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Title:
ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT PERCUSSION SYSTEM ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/203285
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention is relative to an apparatus of detection of the percussion in an electronic percussion instrument system based on a sensor put together according to the Farady-Neumann-Lentz (FNL) law of physics. It has been applied to an electronic drum, only as an example so not exclusively, that has one or more electronic control units to generate sounds, or rather, still as an example, in other electronic musical instruments played by hand or using objects such as a 'bongo' or the 'kettledrum'. This invention overcomes all currently existing technical limitations that derive from the common use of a detection system of percussion by means of the piezoelectric sensor and, more precisely, the signal peaks (so-called hot spots), and also the risk of breaking the piezoelectric sensor when the surface of the electronic musical instrument is struck exactly where the sensor is positioned, as well as the elimination of the detection of spurious signals coming from mechanical vibrations. THE INVENTION The new system of detection of the percussion in an electronic musical instrument (fig.5) will consist of an upper surface (1) that receives the percussion, covered also by a rubber layer (2), useful for giving a realistic rebound to the musician, to which the FNL sensor magnet (3) is placed in adherence. There will also be a lower surface (5) to which the FNL sensor bobbin (4) is applied and a shock absorber thickness (6) between the two surfaces that allows the two components of the FNL sensor to remain in suspension between them. These two components of the FNL sensor can be inverted on the two surfaces. The system described above allows a better and simpler manufacturing of the musical instrument because the FNL sensor is not fragile should it be struck exactly where it has been applied and, in the same way, avoids every signal peak and is insensitive to spurious signals coming from mechanical vibrations from parts of the musical instrument.

Inventors:
DE VIRGILIIS, Marco (Via Colina 1, Citta Sant'angelo, I-65013, IT)
GELOSO, Pietro (Via Tiro a Segno 20, Chieti, I-66100, IT)
OLIVASTRI, Sisinio (Via dell'Aventino 34, Lanciano, I-66034, IT)
CARAMANICO, Marco (Via Colle Petrano 58, Casalincontrada, I-66012, IT)
Application Number:
IT2013/000348
Publication Date:
December 24, 2014
Filing Date:
December 13, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PARSEK S.R.L. (Via Po 52, San Giovanni Teatino, I-66020, IT)
International Classes:
G01H3/14
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010024771A12010-03-04
Foreign References:
DE9200097U11992-05-27
US5276276A1994-01-04
US20040211310A12004-10-28
US5587543A1996-12-24
US5088376A1992-02-18
US6921857B22005-07-26
US6121538A2000-09-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GIANCOLA, Biagio (Via Firenze 44, Pescara, I-65121, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . An electronic percussion instrument system including:

an upper surface (15), flat, made from one or two layers of any rigid material, of any shape (e.g. round, oval, hexagonal, octagonal or any other geometrical form) that represents the percussion surface,

an electromagnetic FNL sensor, positioned beneath in the centre with its cylindrical magnet (16), is in adherence to the upper surface, while the bobbin (17) is positioned in correspondence to the magnet (16) on the lower surface (18),

a lower surface ( 18), flat, made up from one layer or plate of any rigid or elastic material with the same or different dimensions to the upper surface ( 15) on which the bobbin is positioned, being the second component of the FNL sensor,

a layer (19) of any shape, thickness or dimension, made out of an elastic material placed in adherence to the extremities of the two surfaces ( 15)( 18).

2. An electronic percussion instrument as indicated in claim 1 , where the upper surface (15) is made out of an elastic material, such as rubber, silicone or something else that is flexible, to moderate the percussion stroke and to guarantee a realistic rebound for the musician.

3. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claim 1 where the upper surface (15) is made out of a synthetic skin material.

4. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 3 where the upper surface (15) is made out of a natural or synthetic material with holes or openings through which air passes.

5. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 4 where the upper surface ( 15) is made out of a multilayer, even different to one another, of a natural or synthetic or mixed natural or synthetic material with holes or openings through which air passes.

6. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 5 where the upper surface(15) is made out of a material with various interwoven layers of a natural or synthetic material, or various layers of natural or synthetic material with holes or openings through which air passes.

7. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 5 where the upper surface (15) is made out of various layers welded together by heat or cold, of a natural or synthetic material with holes or openings through which air passes.

8. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 7 where the FNL electromagnetic sensor is positioned inverting the magnet ( 16) and the bobbin (17) on the upper (15) and lower (18) surfaces.

9. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 8 where the upper(l 5) and lower(l 8) surfaces have a curvilinear shape.

10. An electronic percussion instrumental system as indicated in claims from 1 to 9 where the upper (15) surface of any material has a smooth, rough, wrinkly or dotted surface or furrowed with lines, stripes or has varying thicknesses or is made up from various portions adjacent to one another.

1 1. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 10 where the FNL electromagnetic sensor, magnet ( 17) and bobbin (18), is positioned in any place other than the centre of the two surfaces ( 15)( 18).

12. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 1 1 where a number of FNL electromagnetic sensors, magnet (17) and bobbin (18) are applied.

13. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 12 where the magnet (16) and bobbin ( 17) have any other shape.

14. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 13 where the upper surface (15) and the lower ( 18) are not parallel to each other.

15. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 14 where the layer (17) of any shape, thickness or dimension is positioned in one or more points between the two surfaces (15)(18) and not necessarily at the extremities in an outer position.

16. An electronic percussion instrument system as indicated in claims from 1 to 14 where the layer (6) of any shape, thickness or dimension is positioned perimetrically between the two surfaces (1 )(5) and not necessarily at the extremities.

Description:
"ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT PERCUSSION SYSTEM ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSOR"

* * *

DESCRIPTION

This invention is relative to an apparatus of detection of the percussion in an electronic percussion instrument system based on a sensor put together according to the Farady-Neumann-Lentz (FNL) law of physics. It has been applied to an electronic drum, only as an example so not exclusively, that has one or more electronic control units to generate sounds, or rather, still as an example, in other electronic musical instruments hit by hand or using objects such as the 'bongo' or the 'kettledrum'.

Every electronic percussion instrument is based on the detection of the stroke and the transduction of the electrical signal to the generation of a sound through one or more electronic control units. This invention allows a better detection of the percussion, simplifying it, and therefore making it accessible to any electronic percussion instrument.

In the present state of the technique, electronic percussion instruments are made up from individual instruments connected to an electronic control unit. Referring specifically to the electronic drum, the individual instruments (snare-drum, tom-tom, cymbals, etc.) are connected to an electronic control unit.

On electronic percussion instruments, below the surface, that is struck, sensors are applied to detect the vibrations produced. These are transduced into electric impulse which is analysed by the electronic control unit in order to determine the musician's stroke to then generate the relative sound.

The vibration sensor used the most is the piezoelectric one, easy to find on the market and is applied in adhesion to the played surface of the electronic percussion instrument.

This sensor, in order to detect the stroke and translate it into an electric signal, must adhere to the surface that is played. For example, in the case of the electronic drum, the piezoelectric sensor must be placed on the underside of the natural or synthetic skin of the drum. A piezoelectric sensor is not usually the same size as the surface being played; it is in fact smaller and it is sufficient to hit any part of the surface for the piezoelectric sensor to pick up the vibration.

All this is common knowledge and fully described in the patents US 6,921 ,857 B2 and US 6, 121 ,538.

Therefore, an electronic percussion instrument system that uses a piezoelectric sensor needs this kind of sensor to be in direct contact with the surface that is hit but this can lead to several inconveniences and limits described below:

the so-called 'hot spot', or rather, a problem which is characteristic of all electronic percussion instruments with piezoelectric sensors consisting in the effect generated when they are hit on or in the immediate vicinity of the sensor.

This is characterized by a higher peak value, the so-called 'hot spot', as regards to the surrounding areas. In this specific case, the piezoelectric sensor detects the direct hit and translates it into a peak value electric signal which is transmitted to the electronic control unit to generate the sound.

The instrument, therefore, will give unnatural peaks of volume when hit on or in the immediate vicinity of the sensor. This represents one of the major technological limits that creates a difference between the original musical instrument and an electronic one.

Moreover, the piezoelectric sensor is made from a ceramic material that makes it particularly fragile for the use in an electronic percussion instrument. In fact, when designing and creating an electronic musical instrument, great attention and specific techniques must be used to avoid damage and/or breakage due to direct hits to the sensor.

In order to solve the two technical limits above mentioned, layers of rubber are used, or other types of material that are elastic or rigid, protective, necessarily suitable in absorbing the hits to avoid that the percussion is given directly onto the piezoelectric sensor and suitable also to spreading the force generated over the entire surface of the instrument if the hit should occur where the piezoelectric sensor adheres.

Finally, from an electrical point of view, the piezoelectric sensor has a high impedance exit and this makes it sensitive to electromagnetic interference. It is therefore necessary to take certain precautions such as shielded cables and specific circuits when dealing with piezoelectric signals. Due to the limitations pointed out, the surfaces of electronic percussion instruments are currently made to have, even before the function of transmitting the force generated by the stroke, the primary function of protecting the piezoelectric sensor beneath with the aim of reducing the peak generated by the so-called 'hot spot' and also to protect the piezoelectric sensor from a direct hit as well as shielding it from electromagnetic sources.

The aim of this invention is to improve the detection of the stroke and consequently improving and simplifying the whole system of generating the sound of electronic percussion instruments. The aim is to overcome the inconveniences indicated and therefore ensuring that the surface that is hit maintains exclusively the stroke detection function, overcoming the hot spot technical limit and reducing the function of protecting the structural and electromagnetic fragility of the sensor. The latter can then be positioned under, on the side or even above the instrument's surface giving a major efficiency since it will annul and eliminate the so-called hot spot technical problem.

In this way it will be even easier to manufacture an electronic percussion instrument. Through this invention, this is possible to attain with the application of one or more sensors of vibration detection based on the Farady-Neumann-Lentz (FNL) law of physics. It can be used in every electronic percussion instrument such as the so-called snare drum, tom-tom, cymbal, Hi-hat, bass drum, kettledrum, bongo, etc.

An electronic percussion instrument built according to this invention offers a series of advantages. Firstly, the FNL sensor reduces drastically the hot spot problem with the piezoelectric sensor since it is much less sensitive to a deformation of an instrument's surface to which it is connected. Consequently, if the surface of an electronic percussion instrument is hit on the exact point in which the FNL sensor is positioned or in any other part of the surface, with the same intensity of stroke, there will be a uniformity of the sound generated without signal peaks and, most of all, with a musical result even more similar to a real instrument, unlike with the use of a piezoelectric sensor. Secondly, a FNL sensor (so-called electromagnetic sensor) has a greater mechanical solidity in comparison with its piezoelectric equivalent since the interior component is built from a magnet, whereas the exterior one is built from a copper bobbin (that is a coil of copper wires). This kind of structure typology is extremely resistant to shocks and shows no evidence of fragility as occurs with piezoelectric sensors that have a ceramic structure.

A FNL sensor can be made in a great variety of shapes and dimensions (e.g. round, square, hexagonal, etc.) in order to adapt both to the fullness of vibrations from the strokes to be detected, as well as the geometry of percussion instruments (snare drum, tom-tom, cymbals, bass drum but also played by hand percussion instruments such as bongos, etc.).

Finally, from an electric point of view, there is also the advantage of having a sensor with a very low exit impedance which simplifies the following elaboration of the electric signal. This translates into a circuit configuration of simplified interfacing and a greater immunity to interference that may be induced in the interconnection between the circuit that receives the sensor signal and the sensor itself. This allows the use of connecting cables not specialized and not shielded and the total elimination of interference induced by a sensor-circuit connection experienced particularly by piezoelectric sensors. All things considered, the mechanical vibrations the cable picks up are transduced by the piezoelectric sensor into spurious signals, whereas in the case of the use of an FNL sensor the mechanical vibrations of the cable are not picked up.

The proposed sensor is based on the Farady-Neumann-Lentz (acronym FNL) principle of physics which describes the generation of an electric tension in a bobbin (21 ) when a magnet (20) (or a second bobbin) in its interior changes position (fig. 4), caused, in our case, by the vibrations produced by the percussion stroke, varying the magnetic linkage. The principle is used to create and utilize a vibration sensor (trigger) in any electronic percussion instrument.

The upper surface (7) of the electronic percussion instrument played by the musician can be rigid or sufficiently elastic to vibrate to the stroke given (fig. 1 ). It can be of any size or shape and be made out of rubber or any other kind of material that allows the musician to experience a rebound, such as when using drumsticks, as realistic as possible.

The bobbin (or vice versa the magnet) will be placed integral with the surface, positioned beneath, at the side or even on top of the instrument. Inside the bobbin there will be a magnet, or vice versa. The magnet can be positioned, for example, in two ways:

a) (fig.2) the magnet ( 12), suspended within the bobbin ( 13) by elastic structures (14), is applied in adherence to the uppermost surface (1 1 ) to be played of the musical instrument;

b) (fig.3) the magnet (16) is integral with the uppermost surface (15) to be struck of the electronic percussion instrument, but mechanically de-coupled from the bobbin ( 17) integral with the lower surface ( 18), by means of little rubbers ( 19) that filter a great part of the high frequency vibrations. As soon as the uppermost surface (1 1 )(15) of the electronic instrument is hit, a mechanical oscillation is created between the magnet (12)( 16) and the bobbin (13)( 17) with the relative generation of an electric tension at the poles of the bobbin.

An electronic circuit of analysis will be dedicated to the analysis of the form of electrical wave generated in order to extract the following standard information required by electronic percussion instruments:

a) trigger: the determination of the event linked to the stroke of the drumstick or the hand of the musician on the electronic percussion instrument surface;

b) fullness of the signal resulting from the stroke and that will be proportional to the volume of the sound generated by the electronic control unit.

The physical principle is based on the relative movement (fig.4) between the magnet (20) and the bobbin (21 ) therefore, in the previous descriptions, the words 'magnet' and 'bobbin' can be changed without the invention losing validity or functionality.

In the previous descriptions the magnet can be replaced by a second bobbin: the functioning of the sensor remains unvaried.

The electronic percussion instrument system can use one or more FNL sensors individually or together with one or more piezoelectric sensors for a greater capacity of vibration interpretation: all this to obtain electronic musical instruments resulting more and more similar to the real acoustic instruments.

The detection system just described is used for electronic musical instruments and, in particular but not only, for the electronic drum components.

In a 3-dimensional version, the new detection system of percussion in an electronic musical instrument (fig.5) will consist of an upper surface (1 ) that receives the percussion, possibly covered by an elastic layer, for example rubber (2), useful for giving the musician the sensation of a realistic rebound (when the upper surface is multilayer and not single). The magnet (3) of the FNL sensor is applied in adherence to this upper surface and the bobbin (4) of the FNL sensor is applied to a lower surface (5), with a vibration damper (6) between the two surfaces that allows the two components of the FNL sensor to remain in suspension. These two components can also be inverted on the two surfaces.