The patent's assignee for patent number 8648240 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The embodiments described herein generally relate to musical instruments and in particular to tuning string instruments.
"When each string on a string instrument is tuned to a certain reference pitch, the instrument is considered to be in tune. A tuned instrument allows a person to create enjoyable music. However, over time the strings will drift away from producing their respective reference pitch. This is referred to as the instrument becoming out of tune. Some factors that contribute to the instrument becoming out of tune are the material and age of the strings, changes in temperature, the way the instrument is played, and the material and design of the instrument.
"Manually tuning an instrument each time it becomes out of tune is time consuming and an unpleasant experience. Current systems exist that detect when an instrument is out of tune and automatically tune the instrument by using a mechanical apparatus to adjust the individual strings of the instrument. Some drawbacks of these systems are that they are expensive, bulky, add weight to the instrument, are limited to small pitch changes, and are not compatible with many different types of string instruments. Accordingly, there is a need for an improved system for tuning string instruments."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Embodiments described herein provide methods and systems for tuning a string instrument using digital signal processing. The embodiments comprise, during a calibration mode, a standard adjustment factor is determined for each string of the instrument. During a normal mode, when a pitch is generated as a result of a string being strummed, the pitch is adjusted according to the corresponding standard adjustment factor and an intonation adjustment factor that accounts for intonation errors. An adjusted pitch is output that is in-tune and has accurate intonation.
"The embodiments described also provide methods and systems for alternatively tuning a string instrument. During a calibration mode, a standard adjustment factor is determined for a string of an instrument based on a first pitch generated by shortening and strumming the string. During a normal mode, when a pitch is generated by the string, the pitch is adjusted based on the standard adjustment factor. Therefore, by calibrating using a shortened string, the string is alternatively tuned."
For additional information on this patent, see: Hildebrand, Harold A.. Virtual Tuning of a String Instrument. U.S. Patent Number 8648240, filed
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