U.S. Patent No. 8,802,953: Scoring of free-form vocals for video game

Issued August 12, 2014, to Activision Publishing, Inc.
Priority Date February 5, 2009

U.S. Patent No. 8,802,953 (the ‘953 Patent) describes a method for a video game to evaluate and score a person singing. In a music based video game, a person’s singing score is determined by comparing the person’s performance to a set of predetermined criteria. Aspects of the performance, like pitch, tempo, and key, are evaluated against a targeted range. A player singing inside the targeted range for pitch will earn points, while a player singing outside the range will lose points. The evaluation is happening in real-time and the player can see their score while performing.

A music based video game in which a game player’s singing performance is digitally sampled while the player performs a free-form vocal over a prerecorded musical composition. Aspects of the game player’s free-form vocal performance are compared with predetermined criteria. For example, the vocal performance may be compared with tempo and key information to generate performance evaluation data. The performance evaluation data may be used to present performance feedback to the game player while the game player is singing.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for evaluating vocal inputs in a music based video game, comprising: repeatedly over time receiving input signals providing audio information; repeatedly over a particular time period determining a pitch of the audio information so as to determine a plurality of pitches of the audio information; determining if the pitches are in accordance with a plurality of target pitches, without regard to particular timing of individual pitches of the plurality of pitches; determining a valuation based on whether the pitches are in accordance with a target key; and commanding presentation of an indication of the valuation.

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