Apple patent filing involves virtual instrument interfaces for GarageBand, Logic Pro X

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170330539) for user interfaces for virtual instruments. It involves the user interfaces of GarageBand on macOS and iOS, and Logic Pro X on the Mac.

Virtual musical instruments, such as musical instrument digital interface (MIDI)-based or software-based keyboards, guitars, bass instruments, and the like, typically have user interfaces that attempt to closely resemble the actual instrument. When a user selects an element of the user interface, the virtual musical instrument attempts to play a note, a combination of notes, chord(s), etc., to simulate playing the actual instrument. 

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Apple says that, w=While these instruments are enjoyable to amateur and experienced musicians alike, they may not be satisfactory to users hoping for a more authentic experience. For example, some physical instruments and/or musical genres may be associated with certain stylistic features such as a particular playing style, picking technique, embellishments, and the like. 

These stylistic features may be difficult or impossible for a user to emulate with conventional user interfaces. This can be problematic for users who would like to include such stylistic features as they play. Additionally, some users may be inexperienced with the actual instrument or may find an interface that closely resembles the playing surface of the actual interface difficult or confusing to utilize. Apple wants to change this.

Here’s the summary of the invention: “Embodiments of the present disclosure can provide systems, methods, and computer-readable medium for implementing user interfaces for interacting with a virtual instrument. For example, first touch input indicating a string location of a plurality of string locations within the note selection area. 

“Audio output corresponding to the sting location may be presented on a speaker based at least in part on the first touch input. Second touch input corresponding to an ornamental interface element of the user interface may be received. In response to the first and second touch input, a series of two or more audio outputs may be presented on the speaker according to a predetermined pattern.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.