EP3396663B1 - Sound masking for white goods - Google Patents

Sound masking for white goods Download PDF

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Publication number
EP3396663B1
EP3396663B1 EP17168006.9A EP17168006A EP3396663B1 EP 3396663 B1 EP3396663 B1 EP 3396663B1 EP 17168006 A EP17168006 A EP 17168006A EP 3396663 B1 EP3396663 B1 EP 3396663B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
noise
music
sound
plain
active
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP17168006.9A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP3396663A1 (en
Inventor
Barbaros Kirisken
Mustafa Nevzat Yatir
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS
Original Assignee
Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS
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Priority to EP17168006.9A priority Critical patent/EP3396663B1/en
Publication of EP3396663A1 publication Critical patent/EP3396663A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10KSOUND-PRODUCING DEVICES; METHODS OR DEVICES FOR PROTECTING AGAINST, OR FOR DAMPING, NOISE OR OTHER ACOUSTIC WAVES IN GENERAL; ACOUSTICS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10K11/00Methods or devices for transmitting, conducting or directing sound in general; Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general
    • G10K11/16Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general
    • G10K11/175Methods or devices for protecting against, or for damping, noise or other acoustic waves in general using interference effects; Masking sound
    • G10K11/1752Masking
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10KSOUND-PRODUCING DEVICES; METHODS OR DEVICES FOR PROTECTING AGAINST, OR FOR DAMPING, NOISE OR OTHER ACOUSTIC WAVES IN GENERAL; ACOUSTICS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10K2210/00Details of active noise control [ANC] covered by G10K11/178 but not provided for in any of its subgroups
    • G10K2210/10Applications
    • G10K2210/105Appliances, e.g. washing machines or dishwashers

Description

    Background of the Invention
  • Usually at home, white goods such as washing machines, refrigerators and so on are highly annoying devices with respect to noise. Motors of washing machines and compressors of refrigerators can create very loud unwanted vibrations and sound. Because of the nature of this noise that is created by a rotating motor, special mechanical designs and sound insulation to suppress or shift the frequency of this noise are common. This type of annoying noise is commonly referred as 'active noise'. A general solution for active noise cancellation is to create anti-noise that can nullify the active noise of the white goods. The anti-noise interferes destructively with the active noise to suppress the active noise.
  • In the prior art, US5781640 discloses a system for suppressing undesirable noise such as the noise adjacent to freeways arising from vehicular traffic, particularly by transformation of unpleasant noise into sound that is more pleasing to the human ear. More specifically, this prior art provides a system for suppressing the effects of undesirable noise from an annoying noise source, that contains a plurality of transformation sounds which, when combined with the noise, form a sound that is pleasing to the ear. The incident noise is detected and converted to signals which are dynamically analyzed, filtered and monitored to control the transformation sound selection process. The transformation sounds are modulated by a filtered signal derived from these noise signals that tracks the average energy in the noise. In this case, the active noise is suppressed.
  • US2002150261 describes a sound masking system for shaping the ambient noise level in a physical environment. This sound masking system comprises a networked and distributed system having a number of master units coupled together and to a control unit. One or more of the master units may include satellite sound masking units which function to reproduce the sound masking signal generated by the master sound masking unit. Each of the master units is addressable over the network by the control unit enabling the control unit to program the contour, spectral band, and gain characteristics of the sound masking output signal. The system may also include a remote control unit which provides the capability to tune and adjust each master sound masking unit in situ without requiring physical access through the ceiling installation. In this case the system requires a feed back control unit to adjust the output.
  • US6742208 provides a noise reduction system for a washing machine. More specifically, a washing machine is provided with a noise reduction and control system which can sense out of balance and pump starvation conditions. A microphone is used in connection with an electronic controller to sense an unbalance or pump starvation condition and alter a washing operation of the machine to counteract the unbalance or pump starvation condition. Additionally, the microphone and controller can respond to voice commands to establish the washing operation for the washing machine. Once an unbalance or excessive vibration condition is sensed, a controller may alter the operation of the machine to counteract system imbalances. For instance, the system can either be stopped for a short amount of time to rebalance the clothing within the washing machine tub or alternatively, stopped altogether. This prior art noise reduction system is configured for washing machines and the noise is reduced by adjusting the operation of the washing machine.
  • US7854295 refers to an active noise control apparatus and an active noise control system for reducing noise using an active vibrator, such that edges β of the vibrator (i.e. genesis locations of a bending moment of force caused by the vibrator) agree with positions α on a distribution of the bending moment of force caused by noise vibration of a panel, and such that the edges β of the vibrator are aligned with the positions α on the panel where a sign, of the distribution of the bending moment of force over the panel caused by the noise vibration, reverses. As a result, a control vibration approximate to the noise vibration can be excited. Accordingly, when the vibrator is fixed by agreeing the edges β of the vibrator with the positions α determined by noise frequency desired to be reduced, noise due to a target noise frequency can be effectively reduced. In this case, this prior art utilizes a finite element analysis to shift resonance frequency. But the method is complicated and requires expensive devices.
  • The subject-matter of US5781640 , US2002150261 , US6742208 and US7854295 requires a control unit with feedback and more complex digital signal processing (DSP). Further, the systems described in the prior art are expensive and some systems are limited to specific applications.
  • US 2009/000461 A1 describes a flexible audio tone-generating device for use in a consumer appliance. The device generates pleasing musical tones. The device uses two outputs of a software-executing processor utilizing stored tone data associated with status events of the appliance to drive a tone circuit for outputting a melody using the tones to notify the user of the existence of one of the status events.
  • US 2016/047076 A1 describes a music washing machine and a control method thereof. The washing machine includes a motor for introducing a washing water flow. The motor is connected to a control device for performing mutual conversion between a rotation and stopping ratio and/or the rotation speed of the motor and a musical characteristic signal, so that the music emitted by an output device synchronizes with the rotation and stopping ratio and/or the rotation speed of the motor during working of the washing machine. By a conversion device of the washing machine, mutual conversion between the rotation and stopping ratio and/or the rotation speed of the motor of the washing machine and the musical characteristic signal is performed, so that the output device emits music corresponding to the rotation and stopping ratio and/or the rotation speed of the motor during working of the washing machine.
  • US 2008/295672 A1 describes a portable sound processing device designed to retrofit a portable digital player (PDP) such as an ipod sold by Apple, Inc., which includes a display for interacting with a user, a plurality of input devices for receiving input from a user. The portable sound processing device has internal or external pre-recorded music which may be mixed with the live input from a musical instrument. The processor may perform digital signal processing to change the pitch while keeping the tempo the same for pre-recorded music to match the key of the instrument being played. The tempo may be adjusted while not affecting the pitch allowing a musician to practice a song at a slower pace. It may also highlight or remove a specific instrument for practice purposes. The result is a portable signal processing device which aids music transcription, learning and study.
  • The Youtube™ video entitled "Thunderstruck White Trash Washer Cover" by Aaron McAvoy, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKZTdkvr4qo&feature=youtu.be, (20171017), shows a guy playing an electric guitar using the noise generated by a tumble dryer as a bass-line backing track.
  • Object of the Invention
  • It is therefore the object of the present invention to provide a device, in particular a system for masking active noise from white goods, and a method of masking active noise from white goods that has simple DSP and operates as an open-loop system. That is the system does not require a feedback unit for active noise control.
  • Description of the Invention
  • The before mentioned object is solved by a system for masking active noise from white goods according to claim 1. The system for masking active noise / active motor noise from white goods according to the present invention comprises means configured to determine a loading condition of the white goods, means configured to predict periodic active motor noise that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods, means configured to predict a rhythm from the predicted periodic active motor noise, means configured to download from internet or from a system memory original music with a similar rhythm to the predicted periodic active motor noise, means configured to remove a rhythmic background from the original music to obtain plain music, and a speaker configured to play the plain music, whereby the active motor noise and the plain music are combined together in air to create less annoying sound.
  • This solution is beneficial since the invention does not require any feedback from the system and provides an improved simple DSP unit.
  • Further preferred embodiments are the subject-matter of the dependent claims and/or of the following specification parts.
  • According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, pink noise or white noise is added to the plain music at a predetermined level to create better sound masking. The noise can be combined with the plain music in air to produce more sound than the noise. Comparitively, the generated sound is less annoying and comfortable to a user. Further, the system may utilize open-loop active noise control for sound masking. That is, the system does not require any feedback loop for adjusting the output.
  • The before-mention object is also solved by a method of masking active noise from white goods according to claim 5. The method comprises determining a loading condition of the white goods; predicting periodic active motor noise that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods; predicting a rhythm from the predicted periodic active motor noise; downloading from internet or from a system memory original music with a similar rhythm to the predicted periodic active motor noise; removing a rhythmic background from the original music to obtain plain music; and playing the plain music, whereby the active motor noise and the plain music are combined together in air to create less annoying sound, according to any of claims 1 to 4.
  • Further benefits, goals and features of the present invention will be described by the following specification of the attached figures, in which components of the invention are exemplarily illustrated. Components of the devices and method according to the invention, which match at least essentially with respect to their function can be marked with the same reference sign, wherein such components do not have to be marked or described in all figures.
  • The invention is just exemplarily described with respect to the attached figures in the following.
  • Brief Description of the Drawings
  • Fig. 1
    illustrates an exemplary model of white goods with sound masking, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and
    Fig. 2
    illustrates the working principle of the system for masking active motor noise from white goods, according to an embodiment of the present invention.
    Detailed Description of the Drawings
  • Fig. 1 illustrates an exemplary model 100 of white goods with sound masking, according to an embodiment of the present invention. In the white goods 1 (for example a front-load washing machine), the system is fixed near to the user interface to determine a loading condition and accordingly predicts the active motor noise 9. Further, a speaker 2 of the system is attached near to the user interface and above the rotating motor 3 of the white goods 1 or a source of the active noise. Original music 6 with appropriate background sound is selected from the internet or from a system memory. The original music 6 is converted to plain music 8 by removing a periodic rhythmic background sound 7 from the original music 6. The plain music 8 can be played through the speaker 2. The active motor noise 9 and the plain music 8 are combined 10 together in air and produce comfortable music 11. Hence, the rotating motor sound 9 of the white goods 1 is masked by the plain music 8.
  • Fig. 2 illustrates the working principle 200 of the system for masking active noise from white goods, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The system for masking active noise comprises means configured to determine a loading condition of the white goods 1, means configured to predict active motor noise 9 that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods 1, means configured to predict a rhythm from the predicted active motor noise 9, means configured to download original music 6 with a similar rhythm to the predicted active motor noise 9, means configured to remove the rhythmic background 7 from the original music 6 to obtain plain music 8, and speaker 2 configured to play the plain music 8, whereby the motor noise 9 and the plain music 8 are combined together 10 in air to create less annoying sound 11.
  • According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the system utilizes open-loop (no feedback required) active noise masking (not suppressing) technique. That is, the overall sound is higher than the active motor noise 9 but annoys the user less. The system may estimate active motor noise 9 that is generated by either a motor of a washing machine or a compressor of a refrigerator (white goods). This active motor noise 9 is partly predictable with certain parameters such as load. Initially, the system can predict the loading condition and based on that, the active motor noise 9 is predicted. The active motor noise 9 may include a periodic rhythmic sound. All the sound waves have varying amplitude 4 with respect to time domain 5.
  • According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the motor (or compressor) may create periodic rhythmic sound 9. The system can use this periodic rhythmic sound 9 as a background for the original music 6. Whenever the rhythm of the active motor noise 9 is predicted, the system either downloads or finds some original music 6 with a similar beat / rhythm. Then the system may delete the rhythmic background 7 from the original music 6 and create plain music 8. At that stage, the active motor noise 9 and the plain music 8 from the speaker 2 are combined 10 together in air to create less annoying sound 11. The combined sound is not identical to the original (that is original music 6) but very similar. According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, pink noise or white noise is added to the plain music 8 at a predetermined level to create better sound masking. The active motor noise 9 can be merged with the plain music 8 to produce more sound than the active motor noise 9. Comparitively, the generated sound is less annoying and comfortable to a user. Further, the system may utilize open-loop active noise control for sound masking. That is, the system does not require any feedback loop for adjusting the output.
  • According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a method of masking active motor noise 9 from white goods 1 comprises determining a loading condition of the white goods 1; predicting active motor noise 9 that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods 1; predicting a rhythm from the predicted active motor noise 9; downloading original music 6 with a similar rhythm to the predicted active motor noise 9; removing a rhythmic background 7 from the original music 6 to obtain plain music 8; and playing the plain music 8, whereby the active motor noise 9 and the plain music 8 are combined together 10 in air to create less annoying sound 11. The method for maksing active motor noise 9 from white goods 1 can further comprise the step of adding pink noise or white noise to the plain music at a predetermined level to create better sound masking.
  • The present invention thus refers to a system for masking active motor noise 9 from white goods 1 using a sound masking technique. In the white goods 1, the system is fixed near to the user interface to determine a loading condition and accordingly predicts the active motor noise 9. Original music (6) with appropriate background sound can be selected from the internet or from a system memory. The original music 6 is converted to plain music 8 by removing a periodic rhythmic background sound 7 from the original music 6. The plain music 8 is played through a speaker 2. The active motor noise 9 and the plain music 8 are combined 10 together in air and produce comfortable music 11. Hence, the rotating motor sound 9 of the white goods 1 is masked by the plain music 8.
  • List of reference numbers
  • 1
    White good
    2
    Speaker in the machine
    3
    rotating motor
    4
    time domain
    5
    amplitude
    6
    original music or original music either recorded in memory or from internet
    7
    periodic rhythmic background removed from original music
    8
    plain music (without background)
    9
    periodic motor noise / periodic rhythmic sound
    10
    periodic motor noise and plain music are combined on the air
    11
    combined sound
    100
    an exemplary model of white good with sound masking
    200
    working principle of the system to control active noise for white goods using sound masking

Claims (6)

  1. A system for masking active motor noise (9) from white goods (1), wherein the system comprises:
    means configured to determine a loading condition of the white goods (1);
    means configured to predict periodic active motor noise (9) that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods (1);
    means configured to predict a rhythm from the predicted periodic active motor noise (9);
    means configured to download from internet or from a system memory original music (6) with a similar rhythm to the
    predicted periodic active motor noise (9);
    means configured to remove a rhythmic background (7) from the original music (6) to obtain plain music (8); and
    a speaker (2) configured to play the plain music (8), whereby the active motor noise (9) and the plain music (8) are combined together in air to create less annoying sound (11).
  2. The system of claim 1, wherein pink noise or white noise is added to the plain music (8) at a predetermined level to create better sound masking.
  3. The system of claim 1, wherein the active motor noise (9) is combined with the plain music (8) in air to produce more sound generated by the speaker than the noise; whereby the sound is less annoying to a user.
  4. The system of claim 1, wherein the system utilizes open-loop active noise control for sound masking.
  5. A method of masking active noise (9) from white goods (1), wherein the method comprises:
    determining a loading condition of the white goods (1);
    predicting periodic active motor noise (9) that is generated according to the loading condition by the white goods (1);
    predicting a rhythm from the predicted periodic active motor noise (9);
    downloading from internet or from a system memory original music (6) with a similar rhythm to the predicted periodic active motor noise (9);
    removing a rhythmic background (7) from the original music (6) to obtain plain music (8); and
    playing by a speaker the plain music (8), whereby the active motor noise (9) and the plain music (8) are combined together in air to create less annoying sound (11).
  6. The method of claim 5, wherein the method of masking active noise (9) from white goods (1) further comprises adding pink noise or white noise to the plain music (6) at a predetermined level to create better sound masking.
EP17168006.9A 2017-04-25 2017-04-25 Sound masking for white goods Active EP3396663B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP17168006.9A EP3396663B1 (en) 2017-04-25 2017-04-25 Sound masking for white goods

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP17168006.9A EP3396663B1 (en) 2017-04-25 2017-04-25 Sound masking for white goods
TR2017/09256A TR201709256A3 (en) 2017-04-25 2017-06-21 SOUND MASKING FOR WHITE ITEMS

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP3396663A1 EP3396663A1 (en) 2018-10-31
EP3396663B1 true EP3396663B1 (en) 2020-09-23

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP17168006.9A Active EP3396663B1 (en) 2017-04-25 2017-04-25 Sound masking for white goods

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EP (1) EP3396663B1 (en)
TR (1) TR201709256A3 (en)

Family Cites Families (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5781640A (en) 1995-06-07 1998-07-14 Nicolino, Jr.; Sam J. Adaptive noise transformation system
US8477958B2 (en) 2001-02-26 2013-07-02 777388 Ontario Limited Networked sound masking system
US6742208B2 (en) 2001-08-24 2004-06-01 Maytag Corporation Clothes washing machine incorporating noise reduction system
US7439439B2 (en) * 2004-03-09 2008-10-21 Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Appliance audio notification device
US7851688B2 (en) * 2007-06-01 2010-12-14 Compton James M Portable sound processing device
US7854295B2 (en) 2008-06-03 2010-12-21 Panasonic Corporation Active noise control system
JP6179871B2 (en) * 2013-04-09 2017-08-16 海爾集団公司 Music washing machine and control method

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None *

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Publication number Publication date
EP3396663A1 (en) 2018-10-31
TR201709256A3 (en) 2018-12-21

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