Virtual phonograph
US008369974B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Daisy
(54)
(45) Date of Patent:
VIRTUAL PHONOGRAPH
2007/0227337 A1 *
2008/0148922
(76)
Inventor,
(*)
Notice:
Kyran Daisy Laurelton NY (Us)
_
_
_
_
A1*
2008/0165141 A1 *
_
Feb. 5, 2013
10/2007 Yoshikawa et al. ........... .. 84/602
6/2008
Morra
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . ..
84/600
7/2008 Christie ...................... .. 345/173
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended Or adjusted under 35
Help File for Ots CD Scratch 1200, ver. 1.00.032 (Jul. 15, 2004)
U'S'C' 154(1)) by 588 days'
(retrieved online Mar. 27, 2012) (17 pages).*
“Ots CD Scratch 1200 Quick Start Manual,” Ots Corporation 1996
(21) Appl. N0.: 12/582,436
2°08 (17 Pages)‘
*
(22)
Filed:
(65)
Pnor Pubhcatlon Data
US 2010/0318204 A1
Dec. 16, 2010
0a. 20, 2009
,
.
e a 6
.
“ted by exammer
,
,
Primary Examiner * Walter F Briney, Ill
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm * Wilmer Cutler Pickering
Hale and Dorr LLP
(57)
RltdU.S.A
(60)
US 8,369,974 B2
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ABSTRACT
.
A computer-based method and system to play back an audio
Provisional application NO. 61/268,858, ?led on Jun.
?le, and to display and animate aVii'tual phonograph turntable
16, 2009-
on a touch-screen similar to the movement of a record and
stylus in a conventional physical turntable. A user may
(51) Int- Cl-
manipulate and control playback of the audio ?le by using the
G06F 17/00
(52)
(58)
(2006-01)
US. Cl. ........................................ .. 700/94; 715/716
Field of Classi?cation Search ................... .. 700/94
See application ?le for complete search history.
touchscreen to touch, move and drag the virtual record or
stylus on the screen, The audio ?le playback is modi?ed in
accordance With the user’s input, resulting in playback that is
similar to What Would occur if corresponding touching and
movement Were performed on a conventional turntable. The
(56)
References Cited
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
7,006,642 B1*
2004/0024478 A1*
110
2/2006
system may playback and mix from multiple sources under
user control, Which may be saved, recorded or exported for
future use_
Kumai ........................ .. 381/119
2/2004 Hans et al. .................... .. 700/94
20 Claims, 11 Drawing Sheets
US. Patent
Feb. 5, 2013
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2
VIRTUAL PHONOGRAPH
turntable. The computer-displayed audio playback system
preferably is a computer display of a record on a turntable, but
other types of moving audio playback systems may be dis
This application claims priority from Us. Provisional
Patent Application No. 61/268,858, ?led Jun. 16, 2009, the
content of Which is hereby incorporated in its entirety.
played such as a CD/DVR, a cassette tape, a reel-to-reel tape,
etc. Some functions or effects described herein may physi
cally correspond only to a record on a turntable (e.g., a
scratching effect), but may be implemented on a display
screen using a display of any type of moving audio playback
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
system.
1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates to computer-based audio and music
In accord With an embodiment of the invention, computer
players.
readable audio ?les are stored on a computer or other storage
2. Description of Related Art
device. When a user-selected computer-readable audio ?le is
Computer-based audio and music players (“audio” and
played using audio-playing softWare, a virtual record and
“music” are hereafter used interchangeably) have in many
instances superseded traditional devices, such as phono
stylus are displayed on a touchscreen and animated and
moved in a manner similar to hoW a physical record and stylus
graphs, tape players, and even compact disc (CD) players.
Would move on a conventional turntable if the sound Was
The ability to store music in a computer-readable format, e.g.,
digital ?le formats such as .mp3, .aud, .Wav, etc., and then
play that music using a computer-based device has many
advantages over traditional playback devices. Those advan
playback of the audio may then be controlled or manipulated
by touching the virtual record or stylus on the touchscreen
recorded on a physical record rather than an audio ?le. The
20
and, by moving the user’s ?nger (or other object touching the
25
screen) along the screen, dragging the touched object to a
desired position on the screen. The position of the object is
displayed on the screen in accordance With hoW it is moved by
the user. Concurrently, the playback of the audio ?le is
adjusted or moved to a different point in the ?le in accordance
tages include the folloWing: making optional the need to
purchase and use separate playback equipment (e.g., CD
players, phonographs, etc.), making optional the need to have
separate audio recordings With you to play them (e. g., CDs),
making optional the need to load a desired audio recording
onto the specialiZed recording equipment, quicker access to
the computer-stored audio ?les, random access to those ?les,
the ability to organiZe those ?les as desired (e.g., desired song
to hoW the record or stylus is moved. When the user ceases
touching the object, playback continues forWard normally
from that point. Accordingly, the user may control the playing
of the audio in a similar manner as touching the record or
order as opposed to ?xed song order on a CD), the ability to
modify those ?les as desired by digital editing of the music
30
and/ or ?le, and the ability to store large amounts of music on
a computer device, depending on memory capacity. Current
technology alloWs thousands of songs to be stored on play
With the pressure the user exerts against the touchscreen.
Systems of the invention may read, play and mix audio
back devices that are about the siZe of a credit card.
Playback is not limited to specialiZed computer devices.
Audio may be stored, played, created and edited on general
purpose computers, and computer application programs may
35
from multiple internal and external sources, and has touch
screen controls for playing and mixing of those multiple
sources as desired by the user. It may also store user-created
mixes and music in audio ?les, Which may be exported and/or
be designed for speci?c audio-related tasks. In the case of a
portable computer, music may be played back Wherever
desired. Indeed, today, many music professionals and enthu
siasts use portable computers and computeriZed devices.
moving the stylus of a conventional turntable system. In
embodiments having a pressure-detecting touchscreen, the
movement of the virtual record may be adjusted in correlation
used in other units or audio playback devices, or may save
40
them to other audio media. The system may have input
devices in addition to a touch screen for controlling system
operation and audio playback. The system may further con
HoWever, one area that continues to use traditional play
back equipment is disc-j ockeying. Many disc jockeys (“DJ”)
tain or be interfaced With video media, Which may be dis
continue to use phonograph turntables playing music
recorded on “vinyl” records. This is because many DJ tech
niques, such as “scratching,” are accomplished by using a
played With the audio playback.
45
physical record by physically manipulating the record, tum
table speed, and turntable stylus. DJ-ing involves certain
physical and musical skills. DJ’s have different styles and
techniques. Some have described DJ-ing as an “art.”
50
certainportions of the audio ?le orbegin/continue playback at
particular points. Such may be visually displayed on the
touchscreen, and further may be activated/ deactivated by
touching the screen or by using other input devices.
In accord With one or more embodiments of the invention,
For these reasons, D] s continue to use records and tum
there is provided a processor-implemented method to control
a playback of recorded sound, including at least displaying on
tables. Previously knoWn computer-based devices do not pro
vide D] s With the same capabilities. They do not provide the
same range of options and ability to manipulate playback.
Previously-knoWn computer-based devices that do permit
manipulation of playback do so only With limited capability,
A user may also control playback by setting up and acti
vating cue points, loops and playback points, Which play
a display screen a processor-generated image of a sound
55
recording medium. Next, the method includes playing, by use
of a processor in communication With a processor storage, a
sound encoded in the processor storage, to produce a play
back. Next, the method includes animating the processor
as compared to traditional DJ equipment, With a very different
interface that does not alloW a D] to duplicate traditional
DJ-ing techniques.
generated image of the sound recording medium, to produce
60
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
an animation in synchronicity With the playback. Next, the
method includes detecting a touch on the animation, to pro
duce a detected touch. Next, the method includes controlling
The present invention provides a computer-based audio
and music playback system that provides a virtual or com
puter-displayed audio-playback system in combination With
a touch-sensitive interface that permits a user to manipulate
the playback in a similar manner to a traditional physical
65
the playback and the animation, responsive to the detected
touch, to produce a control of the playback and the animation.
Optionally, the processor-generated image of a sound
recording medium may be an image of a vinyl record. The
touch may include a substantially linear touching motion,
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With the playback and the animation being advanced or
retarded in response to a direction of the substantially linear
in Which the ?rst processor is con?gured to control playing a
sound by the second processor. The ?rst processor may be
touching motion. The animation may be a rotating image
having a direction of rotation, With the touch being a substan
con?gurable to be one of a master of the second processor and
a slave of the second processor. The system may further
tially linear touching motion, and the playback being a
scratching sound. The touching motion that produces a
scratching sound may be substantially perpendicular to the
nal sound source. The system may also include tutorials and
include an interface to connect the ?rst processor to an exter
help functions for training users.
direction of rotation of the animation. The touch may be a
pressure, and the step of controlling the playback and the
animation may include varying a speed of the playback and
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
10
the animation in response to the pressure. The method may
The foregoing and other features of the present invention
Will be more readily apparent from the folloWing detailed
description and draWings of illustrative embodiments of the
further include the step of mixing the playback With a play
back of another sound encoded in a processor storage. The
method may further include the step of moving a playback
point Within the playback, responsive to the detected touch.
invention Where like reference numbers refer to similar ele
ments throughout and in Which:
FIG. 1 shoWs an exemplary schematic of a virtual phono
graph system user interface in accordance With the invention.
FIG. 2 shoWs an example of a virtual phonograph system
The touch may include a dragging of a processor-generated
image of a stylus across a processor-generated image of a
vinyl record. The method may further include detecting an
information of the sound, to produce a detected information,
associating the detected information With the sound, to pro
duce an association, and storing, in the processor storage, the
detected information and the association. Controlling the
user interface in accordance With the invention as displayed
20 on a display screen.
FIG. 3 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
interface When the user is prompted for the operating mode
upon star‘tup.
playback and the animation may include remotely controlling
the playback on a remote processor, by use of the animation,
With the animation being produced by a second processor.
The method may further include playing, by use of the pro
25
FIG. 4 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
interface When saving a track.
FIG. 5 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
cessor in communication With the processor storage, a video
interface When a user has performed an incorrect action dur
encoded in a processor storage, to produce a video playback,
ing tutorial mode.
With the animation being in synchronicity With the video
playback.
FIG. 6 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
30
In accord With one or more embodiments of the invention,
interface When selecting a primary unit to display the mixer.
FIG. 7 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
there is provided a processor memory encoded With software
interface applicable to a secondary unit.
for controlling playback of a recorded sound, including
FIG. 8 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
interface When prompting Whether to add a channel to the
mixer.
FIG. 9 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
interface When selecting an external mixer.
FIG. 10 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
memory to store a process to display on a display screen a
processor-generated image of a sound recording medium; to
35
store a process to play, by use of a processor in communica
tion With the processor storage, a sound encoded in the pro
cessor storage, to produce a playback; to store a process to
animate the image of the sound recording medium, to produce
an animation in synchronicity With the playback; to store a
process to detect a touch on the animation, to produce a
detected touch; and to store a process to control the playback
40
interface When additional source volume controls are added.
FIG. 11 shoWs an exemplary schematic vieW of the user
interface When searching for a song or video.
and the animation, responsive to the detected touch, to pro
duce a control of the playback and the animation.
Optionally, processor memory may further be encoded
DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE
INVENTION
With softWare to create a display information about the sound.
The processor memory may furtherbe encoded With softWare
to move, on the display screen, the display of information
about the sound.
FIGS. 1 and 2 shoW a virtual phonograph system user
interface. The interface is displayed on a monitor or computer
screen. The screen is touch-sensitive in that it detects When an
object contacts the screen, e.g., a person’s ?nger or a stylus,
In accord With one or more embodiments of the invention,
there is provided a system to control the playback of recorded
sound, the system including a ?rst processor in communica
tion With a processor storage, the processor con?gured to play
a sound encoded in the processor storage, to produce a play
back, and a display screen in communication With the ?rst
processor, in Which the display screen is con?gured to dis
play: a processor-generated image of a sound recording
medium; and a processor-generated animation of the image
50
and Where on the screen such contact occurs. Such touch
sensitive monitors and screens are knoWn to those of ordinary
skill in the art. The screen should be able to detect contact at
an appropriate force threshold, such that it does not require
excessive force to register that contact has been made. Con
55
versely, the registerable force threshold should be high
enough to avoid being triggered by inadvertent contact or
contact by very lightWeight objects. The detection thresholds
may be set and/or adjustable as is knoWn in the art. The
thresholds may also be adjusted and/or set by the user, as is
of the sound recording medium, the processor-generated ani
mation in synchronicity With the playback; the display screen
knoWn in the art, to the user’s preferences. In addition, the
being con?gured to detect a touch on the animation, to pro
screen may be pressure-sensitive, so that it detects the force
duce a detected touch; and the display screen being con?g
ured to display a processor-controlled animation, in Which the
playback and the animation is responsive to the detected
touch, in order to control the playback and the animation.
Optionally, the system may further include a communica
With Which it is being touched. It should be understood that
certain details of the virtual phonograph system user interface
are exemplary in nature, and may be displayed differently in
tion link betWeen the ?rst processor and a second processor,
65
alternate embodiments Without signi?cantly affecting the
utility of the present invention. Such exemplary details may
include, but are not limited to: locations and siZes of controls;
US 8,369,974 B2
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type of control (e.g., slider vs. rotary Wheel, etc.); colors;
hiding/displaying controls; messages; etc. Certain interface
It also permits, for example, a user to prepare the system to
play the next song, so there is no delay betWeen songs.
design details may be Within the discretion of system software
As the computer reads and plays an audio ?le, it generates
design, or may be modi?able by the user and thus Within the
a display on the screen in accordance With the music being
user’s discretionary control (e.g., ?oating controls).
may be any computer that is capable of driving the display and
performing the other functions of the virtual phonograph
played. In FIGS. 1 and 2, the computer displays on the screen
2 a virtual turntable system 5 With the image of a record 10
and a stylus 20. The record 10 has a music-containing portion
12 and a label portion 14. The label 14 may display informa
system, as described herein, as Would be understood by those
of ordinary skill in the art. The computer is capable of receiv
tion regarding the song, such as the title or artist, or other
information such as graphics, song length, or other user
The screen is interfaced to and driven by a computer. This
ing and processing the touch/pressure signals from the moni
de?ned information. As the audio is being played, the record
tor. The computer may be separate from the monitor and
image 10 rotates as a record does in a conventional turntable.
interfaced thereto by any appropriate manner, e.g., via cable,
With conventional “vinyl” records, the audio is recorded
Wireless transmission, internet, bluetooth, infrared, etc.Alter
natively, the computer and monitor may be integrated, such
via a spiral grove that begins near the external circumference
of the record and spirals toWard the center of the record. The
as, for example, a tablet PC. The computer may be general
purpose or dedicated to the virtual phonograph system. The
stylus is placed into the groove, and as the turntable spins the
record, the stylus folloWs the groove, tracking toWard the
computer and monitor system may be of suitable siZe, Weight
and con?guration to be portable, and may also be made sturdy
enough to resist damage When moved or handled.
The computer has storage capability to store audio and
music in computer-readable format. This storage may be, for
center of the record With the groove. According to embodi
ments of the invention, this process is duplicated in the virtual
phonograph system. The record 10 spins at the same speed,
e.g., the same rpm, and the stylus 20 tracks along the music
20
portion 12 toWard the label 14 in the same manner as if the
song Was recorded on a physical record. The system does this
example, an internal or external hard drive, CD or DVD drive,
internal memory, or static memory storage devices, such as,
by Way of example, memory cards, memory sticks and USB
25
drives. The storage may be local to the computer, or may be
networked such that the storage is local to a second computer
but is accessible to a ?rst computer via a communication link
20 moves. In addition, the location of the stylus 20 on the
music portion 12 at any point in time correlates With the point
in the audio ?le that is presently being played. In this manner,
a virtual representation of a physical turntable playing a
such as Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. The computer also has
a processor or processors, and other components, With appro
30
priate softWare, as Will all be understood by those skilled in
the art, to access the storage and read the audio ?les. The
Because a conventional turntable rotates at a constant
past the stylus 20 Will vary as a function of the distance of the
35
external hard drives, CD/ DVD drives, ?ash memory devices,
etc. The system may have the capability to store and play
multiple audio ?le formats, With the capability of being
updated to accommodate neW formats. The system may also
have the capability to store, edit, and play video, in conjunc
40
tion With the audio, stored in computer-readable, e. g., digital,
video ?les.
The system may further include a keyboard, either a physi
the user to access various menu options. The user may broWse
45
enter names of songs or mixes as desired by the user. The
50
The system may also contain or interface With, and drive,
other components, such as, for example, sound mixers,
sequencers, audio sound processors, ampli?ers, and loud
speakers. Audio processing may include, by Way of example,
surround sound capabilities, throWing sounds With acoustics,
selection listing on the screen 2, or alternatively, by using
other input devices, e.g., keyboard, mouse, etc. Additional
example, system control options, such as turning off the sys
tem, display options, system settings, language, changing
55
60
understand hoW to integrate such components and features in
systems of the present invention.
In addition, the monitor may interface With more than one
computer. In such embodiments, the user may select Which
computer output to display on the monitor, or may display
or search, optionally in combination With a keyboard, mouse
or other input device, a database of stored audio ?les, video
?les, and playlists. The user may also access, in embodiments
containing such components, linked or attached sources, such
as external devices, CD/ DVD drives 31, the internet, etc. The
user may select the song or video to be played, by touching the
available options on the pull doWn menu 30 may include, for
dimensional space, and atmosphere effects such as, e.g.,
underWater, arena, echo, rooms and spaces, etc. In embodi
ments having video capabilities, the system may also contain
or interface With and drive a video display system, e.g., a
video projector or monitor. Those of skill in the art Will
inner circumferential portion of music portion 12. When
simulating the response of a physical turntable, this effect Will
be accommodated in the programming code to keep the
movement and playback in sync.
An audio ?le may be selected via the user interface. Pull
numeric data, operate system features, or operate the com
puter in general. For example, a keyboard may be used to
system may also include other input devices as are knoWn,
such as, for example, a computer mouse.
stylus 20 from the center of the record. The linear speed Will
be greatest near the outer circumferential edge of the music
portion 12, and the linear speed Will be the smallest near the
doWn menu 30 expands When touched by the user, permitting
cal keyboard interfaced With the computer, or a virtual one on
the touchscreen. Using the keyboard, a user can enter alpha
record is displayed on the screen.
angular speed (i.e., constant RPM), the linear speed of vinyl
computer may also have the capability, through softWare and
other components, to create, edit, modify and store audio
?les, e.g., creating mixes, including external devices, e.g.,
by using information about the song that is stored With the
audio ?le, such as the total time, and calculates hoW the stylus
mode, etc. These may be selected in like manner.
Once a song is selected, various information may be dis
played on the system 5. Audio information display 32 may
display information about the audio ?le. These may include,
for example, song title, artist, track, ?le, total song or track
time, song tempo, e.g., beats per minute (BPM), Which may
be detected and calculated by the system softWare from the
audio ?le, selected cue point, and playing time. Some or all of
this information may be presented in a scrolling format. In
embodiments having video capability, a video display 34 may
multiple computer outputs in a “split screen” display. This
shoW the video being played, and include video information,
for example, title, time/duration and cue points. This infor
permits a user to play and mix multiple audio ?les at one time.
mation may be overlaid in small font over the video, and may
65
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also be presented in a scrolling manner. The video display 34
displayed in its cue point activation control. It should be noted
that While FIGS. 1 and 2 shoW four cue point activation
controls, this is but an example and the number may be varied.
Touching a cue point activation control 52, 54, 56, 58 Will also
may be the same or of a different siZe than the audio infor
mation display 32, and in various embodiments, both may be
adjusted in siZe by the user according to preference. Further
embodiments may include a sound Wave display 36, visually
5
displaying the audio Waveform.
skip playback to that point in the song. The position of the
stylus 20 and music portion 12 Will also be adjusted to cor
relate thereWith. In addition, the color of the currently
selected cue point may be changed, e.g., highlighted, to indi
The correlation of the location of the stylus 20 on the music
portion 12 and the stored audio ?le being played permits the
playback of the audio to be manipulated using the touch
cate it is in use.
In additional embodiments, a cue point may be graphically
overlaid 70, by Way of example only, as a highlighted area, on
screen 2 in a manner similar to that of a conventional physical
turntable system. For example, by touching the screen 2
Where the stylus 20 is located, the screen senses the user’s
the music portion 12, identifying the location and duration of
touch and alloWs the user to move the stylus to a different
the cue point on the virtual record. The cue point overlay 70
may also display information about the cue point in an asso
location on the music portion 12 (or off the music portion) by
moving the user’ s ?nger (or hoWever else the user has touched
the screen, e.g., stylus, etc.) along the screen 2 to the desired
location. When the user ceases touching the screen, the point
of playback in the audio ?le is correlated to the neW position
of the stylus 20 on the music portion 12, and the audio play
back continues at that point in the audio ?le. Thus, the user
ciated display 71, Which may be called up by touching the
overlay 70. Alternatively, touching the cue point overlay 70
may activate the cue point. In various embodiments of the
invention, the user may be able to select the function of
20
can “drop and drag” the stylus to the desiredpoint of playback
of the song. It should be noted that the movement of the stylus
20 is constrained by stylus arm 25 as With a conventional
turntable. Thus, the stylus may be moved in an arc With a
radius of that of the radius of the stylus arm 25 around the
displayed as overlays on the music portion 12. In some
25
stylus arm pivot point 27. It should also be noted that if the
stylus 20 is moved off the music portion 12, the song Will
cease to playback. If the stylus 20 is moved to the label
portion 14, for example, the playback point in the audio ?le
Will move to the end of the ?le. Conversely, if the stylus 20 is
moved outside the external circumference of the music por
tion 12, the playback point in the audio ?le Will move to the
beginning of the ?le.
The user may also designate a playbackpoint by specifying
the desired playback time, e.g., using a keyboard. For
example, the user may specify that playback should begin, or
touching the cue point overlay 70. In further aspects of the
invention, the appearance of the cue point overlay 70 may
change, e.g., change color, When the cue point is activated.
Where multiple cue points are designated, they may also be
30
embodiments, the cue points may be differently displayed,
e.g., different colors, to make them quickly distinguishable.
A loop control 75, Will loop, or repeat, the selected cue
point When touched or activated. If the loop control 75 is
active, the cue point Will repeat until the loop control 75 is
touched again or de-activated. If the loop control 75 is not
active, When a cue point is activated, the playback Will jump
to cue point in the song, play once and the song Will continue
from that point.
Another manner in Which audio playback may be con
35
trolled is by manipulating the record 10 via the touch screen
2. By touching the record 10, a user can control its spinning as
one could With a physical record. A user can move the record
continue, at 2 m 00 s from the start of the song. This may be
10 by touching it and dragging it along the screen, similarly to
done in advance of the song being played, or during a song, to
continue playback at a different location in the audio ?le. The
hoW the stylus is moved as described above. It shouldbe noted
that the movement of the record 10 is in the circumferential
playback points may be saved in the computer storage in
40
connection With the audio ?le for recall When the audio ?le is
later selected. In additional embodiments, the playback
points are displayed in overlay on the music portion 12,
identifying the point on the music portion 12 corresponding
to the time of the playback point (see FIG. 2). In further
embodiments of the invention, the playback point may be
reWinding record 10 are collectively referred herein as retard
ing record 10. For example, moving the record in the forWard
direction at tWice the normal rotational speed Will cause play
back to be at tWice normal speed. As another example, by
moving the record 10 backWards and forWards With suf?cient
activated by touching the playback point overlay display,
Whereupon the audio ?le continues playback at the playback
point. When a playback point is activated, the displayed loca
tion of the stylus 20 on the music portion 12 may move to
direction, With the effect of fast-forWarding, sloWing, or
reWinding playback of the audio ?le. The amount of fast
forWard, sloWing, or reWinding corresponds to hoW fast the
record 10 is moved by touching it. SloWing record 10 and
speed, a user can “scratch” as can be done using a conven
50
tional turntable and record. A scratching sound effect can also
correlate With the position in the audio ?le being played, as
be produced by touching and dragging stylus 20 across record
described above.
In yet additional embodiments of the invention, the user
may create and use cue points to further customiZe playback.
10, perpendicular to the direction of rotation of record 10.
The cue point control 50 is a touch control. A user may
55
designate a cue point during playback by touching the cue
point control 50 at a desired point during playback to begin
the cue point, and touching the cue point control 50 again to
10 Will merely sloW doWn its forWard rotation, correspond
ingly sloWing doWn the playback of the audio ?le. Further
pressure exertion Will further sloW doWn rotation and play
back. Su?icient pressure Will stop the rotation and playback,
With record 10 motion then controlled by dragging it as
end the cue point. This alloWs the user to designate a desired
portion of the audio ?le, such as, e. g., a beat sample, bridge or
vocal line as a drop in point. Alternatively, the cue point may
described above. In such manner, the invention can mimic the
pressure-dependent effect of touching on a convention turn
table system. Moreover, effect of pressure on the touch screen
be designated by other system input means, e.g., keyboard,
and may be made prior to playback. In various embodiments,
multiple cue points may be created.
Each cue point may be given a designated name, and cor
related With a cue point activation control 52, 54, 56, 58
displayed on the screen 2. The cue point parameters may be
In embodiments With a pressure-sensitive touch screen 2,
the movement of the record 1 0 is dependent upon the pres sure
exerted. A comparatively light pressure exerted on the record
2 may be correlated, through the computer playback soft
65
Ware, to the effect of pressure on a conventional turntable,
such that a certain pressure on the virtual record 10 Will have
a similar effect on playback as a similar pressure exerted on a
US 8,369,974 B2
10
eters, and store track and playback details. This information
may be stored in the computer storage and may be recalled
When the audio is recalled or played. In certain embodiments,
this data may also be exported, either separately or With the
physical record. Such correlation may make it easier for a user
to duplicate What the user does on a conventional system.
In effect, moving the record can speed up, sloW doWn, or
reWind the music, tapping it into sync With the other song in
the mix or physically reWinding the record to play back a
audio ?le (e.g., in a neW ?le format or tag), for use With
section or hold it to pause it at a speci?c point. A user can play,
another system.
mix and scratch records in real time as if Working With physi
cal records. Tapping into sync is knoWn to persons of skill in
and help functions to train users in audio and video use of the
The system of the invention may further include tutorials
the art as a process used When tWo copies of a sound recording
(e. g., representing tWo separate vinyl records) are played
Operation of an embodiment of the invention Will be
described beloW by reference to a typical usage session. It
should be understood that the description beloW is not limit
ing, and that the functions or operations described can be
performed in a different order unless the context indicates
otherWise. Further, certain functions or operations may be
omitted or repeated Without detracting as an example of
usage.
20
a splash screen With the softWare name and company logo
slightly out of time together. Touching one record slightly can
nudge the tWo recordings into sync in time by pushing the
touched record forWard slightly to speed it up or pulling the
touched record backwards slightly to sloW it doWn. The touch
to accomplish this action can be in the form of a tapping.
The system may also include a pitch control 80. The pitch
control utiliZes a virtual slider 85, Which a user can touch and
drag along the pitch control 80 to control the pitch and tempo
of playback Within a range, e. g., +/— l 0% of the original tempo
as measured in beats per minute (“BPM”), Wherein 0% rep
resents the original tempo. In this manner, the user can
increase or decrease the tempo of the music as desired. For
example, the user can use the pitch control 80 to match the
beat of a song being mixed into (e.g., the one currently play
ing to the audience). The pitch control 80 may operate With set
Upon startup of the system, While the system is booting up,
typically Will be displayed for a short period of time before
the user interface of FIG. 1 is displayed. When boot-up is
complete, the user may be offered the choice of entering one
25
increments or on a continuous scale, Which in various
have a pitch lock 90, Which When activated by touch control
alloWs the tempo to be adjusted Without affecting the quality
The system 5 may also contain mixer controls, for mixing
multiple audio playbacks or sources. As noted above, When
the multiple sources are tWo virtual records, for example, the
of “Pre-Mix Mode,” “Mix Mode,” and “Tutorial” by activat
ing one of controls 120, 122, and 124, respectively, as illus
trated in FIG. 3.
Mix mode is a mode of operation in Which the system Will
play a track and detect track details if the track details are
embodiments may be set by the user. The system may also
of the vocal on the track. Thus, the music speeds up or sloWs
doWn, but the vocal portion does not increase or decrease in
pitch as it does.
system.
10
30
already in system, similarly to a record player in a profes
sional mixing system. The user may designate the system as
either a primary system or a secondary system. Ordinarily, in
a professional mixing system, only one mixer controls play
back to the audience for all attached devices. In embodiments
35
of the present invention, the primary unit Will display a mixer
and uses the mixer to control contributions from both the
tWo may be shoWn as tWo separate turntables in split screen
mode. It should be understood, though, that the system 5 may
primary unit and the secondary unit into the mix. The second
mix any sources, virtual or physical When connected to the
system, and may be con?gured to mix more than tWo sources.
Thus, the system 5 may mix as many channels as there are
the mix. Although the secondary unit Will have all of the
turntable functions, the secondary unit in this mode of opera
ary unit Will not display the mixer, or have an ability to control
40
inputs, Whether virtual or physical. The system 5 Will be used
to mix and control at least tWo devices at a time, With the
option of mixing and controlling additional audio input from
additional media sources. A split-screen user interface may be
employed.
45
Source information WindoWs 101, 102 may display various
information about the sources, e.g., song title, artist, BPM and
track time for the song playing on each turntable, Which in
various embodiments may be user-selected. Source volume
controls 105, 106 control the volume level of each source in
tion is limited substantially to playing back an audio or video
?le that is loaded onto the secondary unit.
Pre-Mix mode is a mode of operation Which alloWs a user
to set up a playlist and store information about track details,
such as identi?cation of tracks, BPM of the track, cue points,
etc. Tracks may be played in Pre-Mix mode to assist in col
lecting the track information, such as the BPM, or the iden
ti?cation of introductory parameters of a track. It may be
desirable to identify the introductory parameters of the track
track BPM (by playing the music through integrated BPM
for situations in Which a parameter of an introductory portion
of the track differs from the same parameter later in the track.
For instance, certain tracks are knoWn to have an introductory
portion (i.e., an interlude) having a different tempo than a
tempo used for a portion of the track beyond the interlude.
The introductory portion my have a sloWer tempo (e. g., for a
spoken Word or ballad interlude) than that of the portion of the
track beyond the interlude. Often an interlude Will start With
a sloW tempo, then the tempo Will speed up beyond the inter
lude. It is often desirable to skip the interlude When mixing,
therefore identifying the interlude Will alloW the user to mark
the interlude and omit it if desired. Cue points can be set
accordingly to skip the interlude. Information about the
change in track parameters Within a track can be stored in the
system’ s memory and may be recalled by the system When the
same track is replayed on the system. An export option alloWs
this data to be transferred to another unit, or stored With the
softWare), designate cue points, detect and set intro param
track as a neW ?le format or tag.
50
the mix. Source mode controls 110, 111 control the operation
of the sources, e.g., play/pause, reWind and fast forWard
options. The source mode controls 110, 111 may be high
lighted and/or change color When in use or to designate the
source operation mode. A crossfader 120 phases from one
55
source to the other as the user desires. Again, While the
embodiments of the Figures shoW only tWo sources, the
invention is not limited to tWo sources, and similar controls
and displays may be shoWn on the screen 2 for additional
sources.
60
The virtual phonograph system may also include a pre
mixed play mode. This mode permits a user to set up playback
and mixing in advance by detecting and/ or associating infor
mation about the track With the track itself. For example, it
alloWs a user to create playlists, identify tracks, determine
65
US 8,369,974 B2
11
12
Harmonic mixing is a phase of the Pre-Mix mode of opera
Source volume controls 105, 106 alloW the volume level of
each turntable in a dual-tumtable system to be controlled
tion that supports the following operations: key chart, major
and minor key detection, modal keys, adds key to the tag of
during mixing, With the crossfader phasing (i.e., controlling
the track, displays key in display WindoW. Harmonic mixing
recognizes that, in music theory, certain keys sound better
together. Songs may be played With complimentary keys to
the transition) from one turntable to the other as determined
by the disk jockey (“DJ”).
avoid clashes and dissonance in the mix. Keys that are a
Just beloW the source volume controls 105, 106 are CD
controls that Will alloW the D] to control the music on both
certain tonal interval apart play Well together.
turntables With play/pause, reWind and fast forWard options.
When exiting Pre-Mix mode, tracks can be scanned for
track length and other track-related details, Which can be
added by the system in ?elds associated With the track When
record. They provide alternate controls for a DJ Who uses a
The CD controls also are operable With the image of a vinyl
the “Save As” prompt is displayed. FIG. 4 shoWs an exem
CD/DVD turntable rather than a turntable that plays vinyl
records. Controls may be highlighted and change color When
plary “Save As” prompt.
in use.
If the dialog box of FIG. 8 is ansWered in the af?rmative,
Tutorial, selected in the screen of FIG. 3, is a mode of
operation Which trains a user by use of interactive exercises
and video. When a selection by a user is expected, features
that can be selected Will be highlighted. When a feature is
selected by the user, an audio/video demonstration Will be
presented to the user. Users can replicate the steps shoWn in
the demonstration. Correct responses alloW the user to move
to the next feature. Incorrect actions Will get an error message
200 and a prompt to revieW the video example, to try again or
to skip to another feature, as shoWn by controls 201, 202 and
203, respectively, in exemplary FIG. 5. Videos are triggered
by the feature selected and can appear in video display Win
then additional controls for additional mixers can be added,
With levels of the additional mixers controlled by additional
source volume controls as shoWn in FIG. 10. Prompts can
appear With each neW device detected to ask if the detected
unit is an audio/video playback deviceiif a?irmative, then a
20
FIG. 10 illustrates additional display WindoWs and controls
such as 107, 108 and 109, similar to display WindoW 102,
volume control 105 and source mode control 111, respec
25
tively, that can be displayed and highlighted for each added
mixer channel, for easy control of the resulting mix. If the neW
device is another instance of the present invention, then the
track details Will appear in the WindoW display 107. If the neW
device is of unknoWn origin, then ‘Unknown’ Will appear in
30
the display WindoW 107. Additional display WindoWs and
controls for additional external inputs can be added adjacent
doW 34. Features can be selected in any order to alloW for
speci?c inquiries. Touching another feature during playback
of a tutorial video Will skip to that feature and trigger the next
video.
Upon start up of the present invention, if a second instance
of the present invention is detected and running in system
or near to the equivalent Windows for other inputs, as illus
trated in FIG. 10, and can be selected by touch of the WindoW
screen to assign Which tWo channels Will be dominant in the
memory, a prompt Window such as the Window 203 of FIG. 6
Will pop up on the screen to alloW the user to select Whether
the present instance is the primary or secondary system by use
of controls 204 and 205, respectively.
An additional, external device may be detected by the
present invention upon either start-up of the present invention
or upon a hot-plug-in of the external device. If the external
device is not an instance of the present invention, a prompt
WindoW such as the WindoW 206 of FIG. 8 may be displayed
to query the user Whether the detected device is an audio/
video playback device. If af?rmative, then a neW channel
opens in the mixer; if negative, then a prompt WindoW such as
the WindoW 207 of FIG. 9 may be displayed to query the user
Whether the detected device is an external mixer. An af?rma
tive response to WindoW 207 Will cause the mixer to disappear
35
mix. The additional inputs Will be mixed in mainly by volume
controls using the crossfader to favor their side and bring
them up in the mix.
A user of embodiments of the present invention Will need to
?nd a song or video at some point in typical usage. The user
40
45
from the display on the primary unit.
can open a ?le to assign to the turntable by using the ‘Open
File/playlist’ or ‘Search’ option on the pull doWn menu 30.
FIG. 11 shoWs an exemplary dialog WindoW 208 that can be
displayed upon selection of this menu choice. Once the song
is selected, information display 32 and/or video display 34
can display the song title, artist, track time, BPM (Beats Per
Minute) and currently selected cue point (if those are preset)
as a scrolling text. Video display 34 may be dynamically
resiZable to display the video in a preferred display siZe
Once primary/ secondary system status is determined, the
secondary unit’s mixer controls Will not be displayed, With
the exception of the cue point options, as shoWn in FIG. 7. The
neW channel is added in the mixer; if negative, then the
present invention asks if the neW device is an external mixer.
50
primary unit Will assume the function of a mixer unless an
external mixer is selected by the user through dialog box 206
and/or resolution, and to alloW space to display related textual
information such as title, time/duration and cue points. Some
or all of the related textual information may also be displayed
on label portion 14 of record 10, With the textual information
of FIG. 8. The external mixer is a third selectable device, in
animated to rotate at the same rate as record 10, to simulate
addition to the primary and secondary system. A nonlimiting
the rotation of a physical label 14.
exemplary con?guration includes tWo virtual turntables as the
55
primary and secondary systems, and the external mixer.
When the user selects the external mixer, both the primary
system and the secondary system Will become slaves to the
external mixer during playback of the audio ?le. If the user
selects an external mixer through dialog box 207 of FIG. 9,
Cue points 70 may be highlighted on the record. Upon
selection of the highlighted cue point 70, a balloon 71 may
appear With the cue point details.
Another task that a user of embodiments of the present
invention may perform is the recording of a mix session.
60
Automating recording of a mix session may occur as a back
the present invention Will act as a record player and as a
ground script programmed to check compatibility (e.g., ?le
secondary system under the control of the mixer of the pri
mary system. If the present invention is designated as a pri
extension, program compatibility), save compression set
tings, default and customiZable settings (i.e., preset to club
mary system, it Will assume the role of mixer as Well. In this
situation, the song title, artist, BPM and track time for the
song playing on each virtual turntable Will be displayed in
WindoWs 101 and 102, respectively.
65
quality), including a prompt to save this information before
shutting doWn the system. The system may then open a ‘ Save
as’ WindoW to name ?le and select location to save the mix,
using standard dialog WindoWs. In addition, the system may
US 8,369,974 B2
14
13
I claim:
1. A processor-implemented method to control a playback
create a temporary ?le as the music is mixed, e.g., by use of a
memory cache, thereby saving a recording of the mix as it is
played through the mixer. Tags such as artist/ song title/bpm,
of recorded sound, comprising the steps of:
displaying on a pressure-sensitive display screen a proces
etc. for the songs may be included. A visual indicator may be
sor-generated image of a sound recording medium
including an image of a vinyl record, Wherein the pres
sure-sensitive display screen is con?gured to interface
provided When the mix is being recorded.
A “battle cue” feature may be provided, Wherein via a WiFi
connection, tWo or more systems of the present invention can
share songs in a mix mode. The battle cue feature and method
With a plurality of processors including a ?rst processor
and a second processor;
is used to alloW a second DJ (i.e., a second user) to challenge
a ?rst D] by sharing a song betWeen devices for the other D]
to mix into their set. The DJ operating the second system can
add the song (i.e., “throW” it) to add the song to the mix of the
playing, by use of a processor in communication With a
processor storage, a sound encoded in the processor
storage, to produce a playback of the encoded sound;
animating the processor-generated image of the sound
?rst system. The song can then appear in a battle cue WindoW
next to the mixer functions. An indicator can alert the D] of
the ?rst system and a prompt Will appear to ask if the ?rst DJ
accepts the challenge. The ?rst D] can accept or decline the
battle cue. If the ?rst DJ accepts the challenge, the system Will
alloW the D] to indicate the WindoW of the turntable they Wish
to assign the song to. ThroWing the song from the second
recording medium, to produce an animation of the vinyl
record rotating in synchronicity With the playback;
detecting a touch on the animation; and
controlling the playback and the animation, responsive to
20
system can be done by touching the image of the record and
the detected touch, to produce a control of the playback
and the animation,
Wherein the controlling of the playback and the animation
includes adjusting a speed of the playback and a speed of
the corresponding vinyl record rotation in correlation
pushing it like a Frisbee to the top of the screen in the direction
of the intended device.
Throwing a song in this Way may utiliZe knowledge of the
With an amount of pressure exerted against the pressure
tions may be knoWledge of actual locations as derived from
methods such as triangulation, user input, or inputs from a
sensitive screen by the touch; and
Wherein the displaying on the pressure-sensitive display
screen the processor-generated image includes generat
ing a split-screen display, displaying a ?rst set of images
position-locating system (e.g., GPS). Alternatively, locations
including a ?rst vinyl record and at least one ?rst control
of other nearby systems may be represented conceptually
generated by the ?rst processor in a ?rst display portion
of the split-screen and displaying a second set of images
location of other nearby systems. Such knoWledge of loca
25
such that the representation on screen of a direction to a 30
nearby system does not necessarily correspond to the physi
cal direction. For example, the present system may be repre
including a second vinyl record and at least one second
control generated by the second processor in a second
display portion of the split-screen.
sented as being located at a hub, and one or more secondary
2. The method of claim 1, Wherein the touch comprises a
systems can be represented as equally-spaced locations
arranged circularly around the hub. The representations of the
35
substantially linear touching motion, and the playback and
user interface in this regard are at the discretion of softWare
the animation are advanced or retarded in time, in response to
system design.
a direction of the substantially linear touching motion.
3. The method of claim 1, Wherein the touch comprises a
Virtual manipulation of the stylus and record provide many
advantages over conventional records and turntables.
Manipulation of conventional equipment induces Wear and
40
possible damage to the “vinyl” record and turntable equip
ment. In addition, by creating playback points, cue points,
the animation of the vinyl record further comprises a rotat
and loops, playback may be more accurately controlled and
repeatable.
It should be noted that While various features of the virtual
45
phonograph system are described herein as being operated by
using the touch screen 2, it should be understood that it is also
Within the scope of the invention for those features to be
operated using other input means, as described above. By Way
of example only, features may be operated using a keyboard,
50
mouse, pull doWn menu, or other input device. In such
embodiments, activation may be customiZed by the user. For
example, a feature may be assigned to a hotkey or keystroke
operating features may be used Within the scope of the inven
tion as Will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art.
Those skilled in the art Will recogniZe that the materials and
methods of the present invention Will have various other uses
in addition to the above described embodiments. They Will
55
processor-generated image of a vinyl record.
8. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
detecting information of the sound, to produce a detected
information;
60
appreciate that the foregoing speci?cation and accompanying
draWings are set forth by Way of illustration and not limitation
of the invention. It Will further be appreciated that various
modi?cations and changes may be made therein Without
departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
ing image having a direction of rotation;
the touch comprises a touching motion that is substantially
perpendicular to the direction of rotation; and
the playback comprises a scratching sound.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of
mixing the playback With a playback of another sound
encoded in processor storage.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of
moving a playback point Within the playback, responsive to
the detected touch.
7. The method of claim 6, Wherein the touch comprises a
dragging of a processor-generated image of a stylus across a
sequence. As another example, the user may use a mouse and
select a feature by moving the mouse point over the feature’ s
control on the screen 2, and pressing a mouse key. These
examples are not meant to be limiting, and other methods of
substantially linear touching motion, and the playback com
prises a scratching sound.
4. The method of claim 1, Wherein:
65
associating the detected information With the sound, to
produce an association; and
storing, in the processor storage, the detected information
and the association.
9. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
playing, by use of the processor in communication With the
processor storage, a video encoded in a processor stor
age, to produce a video playback, Wherein the animation
is in synchronicity With the video playback.
US 8,369,974 B2
15
16
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the second processor
a pressure-sensitive display screen in communication With
the ?rst processor, Wherein:
the display screen is con?gured to display a processor
includes a remote processor.
11. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
receiving a designation of a portion of the encoded sound;
in response to receiving the designation, dynamically gen
generated image of a sound recording medium includ
ing an image of a vinyl record and to interface With a
plurality of processors including the ?rst processor
erating and displaying on the display screen a cue point
and a second processor;
control associated With the designated portion of the
encoded sound; and
playing the designated portion of the encoded sound in
the display screen is con?gured to display a processor
generated animation of the image of the sound record
ing medium, the processor-generated animation of
the vinyl record rotating in synchronicity With the
response to an activation of the cue point control.
12. A computer-readable medium containing computer
playback;
executable instructions that, When executed by a processor,
cause the processor to perform a method for controlling play
back of a recorded sound, the method comprising:
the display screen is con?gured to detect a touch on the
animation; and
the display screen is con?gured to display a processor
displaying on a pressure-sensitive display screen a proces
sor-generated image of a sound recording medium
including an image of a vinyl record, Wherein the pres
sure-sensitive display screen is con?gured to interface
With a plurality of processors including a ?rst processor
and a second processor;
20
speed of the corresponding vinyl record rotation in
playing, by use of a processor in communication With a
processor storage, a sound encoded in the processor
correlation With an amount of pressure exerted
against the pres sure- sensitive screen by the touch; and
storage, to produce a playback of the encoded sound;
Wherein the displaying on the pressure-sensitive display
animating the processor- generated image of the sound
recording medium, to produce an animation of the vinyl
record rotating in synchronicity With the playback;
screen the processor- generated image includes gener
ating a split-screen display, displaying a ?rst set of
images including a ?rst vinyl record and at least one
?rst control generated by the ?rst processor in a ?rst
detecting a touch on the animation; and
controlling the playback and the animation, responsive to
the detected touch, to produce a control of the playback
and the animation,
Wherein the controlling of the playback and the animation
includes adjusting a speed of the playback and a speed of
display portion of the split-screen and displaying a
30
sensitive screen by the touch; and
Wherein the displaying on the pressure-sensitive display
screen the processor-generated image includes generat
ing a split-screen display, displaying a ?rst set of images
ond processor in a second display portion of the split
screen.
16. The system of claim 15, further comprising:
35
including a ?rst vinyl record and at least one ?rst control
con?gurable to be one of a master of the second processor and
a slave of the second processor.
18. The system of claim 15, further comprising an interface
including a second vinyl record and at least one second
control generated by the second processor in a second
display portion of the split-screen.
to connect the ?rst processor to an external sound source.
45
about the encoded sound.
14. The computer-readable medium of claim 13, Wherein
the method further comprising moving, on the display screen,
the display of information about the encoded sound.
15. A system to control playback of recorded sound, com
prising:
a ?rst processor in communication With a processor stor
age, the ?rst processor con?gured to play a sound
encoded in the processor storage, to produce a playback
of the encoded sound; and
a communication link betWeen the ?rst processor and the
second processor, Wherein the ?rst processor is con?g
ured to control playing of an encoded sound by the
second processor.
17. The system of claim 16, Wherein the ?rst processor is
generated by the ?rst processor in a ?rst display portion
of the split-screen and displaying a second set of images
13. The computer-readable medium of claim 12, Wherein
the method further comprising creating a display information
second set of images including a second vinyl record
and at least one second control generated by the sec
the corresponding vinyl record rotation in correlation
With an amount of pressure exerted against the pressure
controlled animation, the playback and the animation
responsive to the detected touch, to control the play
back and the animation,
Wherein the controlling of the playback and the anima
tion includes adjusting a speed of the playback and a
19. The system of claim 15, Wherein the ?rst processor is
further con?gured to:
receive a designation of a portion of the encoded sound;
and
in response to receiving the designation, dynamically gen
erate a cue point control associated With the designated
50
portion of the encoded sound.
20. The system of claim 19, Wherein the pressure-sensitive
display screen is further con?gured to display the cue point
control and Wherein the ?rst processor is further con?gured to
play the designated portion of the encoded sound in response
to an activation of the cue point control.
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