Apple files for patent for ‘realtime audio effects control’

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170206055) for “realtime audio effects control.” Most likely involving future versions of GarageBand on macOS and iOS devices, it’s for music authoring software can provide features that allow users to store music tracks, samples, or other prerecorded music segments and combine the music segments to create an original musical product.

Apple says the invention applies to a variety of electronic devices “including but not limited to laptop computers, desktop computers, computer terminals, television systems, tablet computers, e-book readers, smart phones, and/or wearable devices such as a smart watch, smart glasses, smart goggles, etc.” And it may or may not involve touch screens.

In some implementations of the invention, a computing device can be configured to present a graphical user interface that enables the dynamic authoring of music by a user of the computing device. The computing device can present a grid of cells, where each cell represents a music segment. The cells can be configured to playback the music segment once or playback the music segment in a repeating loop. 

The user can select (e.g., touch) one or more cells in the grid to cause the corresponding music segment to play. While playing selected cells, the user can provide input selecting various musical effects to apply to the playing music. The user can record a dynamically selected sequence of cells and musical effects to create an original musical product.

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.