Title:
Method and system for multi-dimensional live sound performance
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method is described for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience. A first component of the live sound performance is produced (164) by a first group of performers. A second component of the live sound performance is produced (166) by a second group of performers. The first and second components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous. A performance venue (124) and a method of using a performance venue are also described for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience.



Inventors:
Kogut, Ari (Woodlands, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/991817
Publication Date:
06/01/2006
Filing Date:
11/18/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H3/10
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Primary Examiner:
SAFAVI, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HULSEY PC (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience, comprising: producing, by a first group of performers, a first component of the live sound performance; producing, by a second group of performers, a second component of the live sound performance; wherein the first and second components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: orienting the first group of performers at a first location; and orienting the second group of performers at a second location.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising: coordinating the two producing steps by a conductor.

4. The method of claim 3, further comprising: orienting the conductor at a third location between the first location and the second location; whereby the conductor is located between the first and second groups of performers.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising: orienting the audience at a fourth location between the first location and the second location; whereby the audience is located between the first and second groups of performers.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the third location is within the fourth location; whereby the conductor is surrounded by the audience.

7. The method of claim 6, further comprising: producing, by a third group of performers, a third component of the live sound performance; producing, by a fourth group of performers, a fourth component of the live sound performance; wherein the first, second, third, and fourth components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

8. A performance venue for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience, comprising: at least two performance areas; and an audience area; wherein at least one of the performance areas is discontiguous from at least one other of the performance areas; whereby two groups of performers, one located in the one performance area and one located in the other performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous.

9. The performance venue of claim 8, further comprising: a conductor area oriented between the one performance area and the other performance area.

10. The performance venue of claim 9, wherein the conductor area comprises a podium oriented within the audience area; whereby the podium of the conductor area is surrounded by the audience.

11. The performance venue of claim 8, wherein the audience area is oriented directly between the one performance area and the other performance area.

12. The performance venue of claim 8, wherein the at least two performance areas comprise at least three performance areas; wherein at least a third performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one and the other performance areas; whereby three groups of performers, one located in the one performance area, one located in the other performance area, and one located in the third performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous.

13. The performance venue of claim 8, wherein the at least two performance areas comprise at least four performance areas; wherein at least a third performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one and the other performance areas; wherein at least a fourth performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one, the other, and the third performance areas; whereby four groups of performers, one located in the one performance area, one located in the other performance area, one located in the third performance area, and one located in the fourth performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous.

14. A method of using a performance venue for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience, comprising: orienting a plurality of groups of performers among a plurality of performance areas of the performance venue, wherein at least one group is oriented within one of the performance areas and at least one other group is oriented within one other of the performance areas; producing, by the at least one group of performers, at least a first component of the live sound performance; producing, by the at least one other group of performers, at least a second component of the live sound performance; wherein the first and second components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising: coordinating the producing steps by a conductor.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising: orienting the conductor at a conducting location within the performance venue.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the orienting the conductor comprises: orienting the conductor between the groups of performers.

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising: orienting the audience at an audience location within the performance venue and between the performance areas, whereby the audience is located between the groups of performers.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the conducting location is within the audience location, whereby the conductor is surrounded by the audience.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising: wherein a third group is oriented within a third one of the performance areas and a fourth group is oriented within a fourth one of the performance areas; producing, by the third group of performers, at least a third component of the live sound performance; producing, by the fourth group of performers, at least a fourth component of the live sound performance; wherein the first, second, third, and fourth components are, from the listening perspective of the audience, acoustically discontiguous.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This disclosure pertains to live sound performances.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Live sound performances, such as musicals and orchestra performances, have been and are quite popular. Over time, a variety of approaches have been taken to enhance the listening enjoyment of audience members.

One approach involves using different musical instruments or different combinations of instruments. Another approach involves combining performance modes such as voice and instrumental. Yet another approach uses a revolving audience seating area which enables the audience to be faced toward the one of several stages in use at a given moment. A further approach uses an array of audience turntables which are individually revolvable so that all of the turntables may be faced toward a single live performance focal point.

As a result of these approaches, among others, the listening enjoyment of audiences for live sound performances has been enhanced. However, these approaches utilize a single performance area within which one or more performers produce a live sound performance. Often the single performance area is located at one end of the performance venue, but sometimes it is located toward the center of the venue, with audience seating surrounding the performance area.

Humans have the ability to determine the direction from which sound is being generated based on a number of cues (e.g., loudness, inter-aural time delay, etc.). However, the above approaches to not take& advantage of that ability.

Accordingly, there is a need for a method and system for further enhancing audience enjoyment of live sound performances which takes advantage of the ability of audience members to determine the direction from which sound is being generated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present disclosure, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following brief descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals indicate like features.

FIG. 1 depicts a top view of a live sound performance venue, according to an approach of the prior art.

FIG. 2 depicts a top view of a live sound performance venue having two performance areas for producing acoustically discontiguous components of a live sound performance, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of a performance venue having four performance areas for producing acoustically discontiguous components of a live sound performance, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a sectional view of the performance venue of FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 depicts a flowchart of a process for providing a live sound performance including acoustically discontiguous components, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 depicts a flowchart of a process for using a performance venue to provide a live sound performance including acoustically discontiguous components, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This disclosure describes a method and system for multi-dimensional live sound performance for further enhancing audience enjoyment of live sound performances, taking advantage of the human ability to determine the direction from which sound is being generated. Whereas prior approaches have utilized single groups of performers, the present disclosure teaches the utilization of at least two groups of performers radially distributed relative to an audience. Such utilization of more than one group of performers provides a multi-dimensional listening experience for the audience which enhances the audience's listening experience.

More specifically, this disclosure teaches a method for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience. A first component of the live sound performance is produced by a first group of performers. A second component of the live sound performance is produced by a second group of performers. The first and second components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

The first group of performers can be oriented at a first location, and the second group of performers can be oriented at a second location. The two producing steps can be coordinated by a conductor. The conductor can be oriented at a third location between the first location and the second location, resulting in the conductor being located between the first and second groups of performers. The audience can be oriented at a fourth location between the first location and the second location, causing the audience to be located between the first and second groups of performers. The third location can be within the fourth location, resulting in the conductor being surrounded by the audience. A third component of the live sound performance can be produced by a third group of performers, and a fourth component of the live sound performance can be produced by a fourth group of performers. The first, second, third, and fourth components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

This disclosure also teaches a performance venue for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience. The venue includes at least two performance areas and an audience area. At least one of the performance areas is discontiguous from at least one other of the performance areas. As a result, two groups of performers, one located in the one performance area and one located in the other performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous.

A conductor area can be oriented between the one performance area and the other performance area. The conductor area can include a podium oriented within the audience area, resulting in the podium of the conductor area being surrounded by the audience. Moreover, the audience area can be oriented directly between the one performance area and the other performance area.

Alternately, the venue can include at least three performance areas, wherein at least a third performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one and the other performance areas. As a result, three groups of performers, one located in the one performance area, one located in the other performance area, and one located in the third performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous. As another similar alternate venue, at least four performance areas can be included in the venue, wherein at least a third performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one and the other performance areas, and wherein at least a fourth performance area of the performance areas is discontiguous from the one, the other, and the third performance areas. As a result, four groups of performers, one located in the one performance area, one located in the other performance area, one located in the third performance area, and one located in the fourth performance area, each produce at least one component of such a live sound performance, which components are, from the perspective of the audience area, mutually discontiguous.

This disclosure also teaches a method of using a performance venue for providing a multi-dimensional live sound performance for an audience. A plurality of groups of performers are oriented among a plurality of performance areas of the performance venue, wherein at least one group is oriented within one of the performance areas and at least one other group is oriented within one other of the performance areas. At least a first component of the live sound performance is produced by the at least one group of performers. At least a second component of the live sound performance is produced by the at least one other group of performers. The first and second components are, from the listening perspective of audience, acoustically discontiguous.

The producing steps can be coordinated by a conductor. The conductor can be oriented at a conducting location within the performance venue, possibly between the groups of performers. The audience can be oriented at an audience location within the performance venue and between the performance areas, resulting in the audience being located between the groups of performers. The conducting location can be within the audience location, resulting in the conductor being surrounded by the audience. A third group can be oriented within a third one of the performance areas and a fourth group is oriented within a fourth one of the performance areas. At least a third component of the live sound performance is produced by the third group of performers. At least a fourth component of the live sound performance is produced by the fourth group of performers. The first, second, third, and fourth components are, from the listening perspective of the audience, acoustically discontiguous.

Other aspects, objectives and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the remainder of the detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 depicts a top view of a prior art live sound performance venue 100. Such venues often have a stage or stage area 102 on one side or at one end of the venue. A performance area 104, typically residing within the stage area 102, provides a location within which a group of performers can perform. If a conductor is to coordinate the group of performers, a conducting area 106 typically resides between an audience area 108 and the performance area 104, possibly within the stage area 102.

FIG. 2 depicts a top view of a live sound performance venue 110 having two stage areas 112 and 114 on either of its ends. The stage areas 112 and 114 provide locations for two performance areas 116 and 118. The performance areas 116 and 118 can each contain one or more groups of performers, which can be coordinated by a conductor working from a conducting area 120. The conductor 120 is shown as being encompassed by an audience area 122, which provides an area within which one or more audiences can reside. Each group of performers produces a component of a live sound performance. The performance areas 116 and 118 are located relative to the audience area 122 so as to cause the components produced by the groups of performers to be acoustically discontiguous, from the perspective of the audience.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of a performance venue 124 having four stage areas 126, 128, 130, and 132, within which four performances areas 134, 136, 138, and 140 are located. A conducting area 142 is provided from which a conductor can coordinate groups of performers located within the performance areas 134, 136, 138, and 140. Two audience areas 144 and 146 are provided within which one or more audiences can reside during a live sound performance. The audience areas 144 and 146 are located so as to encompass the conducting area 142 and yet be located between the performance areas 134, 136, 138, and 140. This allows group of performers in the four performance areas 134, 136, 138, and 140 to produce acoustically discontiguous components of a live sound performance, from the perspective of the audience area 144.

FIG. 4 depicts a sectional view of the performance venue 124 of FIG. 3. The conducting area 142 can be seen to include a podium extending upward above the levels of the audience areas 144 and 146 and the stages 126, 128, and 132. This would provide good visibility of the conductor for the audience and also for groups of performers within the performances areas 134, 136, and 140, the latter enabling the conductor to coordinate the components of live performance produced by the groups. The podium could be extendible from floor-level in a piston-like fashion. Some the seating shown in the audience areas 144 and 146 allow some audience members to face toward the conductor and others to face away from the conductor and toward the groups of performers. The ceiling of the venue 124 is shown including acoustical shaping structures 148 for directing sound toward the audience areas 144 and 146. If ceiling structures 148 are part of an embodiment of the present invention they can be of any form suitable to achieve the desired effect (e.g., specially shaped acoustic ceiling tiles, mountable foam-type acoustic panels, etc.).

Risers are depicted upon the stages 126, 128, and 132 for the tiered seating of musicians.

FIG. 5 depicts a flowchart of a process for providing a live sound performance including acoustically discontiguous components. A first group of performers is oriented 150 at a first location. A second group of performers is oriented 152 at a second location. A third group of performers is oriented 154, as is a fourth group of performers 156.

A conductor is oriented 158 at a third location between the first location and the second location. An audience is oriented 160 at a fourth location between the first location and the second location and encompassing the third location.

The conductor coordinates 162 the following four producing steps, which are mutually acoustically discontiguous: (a) producing 164, by the first group of performers, a first component of a live sound performance; (b) producing 166, by the second group of performers, a second component of the live sound performance; (c) producing 168, by the third group of performers, a third component of the live sound performance; and (d) producing 170, by the fourth group of performers, a fourth component of the live sound performance.

FIG. 6 depicts a flowchart of a process for using a performance venue to provide a live sound performance including acoustically discontiguous components. A first group of performers is oriented 172 within a first of a plurality of performance areas. A second group of performers is oriented 174 within a second of the plurality of performance areas. A third group of performers is oriented 176 within a third of a plurality of performance areas. A fourth group of performers is oriented 178 within a fourth of a plurality of performance areas. A conductor is oriented 180 at a conducting location between the groups of performers. An audience is oriented 182 between the groups of performers and surrounding the conducting location.

The conductor coordinates 184 the following producing steps, which are, from the listening perspective of the audience, acoustically discontiguous: (a) producing 186, by the first group of performers, a first component of a live sound performance; (b) producing 188, by the second group of performers, a second component of the live sound performance; (c) producing 190, by the third group of performers, a third component of the live sound performance; and (d) producing 192, by the fourth group of performers, a fourth component of the live sound performance.

A specific embodiment of the present invention orients four groups of performers (violins, violas, cellos, and winds) in four performance areas. The performance areas are located, respectively, in the four corners of a rectangular performance venue. Audience members would be seated around the center of the venue, with a conductor working from a raised conducting podium in the center of the venue. Accordingly, the audience members would hear the components of the live sound performance produced by the four groups of performers as acoustically discontiguous, heightening audience members, enjoyment of the listening experience. For purposes of illustration, a further embodiment separates first and second violins into two acoustically discontiguous performance areas.

All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing embodiments of the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

The term “audience,” as used herein, means one or more listeners. The term “audience area,” as used herein, means one or more areas in which one or more audiences may reside. The term “group of performers,” as used herein, means one or more live sound performers (e.g., symphony orchestra, pop music band, single instrumentalist, opera singer, orator, among others).

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. For example, the seating arrangements for performers and/or for audience members could be very different than that explicitly described herein, such as interspersed audience areas and performance areas. As another example, the number of performance areas could exceed four and/or could change during the course of a live sound performance. As yet another example, the number of groups of performers could change during the course of a live sound performance. As a further example, acoustical structures and/or materials not described explicitly herein could be used to increase, reduce, or modify the degree to which live-sound-performance components are acoustically discontiguous. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.