Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180240447) for “dynamic music authoring.” It involves, well, a method for authoring music and likely involves current and future versions of GarageBand and Logic Pro X.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that modern computing devices can be configured with software that allows users to create music at home. For example, 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. However, Apple says the music authoring software is often difficult to use and often requires the user to have specific expertise or training in how to use the music authoring software to combine the music segments into a coherent musical product.
With Apple’s invention, a computing device can be configured to present a graphical user interface that enables the dynamic authoring of music by a user of a computing device (think iPad or Mac). 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.
Apple says these particular implementations provide several advantages. The systems and graphical user interfaces provide a simplified, intuitive, and fun environment for creating music. The system can automatically adjust the playback of selected cells to correct errors in timing in order to produce a coherent sequence of musical segments. Audio effects can be applied to the cells/musical segments using a fun, intuitive, and visually appealing graphical interface.
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.