Shelley Katz’s primary research areas are low-latency gestural control in time-critical, low failure-tolerance non-laboratory environments, and methods of sound reproduction and propagation to accurately emulate naturally occurring sound. The research has led to a number of inventions and patents.
Shelley’s library of patents includes a digital piano, which moves the air similarly to the great acoustic concert instruments, and has the unusual capability of accommodating whatever the acoustics are in the venue. As a result, the Katz piano combines the best of the two types of instruments: the sound quality of a grand concert piano and the simple logistics and robustness of a digital instrument.
Layered Sound is another patent in the domain of sound reproduction. It is a method for sound propagation, which unlike the usual methods used for conventional loudspeakers, combines and delivers both direct and indirect sounds. As a result, the sound reproduced is more faithful to the natural sound recorded, and the recording is perceived as having greater clarity and enhanced spatial qualities.
His patents also include a new drive unit that has varied applications in multiple domains. In the particular area of sound reproduction in which the invention was conceived, the drive unit corrects sound distortions resulting from mechanical imperfections inherent in all loudspeakers. Most importantly, these corrections are done without any sound processing and therefore listeners get to hear unadulterated sound, exactly as the original sound was recorded.
The pending patents for the Symphonova system encompasse a range of inventions, including a software for real-time control of midi scores, virtual acoustics used to create the best concert-hall acoustics in venues that are otherwise not suitable for acoustic instruments or voice, and a method for sound propagation to faithfully reproduce the sound of acoustic instruments (Instrumental Loudspeakers).