Title:
System For Enhancing The Sound Of An Acoustic Instrument

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Abstract
A system is disclosed that provides sound control for an acoustic musical instrument. Typical to all acoustic instruments, the instruments have a structure or housing that defines a vented acoustic chamber. An input or sound inducing mechanism (such as strings of a guitar) imparts a vibration to the structure which causes acoustic waves to resonate within the acoustic chamber. The motion of air in and out of the vent causes acoustic waves to emanate from the chamber that combine with the acoustic waves emanating from the structure to form sound/musical notes. In accordance with the invention, a system controls the sound emanating from such an acoustic instrument. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, at least one integral or smart sensor is disposed adjacent a sensing location of the structure, and the sensor is configured to generate sensed electric signals indicative of the magnitude of structural vibration of the structure at the sensing location. A controller in communication with the sensor, includes a processor for processing the sensed electric signals in accordance with a predetermined method (e.g., computer program). In response, the controller produces output electrical signals. At least one integral or smart actuator is disposed adjacent an actuator location of the structure, and the actuator is in communication with the controller and is configured to receive the output electrical signals and induce structural vibration of the structure at the actuator location. As a result of the foregoing structure and operation the induced vibration of the structure at the actuator location creates acoustics that alter the sound emanating from the acoustic chamber as well as that emanating from the structure. Specifically, signature frequency response characteristics of acoustic instruments like damping and frequency values of structural and acoustic resonances can be altered to alter the sound of the acoustic instruments. The use of integral or smart sensors and actuators put no restrictions on the movement of the acoustic instrument player since they are part of the guitar structure.
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Date Issued
11/20/2001
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