to an event generator providing the events,
each of the plurality of audio modules comprising:
at least one audio module ampli?er, non-digitally
coupled to the associated one or more of the plurality
of audio sources and digitally controlled to provide an
analog ampli?er output according to the event con
trols, the signal routing commands, the signal level
commands, and the events;
master module, for combining each of the analog outputs
according to the event controls, the signal routing com
mands, and the events, the master module communica
tively coupled to the control module and to the event
generator providing the events, comprising:
at least one master module ampli?er, non-digitally
coupled to the analog outputs via an associated one of
a plurality of summers and digitally controlled to
provide the second plurality of analog outputs accord
ing to the event controls, the signal routing com
mands, the signal level commands, and the events.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the event controls,
signal routing commands control input to each of the audio
module ampli?ers.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the signal level com
mands control gain of each of the audio module ampli?ers;
4. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the signal level com
mands are analog signal level commands and Wherein each of
the one or more audio modules comprises:
an A/D converter, for translating the analog signal level
commands into digital audio module gain commands;
an audio module microcontroller, communicatively
coupled to the event controls, to the A/D converter to
receive the digital user master module gain commands,
to the control microprocessor to accept the control mod
ule commands, to the event generator to accept the
events, and to each of the one or more audio module
CONCLUSION
ampli?ers, the analog module microcontroller for gen
erating digital audio module controller gain commands
from the digital audio module gain commands and for
[0059] This concludes the description of the preferred
embodiments of the present invention. The foregoing descrip
generating digital audio module routing commands
tion of the preferred embodiment of the invention has been
from the control module commands and the events;
US 2014/0029766 A1
Jan. 30, 2014
an audio ampli?er controller, communicatively coupled to
the audio module microcontroller, for accepting the
digital audio module gain commands from the audio
module microcontroller and generating analog audio
module gain commands therefrom, for accepting the
digital audio module routing commands from audio
module microcontroller and generating analog audio
module sWitching commands therefrom;
to the control microprocessor to accept the control mod
ule commands, to the event generator to accept the
Wherein each of the audio module ampli?ers comprises a
a master ampli?er controller, communicatively coupled to
the master module microcontroller, for accepting the
digital master module gain commands from the master
module microcontroller and generating analog master
module gain commands therefrom, for accepting the
digital master module routing commands from master
module microcontroller and generating analog master
gain control input for receiving the analog audio module
gain commands, an audio module ampli?er signal input
and an audio module ampli?er output; and
at least one audio module sWitch for each of the plurality of
audio sources, each audio module sWitch for selectably
coupling the analog input signal to at least one of the
audio sources according to the analog audio module
sWitching command;
5. The apparatus of claim 4, Wherein the audio module
microcontroller generates digital audio module controller
gain commands from the analog audio module gain com
mands and for generating digital audio module routing com
mands from the control module commands and the events
according to a communicatively coupled audio module log
table.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, Wherein each of the one or
more audio modules comprises a dedicated audio module
ampli?er for each channel of the audio source associated With
the audio module.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the plurality of audio
modules includes at least one return module for returning at
least one of the audio module audio outputs as one of the
plurality of audio sources.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, Wherein the one or more audio
modules comprises:
a direct audio module, for receiving a microphone input;
a monitor audio module, for receiving a recorded
soundtrack having dialog, music and effect content
a dialog audio module, for receiving the dialog content of
the soundtrack;
a music audio module for receiving the music content of
the soundtrack; and
an effects audio module for receiving the effect content of
the soundtrack.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the event controls,
signal routing commands control input to each of the master
module ampli?ers.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the signal level
commands control gain of each of the master module ampli
?ers.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein the signal level
commands are analog and the master module comprises:
an A/D converter, for translating the analog signal level
commands into digital master module gain commands;
a master module microcontroller, communicatively
coupled to the event controls, to the A/D converter to
receive the digital user master module gain commands,
events, and to each of the one or more master module
ampli?ers, the analog module microcontroller for gen
erating digital master module controller gain commands
from the digital master module gain commands and for
generating digital master module routing commands
from the control module commands and the events;
module sWitching commands therefrom;
Wherein each of the master module ampli?ers comprises a
gain control input for receiving the analog master mod
ule gain commands, an master module ampli?er signal
input and an master module ampli?er output; and
at least one master module sWitch for each of the plurality
of master sources, each master module sWitch for select
ably coupling the analog input signal to at least one of
the master sources according to the analog master mod
ule sWitching command.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, Wherein the master module
microcontroller generates digital master module controller
gain commands from the analog master module gain com
mands and generates digital module routing commands from
the control module commands and the events according to a
communicatively coupled master module log table.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, Wherein at least one of the
plurality of audio modules comprises a plurality of audio
ampli?ers, each one of the plurality of audio ampli?ers being
dedicated to one channel of the audio source communica
tively coupled to the at least one of the plurality of audio
modules.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, Wherein to master module
comprises a summer for each channel of the audio source.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a communication module, communicatively coupled to
one or more of the plurality of audio sources, to the
control module, to the master module, and to the event
generator, the communications module for accepting
control module commands and the events and generat
ing digital routing commands and a communications
module audio output therefrom;
16. The apparatus of claim 15, Wherein the master module
comprises a second summer having a ?rst input communica
tively coupled to the master module ampli?er and a second
input communicatively coupled to the communications mod
ule audio output.
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