Title:
Smoke Effects Generator For A Musical Instrument
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An effects generator for a musical instrument, such as an acoustic electric guitar, is disclosed. Such a musical instrument is of the type having a body with at least one internal cavity and at least one sound-producing string. The effects generator comprises a smoke generator that includes a heating wire, a receptacle for holding a quantity of a smoke-producing compound, and a receptacle holder disposed within the at least one cavity of the instrument. A battery is selectively electrically connected to the heating wire of the smoke generator. As such, the heating wire heats the smoke-producing compound to produce smoke emanating from the at least one internal cavity of the instrument. Preferably a switch is electrically disposed between the power source and the heating wire. The body may further includes an aperture opening into the at least one cavity therein, proximate to the receptacle holder, such than an empty receptacle may be replaced easily by grasping the empty receptacle through the aperture and replacing the empty receptacle with a receptacle full of the smoke-producing compound.



Inventors:
Creran, John K. (Clark, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/779276
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/28
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Primary Examiner:
UHLIR, CHRISTOPHER J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUICKPATENTS (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An effects generator for a musical instrument having a body with at least one internal cavity and at least one string, the effects generator comprising: a smoke generator comprising a heating wire, a receptacle for holding a quantity of a smoke-producing compound, and a receptacle holder disposed within the at least one cavity and fixed to the body therein; a power source selectively electrically connected to the heating wire and adapted to heat the heating wire; whereby when the power source is electrically connected to the heating wire, the heating wire heats the smoke-producing compound to produce smoke emanating from the at least one internal cavity of the musical instrument.

2. The effects generator of claim 1 further including a switch electrically disposed between the power source and the heating wire, the switch mounted to the body of the musical instrument, whereby upon actuation of the switch the power source is electrically connected to the heating wire of the smoke generator.

3. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is an acoustic electric guitar.

4. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a bass guitar.

5. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a violin.

6. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a bass.

7. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a cello.

8. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a banjo.

9. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is a mandolin.

10. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is an acoustic guitar.

11. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the musical instrument is an electric guitar.

12. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the switch includes an actuator that protrudes at least partially out of the body of the musical instrument.

13. The effects generator of claim 1 wherein the cavity includes an aperture therein proximate to the receptacle holder, whereby an empty receptacle may be replaced easily by grasping the empty receptacle through the aperture and replacing same with a full receptacle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to musical instruments, and more particularly to a smoking effect apparatus for use in a guitar.

DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

It is well known that during musical performances, special effects such as lighting, smoke, confetti, and the like can add tremendously to the overall experience. Many prior art devices exist for producing such effects at concerts or live events, for example. Most of these devices, however, are concerned with effects that occur away from the performers themselves. For example, confetti cannons are typically pointed away from the performers and towards the audience, and are typically fired remotely by the lighting director or other manager, not by the performers themselves.

Other prior art devices are directed towards allowing the performer to dictate the actuation and timing of effects by combining an effects module and a musical instrument. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,247,283 to Vidas on Jan. 27, 1981 teaches a special effects device that allows the performer to control the emission of a flame from the open end of the trumpet.

US Patent Application 2005/0172785 to Fisher-Robbins et al. on Aug. 11, 2005 teaches an electric lighting effect device for inclusion inside a cavity in the body of a guitar. Such a device requires a transparent cover so that the lighting effects produced are visible by the audience. When actuated, colored lighting effects are produced under the hands of the guitarist, adding a visual dimension to the guitarist's performance.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,741,717 to Wolf on May 3, 1988 teaches a smoke generator for a toy. Such a device utilizes a heated oil-soaked wick to produce an intermittent smoking effect with a blower. Such a device, however, eventually exhausts its supply of oil in the wick, providing less and less smoke as the device is used. Such a wick is not easily replaced.

None of these devices teaches an effect for producing smoke from the area of the strings of a musical instrument. Further, none of these prior art devices teaches a system that allows for the subtle actuation of the device without the use of the performer's hands. None of these devices provides for easy replacement of a smoke-producing compound.

Therefore, there is a need for such an effects device. The present invention accomplishes these objectives.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present device is an effects generator for a musical instrument, such as an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or the like. Such a musical instrument is of the type having a body with at least one internal cavity and at least one sound-producing string.

The effects generator comprises a smoke generator that includes a heating wire, a receptacle for holding a quantity of a smoke-producing compound, and a receptacle holder disposed within the at least one cavity of the instrument. A power source, such as a battery, is selectively electrically connected to the heating wire of the smoke generator, SO as to heat the heating wire. As such, the heating wire heats the smoke-producing compound to produce smoke emanating from the at least one internal cavity of the instrument.

Preferably a switch is electrically disposed between the power source and the heating wire. The switch may be mounted to the body of the musical instrument, such that upon actuation of the switch, during playing of the instrument, for example, the power source is electrically connected to the heating wire of the smoke generator. The switch preferably includes an actuator that protrudes at least partially out of the body of the musical instrument.

The body may further include an aperture opening into the at least one cavity therein, proximate to the receptacle holder, such than an empty receptacle may be replaced easily by grasping the empty receptacle through the aperture and replacing the empty receptacle with a receptacle full of the smoke-producing compound.

The effects generator may be installed in an existing musical instrument, or manufactured as original equipment in a new musical instrument. When installed in an existing musical instrument, a suitable cavity of the instrument may be selected, or formed into the body of the instrument such as by routing or milling.

The present device allows the performer to either to activate the device subtly, without the use of his hands, while playing, or by hand if the switch is located on the front surface of the body. Smoke is produced from the area of the strings of a musical instrument, providing a new visual dimension to the performer's performance. Further, the smoke-producing compound of the invention is easily replaced when exhausted, as is the battery that powers the device. Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a musical instrument with the invention installed therein;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of electrical components of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a rear surface of a musical instrument with the invention installed therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 illustrates an effects generator 10 for a musical instrument 20, such as an acoustic electric guitar, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, a violin, a bass, a cello, a banjo, a mandolin, an acoustic guitar, or the like. Such a musical instrument 20 is of the type having a body 30 with at least one internal cavity 40 and at least one sound-producing string 50.

The effects generator 10 comprises a smoke generator 60 that includes a heating wire 70, a receptacle 80 for holding a quantity of a smoke-producing compound 90 (FIG. 2), and a receptacle holder 100 disposed within the at least one cavity 40 of the instrument 20. The receptacle holder 100 is fixed to the body 30 within the at least one cavity 40, such as by a mechanical fastener (not shown) such as at least one screw, adhesive, or the like.

A power source 110, such as a battery, is selectively electrically connected to the heating wire 70 of the smoke generator 60 (FIG. 2), so as to heat the heating wire 70. As such, the heating wire 70 heats the smoke-producing compound 90 to produce smoke 95 emanating from the at least one internal cavity 40 of the instrument 20 (FIG. 1). A cover 25 may be used to substantially close the at least one internal cavity 40, the cover either including at least one aperture 28 such that smoke may pass therethrough, or being offset slightly above the body 30 of the instrument 20 with spacers (not shown) such that smoke may pass around the cover 25.

Preferably a switch 120 is electrically disposed between the power source 110 and the heating wire 70. The switch 120 may be mounted to the body 30 of the musical instrument 20, such that upon actuation of the switch 120 the power source 110 is electrically connected to the heating wire 70 of the smoke generator 60. The switch 120 preferably includes an actuator 125 that protrudes at least partially out of the body 30 of the musical instrument 20, such as through a front surface 39, a rear surface 38 (FIG. 3), or a side surface 37 thereof. With the musical instrument 20 being a guitar, having the actuator 125 protrude through the front surface 39 of the instrument 20 is preferred as such positioning is less likely to be inadvertently actuated during play. On the other hand, with the aperture 125 protruding through the rear surface 38, the performer may subtly actuate the device 10 with his leg, for example, while playing the instrument 20 with both hands. Thus, the placement of the switch 120 is flexible, and may be determined by the performer. Moreover, other instruments 20 may have different preferred switch 120 placement, depending upon how they're positioned with respect to the performer during play.

The body 30 may further includes an aperture 35 opening into the at least one cavity 40 therein, proximate to the receptacle holder 100, such than an empty receptacle 80 may be replaced easily by grasping the empty receptacle 80 through the aperture 35 and replacing the empty receptacle 80 with a receptacle 80 full of the smoke-producing compound 90. In FIG. 3, the aperture 35 is shown in the rear surface 38 of the instrument. However, the aperture 35 may be also formed into the front surface 39 or the side surface 37 of the instrument, depending upon preference and the type of instrument 20 being used with the effects generator 10.

The effects generator 10 may be installed in an existing musical instrument 20, or manufactured as original equipment in a new musical instrument 20. When installed in an existing musical instrument, a suitable cavity 40 of the instrument 20 may be selected, or formed into the body 30 of the instrument such as by routing or milling. Many instruments 20 have at least one suitable cavity 40 therein, however. Further, the aperture 35 may be added to the body 30 so as to provide access to the receptacle 80 of smoke-producing compound 90. In a newly manufactured instrument, the cavity 40 may be formed into the body 30 of the instrument during manufacturing and specifically for holding the effects generator 10.

While a particular form of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the exact placement of the switch 120, the aperture 35 in the body 30 of the instrument 20, and the cavity 40 into which the effects generator 10 may be installed may all be modified. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the appended claims.