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1. WO2020117823 - AUGMENTED REALITY FILTERS FOR CAPTURED AUDIOVISUAL PERFORMANCES

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

AUGMENTED REALITY FILTERS FOR

CAPTURED AUDIOVISUAL PERFORMANCES

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to capture and/or processing of vocal audio performances and, in particular, to techniques suitable for use in applying selected augmented reality-type visual effects to performance synchronized video in a manner consistent with audio or visual features computationally extracted from audio, video or audiovisual encodings or with musical structure of, or underlying, the performance.

BACKGROUND ART

The installed base of mobile phones and other portable computing devices grows in sheer number and computational power each day. Hyper-ubiquitous and deeply entrenched in the lifestyles of people around the world, they transcend nearly every cultural and economic barrier. Computationally, the mobile phones of today offer speed and storage capabilities comparable to desktop computers from less than ten years ago, rendering them surprisingly suitable for real-time sound synthesis and other musical applications. Partly as a result, some modern mobile phones, such as iPhone® handheld digital devices, available from Apple Inc., support audio and video playback quite capably.

Like traditional acoustic instruments, mobile phones can be intimate sound producing and capture devices. However, by comparison to most traditional instruments, they are somewhat limited in acoustic bandwidth and power. Nonetheless, despite these disadvantages, mobile phones do have the advantages of ubiquity, strength in numbers, and ultramobility, making it feasible to (at least in theory) bring together artists for performance almost anywhere, anytime. The field of mobile music has been explored in several developing bodies of research. Indeed, recent experience with applications such as the Smule Ocarina™, Smule Magic Piano, and Smule™ karaoke app (all available from Smule, Inc.) has shown that advanced digital acoustic techniques may be delivered in ways that provide a compelling user experience.

As digital acoustic researchers seek to transition their innovations to commercial applications deployable to modern handheld devices such as the iPhone® handheld and other platforms operable within the real-world constraints imposed by processor, memory and other limited computational resources thereof and/or within

communications bandwidth and transmission latency constraints typical of wireless networks, significant practical challenges present. Improved techniques and functional capabilities are desired, particularly relative to video and augmented reality.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTIONfS)

It has been discovered that, despite many practical limitations imposed by mobile device platforms and application execution environments, audiovisual performances, including vocal music, may be captured or manipulated and (in some cases) coordinated with those of other users in ways that create compelling user

experiences. In some cases, the vocal performances of individual users are captured (together with performance synchronized video) on mobile devices or using set-top box type equipment in the context of a karaoke-style presentation of lyrics in correspondence with audible renderings of a backing track. In some cases, pitch cues may be presented to vocalists in connection with the karaoke-style presentation of lyrics and, optionally, continuous automatic pitch correction (or pitch shifting into harmony) may be provided.

Vocal audio of a user together with performance synchronized video is, in some cases or embodiments, captured and coordinated with audiovisual contributions of other users to form composite duet-style or glee club-style or window-paned music video-style audiovisual performances. In some cases, the vocal performances of individual users are captured (together with performance synchronized video) on mobile devices, television-type display and/or set-top box equipment in the context of karaoke-style presentations of lyrics in correspondence with audible renderings of a backing track. Contributions of multiple vocalists can be coordinated and mixed in a manner that selects for presentation, at any given time along a given performance timeline, performance synchronized video of one or more of the contributors.

Selections provide a sequence of visual layouts in correspondence with other coded aspects of a performance score such as pitch tracks, backing audio, lyrics, sections and/or vocal parts.

Visual effects schedules, including augmented reality-type (AR-type) visual effects, are applied to audiovisual performances with differing visual effects applied or modulated in correspondence with differing elements of musical structure. In some cases, segmentation techniques applied to one or more audio tracks (e.g., vocal or backing tracks) are used to determine elements of the musical structure. In some cases, applied visual effects schedules are mood-denominated and may be selected by a performer as a component of his or her visual expression or may be determined from an audiovisual performance using machine learning techniques.

AR-type visual effects are computationally-determined or parameterized based on one or more of (i) audio features extracted from a captured audiovisual performance or from a backing track temporally synchronized therewith, (ii) elements of musical structure coded in a score temporally-synchronized with the captured audiovisual performance (or performances), and (iii) lyrics temporally synchronized with the captured audiovisual performance (or performances) or features/structure computational determinable therefrom. In general, one or more attributes of the applied AR-type visual effects, e.g., visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, intensity or brightness, etc., are computationally determined or parameterized based on these audio features, elements of musical structure or lyrics. Embodiments are envisioned where AR-type visual effects are applied and rendered in near real time at a handheld device as well as embodiments in which visual effect application and audiovisual rendering to a provide streamed (or streamable) content are performed at network-connected server or cloud-resident service platform.

Embodiments are also envisioned for single as well as multiple performer (e.g., duet-style or larger aggregations of) audiovisual performance content.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a method includes accessing a computer readable encoding of an audiovisual performance captured in connection with a temporally-synchronized backing track, score and lyrics and augmenting a rendering of the audiovisual performance with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on an audio feature computationally extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally-synchronized backing track.

In some cases or embodiments, visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics. In some cases or embodiments, at least one of the applied visual effects includes a performance synchronized presentation of text from the lyrics, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, font color, or brightness of presented text is based on an audio feature extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally synchronized backing track or based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a method includes accessing a computer readable encoding of an audiovisual performance captured in connection with a temporally-synchronized backing track, score and lyrics and augmenting a rendering of the audiovisual performance with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics.

In some cases or embodiments, visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects based on an audio feature computationally extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally-synchronized backing track. In some cases or embodiments, at least one of the applied visual effects includes a performance synchronized presentation of text from the lyrics, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, font color, or brightness of presented text is based on an audio feature extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally synchronized backing track or based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a method includes accessing a computer readable encoding of an audiovisual performance captured in connection with a temporally-synchronized backing track, score and lyrics and augmenting a rendering of the audiovisual performance with one or more applied visual effects, wherein at least one of the applied visual effects includes a

performance synchronized presentation of text from the lyrics, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, font color, or brightness of presented text is based on an audio feature extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally synchronized backing track or based on an element of musical structure

coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics.

In some cases or embodiments, visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects based on an audio feature computationally extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally-synchronized backing track. In some cases or embodiments, visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on an element of musical structure coded in, or

computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics.

In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect is controlled or includes content based, at least in part, on a received input from a member of an audience to which the audiovisual performance is streamed. In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes receiving a like/love or upvote/downvote indication from the member of the audience and, based thereon, presenting the applied visual effect. In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes receiving chat traffic from at least one member of the audience and, based on volume, content or keywords of the received chat traffic, presenting the applied visual effect. In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect includes and visually presents content or keywords from the received chat traffic.

In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes receiving the accessed encoding, via a communications network, from a remote portable computing device at which the audiovisual performance was captured in connection with a karaoke-style audible rendering of the temporally-synchronized backing track, and visual presentation of the temporally-synchronized lyrics and of pitch cues in

correspondence with the temporally-synchronized score.

In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes capturing the

audiovisual performance in connection with a karaoke-style audible rendering of the temporally-synchronized backing track, and visual presentation of the temporally-synchronized lyrics and of pitch cues in correspondence with the temporally-synchronized score.

In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes capturing a second audiovisual performance in connection with a karaoke-style visual presentation of the temporally-synchronized lyrics, the captured second audiovisual performance including performance synchronized video of a second performer, and compositing the captured second audiovisual performance with a first audiovisual performance including performance synchronized video of a first performer to produce the accessed audiovisual performance, wherein the augmentation with the one or more applied video effects is applied to either or both of first and second performer visuals detected in the visual field. In some cases or embodiments, the the captured first and second audiovisual performances present, after the compositing and the augmentation, as a duet.

In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect includes dynamically rendered visual augmentations to face or body visuals of a vocal performer detected in a visual field of the captured audiovisual performance. In some cases or embodiments, the dynamically rendered visual augmentations to face or body visuals include one or more of: synthetic tatoo visuals that augment face or body visuals of the vocal performer detected in the visual field of the captured audiovisual performance; synthetic ear, nose, hair, antenna, hat or glasses visuals that augment facial visuals of the vocal performer detected in the visual field of the captured audiovisual performance; distortions to eyes, mouth or ears of the vocal performer detected in the visual field of the captured audiovisual performance; and presentation of a visual avatar for the vocal performer detected in the visual field of the captured audiovisual performance.

In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect includes one or more of: a particle-based effect or lens flare; transitions between, or layouts of, distinct source videos; animations or motion of a frame within a source video; vector graphics or images of patterns or textures; and color, saturation or contrast. In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect is applied to or as one of: a vocal performer detected in the visual field; a synthetic foreground; a visual feature detected in a background; and a synthetic background. In some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect includes dynamically rendered visual augmentation of a detected reflective surface or a synthetic augmentation of the captured audiovisual performance to include an apparent reflective surface, wherein the dynamically rendered visual augmentation presents a performance synchronized second vocal performer visuals as an apparent reflection in the detected or apparent reflective surface.

ln some cases or embodiments, the applied visual effect includes either or both of: a synthetic background against which a background-subtracted version of the captured audiovisual performance is rendered; and a visually overlaid synthetic foreground.

In some cases or embodiments, the extracted audio feature includes one or more of: a time-varying audio signal strength or audio energy density measure

computationally determined from vocal audio of the captured audiovisual

performance; a computationally-determined measure of brightness, breathiness or vibrato; and beats, tempo, signal strength or energy density of a backing audio track.

In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes segmenting a vocal audio track of the audiovisual performance encoding to provide the computationally extracted audio feature. In some cases or embodiments, the segmenting is based at least in part on a computational determination of vocal intensity with at least some segmentation boundaries constrained to temporally align with beats or tempo computationally extracted from the temporally-synchronized backing track. In some cases or embodiments, the segmenting is based at least in part on a similarity analysis computationally performed on the temporally-synchronized lyrics to classify particular portions of audiovisual performance encoding as verse or chorus. In some cases or embodiments, the method further includes segmenting the temporally-synchronized backing track to provide the computationally extracted audio feature.

In some cases or embodiments, the method is performed, at least in part, on a content server or service platform to which geographically-distributed, network-connected, vocal capture devices are communicatively coupled. In some cases or embodiments, the method is performed, at least in part, on a network-connected, vocal capture device communicatively coupled to a content server or service platform. In some cases or embodiments, the method is performed, at least in part, on a network-connected, vocal capture device communicatively coupled as a host device to at least one other network-connected, vocal capture device operating as a paired guest device.

In some cases or embodiments, the method is embodied, at least in part, as a computer program product encoding of instructions executable on a content server or service platform to which a plurality of geographically-distributed, network-connected, vocal capture devices are communicatively coupled. In some cases or

embodiments, the method is embodied, at least in part, as a computer program

product encoding of instructions executable on a network-connected, vocal capture device on which the augmented rendering of the audiovisual performance is audibly and visually presented to a human user.

In some cases or embodiments, the temporally-synchronized score encodes musical sections of differing types; and the applied visual effects include differing visual effects for different ones of the encoded musical sections. In some cases or embodiments, the extracted audio feature corresponds to one or more events or transitions in the audiovisual performance; and the applied visual effects augment the audiovisual performance with differing visual effects for different ones of the events or transitions.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes at least a guest and host pairing of network-connected devices configured to capture at least vocal audio. The host device is configured to (i) receive from the guest device an encoding of at least vocal audio, to (ii) composite the received encoding of at least vocal audio with a locally captured audiovisual performance and, based on an audio feature computationally extracted from the vocal audio, the locally captured audiovisual performance, an associated backing track, or a resulting composited audiovisual performance encoding, to (iii) augment the composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on the computationally extracted audio feature.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes at least a guest and host pairing of network-connected devices configured to capture at least vocal audio. The host device is configured to (i) receive from the guest device an encoding of at least vocal audio, to (ii) composite the received encoding of at least vocal audio with a locally captured audiovisual performance and, based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics, to (iii) augment the composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on the coded or computationally-determined element of musical structure.

ln some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes at least a guest and host pairing of network-connected devices configured to capture at least vocal audio. The host device is configured to (i) receive from the guest device an encoding of at least vocal audio, to (ii) composite the received encoding of at least vocal audio with a locally captured audiovisual performance and, an audio feature extracted from the audiovisual performance or from the temporally synchronized backing track or based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, the temporally-synchronized score or lyrics, to (iii) augment the composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein at least one of the applied visual effects includes a

performance synchronized presentation of text from performance-synchronized lyrics, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, font color, or brightness of presented text is based on the extracted audio feature or the coded or computationally-determined element of musical structure.

In some cases or embodiments, the host and guest devices are coupled as local and remote peers via a communication network with non-negligible peer-to-peer latency for transmissions of audiovisual content, wherein the host device is communicatively coupled as the local peer to receive a media encoding including the vocal audio, and wherein the guest device is communicatively coupled as the remote peer to supply a media encoding captured from a first one of the performers and mixed with the associated backing track.

In some cases or embodiments, the host device is configured to render the audiovisual performance coding as a mixed audiovisual performance, including vocal audio and performance synchronized video from the first and a second one of the performers, and to transmit the audiovisual performance coding as an apparently live broadcast with the augmenting visual effects applied.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes a geographically distributed set of network-connected devices configured to capture audiovisual performances including vocal audio with performance synchronized video; and a service platform configured to (i) receive encodings of the captured audiovisual performances, to (ii) composite the received encodings and, based on an audio feature computationally extracted from one of the received encodings or a resulting composited audiovisual performance encoding, to (iii) augment the

composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on the computationally extracted audio feature.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes a geographically distributed set of network-connected devices configured to capture audiovisual performances including vocal audio with performance synchronized video; and a service platform configured to (i) receive encodings of the captured audiovisual performances, to (ii) composite the received encodings and, based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, a temporally-synchronized score or lyrics, to (iii) augment the composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, or intensity of at least one of the applied visual effects is based on the coded or computationally-determined element of musical structure.

In some embodiments in accordance with the present inventions, a system includes a geographically distributed set of network-connected devices configured to capture audiovisual performances including vocal audio with performance synchronized video; and a service platform configured to (i) receive encodings of the captured audiovisual performances, to (ii) composite the received encodings and, based on an audio feature extracted from the one of the audiovisual performances or the composited audiovisual performance or from the temporally synchronized backing track or based on an element of musical structure coded in, or computationally-determined from, a temporally-synchronized score or lyrics, to (iii) augment the composited audiovisual performance encoding with one or more applied visual effects, wherein at least one of the applied visual effects includes a performance synchronized presentation of text from performance-synchronized lyrics, wherein visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, font color, or brightness of presented text is based on the extracted audio feature or the coded or computationally-determined element of musical structure.

These and other embodiments in accordance with the present invention(s) will be understood with reference to the description and appended claims which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation with reference to the accompanying figures, in which like references generally indicate similar elements or features.

FIG. 1 depicts information flows amongst illustrative mobile phone-type portable computing devices, television-type displays, set-top box-type media application platforms, and an exemplary content server in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s) in which augmented reality-type visual effects are applied to an audiovisual performance.

FIGs. 2A, 2B and 2C are successive snapshots of vocal performance synchronized video along a coordinated audiovisual performance timeline wherein, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention, video for one, the other or both of two contributing vocalist has vocal effects applied based on a mood and based on a computationally-defined audio feature such as vocal intensity computed over the captured vocals.

FIGs. 3A, 3B and 3C illustrates an exemplary implementation of a segmentation and video effects (VFX) engine in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). FIG. 3A depicts information flows involving an exemplary coding of musical structure, while FIG. 3B depicts an alternative view that focuses on an exemplary VFX rendering pipeline. Finally, FIG. 3C graphically depicts presents an exemplary mapping of vocal parts and segments to visual layouts, transitions, post-processed video effects and particle-based effects.

FIG. 4 depicts information flows amongst illustrative mobile phone-type portable computing devices in a host and guest configuration in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s) in which a visual effects schedule is applied to a live-stream, duet-type group audiovisual performance.

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating information transfers that contribute to or involve a composited audiovisual performance segmented to provide musical structure for video effects mapping in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

FIG. 6 is a functional block diagram of hardware and software components executable at an illustrative mobile phone-type portable computing device to facilitate processing of a captured audiovisual performance in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

FIG. 7 illustrates process steps and results of processing, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s), to apply color correction and mood-denominated video effects to video for respective performers of a group performance separately captured using cameras of respective capture devices.

FIGs. 8A and 8B illustrate visuals for a group performance with and without use of a visual blur technique applied in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

FIGs. 9, 10 and 11 illustrate augmented reality type visual effects including object overlays, avatars, synthetic tatoos and other facial embellishments, eye filters, use of reflective surface effects, lyrics-based augmentation and face morphing type effects applied, in accordance with some embodiments of the present inventions, based on extracted audio features or elements of musical structure coded or computationally-determined.

FIG. 12 illustrates features of a mobile device that may serve as a platform for execution of software implementations, including audiovisual capture, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

FIG. 13 is a network diagram that illustrates cooperation of exemplary devices in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements or features in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions or prominence of some of the illustrated elements or features may be exaggerated relative to other elements or features in an effort to help to improve understanding of embodiments of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION

Techniques have been developed to facilitate the capture, pitch correction, harmonization, encoding and/or rendering of audiovisual performances on portable

computing devices and living room-style entertainment equipment. Vocal audio together with performance synchronized video may be captured and coordinated with audiovisual contributions of other users to form duet-style or glee club-style or window-paned music video-style audiovisual performances. In some cases, the vocal performances of individual users are captured (together with performance synchronized video) on mobile devices, television-type display and/or set-top box equipment in the context of karaoke-style presentations of lyrics in correspondence with audible renderings of a backing track. In some cases, pitch cues may be presented to vocalists in connection with the karaoke-style presentation of lyrics and, optionally, continuous automatic pitch correction (or pitch shifting into harmony) may be provided.

Often, contributions of multiple vocalists are coordinated and mixed in a manner that selects for presentation and, at given times along a given performance timeline applies mood-denominated visual effects to, performance synchronized video of one or more of the contributors. In some cases or embodiments, techniques of the present invention(s) may be applied even to single performer audiovisual content. In general, selections are in accord with a segmentation of certain audio tracks to determine musical structure of the audiovisual performance. Based on the musical structure, particle-based effects, transitions between video sources, animations or motion of frames, vector graphics or images of patterns/textures,

color/saturation/contrast and/or other visual effects, including augmented reality-type (AR-type) visual effects, coded in a video effects schedule or defined in a filter are applied to respective portions of the audiovisual performance.

In this way, visual effects are applied in correspondence with coded aspects of a performance or features such as vocal tracks, backing audio, lyrics, sections and/or vocal parts. The visual effects applied vary throughout the course of a given audiovisual performance based on segmentation performed and/or based on vocal intensity computationally determined for one or more vocal tracks. In the case of VR-type visual effects, the visual effects applied, as well as the dynamic character thereof, may be computationally determined based on such segmentation, vocal intensities, temporally-synchronized lyrics and/or elements of musical structure encoded in a temporally-synchronized score.

In general, for a given song, aspects of the song’s musical structure are selective for the particular visual effects applied from a mood-denominated visual effect schedule, and intensity measures (typically vocal intensity, but in some cases, power density of non-vocal audio) are used to modulate or otherwise control the magnitude or prominence of the applied visual effects. For example, in some cases, situations or embodiments, song form, such as {verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge ...}, is used to constrain the mapping. In some cases, such as in a duet, vocal part sequencing (e.g., you sing a line, I sing a line, you sing two words, I sing three, we sing together ...) provides structural information that is used to create a sequence of visual layouts. In some cases, situations or embodiments, building intensity of a song (e.g., as measured by acoustic power, tempo or some other measure) can be selective for the particular visual effects applied from a particular vocal effects schedule.

Optionally, and in some cases or embodiments, vocal audio can be pitch-corrected in real-time at the vocal capture device (e.g., at a portable computing device such as a mobile phone, personal digital assistant, laptop computer, notebook computer, pad-type computer or netbook) in accord with pitch correction settings. In some cases, pitch correction settings code a particular key or scale for the vocal performance or for portions thereof. In some cases, pitch correction settings include a score-coded melody and/or harmony sequence supplied with, or for association with, the lyrics and backing tracks. Harmony notes or chords may be coded as explicit targets or relative to the score-coded melody or even actual pitches sounded by a vocalist, if desired. Machine usable musical instrument digital interface-style (Ml Dl-style) codings may be employed for lyrics, backing tracks, note targets, vocal parts (e.g., vocal part 1 , vocal part 2, ... together), musical section information (e.g., intro/outro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, transition and/or other section codings), etc. In some cases or embodiments, conventional Ml Dl-style codings may be extended to also encode a score-aligned, progression of visual effects to be applied.

Based on the compelling and transformative nature of pitch-corrected vocals, performance synchronized video with visual effects (including AR-type visual effects) and score-coded harmony mixes, user/vocalists may overcome an otherwise natural shyness or angst associated with sharing their vocal performances. Instead, even geographically distributed vocalists are encouraged to share with friends and family or to collaborate and contribute vocal performances as part of social music networks. In some implementations, these interactions are facilitated through social network-

and/or eMail-mediated sharing of performances and invitations to join in a group performance. Using uploaded vocals captured at clients such as the aforementioned portable computing devices, a content server (or service) can mediate such coordinated performances by manipulating and mixing the uploaded audiovisual content of multiple contributing vocalists. Depending on the goals and

implementation of a particular system, in additional to video content, uploads may include pitch-corrected vocal performances (with or without harmonies), dry (i.e., uncorrected) vocals, raw video, and/or control tracks of user key, visual effect schedule/AR filter, and/or pitch correction selections, etc.

Social music can be mediated in any of a variety of ways. For example, in some implementations, a first user’s vocal performance, captured against a backing track at a portable computing device and typically pitch-corrected in accord with score-coded melody and/or harmony cues, is supplied, as a seed performance, to other potential vocal performers. Performance synchronized video is also captured and may be supplied with the pitch-corrected, captured vocals. The supplied vocals are typically mixed with backing instrumentals/vocals and form the backing track for capture of a second (and potentially successive) user’s vocals. Often, the

successive vocal contributors are geographically separated and may be unknown (at least a priori) to each other, yet the intimacy of the vocals together with the collaborative experience itself tends to minimize this separation. As successive vocal performances and video are captured (e.g., at respective portable computing devices) and accreted as part of the social music experience, the backing track against which respective vocals are captured may evolve to include previously captured vocals of other contributors.

In some cases, vocals (and typically synchronized video) are captured as part of a live or unscripted performance with vocal interactions (e.g., a duet or dialog) between collaborating contributors. It is envisioned that non-negligible network

communication latencies will exist between at least some of the collaborating contributors, particularly where those contributors are geographically separated. As a result, a technical challenge exists to manage latencies and the captured audiovisual content in such a way that a combined audio visual performance nonetheless can be disseminated (e.g., broadcast) in a manner that presents to recipients, listeners and/or viewers as a live interactive collaboration.

U.S. Application No. 15/944,537, which is incorporated by reference herein, details a variety of suitable technical solutions to such challenges. For example, in one technique for accomplishing a facsimile of live interactive performance collaboration, actual and non-negligible network communication latency is (in effect) masked in one direction between a guest and host performer and tolerated in the other direction.

For example, a captured audiovisual performance of a guest performer on a“live show” internet broadcast of a host performer could include a guest + host duet sung in apparent real-time synchrony. In some cases, the guest could be a performer who has popularized a particular musical performance. In some cases, the guest could be an amateur vocalist given the opportunity to sing“live” (though remote) with the popular artist or group“in studio” as (or with) the show’s host. Notwithstanding a non-negligible network communication latency from guest-to-host involved in the conveyance of the guest’s audiovisual contribution stream (perhaps 200-500 ms or more), the host performs in apparent synchrony with (though temporally lagged from, in an absolute sense) the guest and the apparently synchronously performed vocals are captured and mixed with the guest’s contribution for broadcast or dissemination.

The result is an apparently live interactive performance (at least from the perspective of the host and the recipients, listeners and/or viewers of the disseminated or broadcast performance). Although the non-negligible network communication latency from guest-to-host is masked, it will be understood that latency exists and is tolerated in the host-to-guest direction. However, host-to-guest latency, while discernible (and perhaps quite noticeable) to the guest, need not be apparent in the apparently live broadcast or other dissemination. It has been discovered that lagged audible rendering of host vocals (or more generally, of the host’s captured audiovisual performance) need not psychoacoustically interfere with the guest’s performance.

Performance synchronized video may be captured and included in a combined audiovisual performance that constitutes the apparently live broadcast, wherein visuals may be based, at least in part, on time-varying, computationally-defined audio features extracted from (or computed over) captured vocal audio. In some cases or embodiments, these computationally-defined audio features are selective, over the course of a coordinated audiovisual mix, for particular synchronized video of one or more of the contributing vocalists (or prominence thereof).

In some cases, captivating visual animations and/or facilities for listener comment and ranking, as well as duet, glee club or choral group formation or accretion logic are provided in association with an audible rendering of a vocal performance (e.g., that captured and pitch-corrected at another similarly configured mobile device) mixed with backing instrumentals and/or vocals. Synthesized harmonies and/or additional vocals (e.g., vocals captured from another vocalist at still other locations and optionally pitch-shifted to harmonize with other vocals) may also be included in the mix. Geocoding of captured vocal performances (or individual contributions to a combined performance) and/or listener feedback may facilitate animations or display artifacts in ways that are suggestive of a performance or endorsement emanating from a particular geographic locale on a user manipulate globe. In this way, implementations of the described functionality can transform otherwise mundane mobile devices into social instruments that foster a sense of global connectivity, collaboration and community.

Karaoke-Style Vocal Performance Capture

Although embodiments of the present invention(s) are not limited thereto, pitch-corrected, karaoke-style, vocal capture using mobile phone-type and/or television-type audiovisual equipment provides a useful descriptive context. Likewise, although embodiments of the present invention(s) are not limited to multi-performer content, coordinated multi-performer audiovisual content, including multi-vocal content captured or prepared asynchronously or that captured and live-streamed with latency management techniques described herein, provides a useful descriptive context.

In some embodiments such as illustrated in FIG. 1 , an iPhone® handheld available from Apple Inc. (or more generally, handheld 101) hosts software that executes in coordination with a content server 110 to provide vocal capture and continuous real time, score-coded pitch correction and harmonization of the captured vocals.

Performance synchronized video may be captured using a camera provided by, or in connection with, a television or other audiovisual media device 101 A or connected set-top box equipment (101 B) such as an Apple TV™ device. Performance synchronized video may also be captured using an on-board camera provided by handheld 101.

As is typical of karaoke-style applications (such as the Smule™ karaoke app available from Smule, Inc.), a backing track of instrumentals and/or vocals can be audibly rendered for a user/vocalist to sing against. In such cases, lyrics may be displayed (102, 102A) in correspondence with the audible rendering (104, 104A) so as to facilitate a karaoke-style vocal performance by a user. In the illustrated configuration of FIG. 1 , lyrics, timing information, pitch and harmony cues (105), backing tracks (e.g., instrumentals/vocals), performance coordinated video, schedules of video effects (107), etc. may all be sourced from a network-connected content server 110. In some cases or situations, backing audio and/or video may be rendered from a media store such as an iTunes™ library or other audiovisual content store resident or accessible from the handheld, a set-top box, media streaming device, etc.

For simplicity, a wireless local area network 180 may be assumed to provide communications between handheld 101 , any audiovisual and/or set-top box equipment and a wide-area network gateway to hosted service platforms such as content server 110. FIG. 10 depicts an exemplary network configuration. However, based on the description herein, persons of skill in the art will recognize that any of a variety of data communications facilities, including 802.11 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth™, 4G-LTE wireless, wired data networks, wired or wireless audiovisual interconnects such as in accord with HDMI, AVI, Wi-Di standards or facilities may employed, individually or in combination to facilitate communications and/or audiovisual rendering described herein.

Referring again to the example of FIG. 1 , user vocals 103 are captured at handheld 101 , and optionally pitch-corrected continuously and in real-time either at the handheld or using computational facilities of audiovisual display and/or set-top box equipment (101B) and audibly rendered (see 104, 104A) mixed with the backing track to provide the user with an improved tonal quality rendition of his/her own vocal performance. Note that while captured vocals 103 and audible rendering 104, 104A are illustrated using a convenient visual symbology that is centric on microphone and speaker facilities of handheld 101 or television/audiovisual media device 101A, persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure will appreciate that, in many cases, microphone and speaker functionality may be provided using attached or wirelessly-connected ear buds, headphones, speakers, feedback isolated microphones, etc. Accordingly, unless specifically limited, vocal capture and audible rendering should be understood broadly and without limitation to a particular audio transducer configuration.

Pitch correction, when provided, is typically based on score-coded note sets or cues ( e.g ., pitch and harmony cues 105), which provide continuous pitch-correction algorithms with performance synchronized sequences of target notes in a current key or scale. In addition to performance synchronized melody targets, score-coded harmony note sequences (or sets) can provide pitch-shifting algorithms with additional targets (typically coded as offsets relative to a lead melody note track and typically scored only for selected portions thereof) for pitch-shifting to harmony versions of the user’s own captured vocals. In some cases, pitch correction settings may be characteristic of a particular artist such as the artist that originally performed (or popularized) vocals associated with the particular backing track.

In addition, lyrics, melody and harmony track note sets and related timing and control information may be encapsulated as a score coded in an appropriate container or object (e.g., in a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, or Java Script Object Notation, json, type format) for supply together with the backing track(s). Using such information, handheld 101 , audiovisual display 101A and/or set-top box equipment, or both, may display lyrics and even visual cues related to target notes, harmonies and currently detected vocal pitch in correspondence with an audible performance of the backing track(s) so as to facilitate a karaoke-style vocal performance by a user. Thus, if an aspiring vocalist selects“When I was your Man” as popularized by Bruno Mars, your_man. json and your_man.m4a may be downloaded from content server 110 (if not already available or cached based on prior download) and, in turn, used to provide background music, synchronized lyrics and, in some situations or embodiments, score-coded note tracks for continuous, real-time pitch-correction while the user sings.

Optionally, at least for certain embodiments or genres, harmony note tracks may be score coded for harmony shifts to captured vocals. Typically, a captured pitch-corrected (possibly harmonized) vocal performance together with performance synchronized video is saved locally, on the handheld device or set-top box, as one or more audiovisual files and is subsequently compressed and encoded for upload (106) to content server 110 as an MPEG-4 container file. MPEG-4 is an international standard for the coded representation and transmission of digital multimedia content for the Internet, mobile networks and advanced broadcast applications. Other suitable codecs, compression techniques, coding formats and/or containers may be employed if desired.

Depending on the implementation, encodings of dry vocals and/or pitch-corrected vocals may be uploaded (106) to content server 110. In general, such vocals (encoded, e.g., in an MPEG-4 container or otherwise) whether already pitch-corrected or pitch-corrected at content server 110 can then be mixed (111), e.g., with backing audio and other captured (and possibly pitch-shifted) vocal performances, to produce files or streams of quality or coding characteristics selected accord with capabilities or limitations a particular target or network (e.g., handheld 120, audiovisual display and/or set-top box equipment, a social media platform, etc.).

As further detailed herein, performances of multiple vocalists (including performance synchronized video) may be accreted and combined, such as to present as a duet-style performance, glee club, window-paned music video-style composition or vocal jam session. In some embodiments, a performance synchronized video contribution (for example, in the illustration of FIG. 1 , performance synchronized video 122 including a performance captured at handheld 101 or using audiovisual and/or set top box equipment 101 A, 101B) may be presented in the resulting mixed audiovisual performance rendering 123 with video effects applied and dynamically varied throughout the mixed audiovisual performance rendering 123. Video effects applied thereto are based at least in part on application of a video effects (VFX) schedule selected (113) based either on user selection or (i) computationally-determined audio features, (ii) elements of musical structure coded in or computationally-determined from temporally synchronized audio tracks, score or lyrics or (iii) mood. In some cases or embodiments, one or more VFX schedules may be mood-denominated set of recipes and/or filters that may be applied to present a particular mood.

Segmentation and VFX Engine 112 determines musical structure and applies particular visual effects in accordance with the selected video effects. In general, the particular visual effects applied are based on segmentation of vocal and/or backing track audio to identify audio features, determined or coded musical structure, a selected or detected mood or style and computationally-determined vocal or audio intensity.

AR-type visual effects are typically dynamic and track captured video. Facial image recognition and tracking techniques are typically provided using application programming interfaces (API) available from Apple or Google-related entities for use in iOS and Android operating system applications. However, in addition to image augmentation dynamics provided using such face-tracking APIs, the AR-type visual

effects envisioned herein include dynamics and/or attributes, e.g., visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, intensity or brightness, etc. based on audio features and/or elements of musical structure coded in or computationally-determined from temporally synchronized audio tracks, score or lyrics.

In mood-denominated configurations or uses, VFX schedule selection may be by a user at handheld 101 or using audiovisual and/or set-top box equipment 101 A, 101B. For example, a user may select a mood-denominated VFX schedule that includes video effects selected to provide a palette of“sad” or“somber” video processing effects. One such palette may provide and apply, in connection with determined or coded musical structure, filters providing colors, saturations and contrast that tend to evoke a“sad” or“somber” mood, provide transitions between source videos with little visual energy and/or include particle based effects that present rain, fog, or other effects consistent with the selected mood. Other palettes may provide and apply, again in connection with determined or coded musical structure, filters providing colors, saturations and contrast that tend to evoke an“peppy” or“energetic” mood, provide transitions between source videos with significant visual energy or movement, include lens flares or particle based effects augment a visual scene with bubbles, balloons, fireworks or other visual features consistent with the selected mood.

In some embodiments, recipes and/or filters of a given VFX schedule may be parameterized, e.g., based on computational features, such as average vocal energy, extracted from audio performances or based on tempo, beat, or audio energy of backing tracks. In some cases, or embodiments, lyrics or musical selection metadata may be employed for VFX schedule selection. In general, it will be understood in the context of the description and claims that follow, that visual effects schedules may, in some cases or embodiments, be iteratively selected and applied to a given performance or partial performance, e.g., as a user or a contributing vocalist or a post-process video editor seeks to create a particular mood, be it“sad,” “pensive,”“peppy” or“romantic.”

For simplicity of the initial illustration, FIG. 1 depicts performance synchronized audio (103) and video (105) capture of a performance 106 that is uploaded to content server 110 (or service platform) and distributed to one or more potential contributing vocalists or performers, e.g., as a seed performance against which the other

contributing vocalists or performers (#2, #3 ... #N) capture additional audiovisual (AV) performances. FIG. 1 depicts the supply of other captured AV

performances #2, #3 ... #N for audio mix and visual arrangement 111 at content server 110 to produce performance synchronized video 122. In general, applied visual effects may be varied throughout the mixed audiovisual performance rendering 123 in accord with a particular visual effects schedule and segmentation of one or more of the constituent AV performances. In some cases, segmentation may be based on signal processing of vocal audio and/or based on precoded musical structure, including vocal part or section notations, phrase or repetitive structure of lyrics, etc.

FIGs. 2A, 2B and 2C are successive snapshots 191 , 192 and 193 of vocal performance synchronized video along a coordinated audiovisual performance timeline 151 wherein, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention, video 123 for one, the other or both of two contributing vocalist has vocal effects applied based on a mood and based on a computationally-defined audio feature such as vocal intensity computed over the captured vocals. Although the images of FIGs. 2A, 2B and 2C do not attempt to faithfully depict particular video effects (which tend to be dynamic and can be visually subtle), persons of ordinary skill having benefit of the present disclosure will understand that, for a first portion (represented by snapshot 191) of a coordinated audiovisual performance, VFX are applied to performance synchronized video for individual performers based on the respective selected or detected mood for that performer and based vocal intensity of the particular performance. For a second portion (represented by snapshot 192) of the coordinated audiovisual performance, VFX are applied to performance synchronized video for a single performer based on a selected or detected mood for that performer and a current vocal intensity. Finally, for a third portion (such as a chorus, represented by snapshot 193) of the coordinated audiovisual performance, VFX are applied to performance synchronized video of both performers based on a joint or composited mood (whether detected or selected) for the performers and a current measure of joint vocal intensity.

As will be understood by persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure, performance timeline 151 carries performance synchronized video across various audio segmentation boundaries, across section and/or group part transitions, and through discrete moments, such that snapshots 191 , 192 and 193 will be

expected to apply, at different portions of the performance timeline and based on musical structure of the audio, different aspects of a particular VFX schedule, e.g., different VFX recipes and VFX filters thereof.

FIGs. 3A, 3B and 3C illustrate an exemplary implementation of a segmentation and video effects (VFX) engine 112 (recall FIG. 1) in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). In particular, FIG. 3A depicts information flows involving an exemplary coding of musical structure 115 in which audio features of performance synchronized vocal tracks (e.g., vocal #1 and vocal #2) and a backing track are extracted to provide segmentation and annotation for musical structure coding 115.

Feature extraction and segmentation 117 provides the annotations and transition markings of musical structure coding 115 to apply recipes and filters from a selected visual effects schedule prior to video rendering 119. For example, in the exemplary implementation illustrated, feature extraction and segmentation operates on:

• vocals: segmentation“singing” vs.“not singing”, instantaneous loudness, relative loudness of each segment.

• backing tracks: tempo, instantaneous loudness, beat detection.

• midi files: pitch, harmony, lyrics,“part” arrangement markers (when each vocalist should sing).

In an exemplary implementation, a vocal track is treated as consisting of singing and silence segments. Feature extraction seeks to classify portions of a solo vocal track into silence and singing segments. For duet vocal tracks of part 1 and 2, Feature extraction seeks to classify them into silence, part 1 singing, part 2 singing, and singing together segments. Next, segment typing is performed. For example, in some implementations, a global average vocal intensity and average vocal intensities per segment are computed to determine the“musical intensity” of each segment with respect to a particular singer’s performance of a song. Stated differently, segmentation algorithms see, to determine whether a give section is a“louder” section, or a“quieter” section. The start time and end time of every lyric line are also retrieved from the lyric metadata in some implementations to facilitate segment typing. Valid segment types and classification criteria include:

Intro: Segment(s) before the start of the first lyric line.

• Verse: Intensity of the segment is lower than the singer’s average vocal intensity.

• Bridge: Like verse, but locating in the second half of a song.

• Pre-chorus: A segment before the chorus segment.

• Inter: Silent segments but not intro or outro segments

• Outro: Segment(s) after the end of the last lyric line

In addition to time-varying measures of audio signal strength or audio energy density computationally determined from vocal audio of the captured audiovisual

performance, persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure will appreciate additional audio features that may be extracted from audiovisual performance encodings and/or temporally-synchronized tracks and which may, in turn, trigger or parameterize applied visual effects, including VR-type visual effects, as described herein. For example, computationally-determined measures of brightness, breathiness or vibrato may be employed in some cases or embodiments.

Feature extraction and segmentation 117 may also include further audio signal processing to extract the timing of beats and down beats in the backing track, and to align the determined segments to down beats. In some implementations, a Beat Per Minute (BPM) measure is calculated for determining the tempo of the song, and moments such as climax, hold and crescendo identified by using vocal intensities and pitch information. For example, moment types and classification criteria may include:

• Climax: A segment is also marked as a climax segment if it has the highest vocal intensity.

• Hold: if a note has a pitch length longer than a predetermined threshold.

• Crescendo: a sequence of notes with increasing pitch.

In general, these and other annotations and segmentations may be used with styles, recipes and filters to provide performance-driven visual effects.

FIG. 3B depicts additional detail for an embodiment that decomposes its visual effect schedules into a video style-denominated recipes (116B) used for VFX planning and a particular video filters (116A) used in an exemplary VFX rendering pipeline. Video style may be user selected or, in some embodiments, may be selected based on a computationally-determined audio features, elements of musical structure or mood.

In general, for a given video style, multiple recipes are defined and specialized for particular song tempos, recording type (SOLO, duet, or partner artist), etc. A recipe typically defines the visual effects such as layouts, transitions, post-processing, color filter, watermarks, and logos for each segment type or moment. Based the determined tempo and recording type of a song, an appropriate recipe is selected from the set (116B) thereof.

VFX planner 118 maps the extracted features (segments and moments that were annotated or marked in musical structure coding 115, as described above) to particular visual effects based on the selected video style recipe (116B). VFX planner 118 generates a video rendering job containing a series of visual effect configurations. For each visual effect configuration, one set of configuration parameters is generated. Parameters such the name of a prebuilt video effect, input video, start and end time, backing track intensities and vocal intensities during the effect, beats timing information during the effect, specific control parameters of the video effect and etc. Video effects specified in the configuration can be pre-built and coded for directly use by the VFX Tenderer 119 to render the coded video effect. Beats timing information is typically used to align applied video effects with audio. AR-type visual effects are typically dynamic and have attributes, e.g., visual scale, movement in a visual field, timing, color, intensity or brightness, etc. based on audio features and/or elements of musical structure coded in or computationally-determined from temporally synchronized audio tracks, score or lyrics. For example, vocal intensities and backing track intensities are used to drive some visual effects. Likewise, visual effects may be driven by score-coded elements or musical structure computationally-determined from segmentation, beat analysis or lyric repeats in performance synchronized audio tracks or MIDI-coded score, lyrics, or sections.

Finally, FIG. 3C graphically depicts presents an exemplary mapping of vocal parts and segments to visual layouts, transitions, post- processed video effects and particle-based effects, such as may be represented as musical structure coding 115 (recall FIG. 3A) or, in some embodiments, by video style-denominated recipes

(116B) used for VFX planning and a particular video filters (116A) for VFX rendering. For example, computationally determined segments (intro, verse, inter, pre-chorus, bridge and outro) are mapped to particular visual layouts, post- processed effects and particle-based effects, with coded visual transitions between segments.

FIG. 4 depicts a variation on previously-described information flows. Specifically,

FIG. 4 depicts flows amongst illustrative mobile phone-type portable computing devices in a host and guest configuration in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s) in which a visual effects schedule is applied to a live-stream, duet-type group audiovisual performance.

In the illustration of FIG. 4, a current host user of current host device 101B at least partially controls the content of a live stream 122 that is buffered for, and streamed to, an audience on devices 120A, 120B ... 120N. In the illustrated configuration, a current guest user of current guest device 101 A contributes to the group audiovisual performance mix 111 that is supplied (eventually via content server 110) by current host device 101 B as live stream 122. Although devices 120A, 120B ... 120N and, indeed, current guest and host devices 101 A, 101B are, for simplicity, illustrated as handheld devices such as mobile phones, persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure will appreciate that any given member of the audience may receive live-stream 122 on any suitable computer, smart television, tablet, via a set top box or other streaming media capable client.

Content that is mixed to form group audiovisual performance mix 111 is captured, in the illustrated configuration, in the context of karaoke-style performance capture wherein lyrics 102, optional pitch cues 105 and, typically, a backing track 107 are supplied from content server 110 to either or both of current guest device 101 A and current host device 101B. A current host (on current host device 101B) typically exercises ultimate control over the live stream, e.g., by selecting a particular user (or users) from the audience to act as the current guest(s), by selecting a particular song from a request queue (and/or vocal parts thereof for particular users), and/or by starting, stopping or pausing the group AV performance. Once the current host selects or approves a guest and/or song, the guest user may (in some embodiments) start/stop/pause the roll of backing track 107A for local audible rendering and otherwise control the content of guest mix 106 (backing track roll mixed with captured guest audiovisual content) supplied to current host device 101 B. Roll of lyrics 102A and optional pitch cues 105A at current guest device 101A is in temporal correspondence with the backing track 107A, and is likewise subject start/stop/pause control by the current guest. In some cases or situations, backing audio and/or video may be rendered from a media store such as an iTunes™ library resident or accessible from a handheld, set-top box, etc.

As will be appreciated by persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure, instances of segmentation and VFX engine functionality such as previously described (recall FIG. 1 , segmentation and VFX engine 112) may, in the guest-host, live-stream configuration of FIG. 4, be distributed to host 101B, guest 101 A and/or content server 110. Descriptions of segmentation and VFX engine 112 relative to FIGs. 3A, 3B and 3C will thus be understood to analogously describe implementations of similar functionality 112A, 112B and/or 112C relative to devices or components of FIG. 4.

Typically, in embodiments in accordance with the guest-host, live-stream

configuration of FIG. 4, song requests 132 are audience-sourced and conveyed by signaling paths to content selection and guest queue control logic 112 of content server 110. Host controls 131 and guest controls 133 are illustrated as bi-directional signaling paths. Other queuing and control logic configurations consistent with the operations described, including host or guest controlled queuing and/or song selection, will be appreciated based on the present disclosure.

Notwithstanding a non-negligible temporal lag (typically 100-250 ms, but possibly more), current host device 101 B receives and audibly renders guest mix 106 as a backing track against which the current host’s audiovisual performance are captured at current host device 101B. Roll of lyrics 102B and optional pitch cues 105B at current host device 101B is in temporal correspondence with the backing track, here guest mix 106. To facilitate synchronization to the guest mix 106 in view of temporal lag in the peer-to-peer communications channel between current guest device 101 A and current host device 101B as well as for guest-side start/stop/pause control, marker beacons may be encoded in the guest mix to provide the appropriate phase control of lyrics 102B and optional pitch cues 105B on screen. Alternatively, phase analysis of any backing track 107A included in guest mix 106 (or any bleed through, if the backing track is separately encoded or conveyed) may be used to provide the appropriate phase control of lyrics 102B and optional pitch cues 105B on screen at current host device 101B.

It will be understood that temporal lag in the peer-to-peer communications channel between current guest device 101 A and current host device 101B affects both guest mix 106 and communications in the opposing direction (e.g., host mic 103C signal encodings). Any of a variety of communications channels may be used to convey audiovisual signals and controls between current guest device 101 A and current host device 101 B, as well as between the guest and host devices 101 A, 101 B and content server 110 and between audience devices 120A, 120B ... 120N and content server 110. For example, respective telecommunications carrier wireless facilities and/or wireless local area networks and respective wide-area network gateways (not specifically shown) may provide communications to and from devices 101 A, 101 B, 120A, 120B ... 120N. Based on the description herein, persons of skill in the art will recognize that any of a variety of data communications facilities, including 802.11 Wi Fi, Bluetooth™, 4G-LTE wireless, wired data networks, wired or wireless audiovisual interconnects such as in accord with HDMI, AVI, Wi-Di standards or facilities may employed, individually or in combination to facilitate communications and/or audiovisual rendering described herein.

User vocals 103A and 103B are captured at respective handhelds 101 A, 101B, and may be optionally pitch-corrected continuously and in real-time and audibly rendered mixed with the locally-appropriate backing track (e.g., backing track 107A at current guest device 101 A and guest mix 106 at current host device 101 B) to provide the user with an improved tonal quality rendition of his/her own vocal performance. Pitch correction is typically based on score-coded note sets or cues (e.g., the pitch and harmony cues 105A, 105B visually displayed at current guest device 101 A and at current host device 101B, respectively), which provide continuous pitch-correction algorithms executing on the respective device with performance-synchronized sequences of target notes in a current key or scale. In addition to performance-synchronized melody targets, score-coded harmony note sequences (or sets) provide pitch-shifting algorithms with additional targets (typically coded as offsets relative to a lead melody note track and typically scored only for selected portions thereof) for pitch-shifting to harmony versions of the user’s own captured vocals. In some cases, pitch correction settings may be characteristic of a particular artist such as the artist that performed vocals associated with the particular backing track. ln general, lyrics, melody and harmony track note sets and related timing and control information may be encapsulated in an appropriate container or object (e.g., in a Musical Instrument Digital Interface, MIDI, or Java Script Object Notation, json, type format) for supply together with the backing track(s). Using such information, devices 101 A and 101 B (as well as associated audiovisual displays and/or set-top box equipment, not specifically shown) may display lyrics and even visual cues related to target notes, harmonies and currently detected vocal pitch in

correspondence with an audible performance of the backing track(s) so as to facilitate a karaoke-style vocal performance by a user. Thus, if an aspiring vocalist selects“When I Was Your Man” as popularized by Bruno Mars, your_man. json and your_man . m4a may be downloaded from the content server (if not already available or cached based on prior download) and, in turn, used to provide background music, synchronized lyrics and, in some situations or embodiments, score-coded note tracks for continuous, real-time pitch-correction while the user sings. Optionally, at least for certain embodiments or genres, harmony note tracks may be score coded for harmony shifts to captured vocals. Typically, a captured pitch-corrected (possibly harmonized) vocal performance together with performance synchronized video is saved locally, on the handheld device or set-top box, as one or more audiovisual files and is subsequently compressed and encoded for

communication (e.g., as guest mix 106 or group audiovisual performance mix 111 or constituent encodings thereof) to content server 110 as an MPEG-4 container file. MPEG-4 is one suitable standard for the coded representation and transmission of digital multimedia content for the Internet, mobile networks and advanced broadcast applications. Other suitable codecs, compression techniques, coding formats and/or containers may be employed if desired.

As will be appreciated by persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure, performances of multiple vocalists (including performance synchronized video) may be accreted and combined, such as to form a duet-style performance, glee club, or vocal jam session. In some embodiments of the present invention, social network constructs may at least partially supplant or inform host control of the pairings of geographically-distributed vocalists and/or formation of geographically-distributed virtual glee clubs. For example, relative to FIG. 4, individual vocalists may perform as current host and guest users in a manner captured (with vocal audio and performance synchronized video) and eventually streamed as a live stream 122 to an audience. Such captured audiovisual content may, in turn, be distributed to social

media contacts of the vocalist, members of the audience etc., via an open call mediated by the content server. In this way, the vocalists themselves, members of the audience (and/or the content server or service platform on their behalf) may invite others to join in a coordinated audiovisual performance, or as members of an audience or guest queue.

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating information transfers that contribute to or involve a composited audiovisual performance 211 segmented to provide musical structure for video effects mapping in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). Video effects schedule 210 specifies for respective segmented elements of the musical structure, particular visual layouts and mood-denominated visual effects such a particle-based effects, transitions between video sources, animations of frame motion, vector graphics/images of patterns/textures and/or color/saturation/contrast. In general, intensity of applied video effects is determined based on an intensity measure from the captured audiovisual performance (typically vocal intensity), although energy density of one or more audio tracks, including a backing track, may be included in some cases or embodiments.

In the illustrated configuration of signal processing pipelines that may be

implemented at a user device such as handheld 101 , 101 A or 101 B, a user/vocalist sings along with a backing track karaoke style. Vocals captured from a microphone input 201 are continuously pitch-corrected (252) and harmonized (255) in real-time for mix (253) with the backing track which is audibly rendered at one or more acoustic transducers 202.

Both pitch correction and added harmonies are chosen to correspond to pitch tracks 207 of a musical score, which in the illustrated configuration, is wirelessly communicated (261) to the device(s) (e.g., from content server 110 to handheld 101 or set-top box equipment, recall FIG. 1) on which vocal capture and pitch-correction is to be performed, together with lyrics 208 and an audio encoding of the backing track 209.

In the computational flow of FIG. 5, pitch corrected or shifted vocals may be combined (254) or aggregated for mix (253) with an audibly-rendered backing track and/or communicated (262) to content server 110 or a remote device (e.g., handheld 120 or 520, television and/or set-top box equipment, or some other media-capable, computational system 511). In some embodiments, pitch correction or

shifting of vocals and/or segmentation of audiovisual performances may be performed at content server 110.

As before, persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure, will appreciate that instances of segmentation and VFX engine functionality such as previously described (recall FIG. 1 , segmentation and VFX engine 112) may, in other embodiments, be deployed at a handheld 101 , audiovisual and/or set-top box equipment, or other user device. Accordingly, descriptions of segmentation and VFX engine 112 relative to FIGs. 3A, 3B and 3C will be understood to analogously describe implementations of similar functionality 112D relative to signal processing pipelines of FIG. 5.

FIG. 6 is a functional block diagram of hardware and software components executable at an illustrative mobile phone-type portable computing device to facilitate processing of a captured audiovisual performance in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). In some embodiments (recall FIG. 1), capture of vocal audio and performance synchronized video may be performed using facilities of television-type display and/or set-top box equipment. However, in other embodiments, a handheld device (e.g., handheld device 101) may itself support capture of both vocal audio and performance synchronized video.

Thus, FIG. 6 illustrates basic signal processing flows in accord with certain implementations suitable for mobile phone-type handheld device 101 to capture vocal audio and performance synchronized video, to generate pitch-corrected and optionally harmonized vocals for audible rendering (locally and/or at a remote target device), and to communicate with a content server or service platform 110 that includes segmentation and visual effects engine 112, whereby captured audiovisual performances are segmented to reveal musical structure and, based on the revealed musical structure, particular visual effects are applied from a video effects schedule. As before, vocal intensity is measured and utilized (in some embodiments) to vary or modulate intensity of mood-denominated visual effects.

Exemplary Visual Effects for Cohesion of Multiperformer Visuals

FIG. 7 illustrates process steps and results of processing, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s), to apply color correction and mood-denominated video effects (see 701 B, 702B) to video for respective performers (701 A and 702A) of a group performance separately captured using cameras of

respective capture devices. FIGs. 8A and 8B illustrate visuals for a group performance with (802) and without (801) use of a visual blur technique applied in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s).

FIGs. 9, 10 and 11 illustrate various exemplary augmented reality-type visual effects applied in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s) including object overlays, avatars, synthetic tatoos and other facial embellishments, eye filters, use of reflective surface effects, lyrics-based augmentation and face morphing type effects applied, in accordance with some embodiments of the present inventions, based on extracted audio features or elements of musical structure, whether coded or computationally-determined.

An Exemplary Mobile Device and Network

FIG. 12 illustrates features of a mobile device that may serve as a platform for execution of software implementations, including audiovisual capture, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). In particular, FIG. 12 illustrates features of a mobile device that may serve as a platform for execution of software implementations in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention. More specifically, FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a mobile device 1200 that is generally consistent with commercially-available versions of an iPhone™ mobile digital device. Although embodiments of the present invention are certainly not limited to iPhone deployments or applications (or even to iPhone-type devices), the iPhone device platform, together with its rich complement of sensors, multimedia facilities, application programmer interfaces and wireless application delivery model, provides a highly capable platform on which to deploy certain implementations. Based on the description herein, persons of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate a wide range of additional mobile device platforms that may be suitable (now or hereafter) for a given implementation or deployment of the inventive techniques described herein.

Summarizing briefly, mobile device 1200 includes a display 1202 that can be sensitive to haptic and/or tactile contact with a user. Touch-sensitive display 1202 can support multi-touch features, processing multiple simultaneous touch points, including processing data related to the pressure, degree and/or position of each touch point. Such processing facilitates gestures and interactions with multiple fingers and other interactions. Of course, other touch-sensitive display technologies can also be used, e.g., a display in which contact is made using a stylus or other pointing device.

Typically, mobile device 1200 presents a graphical user interface on the touch-sensitive display 1202, providing the user access to various system objects and for conveying information. In some implementations, the graphical user interface can include one or more display objects 1204, 1206. In the example shown, the display objects 1204, 1206, are graphic representations of system objects. Examples of system objects include device functions, applications, windows, files, alerts, events, or other identifiable system objects. In some embodiments of the present invention, applications, when executed, provide at least some of the digital acoustic

functionality described herein.

Typically, the mobile device 1200 supports network connectivity including, for example, both mobile radio and wireless internetworking functionality to enable the user to travel with the mobile device 1200 and its associated network-enabled functions. In some cases, the mobile device 1200 can interact with other devices in the vicinity (e.g., via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.). For example, mobile device 1200 can be configured to interact with peers or a base station for one or more devices. As such, mobile device 1200 may grant or deny network access to other wireless devices.

Mobile device 1200 includes a variety of input/output (I/O) devices, sensors and transducers. For example, a speaker 1260 and a microphone 1262 are typically included to facilitate audio, such as the capture of vocal performances and audible rendering of backing tracks and mixed pitch-corrected vocal performances as described elsewhere herein. In some embodiments of the present invention, speaker 1260 and microphone 1262 may provide appropriate transducers for techniques described herein. An external speaker port 1264 can be included to facilitate hands free voice functionalities, such as speaker phone functions. An audio jack 1266 can also be included for use of headphones and/or a microphone. In some

embodiments, an external speaker and/or microphone may be used as a transducer for the techniques described herein.

Other sensors can also be used or provided. A proximity sensor 1268 can be included to facilitate the detection of user positioning of mobile device 1200. In some implementations, an ambient light sensor 1270 can be utilized to facilitate adjusting brightness of the touch-sensitive display 1202. An accelerometer 1272 can be

utilized to detect movement of mobile device 1200, as indicated by the directional arrow 1274. Accordingly, display objects and/or media can be presented according to a detected orientation, e.g., portrait or landscape. In some implementations, mobile device 1200 may include circuitry and sensors for supporting a location determining capability, such as that provided by the global positioning system (GPS) or other positioning systems (e.g., systems using Wi-Fi access points, television signals, cellular grids, Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)) to facilitate geocodings described herein. Mobile device 1200 also includes a camera lens and imaging sensor 1280. In some implementations, instances of a camera lens and sensor 1280 are located on front and back surfaces of the mobile device 1200. The cameras allow capture still images and/or video for association with captured pitch-corrected vocals.

Mobile device 1200 can also include one or more wireless communication subsystems, such as an 802.11 b/g/n/ac communication device, and/or a Bluetooth™ communication device 1288. Other communication protocols can also be supported, including other 802.x communication protocols (e.g., WiMax, Wi-Fi, 3G), fourth generation protocols and modulations (4G-LTE) and beyond (e.g., 5G), code division multiple access (CDMA), global system for mobile communications (GSM),

Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE), etc. A port device 1290, e.g., a

Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, or a docking port, or some other wired port connection, can be included and used to establish a wired connection to other computing devices, such as other communication devices 1200, network access devices, a personal computer, a printer, or other processing devices capable of receiving and/or transmitting data. Port device 1290 may also allow mobile device 1200 to synchronize with a host device using one or more protocols, such as, for example, the TCP/IP, HTTP, UDP and any other known protocol.

FIG. 13 is a network diagram that illustrates cooperation of exemplary devices in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention(s). In particular,

FIG. 13 illustrates respective instances of handheld devices or portable computing devices such as mobile device 1301 employed in audiovisual capture and

programmed with vocal audio and video capture code, user interface code, pitch correction code, an audio rendering pipeline and playback code in accord with the functional descriptions herein. A first device instance is depicted as, for example, employed in a vocal audio and performance synchronized video capture, while

device instance 1320A operates in a presentation or playback mode for a mixed audiovisual performance with dynamic visual prominence for performance

synchronized video. An additional television-type display and/or set-top box equipment 1320B is likewise depicted operating in a presentation or playback mode, although as described elsewhere herein, such equipment may also operate as part of a vocal audio and performance synchronized video capture facility. Each of the aforementioned devices communicate via wireless data transport and/or intervening networks 1304 with a server 1312 or service platform that hosts storage and/or functionality explained herein with regard to content server 110 (recall FIGs. 1 , 4, 5 and 6). Captured, pitch-corrected vocal performances with performance

synchronized video mixed to present mixed AV performance rendering with applied visual effects as described herein may (optionally) be streamed and audiovisually rendered at laptop computer 1311.

OTHER EMBODIMENTS

While the invention(s) is (are) described with reference to various embodiments, it will be understood that these embodiments are illustrative and that the scope of the invention(s) is not limited to them. Many variations, modifications, additions, and improvements are possible. For example, while particular video effects, transitions and audiovisual mixing techniques are illustrated and described, persons of skill in the art having benefit of the present disclosure will appreciate number variations and adaptions suitable for a given deployment, implementation, musical genre or user demographic. Likewise, while pitch correction vocal performances captured in accord with a karaoke-style interface have been described, other variations and adaptations will be appreciated. Furthermore, while certain illustrative signal processing techniques have been described in the context of certain illustrative applications and device/system configurations, persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that it is straightforward to modify the described techniques to

accommodate other suitable signal processing techniques and effects.

Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may take the form of, and/or be provided as, a computer program product encoded in a machine-readable medium as instruction sequences and other functional constructs of software, which may in turn be executed in a computational system (such as a iPhone handheld, mobile or portable computing device, or content server platform) to perform methods described herein. In general, a machine readable medium can include tangible

articles that encode information in a form (e.g., as applications, source or object code, functionally descriptive information, etc.) readable by a machine (e.g., a computer, computational facilities of a mobile device or portable computing device, etc.) as well as tangible storage incident to transmission of the information. A machine-readable medium may include, but is not limited to, magnetic storage medium (e.g., disks and/or tape storage); optical storage medium (e.g., CD-ROM, DVD, etc.); magneto-optical storage medium; read only memory (ROM); random access memory (RAM); erasable programmable memory (e.g., EPROM and

EEPROM); flash memory; or other types of medium suitable for storing electronic instructions, operation sequences, functionally descriptive information encodings, etc.

In general, plural instances may be provided for components, operations or structures described herein as a single instance. Boundaries between various components, operations and data stores are somewhat arbitrary, and particular operations are illustrated in the context of specific illustrative configurations. Other allocations of functionality are envisioned and may fall within the scope of the invention(s). In general, structures and functionality presented as separate components in the exemplary configurations may be implemented as a combined structure or component. Similarly, structures and functionality presented as a single component may be implemented as separate components. These and other variations, modifications, additions, and improvements may fall within the scope of the invention(s).