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Sound zoom method, medium, and apparatus

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20130022217 patent thumbnailZoom

Sound zoom method, medium, and apparatus


A sound zoom method, medium, and apparatus generating a signal in which a target sound is removed from sound signals input to a microphone array by adjusting a null width that restricts a directivity sensitivity of the microphone array, and extracting a signal corresponding to the target sound from the sound signals by using the generated signal. Thus, a sound located at a predetermined position away from the microphone array can be selectively obtained so that a target sound is efficiently obtained.
Related Terms: Elective

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USPTO Applicaton #: #20130022217 - Class: 381 92 (USPTO) - 01/24/13 - Class 381 
Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices > Directive Circuits For Microphones

Inventors: So-young Jeong, Kwang-cheol Oh, Jae-hoon Jeong, Kyu-hong Kim

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130022217, Sound zoom method, medium, and apparatus.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of copending application Ser. No. 12/010,087 filed Jan. 18, 2008, the contents of which are incorporated by reference

BACKGROUND

1. Field

One or more embodiments of the present invention relate to a sound zoom operation involving changing a received sound signal according to a change in the distance from a near-field location to a far-field location, and more particularly, to a method, medium, and apparatus which can implement a sound zoom engaged with a motion picture zoom operation through the use of a zoom lens control in a portable terminal apparatus, for example, such as a video camera, a digital camcorder, and a camera phone supporting the motion picture zoom function.

2. Description of the Related Art

As video cameras, digital camcorders, and camera phones capable of capturing motion pictures are becoming increasingly more common, the amount of user created content (UCC) has dramatically increased. Similarly, with the development of high speed Internet and web technologies, the number of channels conveying such UCC is also increasing. Accordingly, there is also an increased desire for digital devices capable of obtaining a motion picture with high image and sound qualities according to the various needs of a user.

With regard to conventional motion picture photographing technologies, a zoom function for photographing an object at a far-field distance is applied only to the image of the object. Even when a motion picture photographing device photographs the far-field object, in terms of sound, the background interference sound at a near-field distance to the device is merely recorded as it, resulting in the addition of a sense of being audibly present with respect to the far-field object becomes impossible. Thus, in order to be able to photograph an object along with a sense of being present with respect to the far-field object, when sound is recorded along with the zoom function when capturing an image, a technology for recording the far-field sound by excluding the near-field background interference sound would be needed. Herein, in order to avoid confusion with a motion picture zoom function for photographing an object at a far-field distance, descriptions below regarding a technology to selectively obtain sound separated a particular distance from a sound recording device will be referred to as sound zoom.

In order to selectively obtain sound located a particular distance away from a recording device, there are techniques of changing a directivity of a microphone by mechanically moving the microphone along with the motion of a zoom lens and of electronically engaging an interference sound removal rate with the motion of a zoom lens. However, the former technique merely changes a degree of the directivity to the front side of microphone so that the near-field background interference sound cannot be removed. According to the latter technique, when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a far-field sound is low, it may be highly likely that a target signal is also removed due to a misinterpreting of a far-field target sound as the interference sound. In addition, in the engagement with a zoom lens control unit, the amount of removal of interference sound performed by an interference sound removal filter can be applied only to stationary interference sounds.

SUMMARY

To overcome such above and/or other problems, one or more embodiments of the present invention provide a sound zoom method, medium, and apparatus which can differentiate a desired sound by overcoming a problem of an undesired sound, at a distance that a user does not desire, being recorded because sound cannot be selectively obtained and recorded based on distance, and/or overcome another problem of a target sound being misinterpreted as interference sounds and removed. Such a method, medium, and apparatus can overcome a limitation of interference sound canceling being applied only to stationary interference sound, unlike a motion picture zoom function capable of photographing an object according to the distance from a near-field location to a far-field location.

Additional aspects and/or advantages will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a sound zoom method includes generating a signal in which a target sound is removed from sound signals input to a microphone array by adjusting a null width that restricts a directivity sensitivity of the microphone array, and extracting a signal corresponding to the target sound from the sound signals by using the generated signal.

According to another aspect of the present invention, embodiments may include a computer readable recording medium having recorded thereon a program to execute the above sound zoom method.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a sound zoom apparatus includes a null width adjustment unit generating a signal in which a target sound is removed from sound signals input to a microphone array by adjusting a null width that restricts a directivity sensitivity of the microphone array, and a signal extraction unit extracting a signal corresponding to the target sound from the sound signals by using the generated signal.

According to one or more embodiments of the present invention, like the motion picture zoom function capable of photographing an object according to the distance from a near distance to a far distance, sound may be selectively obtained according to the distance by interpreting sound located at a distance that a user does not desire as interference sound and removing that sound, in sound recording. In addition, a target sound may be efficiently obtained by adjusting a null width of a microphone array. Furthermore, in removing interference sound, by using a stationary interference sound removing technology varying according to the time, interference sound may be removed in an environment in which the characteristic of a signal varies in real time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects and advantages will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B respectively illustrate environments of a desired far-field target sound with near-field interference sound and a desired near-field target sound with far-field interference sound;

FIG. 1C illustrates a digital camcorder with example microphones for a sound zoom function, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a sound zoom apparatus, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a sound zoom apparatus, such as that of FIG. 2, with added input/output (I/O) signals for each element, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a null width adjustment unit and a signal extraction unit engaged with a zoom control unit, such as in the sound zoom apparatus of FIG. 2, according to an embodiment of the present invention;



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Previous Patent Application:
Method for operating a hybrid vehicle
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Systems and methods for processing audio signals captured using microphones of multiple devices
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Electrical audio signal processing systems and devices
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130022217 A1
Publish Date
01/24/2013
Document #
13627306
File Date
09/26/2012
USPTO Class
381 92
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04R3/00
Drawings
8


Elective


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