- Rockin’ Patent: US Patent No. 5,576,507
- Filed: 27 December 1994
- In the name of: Frank LaMarra (inventor)
- Title: Wireless Remote Channel-MIDI Switching Device
- What’s claimed: “A wireless remote controlled musical instrument switching system for use with a musical instrument of the type that produces a music signal representing musical notes and for use with a signal processor or amplifier that alters the quality of the music signal, comprising: a switch bank including at least one manually actuable switch having means for mounting directly to said musical instrument; a transmitter coupled to said switch bank for emitting a radiated signal in response to actuation of said switch; said radiated signal comprising sound effecting information different than said music signal; a receiver for receiving said radiated signal and for producing a control signal corresponding to the actuation of said switch; a musical device switching interface coupled to said receiver for producing MIDI protocol digital signals in accordance with said control signal said interface being adapted to control said signal processor or amplifier in accordance with said sound effecting information.”
- Why this patent rocks: Figure 1 (above) is amazing! The invention itself sets out to solve the problem of a musician being “tethered” to foot pedals/rack-mounted effects when they play live. The idea is to provide a small switch bank device on the instrument itself (see item 12 in Figure 1 above) which can be used to control remote hardware (e.g. effects units) to give the musician more on-stage freedom.