Rockin’ Patent – Avid Technology, Inc.’s “Exchange Of Metadata Between A Live Sound Mixing Console And A Digital Audio Workstation”

 

Patents Rock - Exchange of metadata between a live sound mixing console and a digital audio workstation

Figure 1 of this patent “is a high level block diagram of a live sound mixing console and a digital audio workstation connected by an audio connection and a computer network connection”

  • Rockin’ Patent: US Patent No. 8,886,344
  • Filed: 8 September 2010
  • In the name of: Avid Technology, Inc. (Assignee)
  • Title: Exchange Of Metadata Between A Live Sound Mixing Console And A Digital Audio Workstation
  • What’s claimed: “A system for processing digital audio, the system comprising: an audio mixing console; a digital audio workstation; a high bandwidth connection between the audio mixing console and the digital audio workstation for transferring audio information; and a network connection between the audio mixing console and the digital audio workstation; wherein the audio mixing console and the digital audio workstation implement a communication protocol for sending messages between the audio mixing console and the digital audio workstation over the network connection, the messages including metadata specifying a value for each of a plurality of settings on the audio mixing console, wherein each value defines a state of the corresponding setting that was used to mix audio information received by the audio mixing console during a live performance; wherein the received audio information is sent to the digital audio workstation over the high bandwidth connection; and wherein the metadata is sent from the audio mixing console to the digital audio workstation, and wherein the digital audio workstation is used to edit the metadata such that an edited value of at least one of the settings differs from a corresponding value of the setting that was used to mix audio information received by the audio mixing console during a live performance”.
  • Why this patent rocks:
    • This patent describes a problem with existing techniques for live sound mixing and using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to record the show: “Current techniques for live sound mixing and using a DAW for recording the show involve sending audio streams, signals for time synchronization, and transport control (e.g., play, pause, stop) from the console to the DAW. After a performance is recorded, the DAW has a session lasting the duration of the performance, often with no indication as to which parts of the recorded session correspond to key points in a performance where the mix might change, for example at the start of a new song. Furthermore, no information as to the routing assignments of the inputs and outputs, or the names of the track sources are available at the DAW. In order to create a new session, the DAW operator needs to assign the mixing console input/output paths to their corresponding DAW tracks, and manually label all the tracks. Since shows often have dozens of tracks, sometimes in excess of 100 tracks, this process can be time-consuming and error prone. Furthermore, the work is largely duplicative of the set-up already performed by the mixing console operator when setting up the live mix”.
    • The patent describes that, in order to address this: “… the invention features implementing a computer network protocol between the mixing console and the DAW for passing metadata between the console and the DAW. This enables a tighter integration between the two systems, permitting more efficient and less error prone workflows for archiving, performing soundchecks, and offline remixing”.
    • The patent also describes that three different workflows are enabled by the link between the mixing console and the DAW, namely:
      • archiving – recording a live performance using the DAW;
      • virtual live mixing – mixing the live performance without using the
        mixing console or being physically present in a performance
        venue; and
      • virtual sound-checking – substituting a recorded live performance
        session on the DAW for live input from the
        performers.

Post by Iain Russell, Patent and Design Attorney, EIP

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