A mini audio effect & autonomous board for Maker projects
Do you want to play audio file or audio sound effect in your next project? without an Arduino and without shield? Maybe don't you know about microcontroler? Maybe just need to play an audio stuff when pressing a button. An being portable would certainly matter.
If you where looking for such a simple product, affordable and able to trigger audio effect (wav or OGG file) without the need to code anything in a software THEN YOU JUST FIND IT right here :-)
Do not misunderstood, we do love the MP3 Music Maker Shield as the classic wave shield Wave Shield, however, they need an Arduino board to work properly. It also exists many audio componants ready to used (like those made for gretting card) but they have poor audio quality. With this product (and chip) Adafruit did create a one of the best ready-to-use audio effect board! This product will be great to create accessories and costumes!
This version of the board DOES NOT HAVE ANY AMPLIFIER, neither any jack connector! If you do need an amplified board then you can look for this AudioFx with amplifier.
This product include the Audio FX board (assembled and tested) with a row of connectors. Speaker, breadboard, buttons and battery are not included.
The board have many features making it quite simple to use:
- No need for an Arduino or a Microcontroler! Audio FX is an autonomous product. Only a power supply is required (from 3 to 5.5V CC).
- Incredibly small - with its 38.1 x 22.86mm, you can place it everywhere.
- Include storage space - great! No need to have an SD car, this board have 2 MB Flash memory to store the file. It is enough for few minutes of compressed audio file (and 1/2 minutes when NOT COMPRESSED). Using mono audio allow to double the stored time (as it take twice as less place).
- Seen as USB storage (Mass Storage USB) - plug it to your computer with a microUSB cable and the board display himself as storage drive to the computer. You can copy/paste your audio file directly to the board as you would do with any USB stick.
- Compressed and uncompressed audio file - you can use compressed OGG audio file (Ogg Vorbis) for longer playback or use uncompressed WAV file (which are quite larger for the same content).
- High Quality Audio - you can play stereo file at 44.1KHz 16 bit. No problem! The hardaware can support all the rates and bits encoding (cfr description AdaFruit)
- 8 Triggers entries - connect up to 8 momentry switch, each one can trigger an audio file to play on the board.
- Stereo output lines - use headphone or an amplifier with this board. We also propose a version of the board with integrated amplifier.
- 5 dtrigger effect - you can create up to 5 sound triggers effect by naming the file appropriately. This will convert almost all your need without a line of coding :-).
- UART available - A 9600 baud UART allow to control the board (and volume) from a MicroControler
What means "trigger effect"?
The trigger effects determine how the audio file is played. Depending on your project you will need the audio files to be playedin a way or another. Adafruit did highlight 5 different way to play files on a board (the most comming ways). You just need to name the files accordingly to the effect and it will be applied by the sound board. Check the tutorial for more informations about it.
- Basic trigger
Name your file Tnn.WAV or Tnn.OGG to play the file when the nn pin is activated (a pin is activated by connecting it to the ground).
- Hold looping Trigger - continuous play
Name your file TnnHOLDL.WAV or .OGG to play the file as long as corresponding pin in activated (placed at the ground). The audio will loop until the pin is released.
- Latching effect (on/off) - continuous play
Name our file TnnLATCH.WAV or .OGG and it start to play the file when you momentary activate the pin. It repeat/loop the sound until you activate again the pin.
- Play next file trigger
You can have up to 10 files to play each one after the other when activating the pin. The pins must be named TnnNEXT0.WAV up tp TnnNEXT9.WAV (ou .OGG). It starts with the file #0. When the last file is played then it restart to the file #0
- Random file triggering
Work the same as the previous point except it will select the audio file randomly between #0 to #9. The files must be named with TnnRAND0.OGG to TnnRAND9.OGG (ou .WAV). File selection and play is trigger each tile the entry pin is activated.
This board is designed to be simple: you cannot do polyphonic playback, it cannot play MP3 files (MP3 is a licensed format). The board uses the OGG format which is quite similar but free of charge. It exists many software to convert audio files from mp3 to ogg (Audacity is one example of software). The board cannot be scripted ot programmed again, it is not possible to have other trigger effect neither (the trigger effet available should probably suit to your project).
Adafruit did created this product for the makers that want to create accessories, costume, toy or portable project . See tge tutorial for the powering options. You can poser the board from 3V up to 5V DC or a 3xAAA battery pack or a Lipo battery (see ou power supply section), this should be perfect.
You can even use this board with the Trinket Lipo Backpack which would take place on the top of the audio FX board.