July 7, 2016 - 7:11 PM EDT
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Patent Issued for Compressor Based Dynamic Bass Enhancement with EQ (USPTO 9380385)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- THAT Corporation (Milford, MA) has been issued patent number 9380385, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Skinner, Scott (Westborough, MA); Hanna, Christopher M. (Arlington, MA).

This patent was filed on March 14, 2014 and was published online on June 28, 2016.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "This disclosure relates to audio reception and playback, and more particularly to systems for and techniques of enhancing the perceived bass response of inexpensive speakers typically incorporated into audio and video reception and playback devices such as televisions and computers.

"Most consumers are much more sensitive to the quality of visual displays than they are to sound quality. In order to keep cost at a minimum, consumer electronics manufacturers of audio and video systems, such as televisions and computers, thus are more likely to install small, inexpensive speakers in the systems. These speakers typically have poor low frequency (bass) response and become more prone to distortion as the audio frequency moves further below the speaker's low frequency resonance point. For those consumers who are more discerning, the audio and video reception and playback systems are usually configured so that additional speakers can be connected to the audio and video reception and playback systems for improving the quality of the audio portion of any programming."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The disclosure describes a system for and technique of improving the perceived bass response of such internally mounted speakers of a system that receives and plays back audio programming. The disclosed system and technique also provides enhancement of the amount of bass so that sound appears to be emanating from higher quality, wider bandwidth speakers, without requiring the connection of additional speakers,

"More specifically, in accordance with one aspect, a system is provided for enhancing the low frequency response of a loudspeaker for relatively low input level audio signals and protect the loudspeaker for relatively high input level audio signals. The system comprises: a crossover network configured so as to separate an audio input signal into at least two frequency bands including a low frequency band; and a signal compressor responsive to the energy level of the low frequency portion of an input audio signal in the low frequency band and configured to provide amplification gain on the low frequency portion of the input signal when the energy level of the low frequency portion of the input signal is relatively low so as to enhance the low frequency response of the loudspeaker, and attenuation of the low frequency portion of the input signal when the energy level of the low frequency portion of the input signal is relatively high so as to protect the loudspeaker from being overdriven.

"In accordance with other aspects, the crossover network is configured to separate the audio signal into two frequency bands, wherein parameters of the system are configurable to optimize for a given speaker characteristic or listener preference. The configurable parameters include one or more of the following: crossover frequency, compression ratio, maximum allowable gain, high pass filter cutoff frequency, and target level. In one embodiment, the compressor includes an RMS based level detector for generating a signal representing the energy level of the low frequency portion of the input audio signal. In accordance with another embodiment, a summing block is provided so as to provide a summed signal as a function of the compressed output of the signal compressor signal provided in each remaining frequency band. A high pass filter can be configured to respond to the summed signal and limit the lowest frequency energy applied to the loudspeaker. Further, a peak limiter can be configured to respond to the summed signal and limit the maximum peak level of signal energy applied to loudspeaker. It should be obvious that the peak limiter could also be placed, in the low band, before the summer and respond to the compressor output. The system can further include a static equalizer configured to respond to the summed signal, the static equalizer including a lower limit greater than or equal to the crossover frequency of the cross over network so that the static equalizer, combined with the compressor, operates as a partially dynamic equalizer. In accordance with one embodiment, the system is configured to enhance the low frequency response of at least two loudspeakers for left and right channel stereo play, the crossover network is configured to separate each left and right channel audio input signals into at least two frequency bands including a low frequency band; and the signal compressor is responsive to the energy level of the low frequency portion of each of the left and right audio input signals in the low frequency band and configured to provide amplification gain on the low frequency portion of each of the left and right channel audio input signals when the energy level of the low frequency portion of each of the signals is relatively low so as to enhance the low frequency response of each of the loudspeakers, and provide attenuation of the low frequency portion of each of the left and right channel audio input signals when the energy level of the low frequency portion of each of the signals is relatively high so as to protect each loudspeaker from being overdriven. Finally, in accordance with another embodiment, the system can include a pair of summing blocks for providing a pair of summed signals as a function of the compressed output signal of the signal compressor of the left channel and the corresponding signals of remaining frequency bands of the left channel, and the compressed output signal of the signal compressor of the right channel and the corresponding signals of the remaining bands of the right channel. The system can further include a signal summer configured to provide a summed compressed signal representing the sum of the compressed output signals of the signal compressor of the left and right channels, and at least two summing blocks for providing left and right channel summed signals as a function of the summed compressed signal and the portion of each left and right channel signal provided in each remaining frequency band.

"In accordance with another aspect, a two-band compressor based architecture for use with a loudspeaker is provided. The architecture is configurable as a volume leveler, bass enhancer and speaker protection device.

"In accordance with another aspect, a method of enhancing the low frequency response of a loudspeaker is provided for relatively low input level audio signals and protecting the loudspeaker for relatively high input level audio signals. The method comprises: separating an audio input signal into at least two frequency bands including a low frequency band; and compressing the low frequency portion of an input audio signal in the low frequency band so as to provide amplification gain on the low frequency portion of the input signal when the energy level of the low frequency portion of the input signal is relatively low so as to enhance the low frequency response of the loudspeaker, and provide attenuation of the low frequency portion of the input signal when the energy level of the low frequency portion of the input signal is relatively high so as to protect the loudspeaker from being overdriven.

"Some embodiments can include that the static EQ block is located or positioned before the crossover. For some embodiments, the static EQ affects the low band; or low band and high band.

"These, as well as other components, steps, features, objects, benefits, and advantages, will now become clear from a review of the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments, the accompanying drawings, and the claims."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Skinner, Scott; Hanna, Christopher M.. Compressor Based Dynamic Bass Enhancement with EQ. U.S. Patent Number 9380385, filed March 14, 2014, and published online on June 28, 2016. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9380385.PN.&OS=PN/9380385RS=PN/9380385

Keywords for this news article include: THAT Corporation.

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Source: Equities.com News (July 7, 2016 - 7:11 PM EDT)

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